The community of Boyne City is situated on Lake Charlevoix with the adjoining Boyne River running right through the city. Many natural and recreational areas surround Boyne City and include parks, nature preserves, trails (both motorized and non motorized) skiing and winter sports. A bike trail links Boyne City with other trails throughout neighboring communities. Young State Park is located on Lake Charlevoix just a couple of miles outside of the city limits and Whiting, a county owned park, is located on the other side of the lake and is a popular stop for those seeking a more relaxed visit.
Boyne City has a K-12 public school and a charter school. There is a county owned bus service that links Boyne City and neighboring comnmunities. A small medical center and free clinic are located within the city limits, as well as dental and veterinary services. McClaren Northern Michigan Hospital is just 17 miles away in Petoskey and Munson Charlevoix Area Hospital in Charlevoix is about the same distance. Nativity is fortunate to be located 1 block from the downtown area and directly adjacent to the Boyne City Public Library. We are within walking distance from surrounding neighborhoods.
The building of Nativity was originally Boyne City's first schoolhouse. Over the years, the building served as a many churches and, at one time, was a teen center. Dr. Walter Webber purchased the building for the purpose of starting a church. His intent was to name the church Grace in tribute to his mother Grace Fern Webber. In 1985, the Rev. James Hempstead of Emmanuel of Petoskey was charged by his bishop to establish a new congregation in Northern Michigan. Rev. Hempstead developed a committee and together he led a door-to-door survey to determine if there was enough interest in starting an Episcopal church. Initally, the first meeting was at the home of the Honorable Judge Harvey and Genevieve Varnum. That fall, Church of the Nativity was established and Nativity celebrated its first service on Christmas Eve in the home of the Varnums. Dr. Webber offered to lease the building to Nativity and eventually a purchase agreement was arranged. A plaque designates Nativity as listed on the Michigan Historic Register.
Good Neighbors Food Pantry
Nativity parishioners have been involved in the formation of the Good Neighbors Food Pantry. Working closely with Manna, whose mission is to feed the hungry in Northern Michigan, the food pantry serves a growing need in Boyne City and surrounding areas. In addition, Nativity uses its back yard for a Pantry Garden. The garden is cared for by parishioners, pantry and community volunteers. All produce harvested is donated to the food pantry.
We assemble and distribute Thanksgiving Baskets to friends in the community who Nativity wishes to remember at Thanksgiving time.
Boyne Area Community Christmas
Nativity participates in providing volunteers for packing and distribution day as well as helping with collecting needed items.
Faith in Practice - John and Wilma Tysse, Nativity Parishioners - For the past 17+ years, the Tysses have been organizing volunteer teams on short term medical mission trips which serve the poor in Guatemala. Each year, more that 1,100 medical professionals and support personnel work beside 700 Guatemalan volunteers and see more than 25,000 patients annually.
Nativity financially supports 8 community ministries and organizations: Boyne Area Deacon Fund, Hospital Chaplain Fund, Good Neighbors Food Pantry, Boyne City Free Clinic, Episcopal Relief and Development, Faith In Practice, and the Moms and Tots Center/His House Ministries.