Love Anyway

by Joe Palekas


Friends! Family! Acquaintances! Strangers! Hello and welcome to this week’s iteration of the Capital Fellows blog. I’m glad you’ve found your way here. It’s been a busy week in the life of Fellows.


This past Friday saw us getting back on the #grind with our classes. In the morning we began Identity and Relationships taught by Dr. Bill Clark. This class is going to explore our understanding of – you guessed it – identity and relationships. In the afternoon, we continued with Dr. Bill Fullilove’s class on biblical theology. We are all excited to get back into classes, but are just now remembering how much work they are.


On Saturday, many of the Fellows volunteered to help with a Children’s Ministry event called Pancakes & Putt-Putt. This was a morning for families to come to the church, enjoy a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, and play a number of family-friendly games – from putt-putt to giant Uno to corn hole! It was truly a great morning and a great opportunity for many of us to connect with families at the church!


Sunday morning, our dear sister fellow Meekhol shared her testimony in front of MPC’s student ministry. Let me tell YOU – Meekhol knows how to bring it. Her testimony is full of vulnerability, grace, and truth. One of the beautiful things about Fellows is how well we get to know each other. I can say that I’ve learned a great deal from Meekhol and I know that the students did as well. Way to go Meeks!


Next thing we know, it’s Monday morning and the Fellows all gathered for a tour of the Central Intelligence Agency! Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was fascinating and something we all enjoyed. Monday afternoon we were back at Cornerstone School where we tutor each week.


Last item on my laundry list of activities is Roundtable on Monday night. We had a DELICIOUS meal cooked by sister Meekhol and brother Russell. We celebrated Chinese New Year in style with delicious Chinese BBQ pork. After dinner, we dived into a discussion of community, one of the key pillars of the Fellows program. John Kyle, the Capital Fellows program director, led the conversation by bringing some thought-provoking questions, including what we believe about community, whether we’ve been hurt by community, and in what ways do we willingly give ourselves away for community.


This takes me perfectly into my last point. On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending a Drew and Ellie Holcomb concert with some others who work at the church. Drew and Ellie just released a song called Love Anyway. The bridge to the song is below.


Broken promises

Truth and consequence

Pride and tenderness

All those failed attempts

Joy and happiness…

Love anyway.


The song is not necessarily about community. But it is about relationship. These words paint a beautiful picture to me of why community is so necessary. In community, there will be a range of events, emotions, people. We will make promises that we don’t keep. We will speak truth to each other. Many attempts at friendship or vulnerability or authenticity might fail. In the midst of it all, we can and do find joy and happiness. We love anyway. We love in spite of brokenness. We love in spite of failure, sadness, anger. We love because He first loved us!


This week, and for the next week, and the week after that, my prayer is that we would lean into community wherever we are. We would lean in until we start to see its cracks and blemishes. And we would have the courage and faith to love anyway.




Pictures from the Week


Kat and Meekhol went wedding dress shopping! Kat asked Meekhol to be a bridesmaid! I'm personally still angling to be the ring-bearer. If you know Kat, I'd ask that you speak to her on my behalf.

Several of the Fellows enjoyed a Super Bowl party on Sunday night! Here you see Jack and Jay lounging gracefully enjoyed friends, food, and football!

Meekhol and Russell and their Roundtable FEAST! Enjoying a meal together every Monday night is, to be frank, the BEST thing to ever happen to any of us!


Julia, Sean, and Caroline were able to carpool to work on Tuesday! Julia works for the Center for Public Justice, Sean is in Senator Wicker's office on Capitol Hill, and Caroline teaches at Cornerstone Schools!


On Monday, we celebrated Jay and Julia's birthdays! In Fellows fashion, we affirmed each of them by saying a word we feel describes them followed by a brief description of why. My word for Julia was Ask-And-Seek (the one word rule is loosely followed). Julia is faithful in asking big and good questions and eagerly seeking answers. She also is EXTREMELY in tune to asking the Spirit for things. My word for Jay was Chiseled-Rock. Jay is a huge anchor in our group and is steady like a rock, yet has been willing to have the Lord shape him. This is a picture of me affirming Julia. Yes, the affirmer stands on a chair. Tradition.


CAPITAL FELLOWS NEEDS YOUR HELP

Even though we have had a record number of applicants for the 2019-20 program year, we are still looking for at least one male applicant. If you know a college senior that is interested in growing deeply in his sense of vocation (in any career field), leadership, service, and community, please encourage them to apply. What do we look for in an applicant? A tendency toward leadership, spiritual and personal maturity, a teachable and humble spirit, personal drive, and strong academic achievement. Here is the link to the Capital Fellows Application.



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