Rooted in faith

News | October 13, 2022

Women around the country are sitting down to connect with one another, grow, and share their insights each month, guided by the Bible studies published in the national Gather magazine. The women’s circles at St. Paul are no different but they do share a unique resource – the September/October Bible study is written by Pastor Sara Olson-Smith.

This time around, the topic of the Bible study centers on Jesus and nature. The three session topics include trees, soil, and creatures and each explores Biblical examples of these items and observations on how they are present in our lives.

“One of the things I love is that these women gather every month for study, fellowship, and service. While I wrote the study, they are doing it on their own, with their own spin, leadership, and insights,” Pastor Sara said. “It’s a beautiful thing to think of all these women (and women at churches all over the country) doing these studies.”

Vida Luth is a member of the Ruth Circle, a group of more than 30 women who meet monthly on the first Thursday.

“Each month we come together and follow these Bible studies. It’s quite an honor to have Pastor Sara publishing in Gather. The first topic in this month’s Bible study is trees,” Vida said. It’s so intriguing that trees have a whole society of their own and that’s exactly what Sara talked about in her lesson. Trees depend on each other, and just like trees it’s up to us to work together with people to be connected and successful.”

While Pastor Sara’s guide is a jumping-off point for the discussion, the women bring their own perspectives, insights, and experiences to the discussion.

“We read the lessons and connect over the questions at the end. A common theme we came upon during our September study was how trees are naturally connected and depend on each other and how we are all connected. Each of us, especially as we get older, need to care for and depend on each other. We need to share that community and connection.”

Joyce Olderog is a member of the Dorcas Circle, women who come together to share a variety of different life experiences, planting roots, and growing in community together.
“Our circle serves, studies, laughs, loves, and shares together. The women widen my outlook and they offer community information. We all care about learning and we feel really rewarded as we spend time together, as we grow together.”

Pastor Sara used bits of her past experiences with the circles to weave together a Bible study that is deeply impactful for women of all backgrounds, life experiences, and ages.

“Pastor Sara structured the Bible studies based on what she experienced from our groups,” said Joyce. “Her guides give us 35-40 minute lessons – the exact amount of time and depth that these groups require. Sara is a vivid storyteller. Her stories bring scripture to life. The lessons offer newness and insights which lead us to a deeper understanding.”

Fonda Corson is a fellow Dorcas Circle member and has been involved in women’s bible groups since her mid-20s.

“Sara describes nature and how Jesus used nature in his teachings and stories. He is the vine and we are the branches and we cannot, as one branch, do it on our own,” Fonda said. “We need to be connected to the vine and the community of branches.”

Pastor Sara’s Bible study is in the September/October edition of Gather magazine and available on their website as a resource for all to use.

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