December 11, 2017
School & Youth
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  • Pasadena United Methodist Church’s annual Nativity pageant is a tradition for many families. Although children are the target participants, even parents are sometimes unable to resist getting involved.
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    Pasadena United Methodist Church’s annual Nativity pageant is a tradition for many families. Although children are the target participants, even parents are sometimes unable to resist getting involved.

Nativity Pageant Tradition Spreads Across Generations

Maya Pottiger
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December 5, 2017

Pasadena United Methodist Church Annual Live Nativity Pageant Continues To Draw Families

Participating in Pasadena United Methodist Church’s Live Nativity pageant is a tradition that has been passed down from Pasadena parents to their children.

The annual pageant doesn’t require any rehearsals or memorization. Participants show up the day of the pageant and dress in the provided costumes. The narration is prerecorded on a CD, so all participants have to do is follow the cues.

“You just follow along with the story or they follow another child. It’s very simple,” said Emma Hood, who participated in the pageant and passed the tradition along to her three children. Hood, 51, has lived in Pasadena since 1982.

Her children are 9, 14 and 17 and still look forward to the pageant every year.

“They help with the costumes, like pinning wings on other kids. They like the whole participation of it,” Hood said. “It’s a nice little family time. It doesn’t take up much time. It really enforces the feel of Christmas and what it’s about.”

Laura Stumpfoll, 47, has lived in Pasadena for most of her life. She participated in the church’s previous live version of the Nativity scene where participants dressed up and posed on the church lawn. Her kids, 9 and 12, have participated in the pageant for the last few years.

Don Auman, a church member and director of the Live Nativity pageant, restarted the tradition in December 2011.

Stumpfoll said it’s been nice to see the evolution of the pageant, as well as to watch all of the kids at the church grow up participating in it.

“Sometimes we have even some of the audience people come in and they join because the kids get so excited, like, ‘Can we do it, too?’” Stumpfoll said. “It’s fun, too, because you get new people doing it with you, and they get excited about it.”

One of Stumpfoll’s favorite parts of the pageant is that it draws in people who aren’t members of the church.

“I know we have some families that don’t necessarily belong to our church that come every year, and they say, ‘I’m going to tell my neighbors and bring them next time,’” Stumpfoll said. “And sometimes they come back and share services with us, too, so that makes it even more fun.”

The holiday season is very busy, and the pageant is quick and “gives you what you need,” Hood said. “My favorite part is when people that are watching will join in with the songs, especially at the end. It chokes me up every time,” he said. “It’s a beautiful message and a reminder of what this season is really all about.”

At the end of the pageant, everyone is invited to have hot cocoa and other treats.

The Live Nativity pageant takes place on Saturday, December 16, and Sunday, December 17, at 6:00pm, 6:30pm and 7:00pm. Pasadena United Methodist Church is located at 61 Ritchie Highway.


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