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Nativity Festival In Cache Valley Brings Members Of Different Faiths Together

Matilyn Mortensen

Southwest of Logan at an LDS Church building in Mendon, families and community members gather to enjoy nativity scenes as part of an interfaith nativity festival.

Tables used to display the scenes line the room. Strands of lights help illuminate depictions of Mary and Joseph gazing at baby Jesus, surrounded by wisemen, shepherds, angels and farm animals.

Nativities were on loan from community members and came in a variety of sizes - the smallest scene fit in a match box. The styles of sets also varied, coming from many different countries and cultures.

Some carved, wooden sets came from the Middle East. Pieces of another were made from colored corn husks. One scene was made out of Legos. In another, costumed bears portrayed the manger scene.

Annie Bevan, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, lives in Mendon. She wanted the festival to include everyone in the community, no matter their religious belief.

“It’s just a time where we all worship Jesus and it doesn’t matter what faith you are,” Bevan said. “If you’re Christian, it’s just a good way to worship Jesus.”

Judith Keilani Ludlow collects nativities and brought at least 15.  She heard about the event on Facebook.

“I love thinking of Christ starting the way we all started,” Ludlow said. “Even though he wasn’t; he was very different right from the beginning, but he started as an infant and he grew, and I just love that. And so for me, the nativity is my favorite thing to pull out for the season.”

Bevan hoped those who attended the event felt the spirit of Christmas.

“I love Santa Clause and the whole jolly thing, but deep down my heart lies with the nativity and with the birth of Christ,” Bevan said.

For a first-year event, Bevan said she is very pleased with the turnout. She plans on the event continuing in future years and hopes participation will increase.