By Caroline Rice
[EDITOR: Please take note of the special prayer request below the article. Thank you!]
While sitting at the annual TFI National Fellows Conference this past weekend, in a room full of 270+ fellows from across the nation, I could not help but think about how deeply relational we are as human beings. We need community. And there is good news! God did not design us to live life on our own. After all, He is a beautiful triune community as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not only that, but He brings people together who would not be united apart from Him (Dr. Irwyn Ince). God calls us into a lifelong community with Him and others. We are meant for a life together.
Looking around the conference, I was reminded of what Dr. Irwyn Ince shared in our Leadership, Vocation, & Society class one Friday morning, “The most significant way we bear God’s image is in community.” I could not be more grateful that we were built to be in relationships. Every day over the past two months it has become harder and harder to comprehend where I would be without the 14 other fellows walking alongside me in this season. The fellows are merely the tip of the iceberg in listing the countless relationships that I have overwhelmingly been blessed by and which have made me more like Christ.
As I scramble to sum up all my thoughts, I believe Paul Tripp, author of New Morning Mercies, beautifully articulates the necessity and purpose of Christian community in living out God’s image:
"We each need to live in intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven redemptive community. This community is meant to enlighten and protect. It is meant to motivate and encourage. It is meant to rescue and restore. It is meant to instill hope and courage. It is meant to confront and rebuke. It is meant to guide and protect. It is meant to give vision and sound warning. It is meant to incarnate the love and grace of Jesus when you feel discouraged and alone. It is meant to be a visible representation of the grace of Jesus that is your hope."
We are a physical reminder of God and his infinite grace. Tripp reminds me that God has purposefully placed every person and relationship in my life to continue the mission of “making the grace of the invisible King visible.” It is through my community in Fellows that I have been able to experience the deep and loving friendship of God. My prayer for the coming months is that we can continue to invest in each other to see Christ formed within us. It is in living life together that we see His transforming grace at work.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” — Ephesians 4:26, ESV
Caroline Rice is a member of the Capital Fellows class of 2023-24. She is from Illinois and North Carolina and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. This year, he is working at Jill's House, a respite care center in Northern Virginia.
Pictures From The Week
Girls group hug celebrating Hannah’s 22nd birthday at Capital Commons on Monday!
Being tourists in our own city…visiting the National Gallery!
Capital Fellows strolling around Capitol Hill during free time at the Conference!
Sleepover at Eliza’s after a long day at the Conference — thank you Haynes Family!
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 + Special Request
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
This week, we have a special prayer request to ask of our broader Capital Fellows community from Pete Goggin ('08), a Capital Fellows Alum and current MPC member:
Amy (Kress) Youssef ('08) is a first-year Capital Fellows Alumna who was recently diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 cancer . The doctors have said she is not a candidate for chemo or surgery. She and her husband have a young son and are looking at alternative options open to them... My Fellows experience meant so much to me, and I still feel such a strong sense of community whenever I meet a Fellow. (Even if this year's class was SIX years old when I was a Fellow!) I'd love to be able to help that community come to surround Amy and her family in any way possible at this time.
As a community, we are heartbroken to hear of Amy's diagnosis. Would you join us in praying for Amy and her family? Additionally, we humbly ask that you consider giving to Amy's fundraising campaign to help cover her medical costs if you feel so inclined.
Want to pray for the current 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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