Monday, December 30, 2019

UPDATE December 30

Brianne Schapira is one special wonder woman

It's not every UPDATE that we get to celebrate a Fellow on their birthday - but this is one, so we are taking advantage of it. 


Brianne is that sparkle that every community needs. Her positive attitude, her genuine love for others and her passion for Jesus is one of the driving forces behind what has made this Fellows year so special. Happy Birthday, Brianne! We are so thankful you are here!

At work

Running with her host family

A master at the art of selfie

May this next year be your best year yet!


One of the things that I tell potential Fellows about us is that there is no city anywhere that has embraced Fellows the way this city has embraced theirs. It truly is remarkable. I am proud of us!

As you are finishing up your giving year, please consider supporting the Winston-Salem Fellows financially. We are a little behind our targets and need your help to stay ahead of schedule. 

Giving is simple. 

Send checks to 
Winston-Salem Fellows
PO Box 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

Or online

consider giving monthly. 
you can set this up through our giving page.

Thank you! 


Brianne also spreads the good news

We are in the recruiting season. Our early application deadline has come and past. We are now into a rolling season. We have a couple great Fellows already signed on, but we are looking for more. 

If you know of anyone who is looking for an opportunity of a lifetime, please put them in touch with us. You might be the critical link between your friend and their future!

connect us today!



We continued the Erickson tradition of spending a portion of the holidays with the Simpson side of the family. When I married Lia I knew I was marrying an amazing woman - but I had no idea that I was also winning the in-law lottery. 
Our Fellows received so well-earned rest (several of them got sick!) over the holidays. We are exchanging lots of texts about how much we miss each other. At the same time, it is so good to be at home. 

Here is Mattie greening the church back in Florence, SC


First thing in January we will be heading to the coast for a Testimony Advance. 

A Fellows tradition - we share our life stories with each other at the midway point of the year. It is a critical moment. We have spent enough time with each other to feel comfortable sharing our whole stories, but we have enough time ahead of us to be able to walk along each other and be part of the healing. It is one of the most special times of the year. Can't wait. 

Second weekend in January. Board Retreat. A great time to be together, to reflect, to strategize, and to make progress. 

Rest of January, Fellows are back in the swing of things. Two new classes. Recruiting trips. Round Tables and Leader Lunches, and a few surprises up our sleeves!

Hi Ho here we go!


Luminary walk Sunday night

Plasma balling

Pro Golf fun while the ladies were at the Nutcracker

Evy was an angel. Like in the ballet.

We wen to this thing called Under World. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Like I am going to do it once.


But got some sweet pics of the lady

and the dudes

Ping Ponging in the basement

Pro Golf. I held my own (to my surprise - and everyone elses!)

Salem didn't eat for several days she missed us so much

The girls

the fam

Updating passports. yay

every neighborhood has that house. 



the golfers

all my teeth

the purple cousins

she's on fire - not literally

a guy was driving by and saw us struggling with the camera. he parked in a random driveway. ran over. and took our pics. thanks guy!

David and Mabel. Salem's cousin (like the dog is actually Salem's cousin)

me and the dude

goats in a tree

I really am starting to look like my dad

Anna Rose by the good old UA bear. We have history. 


Monday, December 23, 2019

UPDATE Week of December 23 - aka CHRISTMAS!


Sophie-Earle drew this for her white elephant gift Monday night. As you can imagine, it was stolen multiple times!


There was a whole lot of Christmas going on this week. (There is also a lot of photos...see below) 

It has been an absolutely amazing fall. This Fellows class is something special and ending 2019 with them was sweet, made all the sweeter knowing that I'll get to begin 2020 with them as well!


The theme of this year has been all things thumbs up
Love when the house is full of Fellows cheer
Jackson and JM discuss the German response to the Holocaust among other things
Sophie-Earle was coming off her office's Christmas party
We had a Fellows "White Elephant" slash "Dirty Santa" much fun was had by all. To our surprise, there wasn't as much stealing this year as in years past. 

The big winner was Sophie-Earle's water color...

is she talented or what?

One of my favorite Winston-Salem traditions is the Moravian Love Feast. The Fellows have adapted and incorporated this beautiful, meaningful practice into one of the ways we close out the year with each other. Truly one of my favorite times. 

Hef reads during the Love Feast

The chapel at First Pres

This year's crew...most of them (two were stuck on the tarmac!)
This year we upgraded our Christmas Party big time (thanks to our incredible Board and Hef!)

On Wednesday night, about a hundred of our friends gathered to celebrate Jesus and take a moment to be merry with each other. 

Hannah and Joann her mentor

Me and Greg's family
Sophie-Earle and her host family the Nelsons

Reiley and Emily Bing her host

Tara Stokes and her two Fellows

Fellows Alumns coming far and wide

Mattie and Deb her host mom and employer partners Kyle and Dan
Thanks to all! What a night!


This year, the Fellows really went all in for Christmas for the City. Special Shout Out to Mattie Weldon who volunteered hours and hours and hours to getting this event off the ground...(then got sick and couldn't attend. UGH!)

JM also went WAY ABOVE AND BEYOND as the Love Out Loud Intern. So proud of him!

Great Job JM!

Hannah helps at the toy table
Bill McClain provided the sound for the event
Reiley at the toy factory
Another great event!

Nothing gets me in the Christmas Spirit or gives me as much hope for the world as Christmas for the City!

See Below for more fun!


The Fellows need your support. As you are considering where to give your year end support -please consider sending a portion to the Winston-Salem Fellows. Your investment goes a long way. Thanks!

Winston-Salem Fellows
PO Box 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

or give online

you can even give monthly there!

It is an honor to work in this capacity for our city and His Kingdom. Thank you for playing such an important role in making it happen!

If you haven't seen our it is!


We are in a small lull in the application season and praying for a big uptick as students finish exams and head home for the holidays. Every week we receive encouragement and setbacks. Such is the season. 

Please Pray! Also, as you are visiting with friends and family over the holiday, take advantage of the opportunity to tell them about the Fellows opportunity. Then, take the step to connect them to us!



Hef rallies the troops for a photo

David and I go to the Star Wars movie on opening night

Greg has a very special friend come visit. Thumbs up for Lisa (Destiny)

Fellows Reunion at Wisemans Friday night!

Goats in a tree

I caught Hef at work

Destiny is the goat whisperer

Reiley will not be framed

We went to see the Old Salem Christmas Carol at SECCA on Saturday. My great friend Justin was Bob Cratchett. His daughter was Tiny Tim!

Hef continues to try to get our act together

Always on the go...if you haven't had a Bingo-Bango need to have one. 2020 is the year we blow this amazing soft drink company up!

Soleil says hello to the camera

Johnny our auxiliary Fellow at the Chritmas Party

Greg swings both of Hef's kids at the Christmas PArty

I spent Friday getting the house ready for Lia and Anna Rose's horse Mom and Daughter Party

Not bad if I do say so myself

Jacob as himself

Reiley gets framed

Desirae on onesy day

David got to be on stage prior to the show

Hef continues to work on us getting our acts together


 Keeping sharing the story and spreading the love!

Merry Christmas!