Why Wesley?: Traci Takasugi

The word I’ve chosen is Quest.

As a video game nerd and a fan of epic fantasy, for me, this word evokes the idea of a group of adventurers gradually making their way towards a goal, figuring out which way to go, working together to overcome obstacles, and supporting and motivating each other along the way.

To me, that is what the community at Wesley represents.

I see faith as a long struggle and challenge to understand the world, life, and how you relate to it. In other words, a quest for meaning and truth, and, specifically as a Christian, a quest to live out the mission of Christ.

In the time that I’ve been here, Wesley has given me guidance and direction in my quest. This is a community that actively seeks out ways to be better agents of Christ’s love in the world. Through events such as the film series on immigration or writing love letters to other communities of faith, or even through simply interacting with the many community members who care deeply about the injustices they see and challenge themselves to live more authentically in line with their faith, I am continually inspired and given a sense of purpose. Being a part of this community makes it almost impossible to remain complacent.

 

In addition, the people I’ve met at Wesley have become like my fellowship, or party – the people who struggle alongside me, encourage me to continue, and help me along the way.

Though I’ve been here for only a short amount of time, I’ve met many people who welcomed me into the community and gave me a sense of belonging, who went out of their way to talk to me and invite me into participation. As an introvert with mild social anxiety, I’m used to blending into the background. Normally, it’s easy for me to be invisible, and merely come to church as a recipient, but because of this community, I know I have a role here, and that I can actively contribute.

The community here, and the environment it creates, has also helped me persevere through some of my struggles of faith. Through graduate study and events like Doubt Night, I’ve had conversations where I can ask and hear difficult questions that don’t just receive “easy answers.” These people are willing to struggle alongside me on the quest for truth and understanding, and they acknowledge that having faith is not always easy.

There have been times in the last semester when I experienced despair, and I heard sermons that gave me strength and hope. At other times, I heard other people share their concerns and receive support from the rest of the community. It is experiences such as these that encourage me to press on in the face of trials and challenges.

 

Wesley, for me, is the place I come to be sent on a quest to live out Christ’s mission, to receive guidance and motivation as I pursue it, and to meet the “party members” who will be traveling with me along the way. As I become more integrated with the community here, I want to become the kind of person who helps to welcome others and aids them in their quests in the same way.