Drinking Deeply: My Experience of Capital Fellows the 2nd Time Around
By Martha Roszak, Assistant Director and Alumna of the Capital Fellows Program
If there is one shared experience among all Capital Fellows, past and present, it’s that taking in all that the 9-month program has to offer feels a bit like trying to drink water out of a firehose… From day one of the Kickoff Retreat, Fellows are doused with tons of new information about a city, church, program, and community that most have little-to-no context for prior to arrival. Even once Fellows begin settling into their routine after the Kickoff Retreat, adapting to the pace of “adult life” post-graduation, and particularly that of a Fellow’s life in the D.M.V. (aka DC, Maryland and Virginia), can be overwhelming, to say the least. As I walk alongside this year’s fifteenth class of Fellows, I am continually reminded of my own experience as a Capital Fellow, five years ago. The Martha of 2016 (and likely, also the 22 years that preceded it) put many of her worries and anxieties into setting herself up for success in the future; continually striving to make the next thing the best thing. This time five years ago I was home for winter break and anticipating the start of our second semester together as Fellows, where we would all begin to gaze more intently at life beyond the program. My vision for that life included finding the perfect job (which I couldn’t, of course, yet identify) in the perfect city with the perfect roommates, and one day, while attending the perfect church, meeting and marrying the perfect guy. Spoiler alert: I got none of that. Now, before you feel sorry for or get mad at me for squandering the gifts the Lord has given me over these past five years, you should know that I say this, not because what He gave me wasn't good, but because I've learned that those “perfect” things don’t exist. In light of this, I don’t think God calls us to dream smaller dreams or “settle” in our decision-making. I do, however, think that He matures us to be those who hope more “proximately”; knowing that “perfect” will never be on this side of eternity. I see this in the ways that I strive a bit less to hope in my circumstances, orchestrating them to be what I want them to be, and more to place my hope in the One who orchestrates all things, including my circumstances; demanding less from God, and desiring more of Him in the midst of what He’s doing in my life and in the world. By no means have I mastered contentedness in all situations the way the gospel writer Paul apparently had (Philippians 4:12), but I do find myself stopping more often than before to wonder what the Lord is up to whenever I can’t yet see or don’t like the way things are going. So how does knowing what I know now impact my experience of Capital Fellows this second time around? Well, thankfully, I am no longer trying to drink it all out of a firehose. I am absorbing some of the things that I missed while standing in front of a hydrant the first time around, but primarily, I’m drinking less desperately out of a thirst for control over my life, and more deeply from the “springs of salvation”; a water that can be found in even the driest of all land and quench our thirsts, eternally.
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He also has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation,4and on that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD; proclaim His name! Make His works known among the peoples; declare that His name is exalted.…" Isaiah 12:2-4
Pictures from the Week
Micah 6:8 Retreat with Season 15 Capital Fellows
Season 10 at Micah 6:8 Retreat in 2016... It's a good thing that the iPhone camera quality has improved since then!
Become A Capital Fellow in 2022-23
We are now receiving applications for Season 16 of the Capital Fellows program!
WINTER APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15th!
Most fellows work in the marketplace - for companies, nonprofits, government offices. Three Capital Fellows work at our church each year as well. For these roles, we are looking for a worship fellow, a children's ministry fellow, and a missions fellow. These are special Capital Fellows opportunities because you are not only paid a salary, but also your Capital Fellows program fees are covered as well!
The Season 16 program year runs from late August 2022 through mid-May 2023. If you are a college senior or recent graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you!
Click here for the Capital Fellows program application.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
The Capital Fellows are on break through January 2nd, then on the Winter Vocational Retreat from January 2-7. Please pray for rest and refreshment during the break and for a wonderful time of regathering and digging in during the Winter Retreat.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
Benefits of The Fellows Initiative
You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 32 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. Capital Fellows benefit from our affiliation with The Fellows Initiative in many ways. One of those ways is that all Capital Fellows alumni receive a 33% tuition discount at Reformed Theological Seminary for 5 years. For more information, please contact us.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining The Fellows Initiative by launching a new fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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