By Rev. C.J. Harp, VSU Wesley Foundation Director
Greetings from the Wesley Foundation at Valdosta State University!
Wow, what a school year! Like other ministry leaders across the country, our approach at Wesley was to balance the physical health concerns with the spiritual and emotional needs of the students. Once the university decided to bring students back for the fall semester, this led us to embrace the mantra that “different is better than canceled.”
Two key components of our discipleship culture, Freshley and our Wesley Wednesday gatherings, continued but in modified form. We realized that this incoming freshmen class had so much of their senior year canceled so we did everything we could to offer them a great freshmen experience. Freshley was moved outside with masks, and freshmen still came to enjoy the food trucks, worship, and small groups that Freshley entails. Our Wesley Wednesday worship gatherings continued in the student union theater with prayer at 7 p.m. and worship at 8 p.m. We adjusted our on-campus services to comply with university standards. This meant that our worship team sang with masks on, and I preached with a mask all year. This Lead Team persevered like no other.
At one Wesley Wednesday, we hosted a panel discussion on mental health to address and alleviate the upsurge of mental health issues caused by the pandemic. The panel addressed destigmatizing mental health, anxiety, depression, emotional health, suicide awareness, and being a good friend towards those who struggle with mental health issues. Please be in prayer as this is a major issue on the college campus.
Our Jamaica mission trip that was postponed literally one day before we were to leave in March 2020 was able to happen at the end of May 2021. We rejoice that we were able to partner with IsleGo Missions to build a little blue house and experience the Kingdom of God in the beautiful country of Jamaica.
Friends, so much happened this past year through VSU Wesley. I know you join me in being proud of our student leaders and how they adapted to offer discipleship opportunities.
His for the students at VSU,
Rev. C.J. Harp