Social Action

Service and social action are central to Wesley’s mission. You can make a difference with Wesley, with the Social Action Ministry serving as a hub for our social justice activities. Read on to learn more!

Social Action Ministry

Our Vision and Mission: The Social Action Ministry is committed to publicly witnessing, advocating, and providing opportunities to act, encouraging Wesley to prophetically bring God’s vision to reality.

Our Roots: We find inspiration in the United Methodist Social Creed and Litany and Social Principles. Several years ago Missions Committee and Social Action Committee merged under the ethos “mission in action and action in mission.” Today Social Action Ministry supports mission activities at Wesley as well as in the local community, nation, and world.

Champaign County Public Defender Stephanie Corum on Peace With Justice Sunday, 2018.

Our Legacy: Wesley has a rich history of promoting social action towards fighting hunger, peace and justice activities, fair trade, and environmental consciousness that we uphold with events that we organize and participate in year after year, including CROP Hunger Walk, Peace with Justice Sunday, and an alternative holiday market.

Our Focus: Each year we choose a few topics to focus on that we believe to be particularly relevant in this time and place. Our 2017-2018 theme was Incarceration — which has aftershocks in communities and families, often results in disenfranchisement and homelessness, puts financial and administrative strain on local government units,  and traps some individuals in cycles of recidivism. Previously, we’ve focused on issues related to poverty, racism, immigration and more. Interested in joining the Social Action Ministry team? Contact Craig Chamberlain ( or Elaine Bearden (


Green Team

The Wesley Green Team joined Faith in Place members from across Illinois on Advocacy Day in Springfield, April 2018.

Wesley’s Green Team is a group of church members and Wesley Student Center students interested in questions of sustainability and environmental justice. The Green Team seeks to promote awareness of environmental issues and works to make Wesley’s facilities more environmentally friendly. We meet on a monthly basis to discuss current and future project initiatives. We are always looking for new members to advance our goals, and you do not have to be a member of our church to help. Contact Charles Evans at if you’re interested. Connect with the team on Facebook. If you’d like to see what the Green Team is up to and some issues they are following; subscribe to the quarterly newsletter.

Fighting Hunger

Champaign County has the third-highest poverty rate in Illinois, and 15.7% of its residents experience food insecurity each month. Wesley is working to change that, with several organizations dedicated to fighting hunger: Wesley Pantry, which runs two food pantries each month, and Illini Fighting Hunger, a student-run food repackaging organizations. For more information about fighting hunger at Wesley, click here. 

Students can volunteer at Wesley-based RSO’s.

Mission Opportunities

Working on a Habitat home during the 2018 Mission trip.

We are expanding missions at Wesley! It’s a way to enact our faith and engage people outside of the current Wesley family, while at the same time building long-term, meaningful relationships within our local, national, and international communities. The goal is to make an extended (10+ year) commitment to missions at each of these levels. Progress has been made on this front and new partnerships are being formed!

  • Nationally we are building on the relationship and ministry that members John and Ann Spurgeon have with Jonestown, Mississippi. For many years they have led trips to the Mississippi Delta region to work with Habitat for Humanity. Jonestown is rich with American culture and history but rife with systemic poverty. The Spring 2019 Mission Trip is scheduled for March 17-23, 2019. Interested? Read about the 2019 trip here, and for more information contact John Spurgeon.


At Wesley we are blessed to have persons with varying physical and mental abilities involved at numerous levels of our ministry. This includes impairments that may not be visible, such as dyslexia or depression, and those of a temporary nature (such as injuries caused by accidents). We strive to create an environment that is fully inclusive of all persons and even have a separate Inclusiveness Committee dedicated to that purpose. Wesley has embraced the social model of disability, identifying ‘disabling barriers’ rather than an individual’s impairment as the issue to be addressed.