By Annie Talton
I’m forearm deep in soil – pulling weeds, tending roots. Over the summer before the Fellows program, I had the delight of shadowing one of my favorite professor’s husbands in his vegetable gardens in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Over that summer of overalls and dirt-caked nail beds, the Lord implanted in me a deep joy for seeing His kingdom, glory, and gospel in nature. Specifically, I discovered the all-too-satisfying practice of pulling weeds. Though this task might seem like the most mundane around the garden (and it was at first), it grew to be one of my favorites, preferred even over harvesting crops. There was something so cathartic about physically taking away the weeds and restoring the earth to its ideal order, making room for an abundant and flourishing ecosystem. Little did I know that this experience of weed-pulling and root-tending would carry over into my Fellows year, just in a much different garden.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus teaches that, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[c] among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also." (Matthew 13:24-26) On this side of a greater Eden, our world is a garden with cosmic roots of both good and evil, both wheat and weeds. Not only are we parts of the garden being redeemed, but God invites us to be co-cultivators in his plan to redeem our world poisoned by sin and death. He does not call us to be idle, but instead He calls us to dig our arms deep into the soil just as Christ did in His life on earth, sifting through our lives with a vision of the one-day restored, better-than-before garden.
This year in Capital Fellows has been an opportunity to look at the wheat and weeds in our lives and to ask the Lord to use them for his glorious plan. One of the coolest opportunities to do this has been in our seminary class with Bill and Debbie Clark, titled “Identity and Relationships.” Every Friday morning of this semester, all fifteen Capital Fellows piled into Bill and Debbie’s basement, where we were given tools to excavate the roots (of both the wheat and weeds) of our own stories. This class taught me the necessity of cultivating and growing in community, as there are often parts of myself and my story that I cannot see or untangle alone.
Sometimes my mind wanders and longs for the tangible solace of the garden from last summer. Then, I remember that we get to be a part of God’s story of redeeming the city of man to an even better-than-before garden. We will see it, hear it, smell it, touch it, taste it. This year in the Capital Fellows program, I have learned that the Christian life is not about living a manicured existence—it is kneeling, on my knees, with dirt-caked fingernails, pulling weeds and nurturing roots. It is one designed for community encompassing the body of Christ, co-cultivating with each other wrapped in the overflowing love of our ultimate gardener in Jesus; who died that we might live in the most bountiful of harvests this Universe has and will ever see.
Recent Capital Fellows Pictures
Cuddled up in the Clarks’ basement, tending those roots!
Capital Fellows takes on the National Zoo during the afternoon of our Fellows National Conference!
Mike using his tallness to get a selfie of all of us at LG’s bday party at the Clark’s :)
Become A Capital Fellow in 2022-23
We are now receiving applications for Season 16 of the Capital Fellows program!
THE CLASS IS FILLING UP! APPLY TODAY!
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!
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
Today, May 7th, we will gather together for the Capital Fellows Celebration Banquet. This is a great time for family and friends to come and reflect on all God has done this year in the lives of the fellows and in our church. Please pray for this gathering, that God would be glorified.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? 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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