Breath of Heaven nativity moves to Vermilion

By Laurie Hamame -

The Breath of Heaven live nativity will no longer be held in Oberlin.

Grace Lutheran Church hosted the event on Lorain Street for 19 years. This year, the nativity is moving to St. Matthew Lutheran, 15617 Mason Rd., Vermilion.

Organizer Kathy Sklarek said many stipulations were put on the production by a church committee, and the majority decided Grace Lutheran wasn’t the best place to have the nativity.

“It’s sad because we’ve had it here for so long, but God has a plan and we’re going to follow his lead.” Sklarek said. “Hopefully we’ll get the Oberlinites to become Vermilionites.”

Last year, more than 2,100 people took the nativity tour through recreated streets of Bethlehem. Sklarek hopes to break a record this December.

The 15-minute walk portrays the night when Jesus was born. Along the tour, people pay taxes to enter Bethlehem, meet King Herod, listen to a choir of angels, and end with the holy family.

The live nativity is the way people love to kick off the holiday, Sklarek said. It puts the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront of people’s minds.

“That’s what it’s all about. We can share that story,” she said. “Even if we only reach a couple people, I feel we are doing what God wants us to do.”

Breath of Heaven is free to the public on Dec. 9 and 10. Walk-through presentations will be every 15 minutes. Non-perishable food items are welcomed for donation to local food banks.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNew on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame