As you’d expect, it’s been a strange few weeks for the Brazos Fellows. The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to our gathering, much of our programming has been rescheduled or canceled, and we’re meeting virtually for prayer and class.
We’re grateful for good technology and flexible guest lecturers, like Dr. Andrea Turpin. We’re also newly grateful for the community life we’ve enjoyed all year. As Brazos Fellow alum Jess Schurz wrote in a rather prescient 2018 post, “The sanctity of loneliness reminds me that I am not at all entitled to community. When I do find myself in times of rich relationships, it is a gift and nothing else.”
But I’m also glad to say that this is about to change. After strict social distancing, our family and the fellows will be sheltering together starting next week. A nearby house has been provided for the three fellows, and, remarkably all three have part-time jobs they can maintain in isolation or remotely. For the next six weeks, between the two houses, we and the fellows will be a cloistered community committed to praying the daily office, study, and sharing life together. (For the fellows who’ve been interested in exploring monasticism, well, here we go! Community garden included.)
Our hope is that our community can be a remnant that lives together for the sake of the whole church. As St. Cyprian put it, “when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one.” Even when we appear to be isolated, the theological reality of the communion of the saints means that the whole is present in every part. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” Christ promised, “there am I in the midst of them.”
We ask your prayers for this new arrangement and the rest of our semester. And to get a window into Brazos Fellows in a time of pandemic, follow along on our new Instagram account for regular updates and this blog for longer reflections.