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Living Nativity

Living Nativity will be here before we know it! Coming December 8, 9 & 10; 7:00, 7:30 & 8:00pm nightly. Hope to see you there!


Living Nativity, a retelling of the Christmas story, is an annual live event at Brookside every December. It occurs over three consecutive nights, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, with nightly viewings held at 7:00, 7:30 & 8:00pm each evening.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Come for a memorable family outdoor experience –dress warmly! Following the story, come inside to visit with the Neighbors in Nazareth, and catch a glimpse of life in the days of Mary & Joseph. Hot chocolate and cookies are served. Signing for the hearing impaired is available.

December 2016 marks the 21st year that Brookside members will present a Living Nativity for the Grand Rapids community. Hundreds of members are involved with details such as set building, sewing costumes, traffic and parking safety, serving hot chocolate, lighting the milk jug luminaries that line the church drives and passing out posters to local businesses and homes.

Using the set built by church members we are attempting to portray an authentic background for the drama, much like Bethlehem looked in Jesus’ day. A family from our church brings their alpaca for the wise men to lead as they follow the star and several sheep and goats for the shepherds to tend as they warm themselves by the fire. Angels appear to fill the night with song and Mary and Joseph and the baby complete the scene.

Participants in the outdoor performances range in age from five year olds to retirees. The playing of an audio track allows the actors to do just that, and no one has to worry about learning lines. Different persons fill the positions on each of the three nights.

The script was written to reflect the wonderings of a child about this holy event, which actually began at creation and continues until Christ returns. The church’s children’s choir and the adult choir, as well as several soloists have recorded songs on the audio track to compliment the narration and voices of the main characters. Middle schoolers run the lights and sound board from inside the church as the head technician gives directions while viewing things from outside on the lawn.

Each evening, the elderly and very small children can view the presentation on a large screen located inside the warm and comfortable church. Children and adults are invited to interact with our Neighbors in Nazareth, shopkeepers and townspeople who will tell you about everyday life in the village where Jesus spent his boyhood. Activities and crafts are planned in the Activity Center alongside the homemade cookie and hot chocolate refreshment area.

Nineteen years ago, several Brookside members had a dream to put together an advent activity that would be a blessing both for our church members as well as for the community at large. This has certainly happened. Our attendance ranges from 1200-1700 persons over three nights. The event occurs no matter what the weather conditions might be. People from all over West Michigan have attended and many have made coming to the Living Nativity a tradition for their family.

We invite you to join us this year!

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