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

Monday, November 20, 2017

UPDATE Week of November 20

Four on a couch! This is a rare sight for the guy Fellows. 


This week we received our third acceptance for our 2018-19 Fellows Class! I don't know who else God will bring to us, but I can honestly say that based on the three we have - it is going to be an AWESOME YEAR! 

Meet Andrew Miller

Andrew is coming to us from Toledo, Ohio. Graduating in May from Cedarville College with a degree in Marketing and Finance, he has already been putting his skills to use by launching a fitness apparel business. It's called Living RX Fitness. Check it out 

Here is their mission: Living Rx Fitness is a quality fitness apparel brand driven towards pursuing the purpose-filled life. Rx means “as prescribed” and we at Living Rx Fitness make it our goal to live to the fullest purpose possible. We believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be the ultimate prescription.

So cool.

Meet Abby Holdsworth

Abby hails from Wilmington, NC. My friend and her pastor Paul Phillips hates to see her go - but as a Wake Forest Alumni, he is cool with her coming to Winston. She, too, has an entrepreneurial streak. Check this out! Can anyone say, CHRISTMAS!

Meet Sarah Alexander

Sarah is graduating in December from Appalachian. Some of you may recognize her because she is one of the all time greatest products of this fine city! I am SO PUMPED to have her back. (You're welcome!) Sarah also has some seriously mad creativity skills, having designed some of my favorite Young Life shirts while she was in high school, she has only gotten better. Currently, she is working at Grace Laced - check this out! I mean come on!!!

Can you tell we are excited!!!!


This week, the Fellows took an interesting turn. A good one but not easy. 

Was at host family and friends - The Trollingers. The baked ziti was out of this world. 

The guys got cozy in the basement

We welcomed two special guests: Dr. Heath Greene and Holly Heath to talk to us about mental health and what it is like to go to counseling. Heath and Holly did a fabulous job, first, sharing their stories of how they chose their career path; then second, debunking some myths about counselors and getting counseling; and third, describing for us what to expect in a counseling relationship. 

It was so helpful. As I say, "Everyone would benefit from a counselor. It's the healthy people who go to one."

Heath on the left is chit chatting it up over baked ziti and salad


Was with the Area Director of Greater Forsyth County Young Life, Andrew Boyd. Fresh off celebrating Young Life's sixtieth anniversary in this city, Andrew shared his story with us. 

Additionally, Andrew has done extensive research on the area of pornography and the effects of pornography. Obviously, a big topic for this day and age - but not easy to talk about. Andrew, however, covers the issue with grace, humor, truth and empathy. By the way, it is intentional that I have him speak to both our guy and our gal fellows. It's not a male problem, folks. Statistically, anywhere between 30-50% of females struggle with porn! 

Andrew is the guy with the beard in the back

Afterward, we did split up by gender to talk about the issue. So helpful. THANK YOU ANDREW!

Last week, our beloved Bill McClain lost his niece, Jackie, in a terrible car accident. Probably several of you in town might have heard about it. Jackie is survived by six children! Needless to say, it has been a difficult week. 

Bill reading a sympathy card from the Fellows

I have learned so much from this man. No less this week as I watched him struggle with the pain. I was honored to stand by him as he gave the eulogy at her funeral the following day. (Red was her favorite color).

Bill knocked it out of the park


Tate Heisler and Grace Mezzy celebrated birthdays!!!

We took them out to Sweet Potatoes for lunch Friday. YUM!

And played this song:

Grace introduced us to this little diddy - it's become an instant classic at the Erickson household

Kate and Natalie hosted a Friendsgiving Celebration for Youth Group

Kate brought Anna Rose even though she is only in fifth grade. We did not mind!!!

Grace helped out with Operation Christmas Child at River Oaks

Not Pictured: JP spent his Saturday helping the outdoor crew clean up and beautify Speas Elementary School

Katherine Bell sent me a picture of the article I wrote for Young Life Relationships Magazine

Adelaide drew a picture of Ned and Clay
Adelaide's fifth grade class is reading Clay. Word on the street is they are loving it.

