The Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist Student Ministry on campus, has a busy year ahead of them, including weekly Bible studies, mission trips, and even a retreat to Panama City.
Valdosta State University’s Wesley Foundation began in 1960, when a judge and his family decided to donate their house to the church organization. That same house is still located on Patterson, across from the front lawn, where the Wesley Foundation does everything to live up to its mission statement–“to minister to students on campus and to further the Kingdom of God in the area He has called us to.”
Despite its Methodist title, the Wesley Foundation is open to everyone, not just Methodists. The worship services will be parallel to the Methodist traditions, but anyone is welcome to attend, whether already sure of their faith or still searching.
Last year, the Wesley Foundation held what was called the “Wesley Cycle of Hope”, in which several of its members bicycled across the county, stopping to minister in several cities in an attempt to eradicate the rumor that poverty and homelessness are direct outcomes of laziness.
In an effort to get the campus involved, the Wesley Foundation has plenty of events open for students and faculty, such as intramural sports teams and weekly Bible studies.
“Freshly” is a Bible study held at the Wesley house on Mondays at 7pm solely for freshman, and “Pursuit” is a worship service held on Wednesdays in the UC Theater at 8 p.m. that is open to everyone. Every Thursday at 12:30p.m., the Wesley Foundation also holds “Lunch for a Buck,” where members serve either a lunch that they prepared themselves, or a fast food lunch, both for only one dollar. The Wesley Foundation’s Leadership team, composed of the students who have applied for positions, heads these Bible studies and other events such as prayer and missions.
The Wesley Foundation is planning bigger events as well, including a retreat to Panama City sometime this October.
Also still in the planning stages is “His Hands,” a program available to the whole campus that will connect people with volunteer opportunities in the Valdosta area.
“People want to do good,” says Natali Martinez, a member of the Wesley Foundation in charge of His Hands. “We’re just giving them the resources.”
“His Hands” will make it easier for students and faculty to find ways to volunteer for organizations such as the Boys and Girls’ Club of America.