Editor’s note: previously MIConnect reported on the recent Wesley Statewide Retreat, an annual event that brings college students together from Wesley Ministries around Michigan. The 2016 event was held at Wesley Fellowship at Grand Valley State University. Click here for the story and read on to learn more about the value of such an event.)
Wesley Statewide invites different students from the many universities in Michigan into a collected community once a year during the spring semester. MIConnect was there and spoke to participants.
What has statewide done for your sense of community?
“I just appreciate the campus ministry that I found and know that [Ferris State Wesley Foundation is] not the only Wesley. I found out that there are Wesley’s all over the United States. We built a community in order to follow in God’s footsteps.” ~ Carly Loichinger, FSU Wesley Foundation
“Statewide made me realize that community can be a lot of different things: it doesn’t just have to be your community, it can be different communities that you’re not even a part of. With the Wesley communities, it’s smaller communities coming together as one. It’s just people from different backgrounds coming together and doing great things together.” ~ James Carl Bittings Jr., WMU Wesley Foundation
Should Wesley continue to do statewide retreats and why?
“I think so. It’s good to get to know people and this is one of the only places to get to know other Wesley Foundations from around the state. You get to learn new ideas about what other Wesley Foundations are doing in Michigan and bring it back to your Wesley Foundation to expand off of. It makes everyone better and creates friendships that continue on.” ~ Matt Grubish, The Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan
” Wesley should continue to do statewide retreats. Out of our current Grand Valley Wesley students, only two had ever been to statewide before, myself being one of them. At the end of the retreat this weekend, I asked one of my fellow students how he liked the retreat. He said that it was amazing and that he couldn’t believe how many friends he had made and how cool it was to worship with a large group of people the same age as us and have discussions with them about God and faith and he couldn’t believe how open and accepting everyone was to form new bonds and friendships. He can’t wait for next year. This is what statewide is all about.” ~ Miranda Bachman, GVSU Wesley Fellowship
What have you learned about your faith this weekend?
“I learned that my faith is a lot stronger than I give myself credit for, and that it is always growing and changing. I also realized as I was talking with others how large of an impact Wesley at CMU had on my faith walk.” ~ Amy Henderson, CMU Wesley Foundation
“I’m very much a planner and [the retreat] has kind of reminded me [of that]. We just did an exercise in one of the workshops— create a road sign that is your faith journey that describes your faith journey at this very moment. And mine was “Proceed with Caution. Limited sight distance.” I want to be able to know what’s going to come down the pipe for the next 10 years or whatever in every aspect of my life. This weekend’s helped me reevaluate.” ~Megan Ghronke, MSU Wesley Foundation
What challenged you about this retreat?
I was challenged to get out of my comfort zone and actually talk to other human beings, which I’m not great at some times. So, I was challenged to meet people, to establish myself and to establish relationships in a community that I’m new to. And that’s always a little challenging, but rewarding.” ~ Brian Taylor, WMU Wesley Foundation
” I’m usually a shy person, just interacting with more people is usually difficult for me. It’s just an inclusive culture and environment [to where] somebody like me feels free enough to speak my mind.” ~ Charles Boayue, Motor City Wesley Foundation
~reported by Paul Reissmann, Michigan Area Communication