by Caroline Coleman
There is something about a weekend in North Carolina that is good for the soul.
There is something about playing ultimate frisbee against other fellows programs that makes your class closer than ever before.
There is something about watching one of your fellow Fellows Flamenco dance on stage that makes you thankful for your group of Fellows and the unique talents the Lord gives each of his children.
Last weekend, the Capital Fellows piled into a few cars and trekked down to Oxford, North Carolina for the annual Micah 6:8 Fall Conference at Oak Hill Camp. We were joined by 10 other Fellows Programs from the East Region and greeted by music and dancing, beautiful fall trees, and lots of coffee—the perfect combination for a great weekend if you ask me. Over the weekend, we reconnected with old friends, hung out in the beautiful fall weather, and enjoyed some wonderful times of worship and teaching. The verse of the conference was Micah 6:8:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
So now, for some of highlights of the retreat (we’ll return to the verse in a second):
Outside in the Fall: We got to spend time outdoors in the 65 degree weather, and it seriously was just what the doctor ordered! My oh my what a beautiful day it was on Saturday! We played Ultimate Frisbee (and won our first game!!!!!), did yoga on a tennis court (shoutout to Kat Kolton), and simply rested outside in the beauty of the Lord’s creation (think bonfire, fishing off a dock, and walks around a lake)! We definitely soaked up every minute of the country air we could get.
Flamenco Dancing: On Saturday night, our very own Birmingham, Alabama native Russell Galloway stood up in front of all the Fellows and Flamenco danced like he was still living in Spain. He engaged the crowd, got us clapping to the perfect rhythm, and then wowed the audience with quick feet and great form. It truly was a show stopping performance.
A Fellow’s Birthday: This weekend, we also got to celebrate our second birthday in the program by singing to Evan Norfleet too many times to count and learning the “fellows way” of celebrating! That is, each fellow stands on a chair and says one word to describe the birthday fellow followed by a short explanation! While we sat listening to words such as “intentional, shot-gun (from his carpool buddy), leader, and gentleman” being mentioned, it was a great time to reflect on how thankful we are for Evan and his integral role in our Fellows’ community.
The Talks: The best part of this weekend was listening to the Honorable John Richmond, the new U.S. Ambassador for Trafficking in Persons, and our own teacher and pastor at MPC, Dr. Bill Fullilove. All four talks this weekend were based off of Micah 6:8 and our call to seek justice and “do the love of mercy” (as Bill Fullilove translated it from the original Hebrew). John Richmond challenged us to “learn to grow in our own insignificance” which at first was hard to swallow. But through Christ, we as Christians are significant because He chooses to love us, and our value does not ever change because of how we act or how the world defines us. Richmond tied this into his work with trafficking through International Justice Mission, said that we are to love others even if there is nothing in it for us. We do this because our God is the God of love. This love encompasses both justice and mercy, and we are called to recklessly and blindly pour ourselves out to others because Christ fully poured himself out for us.
Once we returned to the nation’s capitol, we rounded off the week with delicious Indian cuisine prepared by Meekhol and Joe at Round Table! The delicious chicken curry was just what each of us needed (and wanted) before launching into another week of work, commutes, and part 2 of our Daniel papers! The fact that we are starting week 10 is an insane thought because trust me, we do not have this “fellows” thing figured out yet! I still get lost all the time in DC! I am struggling to figure out how to balance all the demands of the Capita Fellows program yet still rest! And honestly, I struggle to not be in the south on a college football Saturday (WAR EAGLE!). But in all of these areas, the Lord has been so faithful! The Lord constantly shows me how patient He is, especially in times of change and transition. The Lord has surrounded me with not just the 14 other fellows but also an incredible host family, a compassionate mentor, and a work place where I get to share the Gospel with elementary school children every day, and I am so grateful. What a mighty God we serve!
Other Pictures from the Week
Bonus Pictures - just because it was such a full and amazing week!