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

There are a couple of things you should know about me right off the bat. I am a student here at the University of Illinois, studying music and ecology. I am also extremely bad with words. So I was a bit nervous when I realized only last week that I am supposed to come up with only one word to describe why I love Wesley. But actually, for once, it wasn’t all that hard to come up with the “right” word. Community, plainly and simply is my Why Wesley. For quite a while, I thought that my ideal lifestyle would be living out in the woods, studying ecology, rather removed from society. I would listen to my friends describe how they wanted to live post-graduation. They would sit there and talk about the communities they wanted to be a part of, and I never quite understood.

Enter Wesley. When I came to Wesley Tabi, a peer minister at the time, hooked her elbow in mine and led me down the hall towards coffee hour. After that, I soon joined the chancellor choir and hand bell choir, and soon after the Green Team. A common theme, I have since realized, is that I did not need words to become close with these individuals. But through music-making, worship, hugs, and common prayer, I found myself woven into this beautiful, warm community that I don’t want to imagine being without. With Wesley, I am a part of the group of people, young and old, fiery and loud and quiet all at the same time, that wants to do better in this world. It is a loving community, and by some stroke of fortune, it is my community, so that is Why Wesley.