Tuesday, May 29, 2018

UPDATE - Week of May 28

So happy I got to lean on these folks this year


It was a sweet and special last week together as we closed out the second year of the Winston-Salem Fellows Program. 

ROUND TABLE - for our last Round Table we celebrated two birthdays! Kate's and Sarah's - both born on the same day - not in the same place. 

Kate Donahoo on her favorite instrument

Sarah Wilkins on her new favorite instrument

We ate leftovers from the graduation. Understandably, we were all a little bit mellow from such a big weekend. We also had our final "Advance" to anticipate - not to mention that Fellows have lots of other life items to sort out. Nevertheless, we had balloons and a cookie cake, and a sweet time of sharing.


Day 1 - The goal of our final week together is to help all of us gain perspective on what the year has meant for us. It is also a time to end well with each other. This includes: time for reflection, time for having that conversation you need to have, time for memory-making, time for laughter, and time for tears - all this happened. 

Salem was a hit...

Salem's first rainbow

I have an "exit interview" with each Fellow, so where as the Fellows get a lot of free time - I do not (although there is little I love more than to spend time one on one with these guys). 

The view from where Sarah and I had our exit interview

Morgan and I swang during our exit interview
Tuesday night, we went to one of my favorite places in the world: the Alleghany Jubilee. 

I think Ashley was out there the entire time

Agnes, the former owner, let me borrow her crockpot. I had forgotten to bring mine from home and I needed it for chicken taco night on Wednesday. THANK YOU AGNES!

Tate demonstrates the correct posture for banjo playing - according to the picture

Day 2 - The weather as you know was up and down all week. For the most part, we were super fortunate. On Day 2, we spent a lot of time on the water. 

Getting lathered up
Then went tubing.
 We were going to do the two hour ride, but the water was so fast that the two hour ride was actually less than an hour and the four hour ride was actually the two hour ride, so we did the four hour ride and it took took hours - even with us all tied together in one massive flotilla.

What a hoot!

Salem's first kayak ride
Day 3 - We finished up in the mountains and headed down south: first, for our final Leader Lunch. This one was hosted by Inmar.

What a great line up: David Mounts, Sharon Joyner-Payne, Rob Zomok, and Fred Jorgenson. We left inspired. As one of our Fellows put it: "This whole year we have been talking about what it looks like to really integrate our faith in our work - Inmar actually does it."

Thank you guys!

Afterward, we jumped in cars and headed to Lake Norman for our final twenty-four hours together.

Thank you Todd and Becca!


an amazing night of worship and lifting up the way we see Jesus in each other

One of the very best moments of the year
Day 4 - Was our final time together.

Starting with quiet times

We watched Natalie's Year In Review One Second Video - So fun

Then, it was good-byes...really just see ya laters.

several of the gals went to the beach
Grace, Sarah and Natalie hitting the town
I cruised back up to the mountains for a fun filled Memorial Day with our friends Cooper, Beth, Thomas, Wesley and Susannah

The Williams Family

Will and Mary Page tied the know Saturday evening
Rahel, Camille and Jessica road tripped

Sean, Campbell and Dakota (not pictured) were there too

We danced like crazy
Also in attendance were Charlie and Ann Barham (Charlie was Will's Fellows employer) and Rob and Becky Paynter (they were Will's host parents).

Rob even made me wear this ridiculous unicorn mask!

What a night!

I ended up camping out on the property before driving back to meet up with my family the next day.

We went hiking at Stone Mountain
The kids had no fun - ha!

We had a memorial service for Winnie

We celebrated my dad's birthday yesterday.


This week...
- My neighbor and I are trapping the raccoons who are getting after our chickens!
- Tuesday. Getting my head on straight. I went to the doctor this morning because I've been having these weird nerve symptoms in my right arm - he called my nerves (a good thing) but some further testing will need to be done - to be continued.
- Wednesday. Meetings and NO LEADER LUNCH! Ha! BUT!!! A lunch with Jessica Kok who will be moving to Norwich England at the end of the summer and his leaving Winston Friday. (next to Lia - couldn't have a better lunch date)
- Thursday. Meetings all day with the National Center for Teacher Residencies...more on that later
- Friday. Hopefully sunshine and lots of friends...

So proud of you Jessica

Ashley with her host fam at a trampoline park

Rahel just graduated from Duke and will be going into medical consulting (fall back - med school)

The kids made my fishing an adventure

Tate is convinced that he is Salem's favorite

The record so far on the paddle board is 4

puppy love

fellows love

summer love

family love

Let's keep sharing and spreading the love!!!

Monday, May 21, 2018

UPDATE Week of May 21

Mr. Bill well-wishing the Fellows as they embark

This week marks the next to last week of our Second Fellows Class. After year one, I couldn't imagine it getting any better - and then it did. (Don't worry, inaugural class - you will always be first in my heart.) 

