Pictured first row, Graylin Carlton and Dianne Horton; middle row, Brooks Johnson and Renee Rutherford; back row, Zack King and Anita Holmes; Melissa Stancil (not pictured)

by Emily Viverette

Congratulations to the second cohort of FaithHealth Fellows!

On April 27, the seven community leaders graduated to become “Fellows for Life.” For the past 18 months, the FaithHealth Fellows gathered quarterly to learn theory, seek consultation, share inspiration and explore FaithHealth work in various locations across the state. These graduates included representatives from chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, nursing, and public health. The diversity of fields represented point to the new levels of collaboration required to build bridges for better health in our communities.

Previous graduates and current Fellows hosted the various meetings and shared how their local FaithHealth work was unfolding. These meetings included visits to a Burke County, Catawba County, Harnett County, Forsyth County and Wilkes County. The Fellows took field trips to clinics, churches, food and social assistance ministries that modeled innovated faith and community partnerships. The final meeting, held at Shaw University, gave them the opportunity to tour an historic building, which currently houses Shaw University Divinity School. This building originally housed Leonard Medical School, which was the first medical school in the country to offer a four-year curriculum.

While these graduates fully enjoyed their exposure to new ideas, they relished the community of care that developed among them. In their final meeting, they shared how valuable it was to come together in a supportive setting in which they all spoke the familiar language of FaithHealth. As a means of saying goodbye to each other, they shared words of wisdom that carried them through difficult times. Below are a couple that represent the hope that stirred the hearts of these faithful leaders.

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. — Saint Augustine

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.  — Martin Luther King, Jr.