Christmas Marketplace Provides Drinking Water (11/10/18)

Posted by on Dec 1, 2018 in EventReport, Ministry: Community & Church | 0 comments

On Saturday November 10 2018, our Fellowship Hall turned into a Christmas Marketplace. It was a special atmosphere of neighbors enjoying eachother’s company as they wandered through our “village” of food and handmade items. Eight outside vendors joined with our small groups to create 11 “Markets.” Tables and lampposts were arranged in our Fellowship Hall to transform our “gym” into a “village square.” The “markets” consisted of attic treasures, the bakery, the café (where you could sit and eat lunch), crafts, deli, gift baskets, jewelry, knitting, crocheting, plants, quilting, and the woodshop.

Over 370 people dropped by to experience the Christmas Marketplace. They started their Christmas shopping, sat down for a bite to eat, or simply wandered around and enjoyed the atmosphere. More importantly than the items on sale, was the fact that we raised almost $4000 to provide clean drinking water to the needy across the world.

Proceeds from the Marketplace were sent to a project sponsored by the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

In our town, we take our Water and Sewer Department and infrastructure for granted. Just turn a knob and clean drinking water comes out. Turn a different knob and clean warm water flows into our bathtubs. If something doesn’t work, call a plumber.

But over 600 million people across the globe don’t have access to clean drinking water. Over 1.6 billion don’t even have access to adequate toilets! Each day, over 1000 children die from diseases, many of which are directly attributable to the lack of clean water.

So the United Methodist Church established a project called WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Health). Experts go into villages and towns throughout the world to provide solutions to each community’s water needs. Whether it’s locating new water sources, digging wells, or providing education, the goal is to work alongside the community to provide long term solutions.


More than a Market

Yes, this was a “fundraiser.” But it was also a chance to celebrate the talents and skills that God has blessed so many of us with. Many of our small groups have been preparing for the marketplace for months, using their talents to create items that could be sold so that wells could be dug. The Scrappy Quilters sold blankets, Hooks and Needles sold prayer shawls, blankets, and hats. Our Master’s Carpenters offered their creations of, signs, advent wreaths, and inspirational sayings lasered on recycled wood.

Even deeper than the “stuff” that was on sale, those involved in the Marketplace were able to see God’s Hand throughout the planning and execution of this special event. We saw God’s hand in the preparations in SO MANY ways. He put people in our lives at opportune times. He made all things possible. When problems arose, solutions came from “out of the blue.” It was an honor to be a part of this. The event itself was beyond belief. The atmosphere was so uplifting and exciting.

Here are a few glimpses of the Marketplace…



See Ya Next Year!

This year’s Marketplace won’t be the last time; we’re already thinking about next year’s Christmas Marketplace. If God has blessed you with a creative talent, consider how He might use that gift to bless needy people. This year we helped to dig wells. Next year’s project might be different, but our “blessed to be a blessing” desire is to use all of our gifts for God’s glory.



For more information about our Christmas Marketplace, here’s the article that announced this year’s event…

Announcement Post

People in PUMC and and people throughout the community have been blessed with all sorts of artistic talent.  Within our own church, we have knitters, crocheters, and wood workers.  We have small groups which use these common interests to learn from the Bible and from each other.  Hooks ‘n Needles meets every week to knit prayer shawls and blankets (and even cancer hats) to people in need of healing and prayer.  The Scrappy Quilters gather twice a month to make blankets which are donated to Domestic Abuse Shelters.  And Our Master’s Carpenters meet in a local wood shop to make items from wood while building relationships around the Bible.

These crafts will be on display (and on sale) during our Christmas Marketplace.


Why are We Having a “Christmas Marketplace”???

In a nutshell, we’re having a Christmas Marketplace because many people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.  They live in harsh conditions and must travel miles by foot to reach the nearest well.  Part of the proceeds from the Christmas Marketplace will support the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) efforts to provide clean water and sanitary conditions  to everyone in the world.  Water is a right!

The “United Methodist Committee on Relief” (better known as just UMCOR) is the arm of the United Methodist Church that listens for needs and organizes projects to combat poverty and health issues.  One of their programs is called WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).  Their goal is to work with communities in impoverished areas to help them build and maintain the equipment they need to provide clean water.

Many of us take the supply of clean water for granted.  But here are some global statistics that might be a bit of an eye opener:

  • 668 million people around the world do not have reliable access to clean drinking water
  • Even more don’t have access to water for agriculture and other household tasks.  Kinda hard to make a living by farming when you don’t have enough water for your crops and livestock.
  • 1.8 billion people around the globe don’t even have adequate toilets!
  • All of this causes over 1,000 children to die from diseases EACH DAY!


For details on the UMCOR-WASH program, click this button:    WASH  

Our goal with our Christmas Marketplace is to add our efforts to helping UMCOR-WASH save lives.


World Vision is another organization which is working to solve this problem.  Here’s a video that they produced:



Christmas Marketplace
  • Date:          Saturday November 10, 2018
  • Time:          9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Location:  Pitman UMC Fellowship Hall
  • Cost:           Free admission, $35 exhibitor space
  • Who:          Everybody!


Crafty People at Work

Our own artistic folks have already been at work creating items for the Marketplace.  Here are a few photos to whet your appetite for the Christmas Marketplace. 

Hooks ‘n Needles at Work…

Hooks ‘n Needles. L to R: Eileen Oczkowski, Connie Norton, Linda Boltz, Karen Kayser, and Ellen Janack


Woodwork from Our Master’s Carpenters…


Crafty People Wanted

Our small groups are leading the way, but this event is open to the entire community.  We want to spread the word to anyone who can make items that people would want to purchase.  The Christmas Marketplace includes a show of original work that is designed, created and sold by you, the artists. All work must be original and handmade.

The space rental is $35 (and of course, you keep the proceeds from all sales).  The Space Rental proceeds will go to World Vision’s efforts to give the basic necessity of clean water to everyone in the world.

To participate, press the below button to download an application form.  Follow the instructions and return the application to our church office (by October 1).

Christmas Marketplace Vendor Application

The Christmas Marketplace is a “Craft Show” and not a “Yard Sale.”

Throughout the year we will hold Yard Sales in our Fellowship Hall to benefit certain missions.  Stay tuned to the website for upcoming Yard Sale announcements.




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To learn more about Hooks ‘n Needles and Scrappy Quilters, click this button:   Thread ‘n Yarn  


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