The stated goal of the American Nativity Scene is to place a Nativity Scene within or directly outside state capitol buildings across America. At present, this is the case in the states of Illinois, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Washington, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. In addition, you may look at placing the Nativity Scene within locations on highly visible and heavily traveled PUBLIC PROPERTY within the city or municipality you reside.
Here are the simple steps to get this accomplished.
1) Contact the American Nativity Scene (ANS) about your interest in getting this done:
Jim Finnegan: Founder of ANSC:
Ed O'Malley: President of ANSC:
Tom Brejcha: Founder of The Thomas More Society Chicago,
Illinois 312-782-1680. Legal advice
2) Form a committee, as small as 3-6 people, to follow through on needs and determine where you will be placing the Nativity Scene.
3) Approach the government officials to request your permit for your PRIVATE group to place and maintain the Nativity Scene within or directly outside, the public location. A sign pointing out that this Nativity Scene is erected and maintained by the Nativity Scene Committee of (name of city) will likely be required to be next to the display. You will also need insurance coverage - We would suggest you contact a local insurance company or person for this coverage. The Saturday after Thanksgiving to the Saturday after Christmas are suggested for your permit application.
4) The Committee finds a local handy man or carpenter willing to provide his services to build a simple creche to house the Holy Family. To build the creche you can use pine or oak. Here are the dimensions we used to build the one pictured on our home page.
Base 48" wide and 36" deep
Back 48" wide and 48" tall
The two boards that make up the pointed top are each 36" long and 32" deep
The top under the pointed roof that has a string of the small Christmas lights is 36" wide and 33" deep. The Christmas lights are optional (you would need a floodlight in either case) but they add a nice touch.
For security purposes we have attached the figures to a separate panel that is attached to the floor of the creche. The Angel is attached separately to the creche by 1 1/2 inch thick boards that run at an angle to the creche. They are 15" long and the board they attach to is also 1 1/2 " thick and 15" in length.
5) The actual Nativity Scene is provided and shipped by a benefactor dedicated to keeping Christ in Christmas. The Holy Family of Joseph and Mary, the baby Jesus with crib, and the Angel announcing the birth of Christ provided at no cost to those willing to stand up and be counted on this important issue.
Arrange for the scene to be assembled during the Christmas season, and stored after.
7) If necessary, contact ANS for the history of the legal decision that set the PRECEDENT for allowing this to happen: Gruitzmacher vs Chicago Building Commission decided in Federal Court December 4th #87C10746 by the honorable James Parsons.
8) Plan a welcoming ceremony for the day your Nativity Scene is erected and notify the media of the event as it will be covered. Arrange for the children in attendance to place the Christ child in the crib; HIS rightful place in the hearts and minds of all during the Christmas season. You will find this to be one of life's special moments.
Let us answer these "wars on Christmas" by these simple but powerful steps. Let us get a Nativity Scene within your state capitol. Can we do any less for our children, families, country, and Our Lord.