Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

In a drive-through pageant

Richmond Beach depicts vulnerable families today

By Staci Schulmerich – director of faith formation/children and youth

Richmond Beach UCC drive through pageant has vignettes with displaced Holy Family, stranded Holy Family, quarantined Holy Family and queer Holy Family. Photos courtesy of Staci Schulmerich.

For its Christmas pageant, Richmond Beach Congregational UCC in shoreline adapted its traditional “Spontaneous Christmas Nativity Pageant” into a safe, socially distanced Drive-Thru Nativity Pageant.

The experience began with Caesar greeting each car and sending them to be counted.  Mary and Joseph were seen with their car broken down at the side of the road seeking help on the way to Bethlehem. 

The shepherds were gathered. The angel proclaimed and gave out halos to the multitude. 

Handbells were played. 

Each household was given an Advent Take-Out Box filled with readings, crafts, advent candles and activities for the season, as well as an RBCC travel mug for each person.

Cars discovered the holy family in scenes with different and relevant interpretations of the nativity.  There were several depictions of the Holy Family:

• A displaced Holy Family with mylar blankets, the belongings that could be carried were behind a chain link fence, separating them from the cars.  They were fleeing and waiting.

• A Queer Holy Family were shown with all their love, joy and hope—and their donkey dog named Bear.

• A Holy Family experiencing homelessness and food insecurity were depicted with the manger inside their tarp covered tent.

•  A quarantined Holy Family were separated from visitors and received gifts for the sake of the common good.

This year RBCC reflected on how Emmanuel, “God with us,” needs to be sought out, discovered and embraced. 

The church sought to depict the nativity story through faces of not just traditional and familiar scenes that bring comfort, but in lives of those Jesus himself is reflected in—those of the displaced, the other, the marginalized and the compassion filled.

Pastor Paul Ashby, as a homeless shepherd told those driving by: “One in eight American families struggles with hunger. We can change this as a nation and as a human family.”

For information, call 206-542-7477, email or visit


Copyright © December 2020 - PNC-UCC News





Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share