by Alicia Hein
As the world lies in the grip of a crisis unlike any in living memory, people around the globe are finding the rhythms of their lives changed in ways they never could have imagined. Schools and businesses are closed; children study from home while parents work online. Every aspect of everyday life, it seems, has had to be adjusted in some way, and people throughout our communities are trying their best to find some routine in this new normal. At Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College, we have had to make adjustments too. Some of these have been more difficult than others, but in the midst of the changes, we have also discovered so many “good news” elements for which we can wholeheartedly praise our God.
We are thankful for the quick response of our faculty, administrative staff, and students in the process of moving our classes online. Within 24 hours after the province mandated school closures, our students were logging into remote classes from their homes and receiving the same incredible quality of teaching from professors who jumped in to meet the challenge.
We are thankful that, even though all of our classes are now online, our school itself has not closed. Our staff continue to work hard to maintain the everyday functions of the seminary and college, and our admissions office continues to walk new potential students through the application process. We are eagerly awaiting the students God is putting in place to join us in the fall.
We are thankful to celebrate with one of our largest graduating classes ever this year. Though our traditional May ceremony has been postponed, we look forward to honoring the accomplishments of 19 men and women at a later date in the fall. Some of these graduates are watching their plans for the future move and shift before their eyes, so please pray that God would grant them peace and guidance as they seek His will for the next steps of their lives.
In a video message to friends of the seminary and college, our president Dr. Rob Blackaby encouraged all believers to be intentional in using this season to focus on spiritual growth and relationships. Where people once considered themselves too busy to spend extra time in Bible reading or prayer, he noted that “those excuses have evaporated in these days.” Further, as this crisis deepens our awareness of an innate need for community and relationship, Dr. Blackaby urged us to focus on strengthening connections with friends, family, and colleagues in any available ways, not being discouraged by the need for physical distancing but looking for creative opportunities to show love to others in a difficult time.
In spite of the current global uncertainty, then, we can be confident that God is still at work. We praise Him for the ways in which we have seen His faithfulness over the past several weeks. Dr. Blackaby expressed well our prayer for our school community during this time, and for the rest of the body of Christ: “Maybe one of the long-term impacts of this COVID-19 crisis will be that we discover new rhythms in our life – rhythms that include a more intentional time spent in the Word, and applying that Word to our everyday life. Maybe it will be a new rhythm of intentionally interacting with people in relationship. . . I pray that you know we love you, and we want that this crisis will resolve in us loving God more deeply, loving His Word more thoroughly, and loving each other. God bless you.”