Pastoral letter about the events in Charlottesville on August 11-12

  To those returning to school this week and especially to those who are venturing to UVA for your first semester, I want to welcome, challenge, and invite you. It may feel like a scary or unsettling time to be headed to Charlottesville, but you won’t be able to hide from what’s here by heading to another school or another town. The hate on display last weekend isn’t confined to this place and the malignancies of racism, white supremacy, sexism, and other forms of xenophobia infect people and communities all across our country.   First, what must be said, clearly and unequivocally: Racism and white supremacy are evil. There is no room for compromise or nuance in acknowledging this, speaking out against these plagues, and resisting their persistent insinuations into our lives and communities. Anti-Semitism is evil. Every attempt to separate and assign varying degrees of worth to people is evil. Christians believe in the sacred worth of each and every human being based solely on the fact that they are human beings, each one a child of God and made in the image of God.   It is very hard for me to discern the image of God in the hateful, violent, murderous faces of the modern Klan and Nazis who terrorized Charlottesville last weekend. I stand in opposition to everything they represent and I am grateful to my clergy colleagues, students, friends, and neighbors who put their bodies and their lives on the line to stand up against them. My hope, always, is in the One who put his body and life in the way of hate... read more

Stand up to hate and bear witness to Love – August 12

As we prepare to welcome students in just a couple more weeks, UVA and Cville are also preparing to encounter a large gathering of white supremacist hate groups meeting here on August 12th. It’s a scary time and we are called to stand up against hate and bear witness to another Way. Bishop Sharma Lewis has written a letter encouraging clergy and laity alike to join in protest and prayer. She writes, “At Annual Conference, I announced my vision for the clergy and laity of our conference to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve. The opportunity before us is one of influence; the influence to join together in holy resistance to groups who support white supremacy.” I hope you will pray for the Charlottesville community now, and on August 12th. Whether you will be in town or not, whether you will be able to join in the counter-protests or not, please lift your prayers with us. Another wonderful and creative way to get involved, whether or not you can be here physically, is to pledge to donate a certain amount to a local charity for each white supremacist that shows up on the 12th. Here’s how to turn their numbers into massive wins for our community. If you plan to be in town or come to town to protest, here are some events and resources. Any of these folks will welcome your presence, so feel free to join in with one of these established groups, especially if you are coming to the protest on your own. Thursday August 10 – Prepare... read more

Capital Campaign – Phase 2 Under Construction!

Phase 2 of the Capital Campaign is underway! Check out the renovations being done this summer in the Wesley Foundation and Cottage (residential community). For more information about the Capital Campaign and ways to support it, click here! Pictures of Wesley Foundation Kitchen Pictures of Wesley Foundation... read more

New students and Wesley’s fall kick-off

New to UVA or to Wesley?  Send us an email or provide your contact info here.  We’d love to reach out and tell you more about Wesley and how you can be involved this year.  (Parents, clergy, friends, alumni, and others:  if you know someone headed to UVA please help us welcome them by making sure we know they are coming.  You may use the links above for connecting us with students, too.) Not new? Welcome (back to) Wesley!  Whether it’s your first year or fourth, it’s never too late to give Wesley a try. Here are a few things to look forward to as fall kicks off.  Hope to see YOU at Wesley this fall!   Saturday, August 19, 2-4 pm              Open House @ Wesley – Come by to say “hi,” grab a cold drink, and meet some folks. Stay for a few minutes or the whole time. Come on your own, with your folks, or bring your hall!   Sunday, August 20, 5 pm                    Our first Wesley Worship of the semester, followed by dinner on the town. Dress is casual; bring a few bucks for your dinner. We’ll have rides back to dorms afterwards.   Monday, August 21, 11 am- 2pm       Come by the UVA Activities Fair and look for the Wesley table. We’ll have info on upcoming opportunities, along with some cool swag.   Tuesday, August 22, 6pm                   Our first Tuesday dinner of the semester! Free food and a lot of fun.   Sunday, August 27 11 am             Worship at Wesley Memorial – Campus Minister Deborah Lewis preaching 5 pm               Worship at Wesley Foundation   Small groups for first-year students... read more

Summer Wesley Word – hot off the presses!

Here’s the link to our latest issue of the Wesley Word newsletter.  Read up on recent events and plans for next year. Please note one important correction:  $1092 is the average amount it takes to send *one student* on the spring break service trip (not the entire team).... read more

Mental Health: Sue Klebold and the Family Aftermath – March 26, 2017

  Mental Health: Sue Klebold and the Family Aftermath Sue Klebold is the author of A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, and is a staunch advocate for mental health awareness, research, and suicide prevention. Sue is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters in the attack on Columbine High School in 1999. With her story, Sue wrestles with questions surrounding a mother trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, and aims to make others aware of signs of distressed mental health, hoping that her advocacy will one day prevent similar tragedy. Dr. Richard Bonnie will join Sue on stage for discussions and questions. Date: Sunday, March 26th Time: 1pm Location: UVa’s Culbreth Theatre, 109 Culbreth Road, Charlottesville, 22903 ** Tickets to Sue Klebold’s discussion are free, but MUST be reserved at Sponsored by The Wesley Foundation at UVa as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book and The Wesley Foundation at UVa McDonald Lecture Series. Co-hosted by Partner for Mental Health; UVA Health Systems; UVA Institute of Law; Psychiatry and Public Policy; and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities... read more

