As I wrap up this incredible year I say goodbye to the people at the office, the kiddos and staff at church, my host family, our good and wise teacher, Scotty Smith, and most of all the Fellows. I am one of the few Fellows who are leaving Nashville this summer, so this is a little bit more difficult for me. These past two weeks have been the greatest time to reflect on what has been the most impactful year of my life. The foundation that the Nashville Fellows Program has given me will hold for the rest of my life and I have no fear of it shattering. I have my new brother and seven sisters to thank for that.
Now I will say a few personal goodbye’s. I hope it will give you insight into how much the main communities of The Nashville Fellows Program mean to all of us:
Goodbye, Host Family
The very first thing I did when I came to Nashville in August was arrive at the lovely home of Dale and Annette Pacetti. Pulling into a neighborhood that blew me away, I began to think…”welcome to fancy livin’, Sir Charles. Soak it in, because you won’t live like this ever again”. Now, what you may not know is that I actually grew up in Nashville earlier in my life and hung out at the Pacetti’s home. I remember playing soccer in the backyard or playing mafia upstairs with the Pacetti kids in the bonus room while our parents had a party downstairs…you know…the boring kind with lots of talking. Anyways, it was so great to catch up with them and be accepted as their fellow for the year. I thank them for being so hospitable, gracious, and caring to me. They answered all of my life questions, helped me with my interviews, and provided so many delicious meals for me. I could not have asked for better host parents. I will miss them very much.
Metacake is the marketing agency I have been working for this past year and I have had a blast. I have acquired a wide range of new skills to take with me to any job that I take on. I most appreciate this company’s efficiency and work environment. The Metacake Team sure knows how to get work done and I have learned a great amount on how to work in a fast-thinking and rapidly growing company. Metacake keeps up with multiple client-companies at a time and to do that, you must be able to communicate with your team and keep up with relevant news about each client-company. I am incredibly thankful for the way they do work. This company also has a fun and efficient work environment. It is a team-based environment where almost everyone works in the same room with desks facing each other in order to communicate quickly, without taking up too much time. It has also been a pleasure working in a Christian environment. I have been able to integrate my faith into my work and see how it truly benefits the company and the people who come in contact with the company. I will miss the Metacake team.
Christ Presbyterian Church has been an overwhelming source of joy and a great place to be filled up by so many loving people. I will miss the CPC community immensely. I attended school and church here from 2nd - 7th grade and to see how much the community has grown since then is awesome! I have had the pleasure of volunteering with both the Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry for the past 9 months and I am so grateful for my experiences in both. I will miss leading games for the 5th and 6th graders, helping the elementary students learn what it’s like to be in the sanctuary and help them understand certain concepts of “Big Church”. I will also miss the Senior High students of CPC Youth who have been an encouragement to me as I see how much they grow within the culture in which we live today. They are smart, fun, and I’m going to miss the good times I’ve had with them. As for the staff of CPC all together, I will miss them, as they have become family to me. Each one of them has encouraged me in my faith and poured into me when I needed it most. Hanging out at Centennial Park with the CPC staff are some of my favorite memories here in Nashville. Thank you, CPC, for being so impactful in my Fellows year. It means so much to feel loved and feel a part of such an amazing community of fellow believers.
To my Fellows Class, I save the biggest goodbye. They are my family now and from here on out, we are going to show this world what we got, and what we got is each other. By this, I mean that these Fellows have made each other different people in many ways and we are going to show this world our new-found selves by showing how we can break bread with community and grow in deeper relationships with others. We will show the world that we can work hard and enjoy our work because there is a greater reason to work than just money. We will show the world how we can volunteer the mess out of a church community. And most of all we will show the world that the love of Jesus Christ is within us and He is the foundation of our work, our relationships, and our community!! I am proud to be a part of the Fellows Class of 2017 and I will miss them dearly, but this is not goodbye, my brother and sisters, for I will see you soon.
All of this to say…The Nashville Fellows Program has impacted the rest of my life and I am absolutely better off because of it. Please, if you aren’t already, reach out and get involved with this incredible program, because this train is rollin’ and it Ain’t. Gonna. Stop! Peace.