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New Soil

By Brooke Sorenson

As we come to the end of Capital Fellows Season 15, we stand here, and in some ways, are new creations. Unrecognizable from our August selves, wandering into the Claggett Center in Maryland on our first day, we had no idea what we were signing up for. Finishing this year, we are brimming with new life and hope, and yet in some ways we are also dirt.

Plant metaphors abound in the Bible, as Jesus and the Old Testament authors speak of branches, vines, and trees, but these days, I relate more to the dirt. Fellows has been a time of tilling. The Lord has taken a spade to all of our hearts, loving us as we are and yet unwilling to leave us where He finds us.

Tilling is painful for the dirt; clods are broken open and spilled out, rocks are removed and tossed away, and the ground splits, leaving rifts and planes open to the cold air above. We, like the dirt, have been similarly exposed, and can no longer hide our brokenness, either from the Lord or from each other.

Broken, tilled, and de-rocked, our new selves are raw and open and expectant. Our great Gardener is caring and purposeful, carefully cultivating this earth. This tilling is a painful grace, and something I’ve resented the Lord for, because in my sin, I’d rather stay covered.

Yet, nine months later, this garden plot, now plowed and watered, has begun to bloom – imbibed with an expectant hope that something special is taking place. The gritty richness of the broken dirt allows water droplets to sink deeper into our souls, refreshing and cool. The gaps in the dirt make way for living water to revive and renew.

We see our Gardener, as he walks between us, crouching down and placing seeds in our rich soil. He does not scatter them meaninglessly, but softly folds each one into a safe place.

In this process, we have seen so much life. We have built a family and a home here, or rather have been grafted into one. McLean Presbyterian Church, our directors and all the people who make this program happen have been co-gardeners with God, participating in the work of planting and watering these fifteen plots of dirt.

This work, however, has just begun, so let this be our prayer…

As we go out from here, till and plant what you will, O Lord. Let us be that soil and let us thank You for the tilling. In our churches and our homes, at our jobs and with our friends, break up the ground, plant seeds and let them take root, and water this dirt.


“He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” Luke 19:40

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


Recent Capital Fellows Pictures

A sunny, super warm day at the OBX beach!

Cozied up in the house that has seen 14 years of Capital Fellows classes

Braving the wind for a dip in the freezing water!

My dearest friends — our season 15 girls <3


Become A Capital Fellow in 2022-23

We are now receiving applications for Season 16 of the Capital Fellows program!


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!

This week, Capital Fellows have been wrapping up their program year at a beach house in Duck, North Caroline. Regardless of weather, the beach house has been a moment to look back, look forward, seeing God's hand in everything. During this week, in what has become a long tradition, the Fellows write a page in each other's notebooks. The goal is to share what that person has come to mean to them in light of all that happened during the Capital Fellows year. What would it look like for you to do something like that with your closest friends? Please pray for this group as they wrap up Season 15 on Saturday.

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

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
Download PDF • 1.36MB


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.


Want To Read More?

Signup for the Capital Fellows blog email! Emails are sent weekly during the program year. An unsubscribe link is provided in every email.

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