Many students may not know that the USM Wesley Foundation, located right between the Liberal Arts Building and Fraternity Row, is a place of worship and free lunch during a time of stress.
“We’re in this awkward part of campus where no one notices,” said Kelsey Farr, Wesley’s public relations leader. “I try to get people to come because we have really great people. They’re truly like family – as cheesy as that sounds.”
The Wesley Foundation is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any student who would like to go in and take a nap, work on homework or even get a daily scripture. Farr, who has been going to the Wesley for four years, feels like the Foundation is a place where she can go for her spiritual needs and otherwise.
“Even though I was kind of unsure at first, it was super easy and quick to feel comfortable,” Farr said. “I went from being the awkward, introverted girl to now being one of the leaders for the teams that we have.”
During the week, the Wesley Foundation hosts worship on Tuesday nights starting at 8 p.m. and lunch on Thursday afternoons starting at 12 p.m.
The worship specifically, regularly invites between 30 and 40 people who come to listen to a guest pastor or whomever has a message to share. Farr has been at most of the worship sessions this semester and sees it as a place of comfort.
“A good part of it is just music,” Farr said. “We give a very relaxed atmosphere. That’s how everyone describes us.”
A Methodist-centric atmosphere may be intimidating to some, but the Wesley Foundation does not want to force the gospel on students, according to Farr.
“That’s what we try not to be,” Farr said. “I understand that’s what some people do, but that’s not who we are. Whenever we ask people if they’ve heard of the Wesley, they’re like, ‘Oh, y’all are the chill ones.’ I don’t want people to feel like we’ll throw Bibles at them or shove Jesus down their throat. We’re really more about love and service. That sounds pretty hippy, but we’re happy with it.”
Farr said the Wesley Foundation is dedicated to service and loyal to others in the community.
“If someone has an idea, we just go with it,” Farr said. “Just go with the flow and it usually works. It somehow works. If you’re passionate about something, it’ll work.”
The Wesley Foundation has been on campus for a while now, and they do not have have any plans of leaving or making anyone feel uncomfortable with their faith.
“We want people to feel comfortable,” Farr said. “We don’t want to push anything down their throat.”