Tuesday 15 August 2017

Prayer Letter: September 2017

Friday, September 1:  Today, Héctor Acero-Ferrer takes up the part-time position of Associate Director of the Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics. Please give thanks to God for this important boost to the capacity of CPRSE and support Héctor in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 5:  Today we formally welcome returning and new Junior Members to ICS for the 2017-18 Academic Year. JMs will meet with faculty and staff in a series of orientation events this week. We give thanks for this re-gathering of the ICS community and pray our Lord’s blessing on the launch of another year of Christian scholarship.

Wednesday, September 6:  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are suffering in Texas. We do have alumni and donors there and think especially of them, but our hearts go out to all who are suffering from this cataclysmic event.

Thursday, September 7:  This morning our annual start-of-year Retreat will again take place at St. Andrew by-the-Lake on Toronto Island. This is a wonderful venue for such an event. We give thanks for the preparation by Registrar Jeff Hocking and his wife Angie. May this be an enjoyable day of relaxed fellowship and worship together.

Friday, September 8:  Please pray for those involved in preparing our 50th Anniversary Perspective, as authors, editors, organisers, designers and printers. It is always a challenge to get such a publication ready in a timely manner, and we ask our Lord to guide and uphold all contributors to the process as they aim to mail this significant issue to supporters mid-October.

Monday, September 11:  This is the first week of Fall classes, and it is fitting indeed to begin with one of our Foundational courses: “Reformational Philosophy”, with Dr. Bob Sweetman. Please pray for lively interaction and edification for participants.

Godfrey Nkongolo will be defending his MA Thesis this afternoon. Please pray for a stimulating interaction with the examination committee and a successful outcome. His thesis is titled “UJAMAA: A Gift from Tanzania to Africa” and is under the mentorship of Dr. Ron Kuipers.

Tuesday, September 12:  Today we see the commencement of two courses: “Matter, Body and Gender in the Thought of Hildegard of Bingen, Bernardus Sylvestris, Alan of Lille and Thomas Aquinas” (Dr. Bob Sweetman) and “With/Out Reason: Art and Imagination in the Western Tradition (Dr. Rebekah Smick)”.

Wednesday, September 13:  Our second Foundations course, aptly titled “Biblical Foundations”, launches today under the leadership of Dr. Nik Ansell.

Thursday, September 14:  Dr. Nik Ansell backs up again this morning as instructor for “The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism and Beyond.” This afternoon, Dr. Ron Kuipers will teach “Wittgenstein: Language & the Philosophy of Religion”.

Friday, September 15:  This week, our Distance Education courses begin: “Wisdom and Schooling” led by PhD Candidate Helena Hoogstad (Dr. Doug Blomberg serving as Professor of Record) and “Vocational Wayfinding”, taught by Dr. Gideon Strauss.

Monday, September 18:  This afternoon, Mark Novak (mentored by Dr. Kuipers) is defending his MA thesis, titled “Incarnating the God Who May Be: Christology and Incarnational Humanism in Bonhoeffer and Kearney.” Please pray he is able to present this result of much hard work in clear terms and that it will be an enriching interaction with the examiners for all involved.

Tuesday, September 19:  We invite prayers for the relatively “unsung heroes” at ICS, the administrative staff who keep the wheels turning and are vital to our scholarly mission. Please uphold Harley Dekker, Jeff Hocking, Kathy Lynch, Pat Webb and Vidya Williams in their essential and often demanding tasks.

Wednesday, September 20:  Tonight in Grand Rapids, ICS Trustee Dr. Matt Bonzo is hosting a “50th Anniversary of ICS” gathering of supporters. President Doug Blomberg will be attending, and will also participate in tomorrow afternoon’s Friends of ICS Board Meeting. Please pray that both events are a time of joy and reflection as we look forward to how the Lord will lead us.

Thursday, September 21:  Josina Zylstra (widow of Bernard) requests prayers for her husband, Herman Dooyeweerd Jr., and herself. He has been in a nursing home in Toronto for the past several years. We ask our Lord and Saviour for strength and comfort for them both, as Josina cares for him. May God continue to bless their faithfulness to each other.

Friday, September 22:  In last month’s Prayer Letter we asked you to pray for our search for an appropriate venue for our 50th Anniversary Celebration Event on November 11th. We give thanks to God for a successful conclusion to this search. We are very pleased that we can hold this special event at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville.

Monday, September 25:  Trustee Marg Hoogland will be hosting a gathering of supporters in Central Alberta, in the context of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. Doug Blomberg will be part of the conversation. We give thanks for their ongoing commitment to ICS, going back over very many years, and pray for an encouraging evening of fellowship.

Tuesday, September 26:  Ron Kuipers will be presenting a paper at a conference at the University of Minho, in Braga, Portugal. His paper is "Successful Prophecies, Failed Hopes? Richard Rorty and the Demise of Social Justice." We ask Jesus to bless Ron and all participants as he speaks and interacts with them.

Wednesday, September 27:  We give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for the wondrous blessings He has bestowed on ICS these past 50 years and for those who have gone on to serve in many vocations across the world. We pray for them as they heed His call.

Thursday, September 28:  We beseech our Lord to enable our 50th Anniversary celebrations to go smoothly, and to uphold those most closely involved in its planning. There are many details to consider, many people we hope to see in Toronto. Please pray everything will fall into place and a great number will be able to join in this landmark event.

Friday, September 29:  We praise God for the faithful band of supporters who have stood by ICS’s vision and mission all these years. Without them, there would be no ICS. We pray for their continued support as we look forward to our next 50 years, by God’s grace.