On October 7, 2017, Nativity celebrated St. Francis Day with an Animal Blessing and Butterfly Release. Our priest, Susan Smith, and Martha Fraze, a Worship Administrator welcomed 50 people, 22 dogs, and 1 parrot.
Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Barrows visit to Nativity.
Ash Wednesday Worship
10 am and 6 pm
Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
“Remember you are dust”
Dust that God deemed good enough to share God’s very breath with us
4 pm This service will be much like our Sunday morning worship with choir, carols, and Holy Communion. Children are especially invited to bring gifts of baby food for the baby Jesus. The service will last about an hour. No incense. All are invited.
8:30 pm This is the traditional late worship service, also with holy communion, will use more music and more quiet to celebrate the mystery of the incarnation. Children will also be invited to bring gifts of baby food for the baby Jesus. No incense is used. It will last about an hour and a half. All are invited.
There is no worship service scheduled for Christmas Day.
Join us on the first Sunday after Christmas for a family-style Lessons and Carols Service around Nativity’s Christmas tree at 10:30 am followed by a pitch-in-bring-your-holiday-leftovers brunch. No early service. All are welcome.
As its name might imply, The Church of the Nativity had a humble beginning – in a barn. More accurately, it began as a mission with no building, no congregation, no name. Parishioners from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church living in the Mud Creek Valley/Lantern Hills area, met in April, 1957 to discuss forming a new parish and finding the leaders needed to spearhead the effort. The diocese had asked St. Paul’s to sponsor the project. By June, a copper-guttered barn built of Indiana Limestone on 3.3 acres had been purchased from the Glen Caldwell estate on Lantern Road. Father Paul H. Vruwink, St. Paul’s rector, saw the possibilities the barn and attached buildings offered, and because Christ was born in a manger, suggested “The Church of the Nativity” as a name.
Father Vruwink was named acting vicar. Clergy from St. Paul’s were to come once a month to offer communion. The first service in the buildings on Lantern Road was on October 16, 1957, after much work and remodeling was done by church members. Areas that had been dog kennels, a tack room, an implement shed, etc., all were redone and connected. The final connecting part was a guest house where the first parish meeting was held November 19, 1957. The church became a mission in November, 1957. Father Vruwink continued as acting vicar. The Rev. Robert A. MacGill became the first vicar and rector of the church on June 22, 1958. He left in 1962.
Plans for the section of the barn to become the name were approved in early 1960. Work was completed and it was dedicated on October 18, 1960. Ground was broken for the present name on October 31, 1992. It was dedicated September 14, 1993. The beautiful Memorial Garden was dedicated June 19, 1994, in memory of Dr. John Quay, former vestry member who helped tend the grounds for many years.
Rectors of The Church of the Nativity
- Robert A. MacGill (1958-1962)
- Roberts E. Ehrgott (1963-1977)
- David B. Lowry (1978-1980)
- J. William Lashmet (1981-1986)
- Donald A. Jones (1987-2000)
- Bruce W. Boss (2002-2014)
(Information from the booklet, “A History of The Church of the Nativity,” by Elizabeth Coffey. Copies are available from the parish office.)
Come explore our beautiful grounds and gardens.
The Nativity Labyrinth was completed in 1995 and is painted on a 36-foot wide piece of reinforced vinyl canvas. It was first offered to the congregation during the 1995 Lenten season. When it is opened in the Great Hall, the center of the labyrinth is in the same location from which the Holy Gospel was read in the old stable for over thirty years of worship! Occasionally the Nativity labyrinth is taken to conferences and other events to encourage prayer and entice other groups to initiate similar projects.
Volunteers make the Labyrinth available on various occasions for use as a tool for prayer, contemplation and spiritual growth. Trained facilitators offer an optional, brief introductory talk on history and Christian usage. Groups can be accommodated by contacting the church at 317-849-3656.
Our NEW Outdoor Labyrinth was completed in May 2014. It was an Eagle Scout Project of parishioner Leo Miller and took the hard work and dedication of many volunteers.
The Labyrinth is a scale replica of an ancient walkable design constructed around 1200 AD in the stone floor of Chartres Cathedral, France. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth is unicursal, having a single path leading to the center with no loops, cul-de-sacs or forks.
Medieval Christian pilgrims visited Chartres (and other cathedrals) to walk the labyrinth as an alternative to taking a hazardous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk in the “foot steps of Christ.” Modern “pilgrims” walk the labyrinth path as one of many tools offered to enhance prayer and spiritual growth.
Labyrinths are found in many forms throughout history, including the Aztec, Egyptian, Hopi, Greek and Norwegian cultures.
Our labyrinth was made by parishioner John Ridder. Additional info and resources on his work can be found on his website: www.paxworks.com