At the same time, the WS Fellows is undoubtedly getting sweeter and sweeter. I couldn't be happier about that. 

ROUND TABLE was celebrated at David and Shannon Rainey's home. (No pics to prove it) But I great time was had by all. A highlight was Shannon sharing a poem that had been shared with her. So thankful for the Rainey family. 
Grace and host mom Holly this week

LEADER LUNCH was hosted by Summit School. We had the chance to eat lunch with eighth graders and then meet with the lead team at the school. I actually missed lunch (hence the lack of pics) because David came down with a wicked virus this week that put him out of commission Tuesday-Friday. Poor dude.

On Saturday, we had an ice cream social for the parents coming into town, and several eighth graders from Summit showed up after their dance recital. By the way they waved and giggled at the Fellows, I could tell our Fellows made an impact! So cool. 

Rocking the chairs

FRIDAY BRUNCH we had no class on Friday which gave us the chance to fulfill Morgan's one wish for the Fellows: to eat together at Cracker Barrel!

I have no idea why I don't do this every week!

The loaded hashbrown casserole - COME ON!!!


David finally felt better Friday afternoon!

My folks came down for the weekend. One thing I love about Mom and Dad is how they love to plunge into activity. Well plunge in they did!


Me and Ms. Terry

On Saturday, the Fellows (any my parents) volunteered over at the Salvation Army on New Walkertown Rd. for their Community Day. 

What a day it was!

Vendors galore. Hotdogs and hamburgers and funnel cakes!

The boys held down the game room

It's basketball themed thanks to the Chris Paul family foundation!

The gals took care of Arts and Crafts

David made friends. 

Nice photo bomb JP!

You'll notice David wore the same Mexico soccer jersey all week...

We went for a hike that afternoon at beautiful Bethabara Park


The Bonds, Trewhellas, Bayers, and Sams and others pictured here

What a treat! (pardon the pun) to meet the parents and families of the Fellows! We had ice cream and laughs until we got kicked out by the ballet recital!!!

Then, we moved outside to have more ice cream and laughs. 

The Wilkins and Sams
It was great to shake hands and tell these parents THANK YOU! for raising such amazing children. 


Antonius our "thirteenth" Fellow came to celebrate!

One-hundred twenty-five plus family members, mentors, host families, employers and friends came to celebrate on Sunday the end of an amazing year.

We had been praying hard for good weather and what a day it was!!!

I really hope there are more pictures out there....

This event could not have been sweeter. Each Fellow was presented by either a mentor or host family or employer. Lots of laughs. Happy tears were shed. Karver Bolton and Stephen Edwards (two of the founding fathers) prayed for them.

the graduates


Although the Fellows are "graduated" their year is not yet over. Tonight we have Round Table, and Tuesday through Friday we have our END WELL ADVANCE (Fellows don't Retreat). We even have a Leader Lunch on Thursday at Inmar.


Wednesday night we had our May Board Meeting. It was a celebratory evening as we welcomed on four new board members:

Ben Jones
Beth Hatch Hilliard
JT Turner
Shannon Rainey

What a line up!

We also had the chance to celebrate three amazing men who are rolling off the board:

Charley Donohoe
Karver Bolton
Stephen Edwards

These men were all influential in the birthing of the Fellows Program. This is a true statement: the Fellows would not exist if it wasn't for these three men. Thank you guys.



love each other!


There is never a dull moment in Fellows World. We have seven men and five women committed to come next year! Over the summer we will be introducing them to you. 

They need jobs!
They need homes!
They need mentors!

This is the time to let me know if you are interested in volunteering in one of these or in other ways with the 2018-19 class. 


Future Fellows need your support!!!

This week, I was sitting in my office with a future Fellow with tears streaming down our faces as we sat there overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family members. 

Friends, Financial Support is more than providing the resources to enable us to do what we do. It is the encouragement we need to do it!

Thank you for your support his year. 

If you would like to provide encouragement to us this week, send checks to 

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

checks payable to WS Fellows

or give online at wsfellows.com/give


Round Table Tonight just me and the Fellows.

Leader Lunch on Thursday with the Leadership Team at Inmar

End Well Advance will be Tuesday though Thursday. Half mountains/half lake (I LOVE WINSTON-SALEM!) We will have a lot of fun, a few surprises, probably more than a few tears, good worship, tons of affirmation and prayer. This is our chance to mark the end to an amazing chapter and to make a plan to carry on what we have learned. 



Can't wait to celebrate!


Keep sharing the story and spreading the love...

Ashley and the Boosterthon team

Me and Jordan Lloyd are scheming up big things for the Y

Abbey's last picture in winston-salem

Grace was at a wedding with her all college buds