Post by: Kaitlyn Amos, Class of 2012 Recently, the women from my year as a Trinity Fellow gathered for a reunion. We were eager both to catch up and to process through our nine months of intentional life together.
Accompanied by spurts of laughter, the evening progressed from easy exchange and culinary collaboration to deep reflection and mutual encouragement. It was not encouragement to be received lightly, as if we should just fill the air with pleasant words. Rather, it was affirmation weathered and refined by a slowly approached trust, a trust that (only in retrospect) seemed to mark our year as a community of believers at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Though we did not have the complete group from our Fellows year, this reunion itself mirrored the deep sense of community we experienced during that time. We cooked together, we ate together, and we candidly shared our celebrations and struggles. As we sat and chatted, the familiar moments slowed down in disregard of the rushed pace of life, ever at our heels.
I recognized this mysterious time-pause as one of the most unexpected characteristics of our Fellows year. For what could easily become a year of frenetic service to the church and Charlottesville community, as well as a time of “drinking from a firehose of ideas,” somehow transformed into full moments of Kingdom significance.
Whether listening to others share their testimonies, taking notes at a theology seminar, wrestling with life at the weekly Roundtable and Family Night dinners or tutoring at Abundant Life, ordinary hours were suddenly sacred as transcendent ideas became tangible and particular at the kitchen table and in other in-between spaces. With each new relationship, we felt welcomed into the infinite fold of support from the church, and we quickly found ourselves welcoming others in alongside.
Between tastes of our prepared food and drink, we began to center around the question of the evening: “What has been forming you?” Though difficult to answer in the here-and-now, the question prompted more reflection on our Fellows year.
As Fellows, we were formed by the regular rhythms of weekly meals and discussion times, by Bible studies, tutoring, classes and our work in the marketplace. Yet our routine was wonderfully interrupted at times, and we were plunged outside the comfort of regularity and into life-changing interactions with people from all walks of life. While in New York, we got to personally meet a local author of a novel about sex trafficking accompanied by an International Justice Mission representative. We helped put on a local arts forum at The Haven, listening to wide-ranging lectures on art and its purpose of showing forth the beauty of the Creator God. And we spent a weekend with other national fellows within The Fellows Initiative, collaborating about our participation in biblical justice.
It was within this jazz-like flow of the Fellows year that unexpected moments of pause ushered us into a greater paradigm—a paradigm that saw Christ as the center and redeemer of all things. Our time, our service, our story were all informed by a larger story at work—the story of our Fellows class, the story of Trinity Presbyterian, of Charlottesville, of the Church and of the Kingdom of God. Ultimately, the Grand Narrative became a thread weaving cohesion and purpose for our time now and during our Trinity Fellows year. Thank you, Trinity Church, for having a deep vision for forming young leaders in this way—it is a ministry that has changed the lives of many involved and it is our hope that it continues to play its part in deepening our love of Christ and His church.
So to you new Fellows, Trinity’s 10th class, welcome in: May the Lord grant you grace to be as present as possible in these days to come, so as not to miss the aroma of the Presence who is in and of and over all things—Jesus Christ. May you learn to participate deeply and fully in the work around you, ultimately receiving more than you can give back. As I was reminded recently, the Lord is with you.
The Fellows Program will celebrate ten years with a reunion June 7–9, 2013. Please mark your calendar as we wish for the whole church to be involved in this reunion weekend. Contact Dennis Doran at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434.825.9866 for more information.
Originally published September 23, 2012, in Trinity Life