By Esther James
We’re celebrating lots of births this season. This past week we celebrated Brian, Laura, and William’s collective birthday (what are the odds that three of our twelve Fellows share the same birthday?). We headed to Alexandria for a fancy dinner and to stroll along the waterfront taking in the beautiful lights on the water. A few days later we celebrated arguably the most important birthday, Jesus’, as we gathered clad in matching PJs in the Kyle’s home.
So how did we get to this point in our friendship, or should I say, fellowship?
Let’s rewind to August 25th when this group of 12 strangers rolled up to the Claggett Retreat Center traveling from as far as California to embark on this 9-month Capital Fellows Program. We gathered in the parking lot exchanging awkward hellos, unsure of what we signed up for. A few days later preparing to make our way to McLean Presbyterian Church for the first time, Nathalie turned to the group and half-jokingly said, “Sooo….do you guys want to hang out when we get there?” We gathered at a coffee shop together when we reached McLean – the first of many coffee shop adventures. Fast forward to the day we got back from Thanksgiving break when we reunited with ecstatic hugs and massive smiles. It’s safe to say that we are indeed eternal friends.
We were not made to do this life alone.
In the opening blog of the semester, Carter Rief wrote on community noting that “it requires us to lean on each other, pray for each other, laugh with each other, and cry with each other.” At that time, I don’t think we knew exactly how much we would be doing just that over the coming months. We’ve leaned on each other for support, learning to ask for help when we need rides to the airport and the mechanic. We’ve prayed for and with one another, coming before Abba Father together as we’ve given thanks for His faithfulness in this season of transition and asked for His strength and peace when we felt burnt out. We’ve laughed with each other, turning the music up as we dance around the kitchen cleaning up after Round Table on Monday nights. We’ve cried with each other because even as we have a conquering King, life can be painful. Through our paper on Daniel that we’re writing for our Kingdom Seminar class, we’re learning to trust God’s sovereignty even when we don’t fully understand the purpose behind hardships.
The joyful reality is that God has come down to meet us where we are, and by His grace He has brought us together.
During our last Round Table of the semester, John Kyle once again reminded us of the reality of Jesus’ name of Emmanuel, God with us. This is the sustaining truth that carries us through each day. Even as our community scatters for break, the joyful reality that we live in is that God is with each of us in every moment, wherever we are. The joyful reality is that God has come down to meet us where we are, and by His grace He has brought us together.
We were not made to do this life alone. We were not even made to just do this life together. We were made for perfect communion with God. And though this perfect communion was broken, God came to reconcile us to Himself through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Emmanuel. God with us. Because of Emmanuel, we have peace with God and with one another as we are reminded each Sunday. This truth changes everything. It transforms our vocation, our leadership, our service, and our community.
Merry Christmas, from Capital Fellows Season 13!
Pictures from the Week
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We are currently accepting applications for the 2020-21 program year and would love to hear from you!
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 unique and powerful way to launch your career, find Christian community in a vibrant church, and to 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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