Ann Arbor, Michigan: The annual crèche exhibit of local congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as “Mormons“) will be held November 30 through December 3. This year the exhibit will feature more than 1000 nativity scenes from 111 countries. The event is free and visitors from the community are welcome.
According to the Ann Arbor News, the event began in part to help the community understand that Mormons are in fact Christians. It has become the Church’s “gift to the community” for 25 years.
However, this year will be the last. All of the work is done by volunteers, and the labor involved in setting it up and taking it down is intensive and there is no chairperson available beyond this year. So if you’re in the Ann Arbor area, you’ll want to stop by this year. More details on the event, as well as some photographs of a few of the displays, can be found at www.crecheexhibit.com.
I posted a blog covering a similar event not long ago. Again, if you’re able to attend these or a similar event held in your own community, I highly recommend it.
Kensington, Maryland: The 30th Annual Festival of Lights at the Washington, D.C. temple of the LDS Church officially began the evening of November 28. According to the Deseret Morning News, 450,000 lights will shine on the temple grounds through the holiday season. More than 250,000 visitors are expected to visit the display during December.
“These lights are our holiday gift to the nation’s capital,” said Ann Santini, director of international affairs for the Church.
Congressmen, ambassadors, and other guests were on hand for the official lighting. The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, was among those who made remarks. Parnohadiningrat, a Muslim, said that peace on earth is “not only possible but imperative,” as reported by the Deseret Morning News.
“I believe we can make peace on earth more than just a slogan,” he said.
Musical numbers were also presented by soprano Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller and the Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C. Other musicians and musical groups will perform throughout the holiday season.