Lia and Bill Davis
We spent Tuesday evening with good friends at the Budd Farm raising money for Mission Emanuel. 

Stone Mountain

Can anyone say Patagonia catalogue?

We got rejected by like twenty-one people but had fun anyway up at Stone Mountain.

Beautiful day. Beautiful girl

Throw back from last week: Reese's parents were in town - forgot how cruddy the weather was!

The Demon Deacons eeked out a victory!!!


You know what I am thankful for? YOU!

None of this would happen without your prayer and support.

Keep it coming!!!


Most Fellows will be out of town for Thanksgiving on a well-deserved break. Tonight we will have Round Table at The Whitworths. Thanks Blair and Katie!!!

No Leader Lunch.

The Ericksons will be back and forth between Winston and the mountains, spending time with friends and family.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Thanks again, friends.

Keep sharing the story and spreading the love.

Monday, November 13, 2017

UPDATE Week of November 13

Caleb had a ball at the High School Youth Retreat this weekend


We are easing into a new season of Fellows life with less program and more relationship. The Fellows used the time to spread the love around town and beyond. And I was able to meet with several of them one on one. A great week.


Round Table at the Wilsons- Patricia cooked us up a beef stew for the ages. All I can say is WOW! Thank you guys. Sarah Wilkins led us in a discussion about community that was timely in how it brought us back to the basics and reminded us not to take what we have been given for granted. Thanks Sarah!

Leader Lunch with Chuck Spong - Chuck is hands down one of the best men I know. He has his eyes on so many parts of the city we blitzed through our hour and a half with him in what felt like fifteen minutes. Thanks Chuck for imparting your passion and wisdom onto us! So thankful for you!

Can you find Chuck amidst the Fellows?

Fellows surviving the parking craziness in the innovation quarter. 

Later that afternoon, Bill McClain and Ron Pegram gave us a driving tour of East Winston. It left a heavy impact. 

We had time afterward to hang out with some of our favorite kiddos in Winston-Salem!

I met with Will Troxler for a top secret meeting. (see tomorrow...) We also interviewed Sarah Alexander to be a Fellow for next year. Many of you know Sarah - many of you know how much of a rock star she is...fingers crossed!!!

Candlelight dinner with the kiddos

Classes were stellar. 
Met with several Fellows.

Grace met with her mentor at the new look Krankies

Cynthia Tessien sent us this little thank you photo from her adventures in Western Carolina

Morgan tried on hats in preparation for the youth retreat



Woo hoo!!!

We welcomed Dustin and Board Member Holly Heath and their son Owen up to the mountains for some fun in the cold.

Anna Rose is primed and ready to kill it as a babysitter!

David, Anna Rose and Owen

Our soup was on fire that night during our date

Thanks to Grace for babysitting

And introducing Anna Rose to ice cream with magic shell and crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

ONE FINAL CONGRATS! To Christina who finished her first Spartan Race!

Great Job Christina!

 There was other news...

Ashley went back to Clemson for a leader weekend.

Abbey was at a wedding with her boyfriend Isaiah

Sarah, Morgan, Ashley and Grace at least were at the Imago Dei thing last night...

The rest of us braved the cold to support T.O.A.S.T. Tanglewood

Ran into this friend by the fire

Sarah and Grace had a breakfast feast!

Shopped at Walmart

Tucker...I'm not sure what Tucker is thinking about in this picture...

Also SO GREAT TO MEET Reese's parents who were in town for the weekend!!!



- More one on ones...
- Round Table at the Trollingers with special guests Heath Greene and Holly Heath
- Leader Lunch with Andrew Boyd and Young Life Crew
- Board Meeting Wednesday Night



or send checks to 

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27104


The WS Fellows are Hosting a Special Community-wide Event on the Enneagram taught by Enneagram Scholar Fil Anderson on January 27! details to come. 

- pray for me as lots of things are popping...

Thanks all!

Keep spreading the love!