When asked, “Why Wesley?” the word that answers that question for me is Community. But my story about Wesley has to begin way before Urbana Wesley. I need to start with my first semester as a new freshman at Indiana University. My dorm did not serve supper on Sunday nights, even that first scary weekend, so I climbed aboard the Wesley Wagon for a ride across campus to the Wesley Foundation. And that was the beginning of my relationship with the special community that was my primary friendship group and spiritual support group for my college years. And where I met and married the president of the Wesley Foundation!
Fast forward to 1977 when as a clergy spouse my home church was again selected for me by the bishop. And this time it was Urbana Wesley. I was excited to again be at the church of the Wesley Foundation and especially to learn that this was The Very First Wesley Foundation in the world and in fact served as the model for all the subsequent religious student foundations on university campuses. I loved the community mix of ages and races and cultures at Wesley and the scope and openness of study groups. When the time came, leaving here was the hardest move we had been called to make. But our daughters went to school here and married here and we left with wonderful memories of friendships and life in community at Wesley.
So now fast forward one more time to ten years ago. Like many others we have watched, when we both retired we moved back home to Wesley. Many faces were familiar, but we have gotten to know many new friends in these ten years. I continue to love the diversity of ages and races and cultures and identities that flow through this building. And I appreciate so much the diversity of studies and challenges that I can be a part of at Wesley. Being part of groups like a Sunday School class, a book club, the choir, the food pantry, Social Action Ministry, United Methodist Women, interfaith activities, and mission trips, have enriched my life and my faith and helped to keep me grounded.
The community of faith is what has pulled me toward Wesley over the years. And it is the openness and diversity of community that binds me here. I give thanks for the Wesley community.