Dear Friends of ULS:

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
(1 Corinthians: 16:13)

We all share the feeling that the pandemic dominates everything we do, talk, and think about these days, as will be the case for the foreseeable future. There is some respite when we see, on social media, the creative ways people are filling their hours. Late night talk show hosts present their monologues from home, often with young children under foot to help lighten the distressing news cycle. Families have found inventive ways to celebrate milestones and Spring weather has come just in time for long walks.

However, there are some folks who don’t have the luxury of sitting in their yard or on their front porch. There are people cramped in tiny city apartments or trying to navigate homeschooling for the first time. There are those who have lost a loved one to this virus, unable to sit by their bedside and pray. There are the healthcare workers with facial bruises from protective gear. There are heartbreaking photos of nurses hugging one another while mourning the loss of a beloved co-worker. We are bombarded with these thoughts and images daily, often looking for a way to escape the data, the curve, the growing numbers.

And just this past week, we started seeing throngs of angry people protesting around the country to reopen their city or state. Our initial reaction may be one of anger as well. How can these people gather in the hundreds, mere inches from each other, holding up signs some see as offensive to those professionals only looking to protect us, and them? They may contribute to a surge in the numbers which will only delay the country’s slow and what is sure to be arduous return to a “new normal.”

Yet, we should be mindful that many of these Americans have lost their jobs, with no indication when or if they’ll get them back. They may not have the luxury to work from home. They may be struggling to feed their families. They may not have Wi-Fi at home, leaving their children to fall behind at school.

Each person has a story.

As faithful servants of God, we are responsible to be compassionate and helpful to those who are suffering. Social distancing, wearing a mask, staying at home --- while we may complain about these restrictions, they are meager in comparison to the struggles faced by those who have lost businesses or can’t put food on the table.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
This verse from 1 Corinthians is especially meaningful as we approach May of 2020.

“Be on your guard” – continue social distancing to protect not only yourself, but those who may be more vulnerable.

“Stand firm in the faith” – it is our faith that gets us through the hardest of times.

“Be courageous” – These are frightening circumstances for all of us. I hope you find comfort in prayer with loved ones, friends and through ULS’s virtual chapel every Wednesday at 11:45AM via Zoom. ULS students should feel free to reach out to Pastor Gwen or Pastor Terry with their concerns.

“Be strong” – This will pass. Will we go back to the way of life pre-COVID-19? Likely not for some time, and perhaps never completely. But our faith and belief in all that is good will persevere, and by the grace of God, our patience and compassion toward one another will blossom and grow.

Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing you in person again soon.

In gratitude,

Rev. Angela Zimmann, Ph.D., CFRE
Interim President
United Lutheran Seminary
Gettysburg + Philadelphia
President, United Lutheran Seminary Endowment Foundation
Adjunct Professor of Homiletics


The ULS COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor the infection rate data and the information forthcoming from Governor Wolf’s office earlier this week. They have recommended ULS extend the working remotely deadline from April 30 to May 15, at which time they will reassess the situation. Our staff and faculty have been notified of this update. My heartfelt thanks to those who continue to work to maintain housekeeping, mailrooms, grounds work and security on both campuses.

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