Church Finds Common Ground at Farmer's Market

November 01, 2010 | Nelson Miles

A delegation from the Tacoma (Wash.) Central Church met earlier this year with the mayor of Tacoma to talk about the needs of the city where the mayor indicated how she wanted to promote healthy eating.

Soon after, church members decided to combine evangelism and health ministry outreach efforts at the Tacoma Farmer's Market.

Ministry leaders say they saw the farmer's market as a great avenue to communicate the Adventist health message and find common ground.

The church set up two locations: At the South Tacoma Way site, Darlene Ali, team member, offered free health screenings at the Washington Conference health van. At the Broadway site, Lori Stover, team member, offered community cooking demonstrations using fruits and vegetables purchased from the market and provided free recipes.

Additionally, Tony Parker, master ice sculptor named Chef of the Year in 2009 by the Washington State Chef's Association, performed ice carvings and attracted a lot of attention from market members who donated fruits, vegetables and even flowers to display with the ice carvings.

"The market really supports what we are trying to achieve and the message we want to deliver," says Stover. "People in the community want information and sometimes don't know where to go. Whether it's stopping an addiction, like eating or smoking — healthy living and even prayer, it's offered to them, they will accept it and act on it."