Finding Inspiration Around Us


Rev. Deborah Woolsey, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Athens,Ohio finds inspiration all around her. During this global pandemic as many leaders focus on maintaining services and programs, she has found inspiration in the creative and innovative response of leaders including her alma mater, Northland College as featured in this Forbes article.

“I was impressed that they didn’t do a business as usual approach to their May semester, and instead put together a seminary that explores this pandemic from multiple angles, including spirituality. And they are making it free to public. I decided to sign up, and thought it might interest others.”

I was attracted to this seminar because it is acknowledging the strange, unusual and historically significant moment in time we are all living in. Instead of trying to offer its May catalog of classes on-line, Northland (who had no on-line classes before this) created something new and relevant. Utilizing the creativity and collaborative relationship with faculty, staff, the community, students, and alumni, the Northland community is coming together from all around the world to be together apart to learn from each other. We are exploring the pandemic from many angles: mathematical, biological, medical, social, cultural, spiritual, economic. This interdisciplinary approach is giving me the information I need to help me figure out how to navigate this pandemic. At the same time, I am meeting and forming new relationships with people I most likely never would have met. To me, participating in this seminar feels like seeing those first spring flowers that are brave enough to grow and bloom before the snow has finished melting, pointing to the coming spring, reminding us of the resurrection promise life isn’t always going to look like it does at that moment. After only one week this seminar is helping me envision what worshipping safely together in my parish might look like when we are allowed to return to in-person worship. This seminar is helping learn about the deep reality of this pandemic in a way that is giving me hope for the future.”
For those who might be interested in participating in this seminar, she notes, “The discussion groups are full, but Northland is offering the lectures and support materials to anyone for free. I invite you to visit their website and check it out.”


Rev. Deborah Woolsey, Church of the Good Shepherd, Athens, OH