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Fall 2018 Newsletter

Our Fall Retreat took place at the beautiful Lake Junaluska.
Edward McCutcheon
Director and Campus Minister
A Note From Our Director
 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” [Heb 12:1-2a]
 
Last May I caused a little stir with a post on my Instagram.  At graduation I took a photo and posted it on my account with the caption, “Tonight officially marks the end of a decade of friends, faith, and fellowship.  In these 10 years of ministry with Furman Wesley Fellowship, I am thankful for all the love, support, and friendships of each and every amazing student who has shared this time with me.  You are the best, and I love you lots!”  Apparently, the only word that many people read was END – my texts and comments were filled with people who understood the post to mean I was leaving Furman Wesley.  I have since changed the post and removed the word END!  And let me reiterate – I have NO plans to leave Furman Wesley! 
 
However, the true spirit of the post still lives in this 11th year as the campus minister of our Furman Wesley.  When I reflect on the journey we have shared together, I am thankful for the “cloud of witnesses” that journey with us.  I am thankful for a history of dedicated campus ministers who remained faithful to the call to live into the lives of Furman students.  I am thankful for the student leaders who despite a full, and demanding, workload of classes continue to spread love, grace, mercy, and friendship to others who call this place home. 

I am thankful for board members who throughout these years have given the extra time to care for the business of making Wesley available to our campus.  I am thankful for an Annual Conference who continues to see the value in collegiate ministry and actively supports our students.  And yes, “I am thankful for all the love, support, and friendships of each and every amazing student who has shared this time with me” – and allowed me to share my life with you.

Our faith tells us that we are meant to live in community.  Our faith calls us to reach out and invite others into our communities.  However, we know the college campus is an atmosphere that draws our attention in many directions.  In addition, it is a time in our lives when we can get overwhelmed, feel a bit lost, and lose sight of God’s blessings in our lives.  In these moments our community is all the more important, as it reminds us that we are not alone and we are loved.  In community we celebrate our joys and share the burden of our concerns.  In community we find our place. 
 
Wesley is our beloved community at Furman; may it ever be the place where we found a home and may we forever invite others to join our party!  And may we always be reminded that our Wesley community is only made stronger by our “Great Cloud of Witnesses”!
 
If you are reading this, you are a member of the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” who cheer us on, who support us, who celebrates when we celebrate, who mourns when we mourn; you are our community and for that we say THANK YOU!
In September, we had our mountain getaway weekend, which included volunteering at Mill Village Farms.
Cassidi Dozier
Class of 2022
My Freshman Experience
 
Upon coming to Furman, I had major anxiety.

Anxiety about classes, time management, making new friends and adjusting to being away from home, away from comfortability.

The second day of classes I had issues printing something in the library and a sophomore, Katie Wooten, helped me and stayed with me to make sure I had everything I needed. Her kindness made me feel so welcomed to Furman because she was a stranger. Then later that week, my friend Natalie invited me to Wesley and with me attending a United Methodist Church in Charlotte, I was interested in checking it out. I went to Wesley and to my surprise, Katie was there. I already felt comfortable knowing that Katie, who was so nice, and my great friend Natalie were a part of this Christian organization. I had high hopes for Wesley, and those hopes were abundantly fulfilled.

I got involved with freshmen group, which helped me cultivate amazing Christian relationships with other freshmen and my leaders, Edward, Katie and Mikayla. We talked about the social and academic problems us freshman faced and began reading the book Love Does by Bob Goff. I always enjoy attending freshmen group because it helps me talk about my personal life in a safe, loving space. From freshmen group, I made great friendships with Katie Wooten and Abbey Hockett. I always talk to them about my daily life and seek their advice as upperclassmen who lead great Christian lives.

Then, on Tuesday nights, I enjoy going to Wesley group because it helps me reflect on where I am at spiritually and see how everyone else is doing on their own faith journeys. Wesley has allowed me to grow a stronger Christian foundation on Furman’s campus and cultivate strong friendships. The anxiety I faced at the beginning of my Furman experience has subsided, and I am so grateful that Wesley played a vital role in that. I am loving Furman so far and can’t wait for what’s to come with Wesley in my future.
What does Wesley mean to you?
-reflections from our freshmen-

My favorite part of Wesley is the close community. 
Duncan Winburn, Columbia, SC

My favorite part of Wesley so far is how friendly and open everyone is.
Kathryn Trost, High Point, NC

Wesley is a place where I can come as I am and be with friends.
Michael Bowling, Brentwood, TN

My favorite part of Wesley is that it keeps me accountable and it introduced me to new people.
Kendall Estep, Germantown, TN

My favorite part of Wesley is the warm sense of community that I feel every time I am with my new friends at our gatherings.
Seth Herndon, Hickory, NC
 
My favorite part of Wesley is that I can get together with people who share my same beliefs and help each other grow in our faith.
Will Christensen, Columbia, SC
 
