Tuesday, December 12, 2017

UPDATE - Week of December 11

Natalie and host family brother, Hank, wishing you Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays

Apologies not getting this out yesterday. My day got away from me...I will explain farther down this blog post. 


That was sure unexpected. 

What wasn't was another exciting week in Fellows world, which is a lot like regular world but with Fellows in it. 


Julie Bell went solo host for Round Table. 

Julie didn't wear a tacky sweater but she did make the world's greatest pot of chili
We were sad to miss dinner with Dudley, but we did the best we could without him. 

I love long tables with friends all around
We learned about Bell family traditions like the candle of togetherness and the ornament shrapnel baggie.

Ashley was pretty fired up about her Tacky Sweater at Round Table

So was Sarah

There was lots of love going on the couch

Like I said. Lots of Love
Of all the Fellows, Tucker was probably the most excited about the White Elephant portion of the night. He ended up with a poop emoji hair band. 

So excited about the poop emoji

Abbey was pretty fired up about her bacon ornament

Morgan gave the night a sideways two


Melissa Perrell and the Fellows

Melissa Perrell, Patient Advocacy Officer with Novant Health, provided us with one of the best Leader Lunches yet.

Abbey Sams works with her and it was an added bonus for Abbey to show us around her workplace. Melissa, for her part, was everything I have come to expect from her: strong, passionate, wise, vulnerable, and inspirational.

THANK YOU MELISSA!!! You rock!!!


Thanks to Wake Forest's Eudaimonia Institute (eudaimonia means "human flourishing") the Fellows had the opportunity to hear from Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. 

Yunus is the man
Our professor, Dr Jack Wilkerson, had taught us about him a few weeks ago. Little did we know at the time we were going to meet the man!!!

Grace making friends prior to the lecture

Muhammad Yunus has such a beautiful way of observation and simple problem solving that blows me away.

All of us left inspired!


Speaking of Dr. Jack Wilkerson.

Friday we finished up both Jack's class and Clay's class.

(Picture fail)

We did write our professors letters...

This was Jack's beautiful response: "Okay, if your goal was to make this old man cry with what you wrote, then I’d say, “Mission well and truly accomplished!”

In all seriousness (as if what I just wrote wasn’t serious), thanks so much for the kind words each of you wrote. I hope you could tell that I enjoyed our time together this semester every bit as much as you did.

I wish you an excellent holiday and a thoroughly enjoyable and productive spring semester." 

Clay wrote me: "Hey man thanks so much for organizing all the Fellows to write me thank you messages [by the way - the Fellows organized this - I did nothing except turn my portion in late]. Very kind. Too kind. And loved your Augustine quote."

Thank you Jack and Clay! I'm sure other Fellows programs have great professors - but they aren't better than you two!

Looking forward:

I just sat down (actually we walked) with our first professor of the Spring.

Joe Moore, Director of Spiritual Formation for Intervarsity International, will be teaching us Spiritual Formation. If his class is half as good as what we talked about on our walk - we are in for a treat!

Rob Alexander, author of Gospel Centered Life at Work, will be our other professor kicking off the Spring. He will be teaching us about the Theology of Work.

As you can see, we will not be hurting for quality learning.


JANUARY 27 - Redeemer Presbyterian Church 9-1pm

ENNEAGRAM SYMPOSIUM hosted by the Winston-Salem Fellows, featuring Fil Anderson. 

Have you been hearing all the chatter about the Enneagram lately? Have you been wondering what it is all about? Have you been told what your number is but left confused not knowing exactly what to do with it?

Well, Fil is coming to help.

The Enneagram is one of the most insightful avenues into self-awareness out there. It is also one of the most unhelpful when you don't understand its purpose and context.

If that is you - this symposium will help you.

Details to come! Can't wait!

a few more items:


Thank you for supporting the Fellows! We can't do any of this without your generosity.

If you were waiting for the right time to give - this is it!

write checks to: Winston-Salem Fellows

send to: 851 W. 5th St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or go online: wsfellows.com/give

It's easy and you can even set up monthly donations!

Also, if your company offers matching gifts - let us know and we will fill out the paper work!!! Woo-Hoo!


The Ericksons need prayer.

