Marketplace: A successful trip back in time

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 3:23pm
By: The Citizen

Marketplace: A successful trip back in time Visitors to Providence UMC’s recent “Marketplace” event were taken back in time to biblical days. The entrance here was guarded by Roman soldiers who made sure each visitor paid his “taxes” to Caesar. Photo/Ben Nelms.

If you walked onto the campus of Providence United Methodist Church last week you would have thought you had stepped back in time to the Jerusalem of more than 2,000 years ago.

Upon entering you were directed to the Census Tent to sign the scroll and receive gold coins — one of which had to be used to pay your taxes to Caesar. Roman guards walked the grounds and watched the crowded market from the city wall, while animals roamed and people who didn’t pay their taxes were put in the jail around the corner.

Hundreds of children learned how to grind grain, write Hebrew letters, make perfume, weave a basket and make jewelry while members of the church provided fascinating demonstrations and explanations of pottery-making, carpentry, mosaic-making, weaving, olive-pressing, rope-making and tie-dyeing.

Kathi Sewak, children’s minister, explained, “Kids today are so far removed from how children lived in biblical days. We wanted to recreate a marketplace in Jerusalem so they could learn a little bit of what life was like and have fun at the same time.”

Families enjoyed many activities including a rock climbing wall, archery stations, using a slingshot to hit Goliath, sitting by the firepits to get warm and getting dressed like a family in biblical times for a photo. Marketplace visitors got a taste of food from ancient days at the Farmer’s Market where they gave out goat cheese, dates, figs and pomegranates.

For some 21st century food, the Providence Men’s Ministry smoked chicken legs and ladies of the church made cookies called “Heavenly Tea Cakes” which were enjoyed with coffee or lemonade in the café.

Twice each evening the presentation “Just like Me,” included dramatic portrayals of people living in biblical times who became people in current day.

Senior Minister Warren Huddleston said, “We wanted to show that people really haven’t changed over the past 2000 years — we can all choose to worry about money, family, jobs and friends or we can find peace and hope in Jesus.”

The presentation ended with the song, “He is Yahweh,” featuring members of the ProvPraise choir. Due to the huge response from the community Providence hopes to make The Marketplace an annual event each spring.

The church is at 592 Bernhard Rd. between Redwine Road and Ga. Highway 85. Go to the website at or call 770-719-8800 for more information.

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