By Madison Urban
At our first Life and Leadership** of this semester, Rob Yancey (Capital Pres Fairfax Site Pastor) began with a simple question: “what is your name? Nickname? Where did it come from?” The resulting conversation took WAY longer than expected as we shared our names, nicknames, and the stories behind our favorites. Amid laughter at new discoveries (did you know Seth’s middle name is Stanley?!) and sharing childhood memories with fondness, Rob pointed out that perhaps the most basic part of our identity, our name, is shaped by story.
The spring semester of Capital Fellows has been full of this examination of the impact of story on cosmic and personal levels. In Bill Fullilove’s class, we are beginning to see the grand story of Scripture more fully as we transition from studying the Old Testament to the New Testament and see the continuity of the call of God’s chosen people to push back against darkness and bring restoration. This grand story looks forward to the final consummation of the vision of the prophets, where creation is redeemed and “They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food” (Isaiah 65:23-25).
In Life and Leadership and Bill Clark’s class, we see this cosmic vision of restoration become personal. We have discussed how the Gospel fundamentally changes our story, interrupting cycles of pain and hopelessness and giving us new names. No longer are we Orphan but Adopted. In Christ we are Redeemed, Free, Accepted, Chosen, and Loved. But while this is a settled reality, our perception of God shapes our view of ourselves. The reality is settled, but do we believe it?
With Dr. Bill Clark [in our Identity & Relationships course], we are exploring our own stories, our families of origin, our traumas, and the stories we tell to make sense of our world. It is a constant fight to see myself primarily through the grand narrative and to see myself as a daughter of the Most High for I have an enemy whose primary mission is to distort my perception. Through these discussions I find the invitation to trust, to be known, and to be loved remains as the Lord patiently draws me toward himself. The cosmic vision of restoration gives purpose to my work and hope to the broken places of my story. It is as if Jesus is asking me as he asked the disciples centuries ago, “Madi, who do you say that I am?”
** Life and Leadership is a semi-monthly time that the Capital Fellows meet with the pastors of Capital Pres Family and McLean Presbyterian Church and their spouses. They gather in the pastors' homes to talk about various aspects of growing deep in our walk with the Lord.
Recent Capital Fellows Pictures
Celebrating our lovely Camille’s birthday!
Galentines. 27 Dresses. Puppy. Need I say more?
Got to be a swim coach again for my host siblings-I missed being on deck!
Watching football. Eating chicken nuggets. Talking about gender roles.
Become A Capital Fellow in 2022-23
We are now receiving applications for Season 16 of the Capital Fellows program!
THE CLASS IS FILLING UP! APPLY TODAY!
IMPORTANT: SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK AT MCLEAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Most fellows work in the marketplace - for companies, nonprofits, government offices. Three Capital Fellows work at our church each year as well. For these roles, we are looking for a worship fellow, a children's ministry fellow, and a missions fellow. These are special Capital Fellows opportunities because you are not only paid a salary, but also your Capital Fellows program fees are covered as well!
The Season 16 program year runs from late August 2022 through mid-May 2023. If you are a college senior or recent graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you!
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
As Madi notes, the Capital Fellows are digging into deep aspects of story in this season: Who am I? Where am I from? How do I make sense of my story in the larger story of the Gospel and the world? These can be hard things to process. Please pray that the Fellows will sense God's deep, deep love for them as they venture into these tender areas. Please pray that the Fellows would serve and support each other well as they explore these things together. Ultimately, may they find themselves deeply rooted in Christ and in the community of His people, the Church.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
Benefits of The Fellows Initiative
You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 32 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. Capital Fellows benefit from our affiliation with The Fellows Initiative in many ways. One of those ways is that all Capital Fellows alumni receive a 33% tuition discount at Reformed Theological Seminary for 5 years. For more information, please contact us.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining The Fellows Initiative by launching a new fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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