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Spring 2019 Newsletter

Wesley is...
 
Wesley is meaningful to me because of the space it creates for worship and a friendly community of faith and hope.
Seth Herndon [Freshman] – Hickory, NC
 
My favorite part of Wesley is that it gives me a group of people that I can lean on.
Kendall Estep [Freshman] – Memphis, TN
 
Wesley is … real, raw, unfiltered FELLOWSHIP.
Elizabeth Cortes [Senior] – Greenville, SC
 
Wesley is family – welcoming, with open arms, no matter where you come from.
Emily Peeler [Junior] – Mobile, AL
 
Wesley is the strong and inviting community that gives me a sense of home.
Ethan Gallagher [Freshman] – Charlotte, NC
Wesley enjoyed a communion at one Tuesday night gathering. Some of our members also helped paint a flower mural in the chapel, in which the poinsettia will represent the Wesley Fellowship.
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.”  [Hebrews 12:1-2a]
 
One night this semester, we asked everyone to share their favorite Bible verse at Wesley.  It was a beautiful night to hear the ways God can speak through our scriptures.  
 
As I reflected on my favorite verse, I settled on this passage from Hebrews.  I have always liked the imagery of the “great cloud of witnesses,” but this week I was struck by the example of “running.”  I remember being at a retreat in which the speaker talked about three types of running.  She talked about: running from something, running just to run, and running toward something.
 
Each of these examples has its own unique characteristic and can illustrate our lives of faith.  There are times we run from something God has in store for us, other times we feel as if we are running from thing to thing without any seeming reason, and then there are the desperate moments of life in which we run toward our faith. 
 
I would like to offer another type of running, one that seems encapsulate our Wesley Fellowship – Running with Others.  When we gather on Tuesday night, we share the joys that bring smiles to our faces and the concerns that bring tears to our hearts.  On Thursdays we gather for lunch and coffee offering support and a respite from the busy week.  Our retreats afford us the chance to get away from campus and focus on life together.  Finally, through service we expand our community by working alongside others who seek to be an offering of God’s love.  However, the best part of all we do as Furman Wesley is the fact that we do it together!  Running with others means that we have strength to keep going in the ‘race of life’ because we have the support of those with whom we journey.
 
Before coming to Furman, I served in Buffalo, NY. One day my Senior Minister announced that he and I would be running about 20 miles to raise support for a local mission.  The only problem with his plan was 1) I don’t run and 2) he didn’t ask me before making the announcement.  Well, I devised a plan.  Since I couldn’t possibly run 20 miles, I would create of team of folks who would run with me, in relay fashion; that way when I got tired there would be others who would take up the mantle and keep running.  As I reflect on that moment, I am encouraged by the inspiration that it provides even today.  There are days when I wonder if I can even accomplish all that God has put before me, but then I remember there are others ready to ‘take up the mantle.’  
 
May our Wesley Fellowship be a place that is open to people who are running fromrunning to, and just running to run!  But may we have the courage, no matter why the other is running, to make sure they are not running alone. May God allow our Wesley Fellowship to be a place where everyone is running together!
 
A few pictures from the dinner and hockey game at Wesley Winter Day! The hockey game we went to is also the game where spectators bring their dogs.
Natalie Anderson
Class of 2019
A Home in Wesley
 
Wesley means family and home to me. It’s a place where I can be myself and show my true colors. Every Tuesday night, we gather together to worship and have fellowship. These nights are my favorite days of the week because I get to praise my God and see my best friends. When I come into the garden room, I know that I will truly be accepted for who I am. I can be open and honest with everyone about what has been going on in my life. If I am having a bad or quiet night, I know that I can just relax, and everyone will not judge me for my minimal interactions. I also love Thursdays because this is the day that we all get to eat together. There is just something special about communal bonding around the table. We all get to laugh, smile, and have intentional conversations together. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the highlights of the week for me.                                    

Some of the highlights for me have been freshman group, dinners, tailgates, football games, retreats, ice-cream outings, and Wesley winter days. I remember the moment when our group was at a football game and it was pouring, but we all stayed anyways to support our favorite team. Last semester, we went to Lake Junaluska for a weekend of quiet reflection. This weekend was a highlight of the semester because I became closer to my friends on the trip. I also immensely enjoy our Wesley winter days because I can be free to be myself. Last year, I enjoyed watching everyone else skate and cheering them on. This year, I got to skate with everyone else. We are always a team and always are working together. We are one, and that’s what I love so much about our group. We may be small, but we are mighty.   

It is also the simple moments, like laughing with my best friend over our crazy week or sun bathing out on the dock on the lake. I just really cherish being present with everyone and having them by my side to share life’s greatest moments. The most influential person that has impacted my four years at Furman has without a doubt been Edward, “my Furman dad”. He is always there for me when I need to talk and accepts me for who I am. I know that I can always count on him for anything. These past four years, he has been my spiritual leader and dear friend. I am so grateful for this mentor in my life. I can proudly say that Wesley is a place to be, belong, and connect. This organization fills my cup up and brings so much joy to my life. I will never forget the great memories that Wesley has brought to my life. These memories that I have created and many long-lasting friendships that I have made will stick with me forever and will never leave my side wherever I go.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.
Skating was a blast at Wesley Winter Day!
Abbey Hockett 
Class of 2019
Co-facilitator
Wesley Winter Day
 
Wesley Winter Day began a few years back with a co-facilitator with a certain passion for hockey and all things ice, Grant Murphy. However, now it is an event all Furman Wesleyans look forward to each year. Once a year, we congregate to ice skate at the Greenville Pavilion, have dinner with one another, and come together to enjoy a Swamp Rabbit hockey game. This event has become a personal favorite and joy of mine because it is an opportunity to be in community with my friends and faith community, skate, and love on the puppies at the annual bring-your-dog night at the hockey rink. 

This year, on the other hand, was a little different. A few Wesley members who would join us for Winter Day had handi-capable differences. As a co-facilitator, it was my and Edward’s job to ensure all our group members could equally share in the joy that Winter Day can bring. Luckily, we have the privilege to be in a community that was way ahead of us and ready to accept the challenge to bring everyone together for some Wesley tom-foolery. Natalie Anderson and Caroline Stanton were able to find some amazing ice sleds that gave everyone full access to the ice and fun that Winter Day brings. 

Wesley Winter Day is a time for students to step away from the everyday motions of college life to have fun and enjoy time as a community. The Wesley community is a unique space where everyone can come as they are and know that they will be loved and supported throughout any hardships. While leadership brings so many ideas and events together for the group, it is the entire community of Wesley that makes it such a wonderful place to belong. Wesley has been a steady foundation for my life at Furman, where I can come and worship God in many beautiful ways, whether that be Tuesday night worship or attempting to ice skate with some of my favorite people. Wesley Winter Day is a beautiful look into what Wesley is and why we do what we do. We seek to engage and include all members of our Furman community, and provide a space for support and joy throughout a student’s time at Furman. Knowing the loving and supportive community coming after me, I know that Furman Wesley will have many more joys and Winter Days to come.
Wesley is...
 
Wesley means home and family.
Natalie Anderson [Senior] – Atlanta, GA
 
Wesley is meaningful to me because it is a community focused on loving and accepting everyone.
Abbey Hockett [Senior] – Concord, NC
 
My favorite part of Wesley is the weekly gatherings and the retreats. 
Ben Wirzba [Junior] – Hillsborough, NC
 
My favorite part of Wesley is worship on Tuesday nights!  It’s a great break from the week to gather in fellowship.
Katie Wooten [Sophomore] – Dacula, GA 
 
We got to relax on our Spring Retreat!
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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