By Maddie Pannell
Over the past two weeks, I’ve met a whole lot of different people. First, I met all of my lovely fellow Fellows at the Capital Fellows Kickoff Retreat. Next, I met many church members, and MPC staff members, and moved in with my host family. To top it off, I spent the past week starting my job at the Center for Public Justice; we gathered together (from all over the world!) for our All Team Days. These past two weeks have been an incredibly joyful time: connecting with so many people who share the same questions, hopes, dreams, doubts, and passions as I do. I do have to say, though… as an introvert, I’m feeling pretty wiped out.
I’m sure part of that is the fact that I spent plenty of my summer days hanging out with only my dogs, McKinley & Odin. They don’t ask as many questions as people do. That said, I have to admit that things might go a bit deeper than that. The reality is that relationships with other humans require a lot more of myself than relationships with my dogs, and frankly, that makes me pretty uncomfortable. It requires vulnerability, trust, and long faithfulness: all qualities that reveal my weaknesses and brokenness, reminding me of my failures and inadequacies.
Relationships— real, honest relationships— are also essential to my relationship with God. That’s what Dr. Curt Thompson argued in the podcast Being Known, “Episode 08; Neuroplasticity”. He explained that sharing our lives and telling our story in the presence of those we trust actually reforms our minds into the pathways of grace God intended for us. In community, we are literally “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). That’s what we’re doing here, in Capital Fellows, in these nine months of our lives. It is a long faithfulness: that’s a term I borrowed from CPJ. We used it to describe the work of public Justice that we do. It’s work done for the good of others that others might not know about- that’s not glamorous or famous.
This term also describes the way of loving each other in this Fellows community. It was vulnerable to share our testimonies with each other after only days of meeting, but it’s also vulnerable to show up consistently, with Christlike love, in the everyday and ordinary of real relationships. I’ve been reminded many times recently of what Jesus says in John 13:35… “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” It’s His blessing and gracious gift to bring a humble, passionate, and Christ-seeking group of men & women into my life that we may walk together for this season of long faithfulness. Pray for us, that we may be equipped and enriched for the journey together— a journey that I hope lasts a lifetime.
Pictures from the Week
We celebrated Matt Marten's birthday with a Tex-Mex lunch at Chuy's
Anna Jones and Kara were the first chefs to cook for the Fellows class at Capital Commons this week!
A focus on the guys and gals that have made this community so wonderful...
...I keep coming back to these photos from two weeks ago, and am amazed at how our friendships have grown already!
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
Even though Capital Fellows Season Sixteen is barely underway, we are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
Week-by-week, the Capital Fellows have been layering on all the elements of the program: host family, job, serving, Life and Leadership. And this week they have added graduate school. As the excitement of new things gives way to a steady cadence, please pray that they will find energy to do the program well, while also learning to rest well. Also please pray for their community as it forms.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
About The Fellows Initiative
Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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