Wesley students go to Washington, learn about social justice issues over spring break

Wesley students go to Washington, learn about social justice issues over spring break

In mid-March, students from the Wesley Foundations at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Chattanooga united for a spring break adventure to Washington, D.C.

The United Methodist Seminar on National and International Affairs is a joint project of the General Board of Church and Society and the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. For their seminar topics, these college students from Holston chose world poverty, international mission trips, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Elizabeth Barr, UTK student and member at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Knoxville, wrote about her experience.


This year over spring break I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., for a seminar at the United Methodist Building. The week started with a long, sleepless, overnight bus ride from Knoxville to D.C. Now this was not exactly how I imagined how my spring break should begin. As I hauled my luggage from the bus stop to the metro and finally to the hotel, I had my doubts about how the week was going to go.

I had no idea the fun and learning that God had in store for me that week.

In D.C. we met with people from the UTC Wesley Foundation, and then we spent our first full day sightseeing around D.C. It was Sunday morning, so we went to the Washington National Cathedral for worship.

This was a much different experience than my normal Sunday routine. The church building itself is huge with stained glass and other ornate designs everywhere. The service was also structured quite a bit differently than that of my home church. Despite the differences, though, I really enjoyed worshiping in a different way. For the rest of the day, we visited several museums.

The majority of the week was spent at the United Methodist Building, learning about global missions. Our seminar was lead by the Rev. Neal Christie. We heard speakers and participated in activities designed to make us think about issues concerning global missions. This was an especially eye-opening for me because I hope to someday serve in medical missions.

Many of the ideas about poverty and legislation were new to me. Now I realize how big of an effect legislation has on missions in general. Along with learning about global missions, we had great opportunities to meet new people and form new friendships. I thoroughly enjoyed learning from and with the other people on the trip.

This week was a great chance for me to expand my thinking and gain valuable knowledge about missions. I may have had doubts in the beginning, but I am now glad to say that my week in D.C. was one of the best spring breaks I have ever had.


See also:

  • Wesley Foundation at UT Knoxville web site
  • Wesley Foundation at UT Chattanooga web site