- Associated Press - Monday, December 10, 2018

SALINE, Mich. (AP) - A creche, szopka, presepio, betlemy, or simply a nativity scene.

By any name, the intricate depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ is a Christmas tradition in countries around the world.

From El Salvador to Israel, Kenya to Haiti, Holy Faith Church in Saline managed to curate over 200 of the works of art and put them on display Saturday, Dec. 1.

Each scene portrays the same moment in time, yet the elements vary across cultural depictions.

Rev. Andrea Martin, pastor of Holy Faith since June 2017, explains her interpretation of the nativity scene.

“It’s a tool for helping you to put yourself into the story,” she told The Ann Arbor News . “They are an imaginative way of entering into Jesus’ birth.”

For the artist, she explained, it is an act of prayer. For other people, it’s simply a devotional tool.

The idea of a displaying international nativity scenes was inspired by a previous, quarter century-long tradition of creche exhibits at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

That tradition ended in 2007.

Molly Hilton is the creche exhibit coordinator and a member of Holy Faith’s congregation going on five years. She remembers bringing her children to see the creche exhibit at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for years.

Now, with the help of the Holy Faith’s congregation, she hopes to establish a new local tradition.

Tish Dersnah, a longtime friend to Hilton and a fellow member of Holy Faith, said they wanted to provide that same experience for members of the Saline community.

“We missed having that exhibit,” she said. “It was just a place to go and feel Christmas.”


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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