Jim Marshall has been a member of the Wesley Foundation Board since the beginning. He is also a member of the United Methodist Church of Merced and enjoys traveling.
What inspired you to be part of Wesley Foundation Merced?
At the time Wesley was being considered - there were lots of questions as to what, if formed, Wesley Merced would "look like". Would it be a place for students to gather, or an intentional living opportunity, or, just a "club" meeting at the Church? As City Manager, I was asked to participate by discussing future growth plans for the City, possible sites for a Wesley House, zoning isues, etc. The thought of growing something to meet the spiritual needs of our new students to a new University in our community was exciting.
What have been the greatest blessings that you have seen over the past 10 years?
The purchase and lease and the House by the Bizzini's - who have been God-sends to UC Merced, CSU STanislaus, Merced College, etc. The emerging leadership - Having a "called" Pastor is critical to the success of the House - it adds authenticity, maturity, and spiritual leadership.
What is your idea for what God might do with WFM over the next 10 years?
Continue to grow the spiritual awareness of the students. There will always be a housing need - but filling the house should be important but not the only reason for existing. Encouraging students participation in various projects, our Church, and their spirituality should be paramount. Having critical staff in place, as noted above, is a key element of this.
What is your prayer for the students that Wesley Foundation Merced reaches?
Peace, understanding, a bright future including knowing the Love of Christ.