As all pet owners know, our pets are the greatest part of our day, and they make coming home from work or school so much better. But, since everyone is social distancing and staying at home, we get to be around them and play with them all day long. The Wesleyan community has a variety of pets, ranging from Director of Christian Life Greg Lisson’s sweet dog, Sam, to High School English Teacher Katie Wischerth’s handsome kitty, Ernie. But the question is, what have these wonderful creatures been up to during quarantine? I asked many Wesleyan students and faculty to tell me a little bit about what their beloved companions have been up to during this time. Here is what they said:
Service could not be exemplified better than by the Wesleyan Omicron Service Society. Omicron is an after-school activity where many Wesleyan high school students volunteer to serve the Peachtree Corners community. While they go to many different locations, they mainly focus on tutoring younger children and spending time with the elderly. Members of the team, including sophomore Elizabeth Schneider, think of Omicron as an “enriching opportunity to serve others.” It gives students the opportunity to reach out and improve not only the children’s lives, but also the future of Peachtree Corners. Keep Reading
The Wesleyan Mission Trip team has been serving in South Africa for years and each year the trip impacts even more people than before. This year’s team, led by Mr. Lisson, Dr. Pinkett-Smith, Mrs. Hemken, Mr. Russell and Ms. Stephenson, traveled from Atlanta to Johannesburg for a two week trip filled with service.
When they arrived in Johannesburg, they stayed at an organization called Impact Africa, which provides ministry and creates jobs for local South Africans. From the start, they knew their trip was going to be extremely beneficial both for them and the people they were serving.
The many activities and worship sessions kept the team busy for the whole trip. While in Johannesburg, the team walked through townships, shared the gospel with people, played with different groups of preschool children and run two days of Vacation Bible School. Many students’ favorite moments came from their time at VBS. Junior Sydney Stirling said, “Doing VBS for the community was definitely a high point from my trip, and I will never forget the joy I brought to them.” Lisson said, “I think the highlight for me was a worship night we had on Wednesday night. It was the first moment I realized just how far we had come in the few days we had been together.”
The annual event that is Freshman Retreat is a timeless Wesleyan Tradition performed every year that brings students closer together with their peers, teachers and most of all, God. It is an opportunity for the Wesleyan freshman class to meet new people, create new bonds and prepare for the upcoming school year in dynamic fashion. Freshman Retreat is started with the intense excitement and energy on the morning of Aug. 9, when the Staff and Students arrived on campus to welcome the freshman and hype them up for an amazing weekend full of fun, food and Jesus.
From the moment the students and staff were loaded on the bus, the enthusiasm was evident. The 90-minute journey to this year’s destination was filled with silly games, beautiful karaoke and meaningful conversations and connections. The time flew by and before they knew it, they had arrived at this year’s retreat destination: Sharp Top Cove. Upon arriving at Sharp Top, the students and staff were flooded with fun team building activities and games. Some of the activities include basketball, beach volleyball, human pyramid building, swimming, zip lining and the messiest of all: shaving cream wars. So many activities made so many favorite moments and memories being created. Senior Chris O’Sullivan said, “My favorite memory was getting to know the freshmen in my peer group and having fun with them.”
One of the most important parts of Wesleyan is its strong faith and loving community, and this can be seen in each year’s Christian Life Theme. A new Christian Life theme is presented during the first All-School Chapel. Students and faculty always get excited for this big reveal, as the theme gives everyone a new way to look at the scripture and their faith, and it discusses a different aspect of the message each month.
Every Thursday, students attend chapel and listen to a speaker, usually a student or teacher, give a devotion focused on the month’s smaller message and connected to the year’s larger theme. The theme is chosen by Greg Lisson, Wesleyan’s Director of Christian Life, and when asked about it he said, “The theme for this year is Stories of the Kingdom, and the image that we’re using to capture the theme is the image of a tapestry. The quick version of the theme is that each month we’re going to look at different stories from scripture, stories and parables that Jesus told.” Keep Reading