Jul 1, 2009

Bible Times Marketplace '09

Every other June the Highland Children's Ministry staff and volunteers transform the gym and several classrooms into a Bible Times Marketplace. This has been a Highland tradition since 1985! I found pictures from 20 years ago, and many of the kids are now grown, married and have kids of their own. Preparing for this event takes an amazing amount of manpower, creativity, hard work and organization but in the end it is worth all our efforts to see the kids transported for a day to Jerusalem.

Some of my favorite things about Marketplace this year:
1. Having the kids greet me with "Shalom" and wash my feet upon entering their homes (classrooms) as a visitor. There is something humbling and precious about having your feet washed by a 1st grader.
2. Watching different kids interact with a beggar and a leper in the Marketplace. Many responded with generosity and compassion.
3. Watching Ava listen to Jesus tell parables and enjoying how engaged she was in every word he said. (At the end of the day when I asked her what her favorite part of Marketplace was, she said without hesitation, "I liked hearing pretend Jesus tell us stories." I couldn't help but think about how Jesus's followers, children included, love to hear him tell stories as well.)
4. Hearing about one of our kindergarteners approaching our "pretend Jesus" and saying, "Hey! I thought you were in heaven with God." He can be pretty believable!
5. Seeing members of our congregation of all ages come together to create an authentic Marketplace experience for the kids complete with scribes, potter, fisherman, carpenters, metal and mosaic shop workers, a beggar, leper, Jesus and even a tax collector.
6. Seeing Pierson and Ava dressed in their Bible Times outfits. Ava decided Pierson looked like Jospeh. There is something so cute about a 1 year old Joseph!
7. Listening in as the family leaders taught their kids about Jewish tradition, culture, laws and Jesus in such engaging ways!
8. Hearing about one of the kids going up to Jesus and asking if he could heal his peanut allergy after watching a drama where Jesus healed the bleeding woman. (This made me laugh, but I love that he has that kind of faith! It doesn't take much for some children to suspend their disbelief. We tell them they are in Jerusalem and Jesus is here, and they believe it!)
9. Watching the kids become a part of Jesus' story through their interactions, singing, and relationships within their families and in the Marketplace.
10. Having the whole church get a taste of the Marketplace experience on Sunday morning as worship leaders, communion servers, kids and families wore their Bible times clothing. Jesus even preached, and the communion bread was made by the kids the day before in their family tribes!

It was a great weekend. I'm thankful that I get to work at Highland. Now I am getting ready for Art Camp next week. I have two full sessions-- preschoolers in the morning and Elementary in the afternoon. It's going to be a fun week. Stay tuned for more on that later but for now, enjoy some Marketplace pictures. . .

Ava and Pierson dressed up and ready to go!
The Potter's Shop-- The kids loved making their own pots and watching a real potter throw pots on an old wheel.
Zach and the boys-- Zach and Kara were family leaders and did an amazing job with their kids!
Our little Joseph
Ava and me
The Scribe Shop-- The kids learned to write their names in latin or greek. 
The Fish Shop-- This shop was a crowd favorite with live fish!
Jesus telling a parable
The Well
The Carpentry Shop-- Kids got to build with wood and hammers.
Jesus sits and talks to the beggar as kids are in the Marketplace shops.
The Metal Shop-- Kids hammered metal and made necklaces with jute.
The Mosaic Shop-- Small mosaics were made with tile and glue.
I missed getting a picture of the  market where the kids got to buy their lunch for the day, but you get the idea! 


Lauren said...

This is always one of my most vivid Highland memories. I am also very glad you work at Highland and have the chance to influence and help shape the lives of our children. God has gifted you in so many ways and I am blesseed to be a recipient of the overflow of that! Bless you!

JENNY said...

I have the best memories of our church's marketplace. Ava and Pierson look adorable in there bible-time outfits!

Wish we could see you guys this weekend at the lake. We are definitely going to be missing everyone. Have fun!

katie and matt said...

Oh thank you for sharing all of this!! I thought about you on Saturday while I was in Dallas with my family. I drove by the church office on Tuesday, but I think you were all resting from the big weekend!

Have you had your art camp yet? I can't wait to hear all about it, too!

Amy said...

LOOOVE the pictures of Ava and Pierson in their outfits, so amazingly cute! What a special experience for everyone involved. Miss you and love you lots!