A Statement from President Ken Cuffey
Urbana Seminary is monitoring the unfolding situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) here and around the world. We are committed to doing what is best for our Seminary community, and to respond as followers of Jesus in ways that maximize the good we do in the world around.
As a result of the rapid spread of the infection, and the unique ways in which it is transmitted, we have decided to move our classes into an online format using Zoom as our platform. This is effective immediately as classes resume after Spring Break on March 23rd. We will use this format minimally for the next three weeks in line with the guidelines for the state of Illinois. At that time we will reevaluate. The expectation is that conducting courses remotely will extend beyond that deadline, very possibly for the remainder of Spring Semester, 2020. We will announce the format for Summer classes at a later date. Watch for further updates.
Think of your neighbor. As Jesus’ people we take seriously God’s injunction to love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 23:39) We encourage everyone in our Seminary community to be diligent to act in ways that will not only keep each individual from contracting the virus, but also to avoid any possibilities of passing the virus along to others, most especially those in the most vulnerable population groups, such as older persons and those with other besetting health issues. In obedience to the call to love our neighbor, anyone around us, we will encourage minimizing contact, social distancing, and voluntarily self-quarantining. We are thankful that so much of the work of the school can be carried on remotely with today’s technology.
Please pray. Pray that the rapidly rising tide of this virus can be stemmed, and the virus even eradicated. Pray for those on the front lines of fighting this in health care, for all those who offer essential services through these unprecedented circumstances, and for public officials making critical decisions. Pray for healing, protection, and wisdom in each of our responses.
Keep the faith. Remember the stark contrast of the images in Psalm 46:1-3:
God is our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
And the mountains quake with their surging.
The picture of our world is that the mountains shake and collapse into the surging waters. This situation of tumult and chaos so far beyond our control would so naturally terrify us. Yet we do not fear, not because we have control, or understand what is happening. We do not fear because God is right here with us through the most painful times. He offers strength to lean on him and get through. He is depicted as our refuge, the one we can flee to and shelter with him.
Shelter at home, yes, but also shelter in the arms of the sovereign Creator.
Yours in Christ,