Gratitude at the End

This weekend marked the end for the 2019-2020 cohort of Brazos Fellows! What a year it has been. A small (and, I should say, properly socially-distanced) group gathered together to celebrate, while others–tutors, guest instructors, and friends and family–joined us virtually via the magic of Zoom.

We shared a wonderful evening of stories, prayer, BBQ, poetry, and much laughter. The predominate note was gratitude: thanks be to God for this community, and the chance to do this work together.

O Lord Jesus Christ, without whom nothing is sweet nor savory, we beseech you to bless our supper, and with your blessed presence to cheer our hearts, than in all our meats and drinks we may taste and savor of you to your honor and glory. Amen.
– Prayer Before Supper, King Henry’s Primer

Brazos Fellows is only possible because of a large community that generously gives in many ways to the fellowship. We’re especially grateful for our tutors and teachers–especially Christina, Alex, and Fr. Matthew–who invested so much in our fellows’ learning this year. Thank you to them, and to the board of advisors, our generous supporters, host families, and all who shared meals, homes, and financial support this year.

Finally, we count it a privilege to have spent this year studying, praying, and sharing life with Emily, Emily, and Savannah Anne–three remarkable women who have not only been great fellows but also have become friends. Join us in praying for the Lord to bless them richly as they move on to what’s next.

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Coming soon…

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pray together • eat together 🥬 We’ve been working on something at the Lewis House. 🧄 We’ve missed our Monday night dinners with people from Church, and when we started remembering all the good meals we shared this year we had an idea. Why not make a Brazos Fellows Cookbook full of our shared meals? So that is what we are doing! And we would really like to share this with you too. 🥦 If this interests you let us know! We’ll have more details to follow if you stay on the lookout. 🥑 Words by Savannah Anne, Pictures by Emily Verdoorn #easterfeasting #brazosfellows #cookbook #brazosfellowscookbook #lewishouse #christchurchwaco #aloneforcompany #quarentineforcompany #cloisterforquarentine #feast #fellowship

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Update from the Director: Wrapping Up & Looking Forward

Friends of Brazos Fellows:

All good things come to an end, and the fellowship is no exception. Our year of study, prayer, and life together concludes on May 10. What a tremendous year it’s been with these young women! Please pray for Savannah Anne, Emily, and Emily as they plan and prepare for what comes after the fellowship.

But I’m also happy to share that Brazos Fellows is planning to continue in the 2020-2021 academic year. We have a cohort in place, with several open spots remaining, and are presently working on contingency plans for several different scenarios. Given these times, it’s all the more compelling to join a small, intensive educational community, and we anticipate receiving further applications in the coming weeks. If you know someone whose plans for next year are shifting, please keep Brazos Fellows in mind. We’d be glad to receive their application.

What’s more, our admissions committee has decided to consider applications for next year from rising seniors. In conversations with faculty at various institutions of higher education, I’ve gathered that many underclassmen are considering a “gap year” before resuming their degree—especially if their school goes online for the fall. While Brazos Fellows is traditionally limited to post-graduates, our admissions committee has decided to consider applications from rising seniors. Academically minded undergrads in particular may be interested in Brazos Fellows as a robust and intentional “gap year” of study before going back to finish their degree. If you know of a well-qualified junior who might benefit from the fellowship next year, we would love to be in touch with them.

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Paul Gutacker

Kairos, Kronos, and the Redemption of Time

Editor: please enjoy this latest post from Brazos Fellow Savannah Anne Carman.

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Credit: Laura Lee Blackburn

Rhythms and baking have been on my mind and a new part of my routine as of late. A part-time bagel baking job will do this, you know, when one is scheduling sleep and all else according to the demands of the dough. Bill Buford, journalist and chef in training, concisely described the process of bread-making he learned during time spent with a French baker. Buford explains how, “everything in time, everything good [comes] in time. Rhythm is time and bread-making is nothing if not a respect for rhythm—yeast, fermentation, heat.” The same holds true for life. Life’s rhythms are the heartbeat. Like the heart, which pumps blood and sustains breath, our daily activities move along according to the rhythms we hold, either giving or keeping what’s vital from us. Such routines form everything from callouses on our hands to grooves in our souls; they shape who we are and what we become. If the rote is so transformative, then what routines are proper to what we are made for, what we intrinsically desire?

418S-UzLUHL._SY346_Alexander Schmemann illuminates these questions about rhythm and time in his book For the Life of the World. In this book, the Orthodox priest considers the Christian rhythms of feasting and fasting, both in good times and hard. We do this because of a different understanding of time. Schmemann suggests that we order our lives to the reality of Christ, in Kairos, instead of the world, in Kronos. Kronos is about the temporal—it is one side of our three-dimension as finite creatures in time, space, and matter. The liturgy invites us into the reality beyond our finitude that harmonizes with Kairos, “the time of liturgical celebration.”

Continue reading “Kairos, Kronos, and the Redemption of Time”