Shop from the heart

This holiday season, why not step away from the sensory overload of crowded shopping centers, and instead, peruse hand-crafted gifts, home décor, jewelry, fashion accessories, hand-woven baskets, soaps and candles, pillows, blankets, Christmas ornaments and more at Covenant Presbyterian Church’s annual Global Gift Market? This eagerly-anticipated Buckhead bazaar will be open Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, from 12:30–5 p.m. in the church’s fellowship hall. The market will feature a carefully-collected assortment of items for sale created by artisans from around the world, many of whom live in impoverished communities.  Proceeds from the Market support the efforts of Ten Thousand Villages, the LaGonave Haiti Partnership and Covenant’s ongoing mission work in Haiti.  Covenant Presbyterian Church, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, is located at 2461 Peachtree Road immediately north of Peachtree Battle Shopping Center.

“Our annual Global Gift Market is a wonderful way to take care of holiday shopping and benefit others at the same time,” says Peggy Fillio, chairman of the popular event. “The market is presented in partnership with Ten Thousand Villages, one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.  Members of our congregation and the public enjoy having the opportunity to purchase unique gifts and crafts and to support these artisans.  We’ll also have fair trade food products from organizations like the Presbyterian Coffee Project, which sells coffee, cocoa and chocolate bars.  Sale proceeds will directly benefit these groups as well as our congregation’s mission work in Haiti.  On Sunday, Dec. 3, we will celebrate the first Sunday in Advent at our 11 a.m. worship service.  Everyone is invited to attend and stay afterwards to peruse the Global Gift Market.”

Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to first-world markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.  Objects are crafted using local materials and time-honored methods, resulting in unique, beautiful creations.  In many of the countries served by Ten Thousand Villages, there are limited opportunities for women.  By encouraging artisans and opening up markets for their works, households and communities are strengthened.

LaGonave Haiti Partners is a nearly 30-year program designed to improve the lives of residents on the Haitian island of la Gonave.  The partnership is a mutual mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and a number of U.S. churches, including Covenant Presbyterian Church.  The program focuses on providing la Gonave residents with better access to healthcare, education, economic opportunity, sanitation and clean water.

Presenting the Global Gift Market and working directly with LaGonave Haiti Partners are just two examples of the way Covenant Presbyterian Church is living out its mission of “Equipping the people of God to serve Christ in the world.”  The church is led by Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Richard Hill and Associate Pastor Rev. Katie Owen Aumann.  Located in the heart of Buckhead, Covenant boasts a lively youth group, hands-on mission work, a women’s spirituality ministry and a strong music program, as well as offering public lectures, social events, educational opportunities and more.  Covenant supports numerous organizations including Buckhead Christian Ministry, the Central Night Shelter, LaAmistad, Habitat for Humanity, The Open Door Community and Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta.

For the past 11 years, shoppers who visit Covenant’s annual Global Gift Market know they not only have the opportunity to purchase unique gift items that are sure to delight the recipients, but proceeds from the sales help improve the lives of individuals, families and communities far across the globe.  How perfect for the season of giving.