JSU WESLEY FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER | FALL 2020 - SPRING 2021

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WES-SIDE STORIES

WHO ARE WE? The Jackson State Wesley Foundation ministers to the spiritual needs of Jackson State students, faculty, staff, and alumni. It plays a crucial role in nurturing and communicating the Methodist identity to the campus but is committed to creating disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world regardless of denominational affiliations. As a United Methodist entity on campus, the Jackson State Wesley strives to make conscious connections between faith and reason, between the quest for knowledge and the thirst for God. We promote programs that enhance spiritual quality of life for the college community.

The JSU Wesley Foundation is a dynamic diverse community of faith, supporting the entire JSU family with a well-rounded program dedicated to cultural, moral, and spiritual values in both theory and practice.Our plan of action is based off the flagships of faith model.

What are the Flagships of Faith? Fellowship, Friendship, Partnership, Discipleship, and Leadership. In this newsletter you will see the many different ways that the JSU Wesley Foundation has implemented the Flagships of Faith into our ministry. C R E A T E D

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FELLOWSHIP

FELLOWSHIP Through worship activities and events we are creating a safe space for fellowship and spiritual formation. Here are a few of the ways we have created fellowship amongst our students with our peers, our community and our national network.

SUNDAY SERVICES With the changes of the pandemic, we shifted to a virtual platform to host our Sunday worship experiences. This includes:

Welcome Week Worship Service featuring

Rev Forest, Scottie Willis, and Beryl Langdon. Students were welcomed back to campus for the semester, given a word of strength and encouragement and covered in prayer for protection in their new season.

EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE where we joined in fellowship with FAMU, TSU, and Howard University. Students were met with amazing speakers, joyful worship and a powerful word.

"HOLY WEEK WAS MEANINGFUL IN THAT WE FOUND A WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AMID THE PANDEMIC. PEOPLE AND OTHER SCHOOLS WERE QUESTIONING IF EASTER WAS CANCELLED SO FINDING A SAFE WAY TO COME TOGETHER TO EXPRESS OUR FAITH AND WORSHIP WAS VERY MEANINGFUL." - REV. KEVIN KOSH

FATHER'S DAY SERVICE We fellowshipped with Howard University Wesley Foundation and The Bridge in D.C Asbury UMC for a dynamic Father’s Day Service with the Word brought by our own, Rev. Kevin Kosh, Jr.

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FELLOWSHIP

FRIDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY JSU students held Bible study with Gammon Theological Seminar, an HBCU Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the only seminary in the country of its kind. ITC is an HBCU Theological Center comprised of 6 different denominational seminaries into one for a holistic, Christ-centered, culture conscious, theological and serviceminded education.

EASTER SUNDAY SPECIAL EVENTS SERVICE JSU has hosted and partnered with local churches and organizations for special events of fellowship and spiritual formation. As partners of the National Network of Young Adults, JSU students have engaged in a wide range of opportunities to hear, discern, and respond to God’s call upon their lives to make a difference in the world.

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FELLOWSHIP

THRIVE CONFERENCE

The Thrive Conference is a faith-based

This conference sought to guide students

entrepreneur conference hosted by St.

in understanding God’s call on their life

James UMC in partnership with the

and how they can use the gifts that God

National Network of Young Adults. This

has put in them to impact the world and

conference was designed to help navigate

thrive. Speakers included: Dr. Gregory

students through the tough questions of

Ellison, II of Emory University and Fearless

discovering purpose and divine reason for

Dialogues⁠, Pastor Tavares Stephens⁠ Asst.

their existence.

Pastor of St. James UMC, and Nathalie Nelson Parker⁠ of NNYA.

TRANSFORMATION TOUR This transformational event was a 5-stop virtual conference and college tour to provide Campus ministries and campus ministers at UM-related historically black colleges and universities the opportunity to gain spiritual and strategic partnerships with United Methodist related seminaries and annual conferences to strengthen ministries, as well as regional impact. Participants experienced interest driven and relevant training to respond to social justice needs within their respective context, a few topics included: “Jesus, Justice, and the People” and “Staying Connected Within a Global Community.” The event featured many talented and spirit-filled speakers from across the United Methodist community.The night featured keynote speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas, and a surprise worship special from Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child. 4


FRIENDSHIP

TRIVIA & GAME NIGHT

FRIENDSHIP With small groups based upon student interest the JSU Wesley provides

JSU Students came together for

opportunities for authentic, accountable, and transformational friendships to be developed.

a fun and factual night of Black History Legacy Leaders Trivia! We brought our favorite snacks, quizzed each other’s knowledge on our black history leaders and played our favorite games together (virtually, of course).

BOOK CLUB JSU Wesley begun "How to be Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi book club in partnership with Gammon Theological Seminary & St Luke UMC. Participants came together weekly to dialogue their takeaways and weekly lesson.

