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Safety in Community

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

By Brigette Nelson

Hello! I’m so excited to be the first of fifteen fellows to share little snippets of our Fellow’s life over the next nine months.

The last three weeks have been a blur. We’ve had a lot of fun moving into host homes, getting to know each other, exploring the city, starting our new jobs, and getting plugged-in to the incredible church community of McLean Presbyterian Church. There have been moments at the kickoff retreat and in class with one of our professors, Bill Fullilove, where I’ve closed my eyes and sat in gratitude because of how amazing the Fellows are. The community & people surrounding us are incredible!

The safety of this community has brought me a lot of peace & confidence to openly share parts of my story and life - which we all got to do during the kick-off retreat. There are a lot of hard moments and themes in my story that I normally wouldn’t share unless it was in the safety of years and years of friendship. Being in the Fellows program expedites those friendships in some ways. However, immediately after sharing my story at the kick-off retreat, I started having these “vulnerability aftershocks” and had a little pit in my stomach of regret & shame.

A few days after sharing my testimony, I began to question whether I shared too much or too little... I began to compare myself to other fellows and how my testimony measured up to theirs. I was ashamed of the way that I had been affected by the world’s brokenness & sin. I thought that there was no way that the fellows could truly love me or have any loyalty towards me because of the pain I experienced.

I ended up processing this with a trusted mentor and, after many tears, I realized this: I should NEVER be ashamed or embarrassed of the way that I’ve been affected by the world’s sin & brokenness. There’s no room for me to compare my suffering with another fellow’s suffering. Why? Because we’ve all suffered and have gone through difficult circumstances, and each of us is in need of Jesus to restore and sustain us.

In Galatians 5:25-26 (MSG), Paul writes: “Since we have chosen to live the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”

My story and life over the next nine months is not going to be the same as another fellow’s experiences. The convictions and thoughts that I have, how I serve, the work I do - it’s all going to look different. God designed my life to look different from my peers, and we’re all better contributors to the Kingdom because of it. We were never meant to compare, but fully enjoy the differences we each carry! Plus, as Galatians 5 says, there are many more interesting things to do with our lives!

My prayer over the next nine months is that Jesus would protect the Season 17 Capital Fellows class from comparisons and that Jesus would keep us sincere in unity, kind in action, and generous in love.


Pictures From The Week

How the fellows feel about all of our seminary reading

Golden hour with the girls

Golden hour with the guys

Dog pile on the National Mall


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

If you know a college senior or recent graduate that 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 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!

Yesterday, the Fellows began serving at one of our church's mission partners: Cornerstone Schools of Washington, D.C. Each week this year, they will invest in the lives of students by tutoring them in core subjects like math and writing, as well as assisting with the after-school program. Please join us in praying for our Fellows to serve—not only the students and teachers there but also—the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2).

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 • 1.18MB


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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