Too Amicable For Me: “Welcoming” Church Makes Jesus a Baby Girl

Photo credit: Bob Plain/

The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope.
  Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S.  Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy.  The Angel Gabriel, nicknamed “Gabe,” is a homeless black man.

The reinterpreted Nativity, its characters hewn by chainsaw artist Michael Higgins, stands in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island.  The unconventional display was conceived by Bill Sterritt, pastor of the Amicable Congregational Church.  Sterritt envisioned the Christmas story in modern times.  In his model, the Magi are a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Hindu.

The exhibit stands on Main Street in Tiverton Four Corners, in front of the Amicable Congregational Church which is affiliated with the liberal United Church of Christ.  According to the church’s mission statement, they

“…desire to make clear to the world that no matter one’s race, ethnicity, creed, class, age, gender, marital status or family structure, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, all are welcome here.”

I think they made their point.  Personally, though, I prefer this Nativity set, which stands in St. Peter’s Square and inspires the faithful, not to political posturing, but to faith and to prayer.

Read more here.

  • Stephen Sparrow

    the old father of lies must be having a field day promoting crap like this

  • Pingback: Rhode Island church recasts the Nativity with Jose, Maura…and a girl named Hope?


    I am sure creative people can offer an imaginative way to make a social statement without upsetting believers. The Christmas Narrative in Matthew and Luke has a much deeper meaning, involving Jesus’ death and His Resurrection and being Moses- Matthew and David’s promised heir Luke.

  • David J. White

    As a Jewish acquaintance of mine once commented, when noticing that the service book in a Protestant church had eliminated not only all masculine references to God, but also all masculine references to Jesus: “Even *we* admit that Jesus was a *boy*!”

  • Bob Plain

    Hi Kathy,
    That’s my picture in your post. I’d appreciate if you would credit me (Bob Plain/ and cite and link to my original story in your post.
    Thanks much.
    Bob Plain

    • Kathy Schiffer

      Oh my gosh, great to make your acquaintance, Bob! Yes, I’ll link back.

  • Jes

    A buddhist, a muslim and a hindu bowing down to the Christ child. That bit I like, although I cant believe that they haven’t complained yet.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh how I love this re-telling, along with all the others…We are a story-telling people, and Jesus knew this very well. nor was His “maleness” at all the main point of incarnation — otherwise, it would leave a few of us out– :-). Note: every time traditionalists refer to only 3 kings, or a donkey that carried Mary, they too are embellishing!

    • Angel

      I came upon this article by accident because of the St. Valentine’s Day article. So my post is rather late, anyway….

      Why change the story into something lame, something that’s untrue. The woman is not left out (like you said), because Mary is there with Jesus.
      Only a liberal clown would change a story. Oh, baby Jesus should be baby Jessica. Oh, a man should be a woman and a woman should be man. Oh, Elizabeth, you must be a spokeperson for the the LGBT community.
      Yes, disorder is the Agenda of the day!