I had a great marathon. Thanks for praying. I was hacking up phlegm throughout but managed to reach my goal of qualifying for Boston with a 3:06:16 time. Praise the Lord!

I was running really well until about mile 20 and then the wheels started coming off. My calves started cramping and I had to tone it down or they were going to lock up.

It was a good metaphor for life back home.

Please pray for the Ericksons:
- Ned's car key fell off his key chain somewhere on Winston-Salem State's campus yesterday!!! Yikes!
- Wilbur the guinea pig has some jacked up teeth that will prevent him from eating if not dealt with!!! Yikes!
- Then, the HEAT STOPPED WORKING last night. Lia texted me during Round Table. All I could do is write "That Stinks"

We have a guy coming to fix it this evening. I was planning on going to Samaritan Inn tonight anyway to spend the night. I guess if he can't fix it, I'll just bring everybody!!!


Ashley was there somewhere. Do you think they covered her in snow?

The female Fellows had a sleepover Friday night.

The making of a snowman

Grace had never made a gingerbread house before

Putting on the final touches

There's Ashley!

The kids played too

There he is

Anna Rose makes snowman building an artform

I got home on Sunday in time to drive up to the mountains to cut down a tree. It was pure Griswald with the snow. We cut down a nice 20 footer then brought 11.5 feet of it back home.

Little Full. Lots sap.

This is so hilarious to me

We cut it down to size and now it only takes up a quarter of the living room.

Fortunately, our house is so cold, the tree feels right at home.

David thought that last joke was only mildly amusing.


Looking Forward:

Round Table - Christmas Party 2 of 3 at the Wilsons. 
Leader Lunch with Dr. Nathan Hatch. 

Meeting today with Chancellor Elwood Robinson. This is important. Pray!


Monday, December 04, 2017

UPDATE December 4


the Fellows are celebrating at their homes away from home!

Sarah Wilkins and Host Mom Lisa Meyer trying on some festive gear

Abby and Sarah Kent guard the Trollingers tree (Kate Donahoo's host fam)

More Christmas Tree Shopping - The Browers now smile like Grace!
more Christmas cheer to come!!!

(also scroll to the end of this blog for a save the date announcement)

MONDAY ROUND TABLE @ Bill and Myrtie Davis

You always feel at home at the Davis home

It takes an energetic super-couple to volunteer to host Round Table the day after Thanksgiving Break - good thing we have Bill and Myrtie! 

The only hard thing about being with Bill and Myrtie is leaving!

Chapel Hill alums right there

Myrtie and Sarah have a special connection

The Fellows love the Davis'

EXTRA SPECIAL LEADER LUNCH @ Kim and Crick Watkins with Lia Erickson!

It works out well when you need a Leader to speak at Leader Lunch and you happen to be married to one of the most incredible women in Winston-Salem!

Lia's story is beyond inspirational. 

And I can't remember crying at a Leader Lunch but I can now!

Thank you Kim and Crick Watkins for opening up your home to us. I love you!!!!

Grace and JP helped me pick up food

Mortimer really wanted to eat Tate's tacos
Later that afternoon I showed up early to 14th Community Center to dance with these leaders (and gentlemen). I had promised to show up and they had been reminding me about my promise for about a month! Ha!

Gerry was my personal instructor

Line Dancing


After class the Fellows enjoyed some warm December sunshine

Outdoor eating

Barefoot Tree Climbing

Can you believe there are still leaves on the tree!

then it was time to go to the Black Nativity!!!

the Fellows and some cast members

Pregame at the purple Christmas Tree

Caleb was wearing a purple tie

Ned was wearing the suit John Barber bequeathed to him. Nigel had the same one in 1974
Nigel forced me into an impromptu interview about the show at Starbucks earlier in the week.

I'd do anything for Nigel. It's true. 


You're welcome.


Mistletoe Half-Marathon

met some fun people on the road - this is me down the home stretch
Barn Party

Our band was missing half our members, but with the help of Kate Donahoo we managed to put on quite a show. Thanks Kate!

