No Man Is an Island
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
-John Donne (excerpt from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions)
Despite a small amount of dabbling in the Church of Christ when I was young, I was born and raised Episcopalian—a “cradler,” if you will. I attended an Episcopal university adjacent to an Episcopal seminary (Yea, Sewanee’s Right!), and I now attend and work at an Episcopal church. From these facts alone, much less my excitement when talking about them, it’s fairly clear how much I love the Episcopal Church. However (relatively) deep my understanding of it may be, I lack almost any breadth of knowledge whatsoever when it comes to other branches of the Christian Church. Here’s where the Nashville Fellows Program comes in.
The NFP is fairly unique among Fellows Programs in that it exemplifies ecumenism by partnering churches in different denominations. Currently, there are two Presbyterian churches and one Episcopalian. We Fellows ourselves come from a wider variety of backgrounds, and we are constantly sharing and learning from each other’s knowledge, values, and opinions, whether in church, class, or daily life. Though we are vastly different characters (especially as we’ve seen through our Myers-Briggs type analyses), we all know we’re here for the same reason: to build our faith and learn to live that out vocationally, day to day—no matter our background or denomination.
John Donne’s words ring true for all of mankind, yes. But they hold particularly significant meaning when applied to the Christian faith, as has been shown through our Fellows program. No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. We are all members of the body of Christ, no matter our denomination. We are family—brothers and sisters walking together as sons and daughters of the Kingdom.