On Tuesday December 3, 2013, the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee launched our 6th Annual placing of the beautifully arranged marble representation of the Holy Family. What is now an annual tradition, was powerfully gifted to the community in song, word, praise and prayer. We had one of our biggest crowds in years as the Springfield First Baptist Church Praise Team, led by Music Pastor Brian Morgan filled the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda with the heavenly sounds of hymnal Christmas carols.
Bernie Lutchman, SNSC member and president of Business Men In Christ Springfield/Decatur opened up the proceedings with a reading from Micah 5:2-6 and prayer and was followed by Springfield Archdiocese Bishop Thomas Paprocki; Pastors Charlie Carver (South Tower Community Church in Dawson), Brian Williams (Broken Chains Church) and our SNSC Legal Counsel Tom Brejcha. Springfield pro-life activist Beth Rogers also spoke. Tom Brejcha is the lead counsel of the Thomas More Society of Chicago, which has defended the constitutional rights of many citizens and continues to do so! His message gave the legal authority, under both the US and the Illinois state constitutions for a PRIVATE religious observance to be allowed in the People's House - The Illinois State Capitol itself. We are the first state to allow a Nativity Scene on government property. The states of Mississippi and Florida (this year) have followed. Rhode Island's governor has finally allowed a "Christmas" tree inside their capitol, after a big controversy there last year
Pastors Charlie and Williams gave the gospel of Christ and the salvation message loud and clear. Bishop Paprocki spoke eloquently, as he always does, on Religious Liberty and charity. But a new feature this year was the addition of my good friend United States Emergency Corps Chaplain Steve Holden, who had just returned from a long period of ministering to the victims of the tornade-devastated Washington, Il. Chaplain Steve started this national First Responder Chaplain Corps right after 9/11 and heads up "Wreaths Across America" which lays Christmas wreaths at ALL National Cemeteries around Christmas team, to honor those who have defended freedom. We had our own Veteran Memorial ceremony led by Chaplain and several veterans in the audience as well as our own committee member himself - Tom Brejcha!
The program is already in motion for the 7th Annual launch and our music is already set as several in attendance requested First Baptist Church Praise Team returns in 2014! Merry Christmas to one and all and thank you for participating with us, praying for us and for praising Jesus forever and ever! Amen.
The Springfield Nativity Scene is the brainchild of the late Dan and Julie Zanoza. Julie is our Master of Ceremonies and did a fabulous job this year!
|US EMERGENCY CHAPLAIN CORPS FOUNDER STEVE HOLDEN|
|CHAPLAIN STEVE AND I IN FRONT OF THE VETERANS MEMORIAL WITH WREATH|
|MASTER OF CEREMONIES JULIE ZANOZA (LEFT) WITH FIRST BAPTIST PRAISE TEAM IN BACKGROUND|