Why Wesley?

There are plenty of churches in Fresno representing a lot of denominations of Christianity and ways of following Jesus Christ, so why Wesley?  It’s a good question!  Let us share some of the reasons.

We are an open, inclusive church.  Wesley has been a reconciling congregation—i.e. pro LGBTQ+, since 1984, and was the 2nd church in the nation to join the Reconciling Ministries Network.  We don’t simply tolerate, but welcome and encourage the participation and leadership of LGBTQ+ siblings in the life of our church.  As a member of the Western Jurisdiction of the UMC, we stand in solidarity as we fight for the full inclusion and rights of LGBTQ+ siblings.

Our members come from every culture and every socioeconomic group, and we strive to embrace them all.

We are at the forefront of encouraging women to give strong leadership in the church.  United Methodists have more women clergy than any other denomination, and that makes us happy.

We are a giving church.  When we join Wesley, we promise to serve God and support the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our witness and our service; and that pledge enables us to give generously to many mission efforts here at home and throughout the world as part of the global church.

worship service with congregation looking at the speaker who is reading a prayer
worship service with congregation looking at the speaker who is reading a prayer

We are a church with a family spirit.  This family approach enables us to be there for each other in our joys and sorrows from the cradle to the grave.

We are a church that reaches out with deep compassion to help hurting people.  Our United Methodist Committee on Relief (called UMCOR) is quickly on the scene all over the world to provide aid, love, and care to the victims of natural disasters, wars and other catastrophes, such as the people of Ukraine.

We encourage a strong, personal relationship with Jesus, and strive to continue his ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and caring.  Extending the circle of love to others involves the risk of rejection, the risk of ridicule, the risk of tears.  But that’s what Jesus did.

And that’s why we welcome newcomers into our midst.  By doing so, we say through our very actions, I love you Lord.  And we do!  Won’t you join us?

At Wesley, all means all

Why Christian Faith?

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” Hebrews 11:1-2, The MSG

Our faith in God creates a space to recognize what we cannot know, to welcome the Mystery, and surrender a sense of control or mastery of the universe for peace and openness to whatever God and Creation may reveal to us.

It goes by definition that being a disciple of Jesus Christ means we must have discipline.  We wonder though if we actually live our lives that way.  Sure, we may work hard and all.  But are we making God-centered spiritual connections?  It’s so easy to forget our priorities.

How did this situation occur?  We believe it stems at least partly from a failure in the past to emphasize biblical literacy and not offer enough small groups to help us discover and explore our God-given gifts on a regular basis.  As we learned when we dissected the “clobbering” Scriptures in the bible used to hurt so many LGBTQ+ folk, following Jesus takes hard work and perseverance!

We believe we need to deepen our connection to God by building up our spiritual muscle on the inside, as well as the outside.  And it’s like any other kind of exercise; you either use it or lose it.

Won’t you join us on your journey of faith?

worship service with congregation looking at the speaker who is reading a prayer

Why Give?

worship service with congregation looking at the speaker who is reading a prayer

Stewardship is a spiritual attitude that begins with the understanding that all we are and all we own are gifts, freely given by our loving God.  And when that fact—that everything is an unmerited gift—seeps deeply into our consciousness, there are at least two outcomes:

  • A deep yearning to somehow “give back” in thanksgiving some share of all that has been given; and
  • A dawning understanding of the need to use those gifts wisely and responsibly.

One definition of stewardship, then, is “an attitude of responsive and responsible gratitude.”  Our stewardship becomes, in some sense, the measure of our discipleship—the way we live out our call as Christians to follow Jesus.

Inspired by The Abingdon Guide to Funding Ministry, Volume 2, Donald W. Joiner & Norma Wimberly, Abingdon Press, 2009, p. 106.