Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church's Nativity Collection
- 1174 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901
- (920) 231-2800 |
- Visit Website
A visit to the Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church's Nativity Collection could be the highlight of any season, not just Christmas. You will be awed by the beauty and diversity of this collection of more than 1,000 nativity sets. The collection is housed in the lower level of the church and is open whenever the church is open. Any group, large or small, can arrange a tour with a knowledgeable guide. Visitors can read a printed description to explore the collection. To arrange a guided tour, call the church office at 920-231-2800. This is one of the largest permanently displayed collections in the entire world. The 1,000-plus sets were gathered by one church member, Mildred Turner, a retired kindergarten teacher from Omro. Depictions of Christ's birth range in size from five feet tall to smaller than your thumb and reflect a myriad of cultures. They are made of every kind of material, including wood, porcelain, precious metals and marshmallows, and they come from every corner of the globe. Nativities range from the unsophisticated work of children to masterpieces of artwork. It is breathtaking to see how many different expressions there are of the holy event. The collection began as a response to tough times in her life. After the death of her mother, she pledged, "I will not be blue at Christmas," and would not allow depression to overcome her spirit. Thinking about Jesus birth and his saving grace lifted her spirits. "I feel God pushed me to begin this collection," Mildred said. "Otherwise it would have been impossible to find so many sets in such a short time." People of all ages from such diverse places as Poland, Oklahoma City and Oshkosh have enjoyed the nativity collection. In fact, more than 3,000 people from every state in the U.S. and from 20 countries have seen it. Donations of nativities are not accepted from the public, because the unique collection is the work of one person. Other points that make it unique are the large number of sets and the fact that it is open to the public all year long. We are fortunate indeed to have this wonderful asset in our church.
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