On December 1st, 2009, a standing room only crowd attended the second annual opening day ceremony for the Springfield, Illinois Nativity Scene. The display now stands in the center of the state Capitol Rotunda Building and will be on display throughout the Christmas season.
The Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC), who coordinated the event, would like to express its deepest appreciation to the Chicago-based Thomas More Society who underwrote the Nativity Scene for the second year in a row.
The SNSC would also like to thank the Illinois Family Institute and Isringhausen Imports of Springfield who were co-sponsors of this year's display.
"It was a wonderful experience," said Dan Zanoza, Chairman of the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee. "It was exciting to see the public turn out in such great numbers, especially on a work day and, hopefully, those who visit the state Capitol Building in the future will take a moment to view the display depicting the birth of Jesus Christ."
The 25 members of the Joyful Senior Singers & Ringers from Decatur’s Tabernacle Baptist Church, directed by David Cooprider, wowed those in attendance with superb renditions of Christmas carols.
Speeches were given by Thomas Brejcha, SNSC's legal counsel and President of the Thomas More Society; Dan Zanoza; and Beth Rogers, an SNSC member and resident of Springfield. Rogers referenced America's long standing adherence to the Judeo-Christian ethic, as she reviewed quotes from past presidents--including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln--who spoke of the role faith played in America's history.
The SNSC would also like to thank volunteers, including Carol Griffith of Springfield--who signed during the event for the deaf and hard of hearing; Rev. Nancy Cahalan of the Grantfork United Church of Christ who gave an invocation which began the noon hour program; Jim Hostetter of Lincoln and Jean Cohoon of Eureka.
In addition, the SNSC would like to express its gratitude to fellow Committee member Pastor Dustin Fulton of the Jefferson Street Christian Church of Lincoln for the church's storing the display and to Everett Crowell (also from Jeff St. Christian Church) for transporting and erecting the Nativity Scene--which was designed and constructed by Karl Fritz and his son Timothy Fritz, master craftsman both of Chicago.
Finally, the SNSC would like to thank the Secretary of State's office for logistic support it offers all groups who desire to express free speech in the public square.
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