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Missions Market offers unique gifts from around the world
Suzanna Phillips, left, and Cissy Belson hang handmade decorative ornaments for the 2015 Gainesville First United Methodist Church’s Missions Market. This year’s event will be held Sunday in the reception hall at the church at 2780 Thompson Bridge Road.

Missions Market
When: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 13
Where: Gainesville First United Methodist Church, 2780 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville
Cost: Free
More info: 770-536-2341 or

Those looking for unique Christmas gifts can jumpstart their holiday shopping Sunday while supporting mission work around the world.

Gainesville First United Methodist Church off Thompson Bridge Road is hosting its third annual Missions Market from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 13 during the Sunday worship services.

The market showcases items brought back by mission participants from around the world. Proceeds for the sales of the market support each of the church’s seven international missions.

The church supports missions in Honduras, Uganda, Serbia and Romania, which work with orphanages, health care, education and libraries. Each ministry gets an equal portion of the proceeds from the market.

Last year, the market distributed over $30,000 to its mission partners.

“We’re a very blessed community,” Powell said. “To be able to put on a fundraiser like this and have all of that money go to our missions — it’s an unusual approach, but we’re so blessed to be able to do it.”

Missions market was inspired by a similar event at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta. It began in 2014 and has grown every year, Missions Market chairwoman Kim Powell said.

“We were looking for a way to supplement our missions, because everybody can’t just pick up and go. But we  can do things to help,” she said. “Last year, it kind of just took off. We’re really hoping that this year is even more successful.”

Powell said she expects hundreds of items at the market, with a greater variety than last year. Past offerings have included Nativity scenes, ornaments, baskets, blankets, jewelry and beads. Church members will sell food items in the Culinary Market.

Guests may also purchase “GIVE HOPE” cards, which allot specific items to children and families in need. The cards stem from this year’s theme: “Got Hope? Give Hope.”

Not all of the items for sale have the international flavor. The church creates something special.

Each year GFUMC sells a special collector’s ornament representing the church. This year’s ornament will be a Chrismon, which Powell said is an ornament in the shape of a Christian symbol.

The church also will sell a book of Christmas stories from the now-deceased former pastor Jim Thompson. He established The North Georgia/North Coast Honduras Methodist Mission, an organization that sends volunteers to the country to build the economy and religious life in Honduras each year.

Admission is free and anyone is welcome to shop, Powell said.