Dear Friends of Shobi’s Table,
Christmas greetings to you all in the name of Jesus, our humble Savior and Lord! This year I am so grateful for our faith traditions of Advent and Christmas, especially the hope that they bring into our world through expectant waiting and God choosing a vulnerable entrance. I was recently listening to a sermon on hope and the future by the lead pastor Gregg Taylor at Park Avenue Methodist, where he explained a difference between optimism and hope, which he connected to two Latin words to express the future: futurum and adventus. For optimism he explains futurum as “my circumstances of the past and the present condition my optimistic outlook for the future” – I know something will turn out because it’s happened before. On the other hand, he connects hope with adventus – the word that gives us this church season Advent. Adventus expresses something that arrives from the realm of something not yet. This future comes from God. Our hope is not dependent on cause and effect, it is dependent on the faithfulness, possibilities and promises of God, irrespective of how things have been or are. (Watch Gregg’s sermon here: Sermon on Hope in the Future)
So much of what has happened and is happening at Shobi’s Table feels like living into an adventus future each season. At first, it feels scary because we begin something we haven’t done before, and there are questions about if we can make it work. Serving twice a week – will it work? I don’t know. Adding on another staff member? Serving three times a week next year? Can we do it? Will we fail? But then there is a reminder, a nudge with a surprising gift of abundant hope in a Savior who calls us forward into God’s future that is rooted in the faithfulness of God, born as a humble, vulnerable baby – the one who conquered death at last! And so, with humility in our hearts and courage to take vulnerable steps into the unknowns – we have hope that when we pursue God’s mission to feed the hungry, God will take us where we need to go. Thanks be to God!
In deep peace and gratitude,
Deacon Kari Alice Olsen
Wow! Thank you to everyone who helped make From Scratch a smashing success! From all of you who generously donated to the amazing board members who helped organize all of the details – Thank You! A special thank you to our fabulous emcee Paul Damico-Carper whose hospitable and joyous hosting set the tone for a fun and meaningful night. And to the gift of our tech team – Marshall Saunders and Barry White. While the internet gave us some bandwidth trouble for those of you who joined us live, the generosity of the night was undeterred! I had originally thought we’d just be shooting the whole evening from our phones, but Marshall and Barry set us up properly with cameras and bundles of cords, and professionally ran and captured a great video of the night that you can watch anytime you like on our YouTube channel (From Scratch Fundraiser Video) See more about From Scratch in our Notes From the Board below.
The fundraiser was such a success we’ve added a stretch goal of $15,000 (we’re already at $12,433.46! Only $2,566.54 to go!) The donation links are open until the end of December, so if you’d like to give another donation or ask someone else to donate, please do so before January 1, 2021.
Holiday Serving Schedule
For Christmas and New Year’s weeks, we will have an adjusted schedule – serving at both sites on the “Eve” day, Thursdays from noon-1pm. So, folks who normally come on Fridays to Bethlehem at the Midway will still come to Bethlehem, but you will come on Thursday instead. We’ll have two teams to serve lunch – one at each site, so even if you don’t see the food truck – we’ll be at a table with lots of food for everyone!
Our food truck will be put away for the winter sometime soon, but that doesn’t mean it will stop us from going out and bringing meals as long as the weather is manageable! Just keep an eye out for our big blue sign in our normal spots (Faith Lutheran in Frogtown, 499 Charles and Bethlehem in the Midway, 436 Roy), and we’ll be there with lunch!
We are so excited to announce that along with the generous support of From Scratch, we are now able to make some next steps toward adding our third serving day in the spring of 2021. As of mid-April 2021, our Assistant Kitchen Manager Daniele Maeder will step into a new full time position as Kitchen Manager which will support more days working with volunteers to serve more meals. Thanks be to God!
Did you know?
When we have food left over at the end of the week, we often bring them to Safe House – a mental health rehab center in St Paul. The other week, one of our regular customers Billy told us that there was a tent camp close to our Midway serving site that might be another good spot to bring food. So, at the end of the day, we packed up two boxes – one for Safe House and one for the tent camp. It was a humbling and hopeful experience – like meeting new friends with whom we wanted to build trust, from whom we looked forward to what we could learn, and find out how we could continue to be of service. I don’t know how long they will be there, but I hope we get to continue to walk alongside them long enough to build trust and stay connected. We are grateful for the new places God calls us.
Notes from the Board
What a fun time to be a board member in the life of Shobi’s ministry. I get to serve as Vice President of the Shobi’s board and pastor at Memorial Lutheran Church of Afton. This month I had the honor of curating all the content of the “From Scratch” fundraiser. It was amazing to see how quickly and enthusiastically people were willing to say “YES!” to supporting Shobi’s Table. From podcast professionals who ran tech for the fundraiser to the musicians, bakers, and cooks who offered the songs and cooking demonstrations during the fundraiser, we were blessed with an abundance of support for the future of our beloved food truck. And we surpassed our fundraising goal! With this financial support and God’s grace, I believe we’ll be able to feed more people and bring more staff into the truck to make it all happen.
Being a part of this event taught me that even in the middle of a pandemic when so much of our lives feel disjointed and out of our control, we are still led and inspired by the Holy Spirit to do things like feed our neighbors and feed our souls by supporting Shobi’s. So much of our current existence is really complicated right now, but the call of God is actually still clear and basic: love God, love neighbor. Just the like food at Shobi’s, it’s made with the most basic ingredients the earth can give us and is brought together with so much knowledge and love from the Shobi’s staff and volunteers — they know how to make a simple meal into a lavish banquet for those who get to enjoy it. That’s how to feels to respond to the call of God, which is often so simple and straightforward, yet when we respond with generosity and love, an abundant feast of mercy can be found for all.
Thank you for giving and volunteering — I hope to see you at the truck sometime soon!
Peace, Pastor Elizabeth Damico-Carper