Why Wesley?: Olivia Harris

The Wesley Student Center and Church has offered me my first chance to really be an adult in the church. While I became an adult member of my home Lutheran church following my Confirmation in 8th grade, it was hard for me to really make that leap. I didn’t feel qualified to participate alongside my parents’ peers yet. I was just in high school. I’d never church shopped before. I followed some of my friends to the church they were attending on campus, but didn’t feel connected there.

I came to Wesley several months later at the invitation of a friend. “We’re having a Lord of the Rings movie marathon,” she said, and I thought, “how bad could it be?” and took a chance on a new community. The students at Wesley were very purposeful in asking my name and inviting me to participate. Everyone was very cool and very nice. I felt excited to be here. I kept coming back to see what else these people liked to do. The positive atmosphere of Wesley encouraged me to be open about my faith, my doubts. I was invited to share insights at Bible studies, lead a weeknight worship service, and plan just-for-fun events. Leading and planning is something I’ve always liked to do, and Wesley taught me how to direct that for God’s work.

Because of the opportunities provided by Wesley to practice being a Christian and to think-out-loud with peers to better develop my personal sense of God and faith, I will continue to be an active member of the body of Christ.