School has officially started and organizations on campus have begun to recruit members. New students and returners have signed up to participate in these fine organizations to have fun, build leadership skills, make a change or join a cause. As a returner and senior, I have been a part of and currently a member of many organizations on campus including, student government association, The Spectator, active minds and Mortar Board honor society. This year, I decided to try something new, too. This past Wednesday I walked from my room at the W across the street and into the doors of the Wesley Foundation. The Wesley Foundation is a ministry of the United Methodist Church that welcomes all students of any denomination. This foundation has weekly Bible study classes, Wesley Wednesday where students are able to eat great food and hear a message by a speaker and a Sunday night worship service called Ignite. When I walked in, at first I was hesitant and quite shy because I was new to the place, and I am a part of a different denomination, but I was open to the experience.
After about five minutes, I realized I had nothing to worry about. Dinner was being served, and I had great conversations with new friends and some familiar faces. The staff was welcoming, and the food was delicious. It reminded me of my mom's home cooking. Soon after, we were ushered upstairs to begin the worship service. The praise and worship band began to play songs, and for those who didn't know the words, like myself, the words were displayed on the projection screen. Prayer followed and the speaker for the night was introduced, John McGinley, who is Catholic. I am a Baptist, at a Methodist worship service listening to a message by a Catholic. That struck me as odd at first, but as he spoke, our belief in Christianity broke all barriers, and I was no longer worried about the different denominations. The night closed in prayer, song and a reminder to join them for leftover Thursdays the next day.
That experience taught me how great it is to be a student at the W and how accepting and respectful we are of people's views and beliefs because we all have something to learn from each other. If the Wesley is not for you, there are other religious organizations on campus, including the Baptist Student Union, which follows Baptist beliefs and Chi Alpha, which follows the First Assembly of God beliefs. If neither one of these suits your fancy either, there is the CrossCulture Bible study that meets every Thursday in Carrier Chapel, or you can create your own organization that follows your own religious beliefs. Here at the W, there's a place for you, and if there isn't, there is always the opportunity to make one for yourself.
For more information about the Wesley Foundation at MUW visit: www.muwwesley.com