Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and friend Jesus Christ.

We are facing an unprecedented situation in our generation. When we look around the world, we are struck by how various countries have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. As this was completely unexpected, from the leaders of the nation to the last citizen, each one had to respond to this crisis in different ways. The whole world and all that is in it, have been taken to shock and none have been spared from the effect of this epidemic. We are still in it and have not gone through completely. None of us are able to assess what will be the aftermath of this tragedy. Huge loss of human life! Economy in peril! Even mourning for the loved ones has not been possible. This has been the greatest challenge, particularly, for the theologians of our times!

There will no doubt be lessons to learn from all that has happened. We are all impressed by how everyone has come up to pull together during this time and respected the necessary restrictions on our behaviour. We will pray that we will continue to be vigilant and observe all of the necessary health and safety steps. Let us hope that these things shall pass quickly and that we may be able to move closer to the next phase of the re-opening plans.We also continue to evaluate our on-line teaching that we have currently adopted for this term. Let us learn to work together in spite of several difficulties in adopting tothis mode of education.

This epidemic has made us to think of how to maintain our mental and physical health. We want to encourage everyone to be attentive to their mental and physical health, as well as to their spiritual health, during a time when human contacts havecome to nought. We have arranged support and counselling for our students through Guru Sishya fellowship and tutorial groups.

In spite of these hurdles, by the grace of God, we have completed the admission for this academic year. We are keeping in touch with our alumni who are working in difficult situations. We acknowledge the support of our Chairperson Bishop Rt. Rev. Michael Benhur, Rev.Joshua Peter, the Executive Secretary, UELCI and all the members of the Executive Committee and College Council.

In the meantime, let us pray that all of us in our Gurukul community will continue to be safe and well during these unusual and difficult times.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr. John Samuel Ponnusamy.