February 17th, 2018
By Jalen Porter, The Northeastern
“The Wesley Foundation is a campus ministry sponsored by the United Methodist Church. The program aims to make an impact on students’ lives. Most students often do not attend church while being in college and the foundation wants to give students and the community a chance to fellowship with each other. They have a Wednesday worship service for people who want to get closer to God. Every week the main focus of the service is about love.
Rev. Shana Dry, Wesley Foundation director, wanted to provide an on-campus worship service. Everything came together over the summer of 2017 in terms of the worship band, and she was ready to begin.
The staff of the organization wanted students to know the Wesley Foundation is a judgement-free zone, so they decided to call the program Sanctuary. Sanctuary is open to everyone. It is a time of solace, community and love.
“I think that it’s important that students have a place where they feel comfortable enough to question, learn about and interact with God because that’s something I really needed early on in my college career and still need to be honest,” said Kacie Davis, Wesley Foundation leadership team member. “So, while my role on the leadership team is more that of a helper and cleaner upper, I really enjoy the chance to make the Wesley a calm and nice place to be in so students can find a good meal and spiritual guidance if they want it.”
Prior to the worship service, the foundation serves free lunch to students. The staff members prepare the food along with desserts. Each week is a different meal, such as spaghetti, pulled pork sandwiches, baked potatoes and nachos. Students sign their name so the staff can better estimate how much food to make each week. The lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Following the lunch, Sanctuary takes place in the evening.
“I think our worship service allows people to open up more than they’re used to,” said Abigail Shaw, Wesley Foundation intern. “There are some churches where you feel like you’ve got to hide parts of yourself to be included fully, and that’s just not the case here. When you can let go of what other people might think of you, it’s easier to hear and feel God.”
People are given the opportunity to take another step in faith. The foundation allows people to give testimonies if they are willing to speak about how they overcame their tribulations. It helps build social skills and let people know that someone cares about them. The foundation wants to make people comfortable as if they were family.
“I have only been an intern for the NSU Wesley Foundation for a short time, but being in this position gives me the opportunity to not only build my leadership skills but also the chance to take a bigger step in my faith in many ways,” said Randilyn Thompson, Wesley Foundation intern. “The motto of the NSU Wesley is showing God’s love by serving others, and I believe that actions do indeed speak louder than words. As one of the interns here at the Wesley, I have the opportunity to organize missions and service projects that give back to the community, and seeing the impact that the Wesley has on others while showing God’s love brings me so much joy.”
The foundation wants to spread love and peace throughout the community. Sanctuary is at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Wesley Foundation, located at 403 Goingsnake across from The FIT.
For more information, email Shaw at email@example.com.”
February 8th, 2018
Press Release, The UMC Oklahoma Conference Connect Newspaper
NSU Wesley feeds 200
“TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — It’s not out of the ordinary to see the windows of the Wesley Foundation building fogged with steam from its kitchen, and Jan. 15 was no exception.
Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Northeastern State University community honors Dr. King with a day of service. Students sign up to serve in teams on tasks all over Tahlequah.
This year, the university contacted the Wesley with the opportunity to serve a meal to the volunteers. Director Shana Dry and her own team of Wesley volunteers prepared dozens of grilled-cheese sandwiches and more than 6 gallons of soup.
Students were invited in from the 30-degree chill that day to enjoy lunch. In total, 200 student volunteers left with full stomachs and full hearts.
The Wesley at NSU has emblazoned upon its wall a statement of commitment to demonstrate the love of God to campus and community. For this ministry, that means preparing food, and lots of it.
(Contributed by Abigail Shaw-Bolen)”
December 7th, 2017
By Sheri Gourd, Tahlequah Daily Press
“The Northeastern State University community offers a resource focused on feeding both bodies and spirits.
The NSU Wesley, 403 Goingsnake St., hosts a free lunch every Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and provides additional services for students.
“Acceptance is the main goal and showing Christ’s love through that acceptance. We are here to not only to get tummies filled, but hearts filled by love,” said Rev. Shana Dry, campus minister and director of the NSU Wesley Foundation.
The Wesley has been serving lunches for about four years, according to Cody Robinson, director of leadership development. But the project has really taken off in the past two years.
During the spring semester, about 150 meals were served each Wednesday. This semester, that number is up to 250 meals a week.
“The student body has realized there is no judgment here. They can come in and not be preached to or be hit over the head with a Bible,” said Dry. “We are open hearts, open minds, and open doors.”
The “Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors” is the motto of the United Methodist Church, and it can be found painted on The Wesley walls.
It costs about $300 a week for the drinks and food prepared for the Wednesday lunches, according to Dry. The Wesley Foundation is funded by the UMC local district and by individual donations. One recent fundraiser sponsored by NSU Greek organizations gave $400 to The Wesley.
