Let Me Tell You A...

By Daniel Schartner



Story. That is what we talk a lot about in the fellows program. The first interactions we had with each other back in the fall were framed through in-depth and intimately detailed accounts of our lives. It was like a rocket launch in comparison to the slow stroll of a “normal” start to friendship. We have now been participating in each other’s lives for 5 months and though we know a lot about each other, the process of knowing each other is just beginning.


When we came back from Christmas break, the excitement over our reunion was palpable. Brought together in the confines of a retreat center, we were given the freedom to consider the dynamics of our group and openly work through a corporate vision of how we wanted to relate to each other in the future. All of us expressed gratitude that we get to participate in such a community as this one and stronger desires to figure out how we can foster relationships better. There may be no cut-and-dry method for deeper relational growth, but there do seem to be some activities that create an atmosphere where growth can happen more easily.


Peer group counseling was a strange concept to me. I knew it was an aspect of the program coming for us in the spring, but I had little comprehension of what it would be like. The key to this process, we were instructed, is for the peer counselors to practice active listening and ask clarifying and potentially deepening questions. I don’t know about you, but the thought of two or three other people actively listening and seeking to go deeper into my experiences and emotions is mildly terrifying.

In practice, I have found the experience of peer counseling to be uncomfortable and unnatural, yet uniquely equipping. I have found that the more I face my discomfort and allow those that care about me in, the more love I experience and reverberate back into those relationships. We have been learning in our Identity and Relationships class, taught by Dr. Bill and Debbie Clark, that the process of trusting others with our stories is also allowing them to become co-writers and editors in them.


We need friends who will name what is unnamed in our story, so that the truth is told… A good friend is an editor who walks around our story in widening circles and at different heights to help us see not only where we have come from but also where we might go. - Dan Allender, To Be Told

I think what often goes unnamed and unnoticed is the reality that we all have deep moments of hurt and shame that have been allowed to define so much of how we see ourselves. The pain of opening those wounds and inviting those we can trust to see clearly into them allows for the truth of how God sees us to transform our minds. That journey may prove to be harrowing for us fellows, but the result will be greater intimacy, connection, and joy fueled by what we know most ultimately to be true about our stories — they culminate in glory at the wedding feast of the Lamb.




Picture from the Week





Many life lessons from Bill & Debbie Clark




Become A Capital Fellow in 2021-22


We are now receiving applications for Season 15 of the Capital Fellows program!


We are specifically looking for fellows interested in working in church ministry. We have two specific jobs available, one on the worship team and one with the children's ministry teams. These are special Capital Fellows opportunities because McLean Presbyterian not only pays your salary, but also pays your Capital Fellows program fees!!


The next program year runs from late August 2021 through mid-May 2022. If you are a college senior or recent college 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 invest deeply into each others lives. This is a key part of the fellows program for two reasons. First, we want every fellow to receive a lot of care from their peers. Fellows are the only ones that it's like to be a fellow, so they are uniquely qualified to walk with each other through this season. Second, we want every fellow to practice the art of walking with a peer so they can take this skill into the rest of their lives. As the Capital Fellows do this important work with each other, please pray that God would meet and encourage them. Please pray that their care for one another will bear fruit in obvious and subtle ways.


Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.


Capital Fellows Class Brochure - 5x11
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Benefits of The Fellows Initiative


You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 30 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. You can learn more about TFI's sponsors by clicking here. TFI is also sponsored by The Budd Group, the Gordon College Master of Financial Analysis Program, and Regent College in Vancouver.


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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McLean Presbyterian Church  |  1020 Balls Hill Road  |  McLean, Virginia 22101  |  Email: fellows@mcleanpres.org

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