The President's Message: In This Together
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, I am sure the word “pandemic” was not a part of your everyday conversations. Overnight, the attention of the entire planet was captured by the reality of this virus, which caused unexpected interruption to our already hectic lives. We had other things to do, our schedules were already full and there was no room to add this to our daily activities. Suddenly everything changed.
Our university community responded quickly as we moved the entire campus to virtual learning and off-campus operations. Our faculty and staff worked tirelessly and made the necessary changes almost overnight. Complex challenges and difficult decisions followed as the rhythm of the school year was interrupted and redirected as events and traditions were disrupted or cancelled. Our university faculty, staff, students and families responded creatively, courageously and heroically to these challenging issues.
The resumption of on-campus classes this fall was preceded by months of preparation and implementation of many new policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. Once again, our people responded to the challenges innovatively, creatively and courageously. Students excitedly returned to campus and they adapted to the unusual demands placed upon them. It was then that the phrase “we are in this together” began to resonate across campus as the true meaning of “together” became more evident with time.
How should we as a college and community of faith respond during this pandemic?
It turns out that God’s Word has much to say about pandemics and refers to it as “pestilence” which is defined as “any serious infectious disease that spreads quickly and kills large numbers of people.” The prophet Habakkuk was not hesitant to point out the chaos and confusion in his world and referred specifically to pestilence confronting the people. If that isn’t enough, he added famine, mildew, locusts, caterpillars and attack from enemies who sought to destroy them. Sound familiar?
In response to his cries of despair, the Lord answered him this way, “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if I told you.” Perhaps in our own day and in our own season of pestilence our response should reflect the same obedience, courage and persistent faith as Habakkuk when he responded, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” Habakkuk 3:18.
Even in these challenging days we really are in this together...with Him.