“We are very proud of our relationship with the students and staff at NSU. The fraternities help out a lot,” said Dry. “They love our tacos, love our spaghetti; there’s nothing they won’t eat.”
The meals are cooked at The Wesley, and Dry thinks that’s a draw for some students and faculty. The price doesn’t hurt, either.
Zach Vercruyssen, a senior majoring in supply chain management, sat outside at a full picnic table Wednesday, enjoying salad, noodles, and meatballs in a sauce.
“This is my first year living off of campus without a meal plan. Every Wednesday, this is where I have lunch,” he said. “There is a certain culture here. There are some people from campus I only see here on Wednesdays.”
One of his lunch companions, sophomore Amaris Patel, echoed his statement.
“Shana’s the best. I came a lot during freshman year. This year, I am without a meal plan. It really helps. You are forced to cook and you don’t really know how to. We’re used to parents cooking for us,” she said. “Shana is like a mom to the whole campus.”
Two freshmen sitting at the table said they heard about the free meals during Rookie Bridge Camp.
Other organizations telling students about the meals is one reason Abigail Shaw-Bolen, deputy director, thinks the event has grown.
“We rebuilt a relationship between The Wesley and campus. Shana has proved her commitment, and we have gotten involved with other ministries on campus,” said Shaw-Bolen, who has been an intern for two years and volunteered for six months before that. “Plus, NSU is growing.”
While growth can be good, Shaw-Bolen said she and The Wesley leadership team are worried they won’t be able to keep providing the free service. They hope to get support from local churches and the community.
“We are lucky to have the support we do have. Students shouldn’t hesitate to come. We need them to need us,” she said. “This is the best ministry in terms of getting involved in service. It seems like for millennials, like myself, they see their faith grow through service.”
Besides financial resources, The Wesley meals depend on volunteers. Dry said that besides the student leaders, she has two consistent volunteers who work with her every Wednesday morning, and four to eight volunteers each week. She appreciates them because it frees her up to visit with the students who come for lunch.
Members of Tahlequah First United Methodist Church, Melanie Modene and Cherry Scott, said they love to chip in. Scott said it helps to take her mind off of other things while giving in service.
“I love seeing the students. They are so appreciative. They come in for a warm meal and sit and talk. It’s heartwarming to see it. It’s quite a blessing,” said Modene.
Students come to The Wesley at other times of the week and year, too.
During NSU finals week each semester, such as next week, The Wesley will be open 12 hours a day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“There are so many students who have finals Wednesday through Friday, so they have to stay here, and they sometimes run out of cafeteria points,” said Dry.
During normal school weeks, The Wesley is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Inside the building is a large sectional couch, a 70-inch TV, computers and a printer, a pool table, and more. Drinks and snacks are available. Outside, there are picnic tables, a fire pit, and a large swing Dry had built this summer after being inspired by the one at Camp Egan.
“They come and listen to music, lounge around and work on their laptops, or watch Netflix. It’s a home away from home,” said Dry.
Worship services are held on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and are followed at 8 by the Table Talk open forum and discussion sessions. A special Christmas service was held last night, featuring the worship band.
“Sometimes we get caught up in the needs of youth and children, which is very important, but after the age 18, they still need love and acceptance. Yes, they are legal adults, but they still need acceptance and assurance from the community,” said Dry. “They are hungry. For most, it is their first time away from home. The NSU Wesley Foundation is a ministry serving that gap. It’s all centered on Christ’s love.””
November 9th, 2017
Hurts Donut of Tulsa Fundraiser
September 25th, 2017
By Felicia Smetana, NSU Student
“Northeastern Activities Board is encouraging students to come to the NAB movie night at the Green Country Cinema.
September 24th, 2017
By Billy Jo Gordon, NSU Student
“With new and intriguing movies being released frequently, the Northeastern Activities Board Entertainment Committee provides opportunities for students to view them at a reduced price.
Students are not only given the opportunity to view a movie at a reduced price, but they are also given the opportunity to serve their community. All the money raised will be donated to the Wesley Foundation. The Wesley Foundation is a church foundation that serves the NSU students free lunch every Wednesday and free breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday during finals week.
“Students should come take a break from studying and enjoy some entertainment,” said Sara Johnson, NSU campus activities coordinator.
The two movies being shown are “IT” and “American Assassin.” These two movies alone will bring in approximately 200 students, due to diversity of the two movies and NSU students interests.
NAB will send out an email to all students with a Google document attached for students to sign up. The cost to get into the movie is $3.
The movies will begin at 10 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Green Country Cinemas.
For more information, email Katrin Mcgriff, NAB entertainment chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.”