Discerning our vocations

One week ago, Brazos Fellows officially launched! In spite of Paige and I both battling illness, it’s been a great beginning to our year–from Saturday afternoon’s historical tour of Waco, to Sunday morning’s commissioning of the fellows at Christ Church, to a wonderful welcome dinner with our tutors, instructors, and board members. You can find photos from our weekend here.

We’re grateful for each one of our six fellows, who have come from all around the world to Waco in order to study, work, and pray together. Our fellows represent a variety of backgrounds, gifts, and interests, and we pray that over these nine months each of them will grow in their sense of God’s call on their lives. It’s one of the things they’ve committed to do–take the time to explore who they are and what God is calling them to.

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L to R: Emma Sloan, Jess Schurz, Kelsey Collister, James Gutacker, Paul Gutacker, Delsie Bussell, Paige Gutacker, Emily West, and Sarah Storey

Discerning our vocation is never easy, and all the more difficult in a cultural moment defined by individualism, consumerism, and the false notion that our careers give us meaning and value. With this cultural baggage, and in the face of life’s other responsibilities and pressures, it’s all too tempting to give up on the question of calling. Unless we receive some clear sign or open door, we think there’s nothing we can do to discern God’s will.

But when it comes to vocational discernment, as Paige explains in a recent article, “there’s a big difference between passivity and prayerful waiting. In the former, we wait for God to speak to us on our terms. In the latter, we open ourselves to God’s guidance and respond regardless of whether we have clarity on what we think is most important.”

This is why Brazos Fellows invites each fellow to enter into the work of vocational discernment–and not on their own but rather in community. Each fellow will work with a tutor, a spiritual director, and a life coach, spending significant time in conversation and prayer over their callings. We expect that these conversations, over the course of nine months, will be time well-spent for the fellows.

Would you pray for the Brazos Fellows’s discernment?
Our hope is that our fellows grow in what St. Augustine called “double knowledge”: knowledge of self and knowledge of God. Would you ask the Lord to grant each fellow the grace of increased self-understanding? Would you ask Christ to give them insight into whom he has made them to be? Would you ask the Spirit not only to illuminate God’s call on each fellow’s life but also grant them the courage and strength to follow?

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