This is the first installment of a new content series from Multnomah to support our community during the coronavirus crisis.
Life changed rapidly last month as decisions were made to close campus and finish the semester remotely. As we adapt to a new normal of social distancing and remote learning, how do we keep our community alive during this time? How do we MU remotely?
Pray for each other
Praying may feel like the simple, Christian, band-aid answer that you keep scrolling past in your news feed. Prayer should be the reflex of a Christian in any circumstance. We should give thanks to God for his blessings. We should beg God for his mercy and healing during this pandemic. We should ask God to help us love others when it is tempting to turn self-isolation into self-insulation from difficult people.
When we were on campus, maybe prayer was easier and built into your schedule. Take the disruption as an opportunity to pray in fresh ways for your friends, family, neighbors, and yourself. Let desperation, anxiety, cabin-fever, boredom, stress, uncertainty, happiness, and everything in between, draw you into prayer.
The thing you probably miss most about the on-campus experience is seeing everyone in person. Few of us realized how much we enjoy and even need in-person contact with friends, professors, and coworkers. When you feel the emotional deficit, use the technology available to maintain your relationships. We are blessed to shelter in place with an abundance of communication options available.
Use Zoom, Facetime, or the platform of your choice to see familiar faces. It does not compare with interacting in-person, but it is the next best thing.
Send something handwritten
Write letters or cards to people that you aren’t able to see. It may feel small, but a handwritten note can speak volumes about your concern and care. It doesn’t have to be long or even deeply emotional. Just let someone know that you are there for them.
Plan to connect with others
Regardless of the medium, if you don’t plan to contact people in your life, you won’t be able to connect with as many as you would like. It can be overwhelming to think of everyone you’d like to speak with. You can maintain deep connections with a lot of people through planning and consistency.
Curate your online diet and presence
There are endless news articles and announcements to keep up with. Take time to consider what you are consuming online from news sites or your social media feed. Maybe you don’t need to check every news site you can think of. Maybe five hours of YouTube and five hours of TikTok passes the time, but does it help you face uncertainty or simply numb you?
You have access to a wealth of information and entertainment, but do not treat it all equally. Think about how much news you can handle. Think about which sources can be trusted. Think about which types of content feed your soul. Read things that inform, make you laugh, help you process, and fuel your faith.
Aim to encourage
Before you post or re-post something, think about your goal. Will your message encourage someone? Will your post spread true information that saves lives? Will your words help other people grow during this time? Post things that encourage your friends and classmates to work hard and love others. Share honestly about your experience in this season to help others process.
Reflect on your time at Multnomah
We are particularly saddened for our seniors who will finish their last chapter at Multnomah remotely. It’s okay to grieve the memories that could have been. It’s okay to be nostalgic about the journey of college as a whole. Recall the memories that stand out from your time on campus. Reconnect with people who have been a part of your experience. Please, post those hilarious pictures of your baby face as a freshman. Share the wisdom you have gained during this time. Write down the things that shaped you the most. Spend time thanking God for how he has used Multnomah in your life and dream about how you can make an impact for the Kingdom.
No matter what, you will always be a part of the Multnomah family and have a place to call home.