Your gift to the Wesley Foundation today helps to change lives tomorrow.
December 1 is #GivingTuesday. As nonprofits across the globe unite, please consider supporting the Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan. Times are tough and we are dealing with reduced income, due to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
We are serving in unprecedented times. To provide a safe environment for events and follow all federal and university guidelines, we face financial needs that did not exist before. We are also encountering extraordinarily high numbers of students who are mentally, socially, and spiritually at their limits. Your gift will help us serve students who desperately need a caring, non-judgmental, inclusive, and compassionate Christian community.
We rely on your donation to be able to carry out our mission to help equip students to live consequential lives of faith. Do you feel as though your donation would be too small? If there were 100 people that would support Wesley with $10 a month, that would be $12,000 a year for our campus ministry. That is less than 37 cents a day. People often think small gifts are not worth giving. A small sacrifice can lead to a big change when we do it together. Join our support team today!
Everything we do as a campus ministry is guided by God’s radical and inclusive love. This makes the Wesley Foundation a voice of hope at the University of Michigan! Thank you for your support!
Rev. Tim Kobler
Rev. Amy Terhune
Another peer minister was able to borrow a light display. We invited students from some of the other campus ministries and had quite a party in there. Much better than any frat party I ever went to (maybe because nobody got drunk and barfed all over the place…)
Another memory I have of my time at Wesley is that it’s the place where I met my first serious boyfriend. I remember going to work at a soup kitchen with other Wesley students just after we started dating. I was grinning like an idiot, and several of the clients coming through the line for food commented on my smiley nature. The seminary intern at the time was Dwayne Bagley (now a DS) and he started telling them all that I was “twitterpated”. They were very tolerant of me that day.
Finally, I remember a time that my computer crashed, and there was a line to get into the computer lab on campus. It was during finals week. I was about to lose it completely when the chaplain happened to call about something else. On realizing my plight, he drove back to campus, met me at the church and let me into the Wesley Office so I could use the computer there all night long to get my paper done. Not long after that, I was hired as a peer minister and got keys!!!
How do you think your involvement with Wesley aided your time as a student at the University of Michigan?
I know that without Wesley, I would have missed out on some friendships that have lasted even to the present day. It was a place I could go when I needed a safe place to share my fears and frustrations, my grief, or just to be myself. I could wrestle with God there, and when I did, nobody told I was “weak” or lacking faith. My junior year, in particular, was a very rough year, and I struggled with whether to remain in the United Methodist Church. The other students at Wesley, and the chaplain in particular, helped me to weather the heartbreaks and to discern my calling in life.
How do you think your Wesley involvement helped your career path? Or your faith journey?
I struggled in undergrad between a call to ministry and a pull towards law school. Wesley helped me understand that I could serve God either way, and to honestly assess my own gifts, skills, and the calling on my heart. It was through Wesley that I made my peace with the fact that the UMC is not as welcoming of the LGBTQIA+ community as I would like, and helped me form a commitment to fighting for justice from within the church.
Why do you remain involved with Wesley by serving on the Board?
They say that we aren’t really “fully adult” until all the neuro-pathways in our brains solidify, usually by our mid to late 20s. Those aged 18-25 are in a formative and invaluable point in their life journey, when they are learning to live on their own, take responsibility for their gifts and faults, and find their place. As we study our faith together and serve in mission, those neuro-pathways and the internal values that shape us are taking form and solidifying. Therefore, Campus ministry can make a profound difference in the journey and the development of engaged, faithful, hope-filled young people that may truly better our world for all of us.
Why do you choose to give to Wesley?
I give to Wesley to honor those who helped me when I was in college, and because campus ministry can make all the difference to a young person’s entire life trajectory.
Name one or two favorite memories you have about your time as a Wesley student.
One memory I have of my time at Wesley was the spring of 1994 when we decided to hold a dance in the Wesley Lounge. That afternoon, we moved all the furniture out and actually rolled up the rug (which was no small feat – it took 6-8 of us to roll it up). It felt very rebellious at the time, but probably wasn’t actually that big of a deal.
Campus ministry in a virtual environment has not slowed in our work for Christian education and faith development. We've moved our group discussions to Zoom, with added resource sharing in Facebook groups. Our work has supported the spiritual lives of students, helped us to do the hard work of antiracism, and engaged in conversations about the ecology/economy of water justice.
This virtual learning environment has helped students remain connected to our community wherever they may be.
Alternative Spring Break
Just prior to the shutdowns caused by COVID-19, we traveled to Puerto Rico to do hands-on ministry to help with the recovery efforts related to Hurricane Maria. We stayed at a local church and helped revitalize a damaged food/clothing pantry and a local community farm. Our team worked hard and learned a lot about the political challenges behind the recovery effort.
We won't be able to travel this year, due to ongoing restrictions, but we will be sponsoring a virtual 5k walk/run to raise funds for water justice issues. Look for more details soon!
Why I Support Wesley
How can one meet new friends in a large, pressure-packed, secular institution, whether in Ann Arbor or via video conference screens? I believe the Wesley Foundation provides supportive connections for students while they navigate through their college careers and their faith journeys. These small group connections with new friends and with Jesus and God help provide a joy-filled, foundational community in the
midst of an expansive university and Diane Brown
strenuous educational pursuits. For many, friendships found at Wesley last a lifetime. I believe engagement with Wesley helps young adults launch into their careers with a better life balance and strengthened faiths.
Class of 1971
I have often said that the Wesley Foundation at UM is one of the most uncomfortable places I know. That is a good thing. I came from a very homogeneous suburb of Columbus Ohio. I was not challenged to think about what I believed and why I believed it. I would make a statement as if it were fact and not my personal opinion or belief. At Wesley, I would make one of my usual statements and someone would say “Why do you believe that?” I would usually respond,
“What do you mean, why do I believe it? That’s the way it is.” For the first time, I had to really dig deep and really come to terms with what I believed about faith and social issues and why I believed it. Luckily, Wesley was the right place for that challenge. It was a safe space to explore and be open with my struggles. Wesley had a major impact on my life.