Living our Faith: Solidarity Market 2016
By: Rachel Lyons
Candles to light a winter night, a birthday scarf and socks, chocolate just for you, fair trade olive oil to cook for family members, and beautiful baskets and handmade jewelry for Christmas gifts. All of this and more was found at the annual Solidarity Market we hosted in November. And all of these moments added up to over $26,000 for people, artisans, and farmers who created all the beautiful items at the market. We can spend our money anywhere. We are very grateful that so many of you chose to spend your money as an act of faith, as an act of justice to support living wages, fair trade, and environmental sustainability. We just gave a $26,000 boost to a just economy! Amen!
Our annual Solidarity Market featured 30 different vendors with products created by artisans in Guatemala, Cambodia, Kenya, and folks right here in Chicago. We also hosted Faith in Place and The Human Thread at our information tables, sharing educational information on environmental justice and sustainability as well as the fight for the rights of garment workers across the globe. The Solidarity Market is another explicit expression of our desire to work for the betterment of all through the just economic development of communities and the entire human family.
Our featured vendors are selected because of their commitment to:
fighting poverty and transforming lives through job training and worker justice,
creating entrepreneurial opportunities for people often denied access to markets,
and being good stewards of the earth’s resources.
Over 800 people stopped in to the church hall to do some shopping and to learn how these businesses are making a difference in our city and in the world. Thank you for supporting our vendors and their important work! And a big THANK YOU to our Market Coordinators, Marilyn Antonik, Marianna and Kirk Manley, Mary Rastetter, and Gloria Jacobson who, along with a tireless team of volunteers, plan and host this remarkable event! In a special way, we honor Marilyn Antonik, a leader in social justice and in our faith community. Marilyn envisions this amazing market and persistently works to ensure its success from beginning to end. Marilyn, thank you so much for bringing who you are into the Solidarity Market and life at Old St. Pat’s. You are an inspiring leader and a stirring example of faith in action. This year, we also remember and honor Marilyn’s late husband, Joe Antonik, who passed on to God’s embrace earlier this year. We felt his spirit throughout the market and know he was (and still is) watching over us.
We urge you to continue spending your money on fair trade products and gifts this holiday season, as we work together to build the kingdom we so desperately need. Thank you to all who supported the market, and we’ll see you next year!