Dear Members of the ULS Family:
After my last newsletter to you, a reader responded, wisely musing on how words of comfort are more often shared during a time of crisis – and yet, we should remember that there are those who were suffering before the pandemic, and those who will continue to suffer when it’s behind us.
Please know that I keep a detailed prayer list, and even though there are a multitude of COVID-related requests, I have also received many requests to pray for those stricken with other illnesses, to pray for those who have lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Others ask for prayers of thanksgiving at the birth of a new baby, recovery from an accident, or health restored. Yes, there are people suffering around the world every day, and rejoicing, too. As much unspeakable tragedy as this pandemic has caused, there have been glimpses of grace, as well.
I have been praying for those on my list and reflecting on the ways COVID has separated us, yet in some ways brought us closer together. A community that stretches across not just two campuses but an entire country – and beyond – can share smiles on a screen and the delight of unity through technology.
This pandemic has given many of us time to pause and reflect in a different way.
Over these last few weeks, in virtual conversations with students, faculty and staff, I have felt compelled to read from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and reflect on those words. This passage is a reminder that even though we sometimes may be divided over certain issues, we are, at the same time, more strongly united through human emotion.
We all love. We all laugh. We all weep.
Thus, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Service of Farewell and Godspeed
Please join us at 7:00PM EST on Thursday, May 14, for a virtual, online Service of Farewell and Godspeed to acknowledge our graduates in lieu of an in-person ceremony this year due to COVID-19. The printed program, along with a link to the service, will be available on our dedicated 2020 Commencement web page. Additional information on alternative 2020 commencement arrangements can also be found on this page, including a commemorative commencement bulletin that includes information about our graduates, the keynote address from Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson and congratulatory videos to graduating students from faculty and staff.
Please stay updated on COVID-19-related matters on our dedicated webpage.
Rev. Angela Zimmann, Ph.D., CFRE
United Lutheran Seminary
Gettysburg + Philadelphia
President, United Lutheran Seminary Endowment Foundation
Adjunct Professor of Homiletics