Thursday 27 July 2017

ICS Appoints a New Provost

As has been reported in an earlier prayer letter, ICS is entering into a leadership transition period. Doug Blomberg will retire from the ICS presidency on October 31. Further, ICS is venturing into merger negotiations with The King’s University (TKU). In light of this transition, the ICS Board has created a new position of Provost. A Provost is a high-ranking administrator tasked largely but not exclusively with responsibilities of internal leadership. Rather than begin a search for a new president, the Board decided that the position of Provost was best suited in light of the transition period ICS is entering.

After an internal search, the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ron Kuipers as the new ICS Provost. Ron will be responsible for providing internal institutional leadership, and will collaborate with the Board in developing and promoting ICS’ “Ontario presence” in ways that both increase ICS’ economic sustainability and, as part of any merger with TKU, also makes a strong contribution to the achievement of TKU’s Strategic Plan.

The Board welcomes Ron to the new Provost position and wishes him every success in his new responsibilities. It looks forward to working with him as ICS transitions in this new direction and venture.

John Valk
Chair, ICS Board of Trustees

Prayer Letter: August 2017

Tuesday, August 1:  Please pray for the family of Dan Jack as they mourn the passing of their loved one on July 17th. Dan was a Board member (Calgary) who also served on the Finance Committee. He will be greatly missed for his calm and wise counsel in meetings, and for his love and passion for the work of ICS. A memorial service was held at First Mennonite Church, Calgary, last Friday. We ask God to uphold his wife, Marguerite, and the rest of his family with his abundant love, grace and peace.

Wednesday, August 2:  We ask for your prayers for Ron Kuipers as he takes up the reins in his new role as Provost at ICS. Pray for wisdom and discernment as he leads the Leadership Team, and for strength as he balances this new role with his teaching and mentoring and as Director of the CPRSE. May God grant him great joy in service in the months ahead.

Thursday, August 3:  Pray for a way that ICS can invest the proceeds from the sale of 229 College in a way that is stewardly and meaningful going forward. Please continue to pray for Harley Dekker, Director of Finance and his team of investment advisors.

Friday, August 4:  We ask for your prayers today for Senior Member Bob Sweetman who will be presenting a paper titled “Admiratio, Imitation and the Vita Christi in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas” at the Boston College Colloquy in Historical Theology in Boston MA.

Tuesday, August 8:  Our Registrar, Jeff Hocking is on holiday this week and next with his wife Angie and daughter Addie. Pray for safe travels and a refreshment of spirit as they enjoy one another and the people and places they visit.

Wednesday, August 9:  Please pray today for Godfrey Nkongolo, an MA student under the mentorship of Ron Kuipers, who has completed the final draft of his MA Thesis, entitled "Ujamaa--A Gift from Tanzania to Africa: A Critique of Current Social and Political Systems in Africa and a Critical Exploration of Ujamaa as an Alternative," and now prepares for his final oral defense. As well, pray for Godfrey and his family as they prepare for the next stage of his educational journey of attending Carleton University in September to begin a PhD program in the Political Science faculty.

Thursday, August 10:  Pray for our Board of Trustees as they meet this evening, and for John Valk and John Kamphof as they lead them. We ask God to grant them wisdom and clarity of thinking as they work together with the Leadership Team to manage the portfolio of opportunities and changes that ICS is faced with at this time.

Friday, August 11:  Please continue to pray for the planning and preparations that are underway for our first 50th Anniversary celebration on October 14th. We ask God for his favour in finding a suitable venue and for the many other details that need to be finalized.

Monday, August 14:  Pray for the quick settlement of amounts owning ICS from the receiver of 229 College Street. Progress has been made, and we pray for the continued work of ICS and their legal support for a settlement of amounts owed.

Tuesday, August 15:  Please pray for two of our new Master’s students who are coming to ICS this fall. Pray for peace as they work through all the details of obtaining immigration visas and finding the necessary housing for themselves and their families.

Wednesday, August 16:  Please continue to pray for our Board of Trustees and the Leadership Team as they collaborate together in the development of a future vision for ICS which would increase its economic sustainability and contribute to King’s Strategic Plan in our proposed merger.

Thursday, August 17:  We ask for your prayers for Mark Novak, an MA student under the mentorship of Ron Kuipers, who is putting the finishing touches on his MA Thesis, titled "Incarnating the God who May Be: Christology and Incarnational Humanism in Bonhoeffer and Kearney," and anticipates a September oral defense. Pray too for Mark as he gets settled in Hamilton, and as he enters the PhD program at McMaster University in September in the Religious Studies faculty.

Friday, August 18:  Today we thank God for our many friends and supporters who stand with us in our mission throughout the year. We pray for God’s richest blessings on all of you as you enjoy these summer months and we look forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary with you in the fall and into the new year.

Monday, August 21:  Please pray for Jeff Hocking today as he prepares for registration and orientation, as well as the student retreat coming up in a few weeks. There are a myriad of details to take care of so we ask God for clarity and discernment in the planning and implementation of these important events at the start of our school year.

Tuesday, August 22:  Please pray this week for our faculty and administrative staff as they prepare for the beginning of the school year in a couple of weeks. Pray that they will be encouraged, even in the midst of a lot of changes, by the work that they do. We ask for God’s grace and wisdom as they work together, and for keen discernment in meeting the opportunities and challenges facing ICS at this time. And give thanks to God for sending them to serve the Institute’s mission with commitment and dedication.

Wednesday, August 23:  Today is our course registration deadline when students are supposed to have registered (and paid) for the courses they plan to take in the fall semester. Pray for our Registrar, Jeff Hocking, as he follows up the many loose ends that often happen so that the registration process will be a smooth one for our students.

Thursday, August 24:  Pray for the CPRSE Staff who are helping plan the two-day workshop, Engaging Communities through Research: A Capacity-Building Event, which will assist faith-based universities get into the exciting area of community-engaged research and outreach activities.

Friday, August 25:  Josina Zylstra has asked for our prayers for her and her husband, Herman Dooyeweerd Jr. who has been in a nursing home for the past number of years. We ask our God for strength and comfort as she cares for him each week.

Monday, August 28:  Next week we welcome our Junior Members, both returning and new. Please pray for all of them as they wrap up their summer projects, academic and otherwise, and settle back into the coming year’s routine. It is a joyous time, as we all start afresh as the ICS community, gathered here in Toronto.

Tuesday, August 29:  Pray for CPRSE Research Assistant Hector Acero Ferrer, as he collaborates with staff at World Renew as part of the SSHRC-funded partnered research project, "Faith and Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada Up for Success," led by the Centre for Community Based Research.

Wednesday, August 30:  Talks with Knox College are going well around the possibility of ICS relocating there. Please pray for continued positive discussions with good outcomes for both Knox College and ICS.

Thursday, August 31:  Pray for the staff at the CPRSE as they participate in planning for a one-day workshop in Toronto on October 21 that is meant to help worship leaders integrate the arts and a concern for social justice into the worship experience. The event is titled "For Such a Time as this: Worship meets Justice and the Arts in Turbulent Times"