It’s that time of year again for Messiah Lutheran Church. Time to get out the nativity scenes, ask the public for loans of more nativity scenes and make arrangements for the 13th annual No Room at the Inn, this year to be held 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the church, 1013 East Lawn Ave.
Last year, more than 400 nativity scenes were displayed at the event, according to event organizer Mike Henson.
“Since we started this, people have donated nativity sets, sometimes as they’re downsizing,” he said. “They love the event and ask if they can donate.” Most of the sets. however, are on loan for the day and come from church members and local residents who want to share their treasures with the community. “We take really good care of them,” Henson said of the borrowed sets.
“No Room at the Inn” has a double meaning. It refers to nativity scenes, but also to the purpose of the event, to raise funds for the area’s homeless. There is no fee to view the nativity scenes or visit the Angel Room or listen to the 2 p.m. Graham High School Choir concert in the sanctuary, but donations will be taken for the Caring Kitchen. The event garners an average of $3,000 to $5,000 a year for the shelter/pantry.
“People from the community and congregation bring in angels they have collected,” Henson said of the Angel Room. “It’s another phenomenal part of the day for people to experience.”
A new facet of the event this year will be a raffle for a Scott Kirby painting. Titled “Monument Square,” the painting of Urbana’s downtown square was purchased during a silent auction at a recent event and donated to the church. Raffle tickets can be purchased during No Room at the Inn and at the Dec. 15 Peter Mayer concert at the church (see accompanying article). The winning raffle ticket will be drawn following the concert. Money raised from raffle ticket sales goes to the Caring Kitchen.
The No Room … event includes a holiday lunch of soup, sandwiches, salad, dessert and drinks. The lunch fare of $3 for diners under 12 years old and $5 for older diners goes to the Caring Kitchen.
Then there’s the silent charity auction. “It’s a lot of fun,” Henson said of the all-day auction of handmade items, baked goods and other offerings. “People will hang around to see if they get what they bid on.”
And, the children of the church will be raising money for the cause by selling baked goods.
Music will be a big part of the day, with live music throughout the event and the 2 p.m. Graham concert, which will be followed by a carol sing-along.
Calling all nativity scenes
Those wishing their nativity scenes to be displayed during No Room at the Inn can drop them off at the church 10 a.m.-noon and 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6; and 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7. Those wishing for their nativity scenes to be picked up at their homes can make arrangements by calling Henson at 937-408-1517. Nativity scenes can be retrieved at the church at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, after the event or the following day. To make other arrangements, call Henson.
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.