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FRIENDSHIP

JSU BLUE & WHITE WEEK The JSU Blue and White Week Gospel Moment brought inspirational hype and hope to the students of JSU. Rev. Kevin Kosh opened up the show with a powerful spoken word piece titled, "I AM." Students shared testimonies of where their challenges met triumph and international gospel artist, T-RAN, debuted his two new music videos, "Overcomer" and "Save Me" just for the students of JSU! Rev. Kevin Kosh shared his profound "I AM" sermon where he addresses the questions that Christians face when walking in the faith. Check out JSU Wesley's Gospel Moment on YouTube and subscribe to our channel for more content!

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FRIENDSHIP

NNYA LIT GRADUATION The National Network of Young Adults held a virtual graduation ceremony for high school and college graduates across their national network of schools and colleges. The night was filled with honor as student's names were called from across the country as a celebration of recognition for their accomplishment. Comedian, Kevin Johnson, Jr. brought students joy and laughter and digital prizes and gift cards were awarded throughout the evening.

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FRIENDSHIP

MOVIE NIGHT JSU Wesley students and Couparle UMC came together to watch Eddie Murphy's iconic sequel, "Coming 2 America" in a virtual movie night filled with laughter.

EASTER SUNDAY BLACK VOICES IN SERVICE FILM JSU students partnered with students from Gammon Theological Seminary and Professor Littlefield from the Rust College Humanities Department to discuss John Singleton's Film, "Baby Boy" to analyze black expression in film, toxic masculinity and what this classic film has meant for our generation.

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PARTNERSHIP

PARTNERSHIP The JSU Wesley Foundation is working with local churches, the Methodist Connections, other campus ministries and the JSU community to raise funds, raise awareness, and to promote its mission and ministries.

JSU WESLEY & PRISON REFORM “Our JSU Students are very passionate about prison reform and whether we are addressing the poor conditions of our prisons or the unfair sentencing of our people, the JSU Wesley Foundation works to expose students to how faith and justice can go hand-in-hand.” - Rev. Kevin Kosh

The JSU Wesley Foundation has partnered with two major prison reform organizations in efforts to bring awareness and reform to the state of our prison systems. Students were invited to attend the "Stop the Trauma and Violence Redemption and Re-entry Conferece" held by Dr. Madeline McClenny and the Exodus Foundation. Students also joined SBC21's National Prison Summit in their "Be the Hope" panel discussion and movie screening. Students participated in their Interrupting the School to Prison Pipeline Webinar and PUSHOUT: The Criminialization of Black Girls in Schools movie screening.

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PARTNERSHIP

JSU WESLEY & SOCIAL JUSTICE

EASTER SUNDAY ELECTION PROTECTION SERVICE

The JSU Wesley partnered for election protection with Ms. Catherine Robinson from One Voice Mississippi, a program with the Mississippi State Conference NAACP to help safeguard poll access to all eligible Mississippians. One Voice MS. provided volunteer and internship opportunities for JSU students interested in protecting the vote on election day or civic Engagement.

This event took place during the 50th Anniversary of the Gibbs-Green Tragedy,

where in 1970 students

organized for voter registration and were met with midnight gunfire from heavily armed officers that resulted in the injury of many students and the death of Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a 21-year-old Jackson State College student, and James Earl Green, a 17-year-old Jim Hill High School senior. JSU Honored the senior class of 1970 with a special graduation ceremony for the students who were not able to walk the stage their senior year. 10


PARTNERSHIP

JSU WESLEY AGAINST RACISM JSU Wesley students have hosted and partnered with many organizations to take a stance against racism. One organization in particular is

TRIVIA & GAME NIGHT Church and Society

UMC.Students engaged in a series of webinars that

addressed the issues of racism across black and brown communities as well as asian communities and sharing four of the UMC Resolutions that speak to the issue of racism.

JSU WESLEY RESILIANCE AND RESISTANCE Jackson State University Wesley Foundation, partnered with Church and Society, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st century, and National Network of Young Adults to create spaces for college students to connect virtually and be introduced to the United Methodist Connection, be resourced and empowered through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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DISCIPLESHIP

DISCIPLESHIP

WELLNESS CALLS

Intentional Spiritual formation

We called students and

through biblical teachings , service projects and mentorship opportunities which allow those

ins during the beginning of

involved to merge their passions, their faith, and their profession

faculty to do wellness check-

the pandemic and throughout. Knowing that anxiety was high, it was very pivotal that we did wellness calls for mental health check-ins on our campus. Rev. Kevin Kosh

PAW PARTNERS JSU WESLEY PROVIDES SPIRITUAL SUPPORT The JSU Wesley Foundation developed PAW Partners (prayer always works) as a group of clergy in partnership with JSU Student Affairs and the campus police, who are trained to provide a presence of ministry to the campus in critical situations. The group also provides training for student leaders to teach them the do's and don'ts of assisting in difficult times. 12


DISCIPLESHIP

JSU WESLEY HELPING THE COMMUNITY The JSU Wesley Foundation partnered with Anderson UMC to unload food donations at their local food pantry. The pandemic brought a large increase of families in need of food and the JSU Wesley Foundation has partnered with Anderson UMC on several different occasions to help meet the needs of the community through food drives as well as having food donated to the school's campus food pantry for student utilization.

