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Learning Grace

By Corinne McCaw

“I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ – and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again – in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.” - Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

The most jolting part of the Capital Fellows program for me thus far has undoubtedly been the confrontation I have had with my personal sinfulness. We spend every other Wednesday night with our pastors, Rob Yancey, Ryan Laughlin, and Terence Little at Life & Leadership talking about our idols and identifying those with which we struggle most. Each Monday night at Capital Commons John Kyle seems to always know exactly what we need to talk about, but don’t necessarily want to talk about. In each of these scenarios, my natural tendency is to want to protect my self-image and feign a perfection, of which I am severely incapable, by sharing a ‘profound’ thought, or silently observing the conversation, but this is not how Fellows operates. In order to grow, we must have the courage to be vulnerable with our community.

This confrontation with my sinfulness has brought on old feelings of inadequacy and has been a reminder that I am undeserving of the grace of God. Typically, this is where I sit. I sit in the feelings of shame and guilt and question why God allowed His son to die for me when he knows just how sinful I am, even more than I do. Yet, this is where His grace abounds. And I have a community to remind me of that.

We serve a God who is gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29), and there is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from his love (Romans 8:38-39). My community in Fellows has lived out these truths and taught me more about God’s grace by doing so. This community is teaching me that being vulnerable is an act of love, and the fellows consistently shock me by joyfully carrying my burdens alongside me. Their sharing in my sorrows and my joys has helped me to understand both intellectually and emotionally that God desires to share in my burdens as well, and gave His son out of love for me, knowing my sinfulness fully.

At the beginning of the semester, when considering what I wanted the 7th-grade girls in my D-group to take away from this year, I decided that I would consider the year together a great success if all they took away was that they are loved by God more than they could ever know, and there is no sin that could ever separate them from that love.

That is the same message I hope to leave you with today. It is a simple gospel truth that changes everything.

Corinne McCaw is a member of the Capital Fellows class of 2023-24. She is from Waco, Texas, and is a graduate of Samford University. This year, she is working at For The Nations, an E.S.O.L. ministry in Northern Virginia.


Pictures From The Week

Fellows enjoying brunch (Thank you, Ginger!)

The boys picked up Jack from getting ENGAGED!

The Fellows got crowned at Commons.

Everyone getting in line for a hug from Jacob.


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

If you know a college senior or recent graduate who should consider joining the Capital Fellows program in 2024-25, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is through our Contact Us Form. You can learn more about the program, including application deadlines, by visiting the Capital Fellows website.

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!

As we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, we are deeply grateful for the Capital Fellows Season 17. Paul gives us just the right words to convey what our Leadership Team would love for the Capital Fellows and each of you, our supporters, to know this Thanksgiving: "We ought always to give thanks to God for you, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing" (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Please join us in praying for the Lord to continue growing their faith and their love for one another abundantly more than we could ask for or imagine.

Want to pray for the current Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
Download PDF • 1.18MB


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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