By Martha Roszak
As we approach the end of another year I, like many others, am feeling particularly reflective about the events that unfolded for me in 2023. (Yes, this is a play on words from John Kyle’s most recent blog post.) My days this year were mostly full of ordinary moments: taking my dog on walks, commuting, doing chores, reading, etc. But there were also weightier, highly anticipated moments, like close friends moving away, getting a new roommate, and turning 30.
Additionally, there were quite a few unexpected events that happened in my life: leaving my job, getting a new job, not ever getting to start the new job, moving to a new city to take a seasonal job, moving back to DC and starting my old job (if you know, you know), and—just as significantly—the initiation of standing, monthly brunches with my Fellows class... If you’ll bear with me a few more paragraphs, you might start to see why a few brunches also make this list.
This spring, my friend (and fellow Fellow) Emilee got married in the DC area. Many folks from my Fellows class came back into town to attend. Daniel (another fellow Fellow) and his wife, Caroline (surprise: also a former Fellow!) hosted a brunch at their home the day before the wedding. In the mid-morning glow of their sunroom, we shared a meal, stories from our lives, and hopes we have the future. Beyond it being just a sweet time to catch up with some friends, that brunch was also a striking moment for me to see the people I spent my Fellows year with together in one room again, recognizing all that has changed and all that has stayed the same over the past seven years, and realizing that our relationships are deeper because of it.
Some of the most notable changes for the thirteen of us include eleven weddings (and, by proxy, eleven new Fellows-by-marriage), two babies (several more with fur), one master’s degree, a doctorate, plenty of job/housing changes, a few new church homes, five people who have moved away, and—my personal favorite—two that have recently moved back! Over the past seven years, there have also been the profound losses of parents, pregnancies, jobs, and dreams. What has remained constant, though, is the care we have for and commitment to one another, which continues to only deepen over time.
After that brunch, it dawned on several of us that many of our Fellows still live in the area, but we don’t make it a habit of regularly meeting together. Our time together was an encouraging reminder of the eternal nature of our friendships as believers in Christ and that God has blessed us richly by giving us one another. As with any gift, we are called to steward this one well. Following the guidance of the author of Hebrews, we have since decided not to give up meeting together (10:25). We're still meeting once a month in each other's homes to share breakfast and encourage one another, and this recurring event has been one of the most unexpected joys of the past year.
To the current Capital Fellows of Season 17, I urge you to keep tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and establishing roots for your community to grow in this second semester of your Fellows’ year. As your time as Fellows inevitably comes to a close in five short months, keep making room for your community to flourish: nurture, care for, propagate, and prune it so it can weather life's storms and bear much fruit—both in your own lives and the lives of others around you.
To anyone else reading this, I encourage you to also be reflective about the ways that God met you this year and to be curious about the ways He might be calling you to steward the gifts you’ve been given. As we all brace for both the anticipated and unexpected events of a new year ahead, may we heed the words of C.S. Lewis, daring to trust that in all stages of life, “there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Martha Roszak is the Assistant Director of the Capital Fellows program. She is also a Capital Fellows alumna (‘17) and long-time staff member at McLean Presbyterian Church. She lives in Washington, DC with her dog, Moose, and has a deep affection for dad jokes and the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Pictures From The Week
Aforementioned sunny brunch spot
Classic Avery selfie with everyone from my Fellows class at Emilee and Kevin's wedding in April
Shoe-in members for Capital Fellows Season 38 (2045-46?) at a Sunday brunch in November
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
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
Please continue to pray for the Capital Fellows as they prepare to return to the DC area on January 2nd for the annual Winter Retreat. It's a great time to reconnect with one another while diving deeply in practical questions of calling. Also..the NEXT class of Capital Fellows (ie 2024-25) is coming together. Please pray that God would lead a few more applicants to the program so that we can fill the class by mid-February. The next deadline is January 15th.
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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