By grace of God so far, only three out of thirty-one events on my schedule have been either canceled or reset to the online/webinar format due to the coronavirus quarantine. Interestingly, the people in Kuzbass where I was teaching during my first week were not as concerned about it as Moscovites are. All my trainings in Kemerovo and in Novokuznetsk went as scheduled and the audiences were always full and engaged in the topic we were discussing – the historic foundations of Christian faith.
Not so in Moscow. By the grace of God, my lecture at the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University yesterday afternoon was the last one for the students who were all sent home until further notice. I was already on my way to the lecture at Moscow Academic Arts College this morning when they sent me a cancellation note, resetting it to the time of my next teaching trip in May. I also had to cancel a diocese training in Kaliningrad and switch their teachers’ training to the webinar mode for later this week due to the emergency regulations in place: no public gatherings over 12 people in the room.
However, most of my ministry partners read those instructions in the way that still allows me to hold the events and to continue teaching even at schools, churches, and conferences. As they say here, “The rigor of the Russian laws is balanced by the optionality of following them.”