Stage-Serious Cancer: Responding with Humor and Faith March 25-26, 2017

Stage-Serious Cancer: Responding with Humor and Faith Authors Jason Micheli, writer of Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo, and Terri Tate, writer of A Crooked Smile: A Memoir, argue for cancer’s place on the list of things that are funny, as they present personal accounts in defense of disease as a fount of spiritual growth and necessary laughter. Join the Wesley Foundation at UVa in hosting these two for a time of Reading, Reflection, and Q&A. Date: Saturday, March 25th Time: 12pm Location: McLeod Hall, 202 Jeanette Lancaster Way, Charlottesville, 22903 Free parking available underneath McLeod Hall in the parking garage The Wesley Foundation at UVA, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, the Compassionate Care Initiative at the UVA School of Nursing, and the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center are partnering to sponsor this visit as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Wesley Foundation at UVA McDonald Lecture Series. All events are free and open to the general public. — The Rev. Jason Micheli will also be preaching on Sunday, March 26th at 11am at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (1901 Thomson Road, 22903) and at 5pm at the Wesley Foundation at UVa (1908 Lewis Mountain Road, 22903). Rev. Micheli is an ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, blogger at Tamed Cynic (, co-host of the Crackers and Grape Juice podcast, and author of Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo. He is also a father and husband, a UVA grad, and an insightful theologian with a relentless hope and a biting sense of humor.... read more

New students and Wesley’s fall kick-off events

New to UVA or to Wesley?  Send us an email or provide your contact info here.  We’d love to reach out and tell you more about Wesley and how you can be involved this year.  (Parents, clergy, friends, alumni, and others:  if you know someone headed to UVA please help us welcome them by making sure we know they are coming.  You may use the links above for connecting us with students, too.) Welcome (back to) Wesley!  Whether it’s your first year or fourth, it’s never too late to give Wesley a try.  Here are a few things to look forward to as fall kicks off.  Hope to see YOU at Wesley this fall! Friday 8/19 & Saturday 8/20 – Need help moving in to first year dorms?  Send us a note to let us know where/when and we’ll try to have some friendly folks there to lend a hand and welcome you in person. Saturday 8/20 – Open House from 11am -1pm at Wesley.  Drop in on your own or bring your family. We’ll have lunch and some great students on hand to answer questions, make introductions, and show you around. Sunday 8/21 – 11am worship at Wesley Memorial church (next door) Sunday 8/21 – Our Sunday Night Worship kicks off for the semester tonight at 5pm.  We’ll be outside on the lawn of the church if the weather permits (in the dining room at the Wesley Foundation, if not).  Dress is casual and all are welcome. Monday 8/22 – Look for the Wesley table at the UVA Activities Fair.  Give-aways and more friendly folks on hand. Thursday... read more

Authenticity, Community, and the Church

Our thanks to Wesley grad Erica Ridgell (2014), for taking the time to write this reflection after our splendid weekend with Nadia  Bolz-Weber (March 18-19, 2016).  We hosted over 800 people throughout the three events! *  *  * I was on the Nadia Bolz-Weber train very early on. Even two years ago, I remember learning she would be coming to the Virginia Festival of the Book in 2016 and making promises to everyone I knew that we would all come back to the Wesley Foundation to hear her speak. I never spent much time analyzing what it was I liked about her, but I knew for sure I liked her. So, with the far-off date suddenly approaching, like a good UVA grad, I prepared. I reread Pastrix and purchased her new book, Accidental Saints. Coming into the weekend, I expected her to make us laugh, and maybe cry, and definitely give us a lot to talk about over drinks later. What I didn’t expect was for her to remind me of all the reasons I loved the Wesley Foundation in the first place. Nadia shared with us that people often ask her how she attracts so many young people when Christianity is so clearly not relevant to millennials anymore, and when they ask this she always feels taken aback. “It’s just like phone booths,” she said. You can look around and see that there are no phone booths any more and say, ‘Young people really just aren’t into phones anymore, it’s a shame’, and then those same people say, “Nadia, will you come redecorate our phone booth so we... read more

Graduation weekend at Wesley – May 21, 2016

We’ve spent some important years together and we want to send you off with love and a great worship party! Graduates and their families are invited to join us for a final time of worship together in our baccalaureate service, at 7:30pm, next door in the sanctuary at Wesley Memorial UMC. EVERYONE — current students, families, friends, alumni, Wesley community members — is invited to be part of worship and it’s a wonderful way for other students and friends to celebrate and bless our graduating students as they take their leave.... read more
Weekly Meeting Schedule
  • Sunday
    • 11:00 Morning Worship at Wesley Memorial UMC (next door)
    • 5:00 Sunday Night Worship
  • Tuesday
    • 6:00 Tuesday Night Dinner
    • 6:45 Forum — Discussion/speaker on a variety of faith topics and student life.
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