Wesleyan students and staff traveled to Johnsonburg, N.J., March 18-22 to participate in the fourth annual Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Interfaith Service Trip. The group had representation from the Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim communities.
The student participants included Nacala Gadsden ’21, Joy Adedokun ’19, Fitzroy Pablo Wickham ’21, Brynn Assignon ’20, and Fatima Sepulveda ’21. The trip was led by University Chaplain Rev. Tracy Mehr-Muska and Sandy Durosier ’13, area coordinator for residential life.
“The purpose of the trip was to engage in community service and learn about other faiths,” Mehr-Muska said.
The group stayed at the faith-based Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center and volunteered their time at the Barnyard Sanctuary in Johnsonburg; Trinity Methodist Church Thrift Shop in Hackettstown, N.J.; and Manna House Soup Kitchen in Newton, N.J.
“Each of these incredible nonprofits happened to be run by women, and the students were able to see the complexity and rewarding nature of developing and sustaining important, life-giving community organizations,” Mehr-Muska said.
In the evenings, the group gathered to reflect on the day and discuss issues including self-care and learn new spiritual practices. The group also attended a special service at a Jewish temple for the holiday of Purim and had the opportunity to dialogue with the rabbi and community leaders about Judaism.
In addition to spiritual devotional time, the group participated in an array of social gatherings including walking a labyrinth, bowling, journaling, playing volleyball, making decoupage, zip-lining, watching a movie, and making a campfire.
Photos of the Interfaith Service Trip are below: