This weekend we kicked off year two of Brazos Fellows! What a joy to welcome our cohort to Waco, commission them at Christ Church, and enjoy getting to know them over several long meals and many cups of coffee. For photos of our orientation weekend, scroll all the way down.
Please pray for Emily, Savannah Anne, Victoria, and Emily as they begin this work. Specifically, I want to ask you to pray for God’s blessing as they study, pray, and seek the Lord’s call on them. We are asking the Lord to make this work fruitful–in their lives, for the building up of the church, and for the sake of the world. Thank you for joining us in this prayer. Continue reading “Year Two: Great Instructors, Exciting Events, Upcoming Travel”→
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.
On Friday and Saturday, a number of graduate students, Brazos Fellows alumni and tutors, and local teachers reflected together on a question posed by David: what does it mean to teach as a Christian? (Below you’ll find a number of excellent resources, both print and online, on this question.)
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.
Dr. Jacobs introduced the fellows to the poetry of W.H. Auden, specifically Auden’s Horae Canonicae, a series of seven poems that, as Jacobs put it, “take place on the day of the Crucifixion; or, considered in another way, on any Good Friday; or, considered in yet a different way, on every day of our lives.” It was a fantastic discussion of a marvelous poem (which you can listen to Auden reading here.)
Today the fellows discussed the work of Ephraim Radner with Cody Strecker. Cody is a PhD candidate in Theology at Baylor, a Brazos Fellows Tutor, and a frequent guest instructor for the fellows. He also serves as family catechist at Christ Church Waco–although he and his family will be moving on this summer, as he’s taken a position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology at Hillsdale College.
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.