The latest cohort of Boston Fellows officially said their goodbyes at the program’s yearly banquet on Saturday, May 9th, as their time together came to an end. Saskia Niehoff, Marie Labossiere, Terrance Moore, and Emily Lloyd will be moving on by the end of this month to pursue their futures in Christ and their prospective career paths. The past year was one of spiritual formation, fellowship, and exploration as they’ve learned how to walk the road of faith while living in the world through their careers. The Boston Fellows Program provided each of this year’s fellows with the opportunity to embark on an internship program in the career path of their choice, meet with workplace mentors, cultivate the spiritual disciplines, be actively involved in Christian community, and study the integration of faith and the secular workplace.
They celebrated the year with a banquet, prepared by the fellows themselves, and a guest list that included Boston Fellows leaders, previous fellows, and friends from their Christian communities. In addition to good food and fellowship, guests were able to hear from Fr. Kelly Madden, the program’s director, about all the accomplishments and events from the past year, along with taking the opportunity to say goodbye and bless this group of young adults before they went on their way.
The Boston Fellows Program continues next year, with Fr. Kelly moving the whole program into the heart of Boston, where the next cohort will be living, working, and worshipping. It will also expand to include fellowship with several other Christian churches, with each congregation having a cohort of 8-10 Boston Fellows for a total of 25 or 30 fellows. This is a new way in which the diocese is serving the Church in Boston, by bringing Christian professionals together in a way that is both grounded in the local church and reaches across denominational lines. Those interested in knowing more about the expanded model of the program should contact Fr. Kelly with questions.
Alumni of the program have pointed to these takeaways from their Fellows year:
- Meaning and purpose in work: Whether a career is soaring or stuck in traffic, people need to know deep down what work is truly about beyond a paycheck, a good career move, or even that dream job. A recent study shows a big correlation between pastoral attention given to Christians’ work and their job satisfaction.
- Theology that makes a practical difference: Fellows are often stunned at what God’s Word says about God’s commitment to his creation, the importance he gives to their work, how much the material needs of the world matter to God, our role in culture-making, and how to bring change and maintain hope in a world of fallen institutions.
- Spiritual formation: Growth in Christ doesn’t just happen; it requires good soil and cultivation. The heart of the Boston Fellows program is the development of habits of the heart, classic spiritual disciplines, and perspectives to help people grow long beyond the program year.
- Community: Walking this path with other cool, like-minded people really makes all the difference. Weekly meetings are built around a shared meal, and the program facilitates common housing in intentional community for those who want it.
- Outdoor adventure: The program year is punctuated by three long-weekend retreats in partnership with the peerless LaVida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership so that fellows can get away and enjoy God’s creation, bond with the group, and get time alone with God to reflect.
- God’s calling(s), gifts, motivations, discernment: God’s will doesn’t always line up perfectly with our talents and dispositions, but over time we can discover He made us certain ways for a reason. Fellows are encouraged to take a few more steps to discern who they are, what gifts God has given them, and how to use those gifts more effectively.
- Good examples, practical helps: People who have been here before really want to share their experiences to help others flourish. Whether it’s mastering finances God’s way, dealing with hard relationships in the workplace, or keeping balance in life, the fellows can benefit from the experience of seasoned professionals available for one-on-one mentoring.
In addition, the Boston Fellows has put out a great video that further illustrates the heart behind the program’s development and the benefits of entering this kind of Christian community:
Our diocese is thankful to Fr. Kelly Madden for the work done in and through the Boston Fellows Program. We together want to pray the blessings of Jesus Christ on Saskia Niehoff, Marie Labossiere, Terrance Moore, and Emily Lloyd as they step out into the world to follow His call.