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A Brave New World: Fellows Edition

By Sarah Frances Smith

Social Distancing. Pandemic. COVD-19. Work From Home (WFH). Virtual Learning. An abundance of caution.

Now that all of our buzz words are out of the way, allow me to welcome you to the Capital Fellows weekly blog! We are all healthy, if a little stir crazy. All of the fellows are experiencing some degree of upheaval in their jobs, homes, and community. Many of us are working remotely and some of us are facing the potential of imminent unemployment. Host homes look a little different now, too, as family dynamics are challenged with the burden of working from home. Community amongst the fellows is bittersweet as we limit our group interaction and all official activities are conducted via Zoom. Anxieties run high surrounding job search and future stability.

It’s easy to feel burdened by the futility of our striving - after all, by limiting our social interaction and public outings, we are hoping not to eliminate the virus but instead to slow its spread. Deciding how to live our lives in this strange new world requires a daily reevaluation. It would be negligible to ignore the crisis around us, so we make the necessary changes to our daily habits. But it would also be wrong to give up completely and spend the entire day in bed, so we make the effort to maintain some normalcy in our work hours and evening routine. The result is a daily striving for the shalom that we know is unattainable in this season.

Jesus had words for this. The historical and situational specifics vary, but humanity has struggled with the futility of striving towards shalom for thousands of years. Jesus speaks words of reassurance in Matthew chapter 11, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus is clear: the only source of shalom is the Christ himself.

The trick when reading these verses is to overcome the busyness and anxiety with which we approach them. Without the perspective of eternally guaranteed shalom, these words feel idealistic and overly sentimental. Without consciously inviting the Spirit to read them with us, we risk treating them like a Hallmark greeting card. That’s the challenge of life lately - to apply ancient words to our COVID-19 context and trust the Spirit to bring both rest and renewal.

So, stay tuned for several more weekly blogs with pictures of fellows FaceTime calls, walks in nature, and selfies of remote work! We’ll be here - we’re not going anywhere. At least, not in groups of 10 or more.


Pictures from the Week

Capital Fellows Leadership and Vocational Development Program - Washington, DC
The fellows program tunes in for an update from John Kyle, the Director of Capital Fellows

Capital Fellows Leadership and Vocational Development Program - Washington, DC
Sarah Frances and her brother Ben working from home in proper work attire

Capital Fellows Leadership and Vocational Development Program - Washington, DC
Nathalie, Esther, and Laura soaking up the sun (before the 6ft rule!)

Capital Fellows Leadership and Vocational Development Program - Washington, DC
Carter Berry's work looks a little different this week!


Great Opportunity - We're Looking for a Children's Ministry Fellow

The 2020-21 Capital Fellows class is almost complete! We are looking for a fellow interested in serving as the McLean Presbyterian Children's Ministry Fellow. This is a unique opportunity for someone that wants to explore children's and family ministry.

Capital Fellows is a leadership and vocational development program for recent college graduates. It's a 9-month program that includes a paid job in your field of interest, service in the church and city, a personal mentor, vocational coaching, life with a host family, and customized seminary courses to help you grow in your walk with the Lord in all areas of life.

Capital Fellows is a powerful way to launch your career, grow in Christian community in a vibrant church, and get started in post-college life in the Washington DC area. To apply click here.


Benefits of The Fellows Initiative

You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 31 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. But, did you know that the sponsors of TFI offer great benefits to Capital Fellows alumni? For example, Reformed Theological Seminary offers a 33% tuition discount for 5 years, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary offers a 40% tuition discount! You can learn more about TFI's sponsors by clicking here.

If you know of a graduate school, seminary, employer, or other organization that would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact TFI by clicking here. Thanks!


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