Christ Church Episcopal host live Nativity pilgrimage


• What: Live Nativity pilgrimage

• When: 7:30 p.m. today

• Where: Christ Church Episcopal, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross

• Cost: Free

• For more information: Visit ccn.episcopalatlanta.org

NORCROSS -- 'Twas two nights before Christmas when Christ Church Episcopal of Norcross performed a play -- the church and its congregation created a live Nativity pilgrimage to guide people through the night Christ was born, which has only one showing and it's tonight.

"I'm a film maker. It's really the same thing, sketching out a story in your mind visually and how it unfolds in front of people," said David Duke, director of the live show. "I really wanted it to be experiential where people come not to just watch, but participate and not know what to expect."

Attendees travel through a physical and spiritual journey that takes them into a series of different environments, outside, inside and at a bonfire, listening to the word of God and quotes from the Bible. Folks in street clothes will sing and speak to take the story to the next step. The group of people won't know who is in the play or not.

After walking through the first few scenes, the crowd makes way to the bonfire behind the church where "participants gather for contemplation, worship and the illumination from God's Word."

"Mainly, (I want attendees to get) a certain feeling and certain thoughts," Duke said. "What people have said about last year is they got quiet. It's hard to be quiet in our culture at this time of year, because it's a large retail time. In the dark with other people, there is a sense of humanity, of community ... yet you're outside in God's world. You get quiet inside."

After the live performance, hot cider is given out to all attendees to warm up and mingle inside the parish hall.

"It doesn't matter if they are Episcopal or not, or whether they go to church or not," he said, "I want there to be a community feeling."