Wesley Glen’s annual gala celebrates residents, raises support

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.
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The Gospel of John tells us that Christ, our Lord, came to give us all life, abundant life. From this we see that it was always God’s desire for humanity to have a rich and satisfying life, rather than just a mere existence. At Wesley Glen Ministries, we believe that the goal of abundant life is the standard by which we seek to provide those under our care with a fullness of life through the very best care that we can offer.

Wesley Glen United Methodist Church is a part of the South Georgia Annual Conference.

As an organization that believes we have been called by God to provide excellent 24-hour residential and day program support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Wesley Glen has, over the last couple of years, sought to recapture this core mission of Christian servitude. We at Wesley Glen began to pray and brainstorm about a new event that would take the place of our Annual Fish Fry. We wanted this new event to truly to celebrate our residents and bring in much-needed support that would help us to offer the fullness of life we seek to give to all of those under our care.

The Abundant Life Gala became the product of this prayerful soul-searching. This event was held for the very first time on Feb. 22, 2020, and became a huge success. The event featured live music, a catered dinner, dancing, and a time for us to tell the story of what we do at Wesley Glen. On this night, we met our financial goal by being gifted more financial support than we had ever received in one setting!

The success of this event came just one month before the dark cloud of Covid-19 descended upon our world. In just a matter of days after this incredible night, our entire campus and all of those we serve were placed under a state-mandated shelter-in-place order that has kept all we serve in a year-long quarantine.

So, as the anniversary of our first annual Abundant Life Event began to get closer and closer, we decided that not only would we continue with our efforts at planning our second Abundant Life event, but that we would make it even better than the first, while still ensuring that it was both safe and effective for those we serve.

The second annual Gala tool place on March 6, 2021, and it was an amazing success. This event was certainly different than our first – this year it was virtual – yet in many ways this event had a larger impact than we could have ever imagined. We were able to raise more financial support on this night than we did in the previous year and we exceeded the fundraising goal that we set by more than we could ever have imagined.

We could never have accomplished this feat without the help of our amazing supporters, and the members of the South Georgia Annual Conference. For all of this, I would like to say “thank you” to all of you who helped to make this Abundant Life celebration a great success, even under difficult circumstances. We could not have done this without you.

excerpt from a story by Dr. Tyler PlaxicoPresident/CEO, Wesley Glen Ministries, Inc.

This story represents how United Methodist local churches through their Annual Conferences are living as Vital Congregations. A vital congregation is the body of Christ making and engaging disciples for the transformation of the world. Vital congregations are shaped by and witnessed through four focus areas: calling and shaping principled Christian leaders; creating and sustaining new places for new people; ministries with poor people and communities; and abundant health for all.