My favorite part of Wesley is the strong fellowship and being surrounded by great people.
 Ethan Gallagher, Charlotte, NC
Parker Murphy 
Class of 2019
A Note From Our Co-Facilitator
 
Wesley this semester has been great! It has been a time for many firsts as well as some unfortunate lasts. Being a senior this semester has signaled many lasts for my time at Furman and my time serving as Wesley’s Co-Facilitator. We started off the year with our Mountain Getaway. We spent the first part of Saturday working with Mill Village farms, which is a fantastic organization that runs small-scale urban farms to grow produce, to help people gain access to fresh produce in areas where they might not otherwise have it. We then ventured on up to Bonclarken for the night, where we were able to worship and also eat many s’mores. After the trip, we continued with our usual Tuesday night meetings, during which Edward led us in a study of the book of James.

The first new event of the semester was a collaboration with UKirk, the Presbyterian fellowship on campus, which we deemed the first ever WesKirk. UKirk and Wesley usually meet at the same time on the same night, so we decided to worship together one night. In October, we cosponsored an event called Q-union. It was an event to talk about being a Christian in this contemporary age, and the event was very successful. The last new thing that we started this semester was Wesley Guys' Day. It’s an event that I had wanted to start with Edward to bring together all the men in Wesley and share in a fun time. Overall, this has been a wonderful semester full of many firsts, and I’m excited for what our Spring semester holds.
The men of Wesley had a Wesley Guys' Day and enjoyed a Swamp Rabbits hockey game.
Jo Anna McGehee Fallaw 
Class of 2000
Alumna Spotlight
 
There are certain people, events, and groups that are transformational in a person’s life, and Furman Wesley Fellowship was just that for me.

First, I was a student in FU Wesley from 1996-2000. I started my time at Furman involved in the Baptist Student Union, but quickly realized that my particular understanding of my calling could not be realized in that setting. So, I started to look for a Christian group that could help me find community and discern my calling. I did not have to go far to find the place I fit. I connected to the Wesley Fellowship through realizing that my Methodist roots made Wesley a safe place for me to explore my faith and my calling into ministry.

A key part of that discernment was the campus minister at the time, Jenny Copeland. Jenny empowered us to lead ourselves though the program design, retreat plans, and even organizing mission trips around the country. Her leadership model of empowering us was one of the best gifts to my ministry today. Jenny also created a safe place to ask difficult questions about my faith. In asking these questions, I began to form my own heart for Christ and for discipleship. Like most Furman students, I was over involved in many groups, but the group I never wanted to miss, was Furman Wesley. God worked through the friendships and leadership opportunities I had at Wesley to help me hear my calling to attend Duke Divinity School.

While at Duke Divinity, I had an opportunity to work with Jenny as a ministry intern in the Duke Wesley Foundation. It was here that my passion for working with students really took shape. After graduating in 2003, I took an appointment in the South Carolina conference of the UMC as an associate. The next year, the position at Furman Wesley opened up, and I jumped to go back to the place that formed my faith and calling so profoundly. I served as the campus minister for Furman Wesley Fellowship from 2004-2008. I left this ministry because my new husband took a new job in Conway, SC, but my heart was broken. My time leading those students are some of the most joyful years of my 16 years of ministry. I am so proud of the lives these former students are leading. Many of them are in ministry positions or service careers.

My eight years as a student and as a campus minister at Furman Wesley Fellowship will always be remembered in my heart as life giving and life changing. Wesley Yay!
 
Jo Anna McGehee Fallaw is currently the minister of Wayne UMC in Georgetown, SC. She attended Furman from 1996 to 2000 and then served as Director of the Furman Wesley Fellowship from 2004 to 2008. In between her time at Furman, she received her MDiv from Duke Divinity School.
 
Take a peek at Jo Anna's time with Wesley!
Check out photos from our Fall retreat!
We enjoyed some holiday festivities with our Warm Up with Wesley event and Christmas party.
A final note of thanks...

Our Wesley Fellowship operates by the support of three areas – our UMC apportionment dollars, Furman’s Religious Council, and the generous donations of our friends and families. Each year we are truly blessed by these donations and hope you will consider partnering with us in ministry to the students of Furman University. 
 
If you would like to donate to help with mission opportunities, retreats, and gatherings, there are two options:
  1. If you are a Furman alum, instead of offering a general alumni donation to Furman University you may specify toward which program you would like your donation applied. For Wesley, please indicate “Furman Wesley Fellowship.”
  2. You can send your donation to our group directly. Please make your check to “Furman Wesley Fellowship” and mail to: Furman Wesley Fellowship, 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613.
  3. Check out our donation page on our website linked below. Just click the blue button!
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Furman Wesley · 3300 Poinsett Highway · Furman Wesley Fellowship · Greenville, SC 29613 · USA

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