How the Fellows Became John Yates’s ‘Best Legacy’

The Gospel Coalition | 10/22/2019 | Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
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When Ellen Hilliard was in college, she knew one thing for sure: she was not going to do a fellows program after she graduated.

“My older sister Laura did it four years before me,” Ellen said. “Because she had done it, I was not going to. I was going to forge my own path.”

Path - Youth - Ministry - Learning - School

But her path didn’t seem to be going anywhere. She loved mentoring youth, but not enough to go into ministry. She loved learning, but not enough to consider graduate school. She loved her major of American studies, but didn’t know what job it could secure.

“I decided to pretend that Laura hadn’t done the fellows program and to critically look at what it entailed,” she said. “I realized I could get a flavor of all three of these—mentoring, learning, and working—for a brief amount of time.”

Hilliard - Program - Falls - Church - Anglican

So Hilliard applied for the nine-month program at The Falls Church Anglican in Washington, D.C. She worked as an administrative assistant for a trade association (“My boss was a believer, and that relationship was really pivotal.”), lived with a host family (“It was the highlight of the program for me and widened my perspective on different ways families work.”), and studied faith-and-work questions through books and speakers and discussions (“You slow down to ask questions. I was able to have a slower and more thoughtful pace, even in my prayer life, regarding my vocation.”).

Six years later, “I’m continuing to see the ripple effects of that year,” said Hilliard, who earned a master’s degree in counseling and now works as a counselor at a public school. “It changed how I view work, how I view hospitality. It gave me the ability to slow down and intentionally think through vocation and what would be a good fit for me.”

Falls - Church - Anglican - Ripples

The Falls Church Anglican is feeling the ripples,...
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