It has been a frenetic week for everyone. The pace of change has been so rapid, plans that seem sensible one day seem absurd the next. As I sit in an empty school building, it is now hard to imagine that less than two weeks ago students were laughing in the hallways and looking forward to spring highlights: interterm courses, athletics, the middle school play, and prom, to name a few. If someone had told me we would be out of school until at least May 4, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I believe that even in the most trying times, education is an essential function of society. When threatened, people can see new possibilities to rise up and overcome unexpected challenges. Despite the barriers inherent to distance learning, our teachers have been working diligently to put together new and creative lessons that continue to deliver a meaningful educational experience. In these difficult weeks ahead, we all have the ability to thrive. Teachers will be patient with students, as I am sure our students also practice patience and forgiveness when things do not go according to plan. As a school we stand by our promise to provide a high quality education based on the principles of Christian community and academic excellence.
We are all saddened by this crisis, and when we do not know what tomorrow may bring, it is easy to let fears and anxieties overcome us. It is now time for us to practice courage and strength. To that end, I am offering this prayer which comes from the Mennonite World Conference.
We pray for people in the U.S and around the world impacted by coronavirus. We pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have been quarantined and are feeling alone. We pray for healing for those who are sick. We pray for safety, strength and compassion for medical workers who may be overwhelmed caring for those who are battling various illnesses, and workers who are exposed to greater risks. We pray that our public officials act with compassion and wisdom as they work to contain the virus. We pray for those without access to health care, and for those who don’t know how they will make it if they get sick and can’t go to work. We pray that your peace will guard our hearts and minds so that we are not overcome by anxiety and fear.
God, inspire in us ways to show your love to one another and to ourselves. Guide our hearts and our actions to greater care, kindness and generosity in the midst of these fears and uncertainty.
Bethany students are a blessing to us, and we are grateful for each one.
Be well and spread love and blessings to those around you.
Tim Lehman, head of school