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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
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,
Editor: please enjoy this latest post from Brazos Fellow Savannah Anne Carman.
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?
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.”
Late in the evening Saturday, the Brazos Fellows gathered in a candle-lit room for the Great Vigil. Being cloistered off into our own homes does not mean we missed participating, along with the whole church worldwide, in the great joy expressed in the Exsultet (eavesdrop on it being sung here):
Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout Salvation for the victory of our mighty King.
Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.
Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.
All you who stand near this marvelous and holy flame, pray with me to God the Almighty for the grace to sing the worthy praise of this great light; through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Christianity [is] the revelation and gift of joy, and thus, the gift of genuine feast. Every Saturday night at the resurrection vigil we sing, “for through the Cross, joy came into the whole world.” This joy is pure joy because it does not depend on anything in this world, and it is not the reward of anything in us. It is totally and absolutely a gift, the “charis,” the grace. And being pure gift, this joy has a transforming power, the only really transforming power in this world.” — Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World
And having been given this great gift, let us keep the feast! Alleluia! Alleluia! Wishing a very happy Eastertide to you all from the Brazos Fellows and Gutacker family.