closeup of a stone carving on Wesley's building reading "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart"

Not too long ago, I was posed with the question, “Why Wesley?” I responded in my head with “uhhh, because it’s awesome!” and went about my day. But soon I found myself thinking, “wait, why do I love Wesley so much?” I spend a lot of time here as a peer minister and church-goer, so I should probably have a definitive answer to that question.

I quickly realized that, when asked “Why Wesley?” my answer is, “because it feels like home.” For me, home is a place where you should feel welcomed, loved, and supported. Home is a little community you share with people you couldn’t imagine your life without. Home has lots of delicious food and intriguing conversation. Home might be where your grandparents or younger siblings are. It could even be a place where you can just be quiet and relaxed.

My actual home is a farm north of Champaign about an hour and a half away. I’m thankful to have experienced all of the aspects of home that I talked about just a few seconds ago. However, I know that home might not always be a happy place. For some, the mention of “home” could bring unpleasant memories, for others it could be that home is hundreds of miles away right now.

As the semester begins, I encourage everyone to look for a positive place where you can call home here on campus. For me, it’s Wesley. A place where I can be myself, free of judgement. Somewhere that I can come to when I’ve had a rough day or, lets be honest, rough week. Wesley is where I find myself when I’m looking for advice, a place to study, a warm hug, or a fantastic cup of coffee. Wesley truly is a diverse and welcoming community, united in Christ. And when I walk through the sanctuary or coffeehouse doors, I know that for right now, I’m safe at home.