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D. C. Convention Highlights

Updated: Mar 29

There were many firsts: This was our first December gathering of the Friends of the Creche, the first Washington, D.C. Convention, the first convention to be moving so often to different nativity sites, the first convention to not feature vendors (although there were plenty of gift stores), the first convention "post-COVID," and the first convention under the leadership of Shelly Crespo and others..

Board Members arrived early at the historic Mayflower Hotel and jumped right into action - No Time for pictures!

Wednesday morning – the lull before the storm – of buses (this was our first convention centered around moving 160 people from place -to- place).  Things mostly went smoothly. 

Touring homes – Jim Govan’s (Board members only) and Laura Kirkconnell’s collections.

Abundantly filled tote bags and name wallets were handed out to registered attendees. A beautiful ornament was even included.

The first bus tour began with a Monuments by Moonlight tour stopping at the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Christmas tree, where each U.S. state was represented with a festive tree.

Loading buses : Chaos was contained by flag bearers and hosts.

Thursday morning, the convention launching annual meeting showcased our board members in their various roles -answering a few questions and closed by our President Sydne Yanko-Jongbloed on her last official action of her tenure – THANK YOU, SYDNE. For a great tenure.  And a new Board Chair Michele Devitt was elected.

The convention was celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the first nativity reenactment created by St. Francis of Assisi in Greccio, Italy. The annual meeting also included presentations by Father Grenier, Jem Sullivan, and Lori Amos.

That afternoon, we loaded buses with lunches on board and began our tours.  This included visiting the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land of America.  

At the monastery, convention goers visited the nativity collection of board member Marguerite Sullivan and her husband, Roger.

Then on to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

That evening we had a buffet dinner followed by the Festival of Lights at the Washington, D.C. Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We heard a concert, saw its nativity display and fabulous light show.

Friday, we boarded buses and visited the Washington National Cathedral and viewed its nativity display thanks to Lori Amos and her "Crechettes" (helpers).

Back on the bus with our box lunches we were off to the Museum of the Bible with its six floors AND MORE NATIVITIES!!

AND THEN - the mad dash by the Board and D.C. Event team to prepare for the banquet, the live auction, banner presentation, speakers, and carol singing.

And then, the biggest of all:

We visited the White House to see...NATIVITIES, of course!

Thank you, St. Francis, for inspiring Friends of the Creche. Your nativity became our inspiration.

Photos by Brian Smith, and Neil and Nora Allen.

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