Illinois one of two states to erect a Nativity Scene in state capitol
Nativity Scene Returns to Illinois State Capitol Rotunda for 5th year
SPRINGFIELD--On Tuesday Nov. 27th, 2012, the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC) will again erect a display depicting the birth of the Christ Child. For the fifth year in a row, the crèche will stand in the center of the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda (next to the Governor’s “holiday tree”) located at South 2nd Street & East Capitol Avenue in Springfield, Illinois.
The SNSC will hold its celebration from 12 Noon until 1 P.M. The event is open to the public. An invocation will be given by the Rev. Bernie Lutchman, President of Business Men In Christ (Springfield) and an SNSC member. Christmas carols will be led by Bill Lewis, worship leader at Jefferson Street Christian Church in Lincoln, and accompanied by JJ Simpson and Judyta Sobczak.
Speakers include Rev. Peter C. Harman, Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield); Pastor Charlie Carver from South Tower Community Church of Dawson; Pastor Rick Giovannetti, Standing in the Word Ministries and an Illinois Family Institute Board Member; and Kevin Edward White, Board member of the Thomas More Society.
SNSC members, Tom Brejcha, SNSC’s legal counsel, and President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society; and Beth Rogers of Springfield will also address those attending the “unveiling” ceremony.
In 2008, the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee made history when Sec. of State Jesse White's office granted the SNSC a permit, allowing a Nativity Scene to go on display in the Capitol for the first time in state history.
The crèche and manger scene will stand in the Illinois Rotunda, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution which allows us to express our Christian faith in the public square--as long as these displays are privately-funded and temporary in nature. Currently, Illinois and Mississippi are the only states in America who display Nativity scenes in their state capitols.
The SNSC's primary goal is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The SNSC’s secondary mission is to inform the media and public (statewide and nationwide) regarding the constitutionality of such expressions of religious faith in the public square.
The Nativity scene will be on display in the Rotunda during normal business hours from November 27th throughout the Christmas season. Any individuals or groups who would like to sing near the Nativity scene (on weekdays, when the Rotunda is open) can call Salli Chernis of the Sec. of State’s office at (217) 782-8996 for permission. It must be noted singing in the Illinois Rotunda is limited to performing only during the noon hour.
This year’s celebration is being dedicated to the memory of Daniel. T. Zanoza, the SNSC’s Founder and first Chair, who was born into Eternity on January 6th of 2011. Mr. Zanoza’s earthly birthday was Nov. 27th which coincides with the fifth annual “Springfield Nativity Scene under the Rotunda”.
For more info, please contact Julie Zanoza, SNSC Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org