Meet the animals of Christmas

Cast and animals gathered at the manger. Photo by Elinor Peiffer

Westlake United Methodist Church is bringing back its very popular live nativity and the community is invited to join in the celebration. New this year for the kids, a chance to get up close with the live animals, story time, crafts, and Christmas cookies.

The highlight is a life-size manger scene built by members of the congregation. The volunteer cast members are groups of families that share the holy birth story through live music and, of course, the live animals. If you listen closely, you just might hear donkeys braying, sheep and goats bleating, and lowing steers … just like in the classic Christmas lullaby, "Away in the Manger." The majestic camels tend to be on the quiet side, but they will be happy to pose for a photo.

Feedback from the community shows that this has become a very meaningful part of their holiday season. One person commented, “For a moment I felt like I was really in Bethlehem! It was a moment of the divine on earth. Hearing the story and songs really gave me the Christmas spirit!”

Westlake UMC is located at 27650 Center Ridge Road. Drop by and meet the animals between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. The Live Nativity will be held at 6:30 and 7:30. Additional information can be found at

Lisa Hallman

I'm a member of Westlake United Methodist Church and would like to submit an article about an upcoming event we are hosting for the community. I work in marketing for my day job.

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Volume 14, Issue 23, Posted 10:53 AM, 12.06.2022