Just a little blog about me and mine.

A Post Not About Vacation May 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katie @ 9:49 am

While I spend a large part of each day writing, it’s usually grants or things that aren’t really relavant to share on the blog (and also not something I care all that much about, which is a problem I’m aware of and working on). Recently though, I was asked to write up something about my experiences at the Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation (GTWF) that will supposedly be shared at the North and South Georgia United Methodist Church Annual Confernences by the Commision on Higher Education. Another GTWF friend and I both ended up at seminary after Georgia Tech (actually not as strange as it sounds, as many of you know, since the GTWF has averaged 1-2 seminary-bound students each year for the last 40 years). We were asked to share a little about our experience, and someone who will remain nameless dug up a couple of pictures of us as students and then they took one of us together a few weeks ago to include with our statements.

Just for fun, here’s a picture of me working for Habitat for Humanity in what they tell me was 2001:


Here’s what I wrote:

My local United Methodist Church sent me off to college as an 18-year old after nurturing me as I grew up and moved from the nursery, to Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Confirmation Class and finally Youth Group. Despite this love and support that I felt in a local church, went I went to college, I decided I didn’t want to “do church” anymore. I had questions that were unanswered. Doubts that persisted. Plus, I was living on my own for the first time and could sleep as late as I wanted to on Sunday mornings. I suspect that most campus ministers know all of these things about college students—and this is precisely why they became campus ministers in the first place—but they can’t tell that to all of you in the local churches since they rely on you for financial support to keep the doors open to the young adults who used to go to your churches, but don’t want to anymore. This story of the wayward non-church going young adult ends well—I’m now once again active in a local United Methodist Church—and even went to seminary–so keep supporting Wesley Foundations.

During college orientation weekend, I was walking around my new home—the Georgia Tech campus—feeling lost, because I was lost, and also feeling a bit nervous and scared, because living away from home wasn’t quite as fun as I imagined it would be. As I walked, I saw the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech, and saw that the doors were open. Sometime before moving to campus that Fall, I had received a letter—as all United Methodist students entering Georgia Tech do—from the Wesley Foundation’s campus minister, inviting me to stop by sometime. I’m sure I didn’t keep the letter and bring it to school with me (wanting to go to church in college would look too uncool), and I’m sure I didn’t actually plan to go to the open house. But, as you might have guessed, I did go into the Wesley Foundation that day. And I kept going to the Wesley Foundation for the 4—ok 5—years it took to graduate from Georgia Tech.

If I had never walked in those red doors at the Wesley Foundation, I am almost certain that I wouldn’t be sharing with you today how at this most foundational and yes, scary, time in my life as a young adult, the Wesley Foundation gave to me the great gift of the development of an authentic, mature and lasting faith . It was the place where I could ask the questions I wanted and desperately needed to ask about my faith and explore my own beliefs and my own identity. Most importantly, it was the place where I learned about “vocation” and how to live out our calling in the world—whether that calling happens to be ministry, computer science or engineering. For me, and actually for several dozen other Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech alums over the years, this journey to learn to authentically live out our calling led us from a world full of calculus and physics into seminary and ministry. I received a Masters of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2006, and today, people often ask me if I regret going to Georgia Tech and suffering through all of those science and math classes just to get a degree in theology and ethics. And I tell them that no, I don’t regret it at all because I know that had I not ended up at Georgia Tech and had I not found a faith community at The Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation that nurtured and supported my calling and growth into adulthood, I probably would not have gone to seminary and quite possibly would not even still be going to church.


One Response to “A Post Not About Vacation”

  1. PL Says:

    No wonder I’m marrying you! You’re such a genius and an amazing writer. This is great! (But if you haven’t sent it already, you’re missing a word in the last sentence, and I’m saying that to be helpful, not critical! 🙂 ) I love you!!!

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