CAMPUS WATER DONATION JSU Wesley partnered with Anderson UMC and Crystal Springs UMC to donate waters to the students of JSU during their time of need after an ice storm in the city. Donations were made to Dixon and Alexander Dorms.

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DISCIPLESHIP

JSU WESLEY HEALING THE COMMUNITY JSU Wesley students partnered with Anderson UMC for two health events to administer annual flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations and testing to the public. Students assisted with facilitating traffic lines, administered necessary materials, as well as registered individuals to vote.

JSU WESLEY COVID RELIEF The United Methodist SBC21 hosted more than 300 black church pastors, laity, and nonprofit leaders for its first ever online conference to bring clarity to the challenges facing the Black Church and its community and share practical resources to strengthen churches facing uncertainties due to the national pandemic. This virtual conference featureD a speaker to discuss ways to help combat these concerns. The meeting offers three tracks of teaching and learning: Inform, Inspire, and Ignite. Presenters shared information on Payroll Protection and How the Cares Act Can Help Your Church or Nonprofit; We Need to Survive COVID-19; Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Isolation; and Seeing All the People in the Age of COVID-19, just to name a few.

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LEADERSHIP

J JSSUUWWEESSL LEEYY&D PE RVIESLOONP S RSE PF IORRI TMU A L L E A D E R S

LEADERSHIP Provide leadership

The JSU Wesley Foundation presented "Tiger

opportunities for students

Talk: Spirituality In College" to help develop

to help promote ethical,

spiritual leaders for the body of Christ within the Jackson State campus.

vital, self-sustaining ministry for the JSU community

JSU WESLEY DEVELOPS COURAGEOUS LEADERS The JSU Wesley Foundation is helping to develop grace filled and courageous campus leaders through

participation in,

Grace filled Conversation workshop and worship service on how to have courageous conversations with Delaware Annual Conference of United Methodist Church and US Rep Lisa Blunt Rochester. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester is also known for her courageous and faith filled moment during the U.S. Capitol riots where she was seen kneeling in prayer on national news.

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LEADERSHIP

JSU WESLEY LEADS STATEWIDE BIBLE STUDY The Jackson State Wesley Foundation had the honor of leading all Wesley Foundations in the state of Mississippi in a virtual bible study. Students were able to fellowship and come together for prayer and worship and share their stories of faith.

EASTER SUNDAY CREATING SAFE SPACES SERVICE

As a leader, one must be equipped with the

In order to be an effective leader, one must

tools and signs of suicide awareness to

create a "Sacred Space" to rest and

recognize and help those in need. JSU

recharge. JSU participated in SBC21's

Wesley Foundation lead a suicide

National Network of Young Adults where

prevention awareness campaign where our

campus leaders were lead in a time of

campus leader shared his story and

centering, encouraging, and sharing

equipped students with the knowledge and

resources (grants, training, and other free

resources of suicide prevention.

opportunities) to empower them in their work.

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THANK YOU

A MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR

REVEREND KEVIN KOSH, JR. The JSU Wesley’s mission is to empower faith that transforms lives. What does that mean? Empowering faith that transforms lives means doing ministry transformational ways.

When students come to college, they ask 4 questions: 1. Who? Who am I? 2. What? What am I doing? 3. Where? Where am I going? 4. How? How will I get there?

As our students wrestle with hearing, discerning, and responding to the call on their lives, they are being equipped and nurtured in how to build community, think theologically, grow professionally as leaders, but most importantly, see how God’s grace is present and active in their lives and calling them to make a difference in the world.

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Students need a faith that grows with them as they go through college, and that is what the JSU Wesley Foundation helps them achieve. It helps them experience God in traditional ways and nontraditional ways as they try to hear, discern, and explore their calling, whether that is within the church or outside of the four walls. - Rev. Kevin Kosh

JSU WESLEY AND YOU! If you are reading this that means you are a difference maker! The JSU Wesley appreciate your gifts and support. Your assistance is the answer to many students prayers on our college campus.

Maybe you are wondering how can I continue to be a “JSU Wesley 601 Difference Maker” or how can I start.

Feel free to contact us at JSUWESELY601@gmail.com or send financial gifts to our mailing address

JSU Wesley Foundation 401 E South Street PO Box 3502 Jackson, Mississippi 39207

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!