Here in Texas, summer is really starting to really heat up, which means that we can’t be too far away from August and the start of year two of Brazos Fellows. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a great year, and with orientation coming quickly, I wanted to share several exciting news items with you.
Introducing the 2019-2020 Brazos Fellows
I’m very pleased to introduce our incoming cohort:
- Savannah Anne Carman is originally from south Charlotte in Waxhaw, NC. In May she graduated from The King’s College (NYC) with a bachelors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Brazos Fellows drew her attention because of its monastic-like lifestyle of daily prayer, shared meals, and study in a small community. In addition to these routines, she looks forward to studying questions about human teleology and the effects of technology (from the hammer to the internet) in human relations.
- Emily Engelhardt is originally from Boulder Colorado, and recently graduated from Baylor University in the spring. She studied a variety of subjects through the University Scholars program, including literature, theology, and philosophy, and is a long-time member of Christ Church. Brazos Fellows is too good of an opportunity to pass up, and she is particularly excited to jump into the course of study.
Victoria Malone is from Arlington, Texas, and just graduated from Baylor in May with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She was drawn to Brazos Fellows by the opportunity to practice rhythms of study, work, and rest—all practiced to the end of knowing and loving God more fully. She is especially looking forward to learning from the Desert Fathers, and is excited to become part the Christ Church community in the coming year.
- Emily Verdoorn is from Des Moines, IA. She studied Visual Art at Belhaven University (Jackson, MI) where she became deeply interested in drawing as a way to be more attentive to the world of her everyday experience. Since graduating she has been teaching art lessons to children as well as developing her own art practice. Participating in the incarnational practices of liturgy and spiritual disciplines in community intrigues her, and she hopes this time will deepen her relationship to Christ. She hopes to study some variation of the relationship between art and the Church both in history and in our present time.
Each of these young women is a fantastic fit for the program, and we’re very excited about sharing a year together of study, discernment, prayer, and Christian community. Please join us in praying for them as they move to Waco and prepare to begin the fellowship.
Hitting the Road
This summer, I’ve been able to present about Brazos Fellows on several trips, including in Vancouver, BC, the Anglican Provincial Assembly in Plano, TX, and the Anglican Way Institute conference in Dallas. In the fall, I’ll make a number of other trips to John Brown University, Biola University, Dallas, and New York City. My hope for these trips is to connect with like-minded educators and ministers and meet with students who might be interested in Brazos Fellows. We appreciate your prayers that these recruiting efforts will be fruitful in bringing together our future cohorts.
Gutacker Family Update
We’re excited about what this year holds for our family. Next month, I’ll receive my Ph.D. in History from Baylor, wrapping up many years of graduate study. In addition to directing Brazos Fellows, this year I’ll teach at Baylor as an adjunct instructor. In even better news, in December we’re expecting another Gutacker baby to join us! We’ve many reasons to celebrate and give thanks to God. Thank you for sharing in our joy.
Funding Brazos Fellows
Finally, I want to invite you to participate in the work of Brazos Fellows. Through much generosity, we’ve been able to keep tuition low in our first years of the program. Last year, individual donors contributed over $15,000 to the fellowship–mostly in small monthly donations. Would you prayerfully consider joining these donors with a monthly gift of $25, $50, or $100? Our goal for 2019-2020 is to raise $20,000, which will allow us to cover program expenses, develop and recruit for future years, and continue to keep the fellowship affordable. Details on how to donate are below:
All gifts should be made out to Christ Church Waco with a designation to Brazos Fellows, as donations made in this fashion will be tax deductible. To donate by mail, write to Christ Church Waco, ATTN: Brazos Fellows, 1008 Jefferson Ave., Waco, TX 76701. To donate online, visit brazosfellows.com/give.
Editor: please enjoy this reflection from Brazos Fellow Jess Schurz, which she wrote for our End of Year Celebration.
Our first day of Brazos Fellows was a sunny one. It began, of course, around a table–in this instance, the Lula Janes table underneath the blackboard menu. That afternoon, we shared the lunch special, introductions, and that distinct nervous-excitement assortment that tends to characterize beginnings.
Following the lunch, we left for a Skylar Ray-led tour of Waco. Paige prefaced our outing by emphasizing that “place matters. You cannot know who you are,” she explained, “without first knowing where you are and where you’ve been.” And so we piled into the Schorlemer’s suburban, off to embark on answering the important prior question “Of what story do I find myself a part?” That day we were on the edge of things; we committed ourselves to a group of people and a place for nine months but had not yet entered into it.
Continue reading “More than Just a Room”
A few weeks ago, the Brazos Fellows community gathered together over lunch to share stories from year one of the fellowship. It was wonderful to hear several of the fellows and tutors reflect on our year together: new ways of thinking about and practicing prayer, deeper understandings of our identity in Christ, and the value of studying in a community that practices spiritual disciplines.
Continue reading “Stories from Year One”
This week the Brazos Fellows had the chance to discuss Jonathan Edwards with Bruce Hindmarsh. Bruce and his wife Carolyn were visiting from Regent College (Vancouver, BC), where he teaches the history of Christian spirituality and she teaches koine Greek. Together we read Edwards’ Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, a classic text that gives insight into the religious awakenings of the eighteenth century and the beginnings of the evangelical movement. It’s also a work that helps us as we wrestle with discernment, as we ask questions like, “Is this God at work here?”
Continue reading “5 in 10: Bruce Hindmarsh”
Editor’s note: we’re glad to share another guest post by a Brazos Fellow, this one written by Jess Schurz.
My love for poetry disappeared when I came to college. I could never quite slow down enough to enjoy it. Poetry demanded a pause of sorts – decidedly unhurried time to contemplate, re-read, and re-read again. This discipline, however, proved incompatible with my college pursuits. College was a time, I convinced myself, to maximize every opportunity.
Continue reading “On Poetry and Place”
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications to the 2019-2020 cohort! Brazos Fellows invites college graduates to apply to this nine-month, part-time program centered on theological training, spiritual disciplines, vocational discernment, and life together.
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Brazos Fellows, our program prospectus can be downloaded here (for high-resolution viewing) and here (for emailing). We would also be glad to mail you the prospectus–email your address to director (at) brazosfellows.com.
Continue reading “Apply now for the 2019-2020 cohort”