Good Golly Miss Molly!
thank you Lia for getting us this sweet gig. Teenage girls galore! Hahahhahahahaahaahahha!


the Fellows went to Wake Forest for the Annual Love Feast. Having been asked to lead worship at David Speakman's installation service, I bowed out of joining them

They seemed to be doing fine without me
Except that Tate did not heed my instructions to put the bun on top of the coffee to keep the bun warm

This is what happens Tate!


We have been so blessed this year. Thank you! 

Here is the information if you would like to donate to the mission! 

or send checks to 

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th St. 
Winston-Salem, NC 27101




The Fellows Present - A Community Event on the ENNEAGRAM - with Special Presenter Fil Anderson, President of Journey Resources and author of Running on Empty and Breaking the Rules. 

More info to come


Monday - Round Table at Dudley and Julie Bells 
We will be decorating their tree and then having a white elephant gift exchange

Wednesday - Leader Lunch with Melissa Phipps, Vice President of Patient Services Novant Health

Later - Going to see Muhammad Yunnus - Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Friday - Last Class with Jack Wilkerson and Clay Cooke - what a semester it has been!

then Ned is off to run the Kiawah Marathon! Pray for me!!!

Setting the mood for Will Troxler's proposal a week ago! Way to go Will!

What a week!

Monday, November 27, 2017

UPDATE Week of November 27


The future looks bright for Morgan

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all!

We had a short week in Fellows World. 

ROUND TABLE was hosted by Blair and Katie and Frances and Nate and Maggie and Lucy Whitworth. They sprung for some Mrs. Pumpkin Chicken Pies. A personal favorite. 

We wrote down things we were thankful for on these paper leaves and posted them on the "thankfulness" wall. The Whitworths do that kind of thing. 

Frances showed us the project she has been working on for school (she used two Fellows as models - can you tell which ones?)

They are supposed to look scared and mean

A striking resemblance wouldn't you say!

Grace gave Maggie space buns. 

Maggie is a great sport

Thanks Whitworths for a great evening!

TUESDAY Tucker and I went through three baskets of chips and one very large Dos Equis at La Caretta as I got to listen to how things were going and where he was hoping to get. 

I love my job. 

THURSDAY through SATURDAY I was with family. 

Twenty one of us and three dogs!

We got to get loved on by Nathaniel Giles, my nephew

We managed to get most of us in one picture

More photos later. 


Abbey is thankful for community

Natalie is thankful for her host family the Lenhams

Tate is thankful for his mentor, Charlie

Patrick is thankful for the weekly scheduled events so he can see folks' faces on a regular basis

Kate is thankful for Sky Trollinger (her host family's golden retriever) and Morgan's laugh

Morgan is thankful for community and the amazing people she has gotten to meet

Caleb is thankful for how formativ the Fellows experience is and that he gets to walk through life with amazing people

Grace is thankful for her host family, the Browers

JP is thankful for his job and to be part of this community

Tucker is thankful for this dope community of Christian peers and for free rent at the Paynters

Ashley is thankful for great new friends

Sarah is thankful for the people she has been introduced to through this program

Ned is straight up thankful


I was given the opportunity to be part of a House Blessing yesterday at great friends of the Fellows Kevin and Beth Frack. Here is a sneak peek!

Thank you guys!!!


Monday we have a repeat dinner at the home of Bill and Myrtie Davis. Woo hoo!

Tuesday we are launching the Winston-Salem Book Club (not sure if the name is taken). Let me know if you are interested in becoming a part of the Club! Our first book is When Breath Becomes Air - don't tell me what happens. I have fifty pages to go!!!

Wednesday we have an extra extra special Leader Lunch. Then small group. Then mentoring. 

Thursday some peeps are going to check out a Jazz Joint on the Southside of town. 

Friday we have class then we are thinking about swinging an afternoon Candle Tea then we are volunteering at the Black Nativity! (the best Christmas show in town! I'm telling you!)

Saturday is the Mistletoe Half Marathon and a barn party. 

Sunday is the Wake Forest Love Feast!

Whew!!! What a week!


here is how you can give to the Fellows. 

Or mail checks written out to 

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Here are some more photos from the holiday

Abbey catching air with friends

Rahel, Jessica and Campbell supporting Christina in her Spartan race

David warming by the fire

Isaiah and Abbey lighting it up

Keep sharing the word and spreading the love