Students at commencement

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Shobi's Table Lutheran Church

Address:105 University Ave W
City:Saint Paul

Student Information

What kind of Christian Public Leader student would be right for you:Ideally, we would host a student who is interested in ministry on the social and economic margins of St Paul. A student who is able to tolerate a certain amount of chaos and change. We are a church without a building. We operate a food truck and our sanctuary is outside the truck while we serve. A student who enjoys cooking is definitely a bonus.
How many students have you worked with in the past:0
How many rising students or seminarians do you work with currently:0
For this coming semester, what is the maximum number of students with whom you could work:2
What is the optimal length of learning for students working with you:1 semester|2 semesters
Why would this length of time be best:We would be open to a one semester placement, but the community is in constant flux. A consistent presence over a longer period of time will help with relationship building.

Site Information

Site keywords:Mission development social justice food access food truck poverty homelessness mental illness chemical dependency multi faith and multi ethnic work force development
What is your congregation or nonprofit organization all about:We are a new church plant in the St Paul Area Synod. I am called to build a congregation in which the "charter membership" comes from people on the socio economic margins. Particularly, those who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness. We use a food truck to bring church into the community. We are a mobile sanctuary. We are also the only congregation in either the St Paul or Minneapolis Area Synods that is specifically made of people in poverty. Congregations have ministries to people on the margins, but we are building ours from the margins.
Please tell us a bit about your site:I was called to build this ministry due in part to my training as a social worker. I completed the MDiv/MSW joint degree. As I worked as a social worker, 4 things became apparent. 1. People lack transportation to church and other community activities. 2. People lack meaningful opportunities to participate in community. 3. People lack access to healthy food. 4. People lack access to meaningful work. Shobi's Table attempts to respond to these four needs that we see in the community. We cook a meal together and then feed the community. It is a community built of people in poverty who are functioning as their own charity. We provide a meal and worship on the streets of St Paul.
Please tell us what a student can learn at your site:We are a new start, so there will be opportunities to see the pros and cons of being a new start. I am intentionally bivocational. I am happy to talk about what that means in this place. Issues of justice abound. We see men and women struggling with drug addiction, mental illness, poverty, abuse, violence, homelessness, etc. All of this is ongoing and we are called to preach the good news of Christ crucified and risen in this place. We are an eager group of people called to try something new and interested in being present in the community. We are learning what it means to be a mobile church. Some days it works, some days it is challenging. One of the other learning opportunities is seeing how we collaborate with other established churches. We have incredible relationships with other churches and a student would have opportunities to see how we work with one another.

Mentor Information: Margaret Kelly

Current position:Pastor Developer
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a Christian public leader:I attended Bemidji State University and have a BA in psychology. I attended Luther Seminary and the University of St Thomas and College of St Catherine for my Mdiv/MSW joint degree. I have training in mental health, chemical dependency, and homelessness. I am a Licensed Graduate Social Worker in the State of MN.
I participate in the ELCA Poverty and Justice Network, I attend continuing education in social work.
I was called by the St Paul Area Synod due to my experience in social work.
My goals at this point are to simply build a sustainable community among people living in poverty.
I was raised by mission developers working among people in poverty. This impacted my sense of call and my ability to tolerate the chaos that occurs in poverty. My seminary education affirmed my call to be bivocational and that my call to the margins was where I was being sent. My work as a social worker clarified that people living in poverty lack access to the message of grace that we proclaim as lutherans. I am incredibly privileged to bring this word to the streets.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself as a mentor of students:Christian Public Leadership is the call to live in the world that God has created. We are not called to disappear from the hard things in this world, but to preach a good word into them. We are called to be present when the only thing we know to do is cry a lament to God. We are to walk through the messiness to the cross and finally to hear the good news that Christ is indeed risen. We are called to boldly speak this and that is our gift.
I prefer to be supervised by someone who gives me the space to try and mess up. Space to struggle while being supported. I need a supervisor who allows me time to process what I am doing and trying.
I prefer to give people the opportunity to plan and create their vision of ministry. I will walk alongside as they learn and try on new skills. I prefer to let people talk through a possible response rather than tell them what the right response is. I suppose this is a very "socratic" approach. This ministry is an experiment and all we can do is try.