Tuesday, 16 October 2018

ICS Junior Member Featured Speaker at Parliament of the World's Religions

This year's Parliament of the World's Religions is happening in Toronto November 1-7, 2018. The event is one of the largest interfaith gatherings in the world featuring numerous presentations, panels, workshops, training, worship opportunities, and celebrations. 


ICS Junior Member Héctor Acero Ferrer is participating in the week's events as a featured speaker of multiple panels:

Face to Face: Building Relationship and Understanding through Conversation (Panel and Workshop). This panel will deal with the realities of interfaith and intercultural dialogue among youth and young adults.

Navigating the New Religious Pluralism in Canada: The Growth of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation (Panel). This panel will consider ways in which the Canadian Interfaith Conversation is strengthening Canadians' notions of pluralism in practice.

In his role as Associate Director of the CPRSE, Héctor is also participating in a panel led by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation called Faith and Interfaith Engagement in TorontoThis session will look at interfaith engagement in Toronto and will explore questions like the following:

Assets: What initiatives are faith communities and others currently undertaking and what impact are these efforts having?

Liabilities: What is not being done and where are the biggest omissions?

Future: How do youth respond to interfaith and what might this mean for the future of faith engagement in Toronto?


The Parliament is an unprecedented opportunity to interact with various local and global religious communities, and a fantastic opportunity for Héctor to gain further engagement with his research. We are very excited that he has this opportunity. 

If you are in Toronto and able to attend, tickets to the Parliament are still available at parliamentofreligions.org, and Héctor's panels will occur during November 2-4. If you're unable to attend, please pray for a fruitful time of discussion and interactions for Héctor and for the religious communities involved in the Parliament. 


Monday, 15 October 2018

Upcoming Art Show from ICS Alum Janet Read


Painter and ICS Alumna Janet Read would like to announce her upcoming show Travelling Mercies in the North Gallery of the Propeller Gallery in Toronto. The show runs from October 17 to November 4. The artist is hosting an Opening Reception on Saturday October 20, 1pm-4pm. Below is a statement from Janet regarding the show:

Travelling Mercies is a show of works created from travels over the past few years in China, Ireland, the Bruce Peninsula and my own backyard of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Light over water is a constant theme as well as visual language developed in response to these journeys. The experience of being in the natural world animates my work. Saturated colour informs these works on paper, vellum, canvas and birch panel.

I work with the natural environment as a catalyst for mark-making in the form of painting. Volatile yet radiant forms of light over water inform the work. Playful visual language is evident in small works on paper and duralar.

Janet Read: dawn rise, 40x40, oil and cold wax on birch panel

Janet Read: april sky, 40x40, oil and cold wax on birch panel
Janet Read: bloom, 9x9 inches, oil on Arches paper

To see the show, you can visit Propeller Gallery at the following address:
30 Abell St. Toronto,ON (just south of Queen, east of Dufferin) 
Hours: Wed-Sat. 12-6 pm, Sunday, 12-5 pm
phone: 416-504-7142

You can also visit Janet's website to see more of her work here: www.janet-read.com.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Prayer Letter: November 2018

Thursday, November 1 - Friday, November 2:

Pray for ICS, and especially Harley Dekker, this week and next as he works with the auditors to finalize the annual audit of our financial records for the fiscal year ended June 30. We have had some positive financial developments in the past year for which we are very thankful.

The Centre for Philosphy, Religion and Social Ethics (CPRSE) is an active member of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, Canada’s largest inter-religious dialogue network. Through this partnership, CPRSE’s Associate Director will have the opportunity to participate in two panel discussions in the context of “The Parliament of the World Religions,” happening in Toronto between November 1st and 7th. Please pray that the interfaith and intercultural dialogue initiatives supported by CPRSE help in decisive ways to encourage social transformation and peace building.

Monday, November 5 - Friday, November 9:

Please pray for our faculty (including adjunct faculty) as they teach in the final weeks of this term and as they prepare for their teaching in the quickly approaching Winter term. Pray too for our Academic Dean, Gideon Strauss, as he leads the faculty in their academic programming deliberations.

ICS Junior Member Mark Standish has been selected CPRSE’s Research Assistant for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Mark is looking forward to serving the ICS community through his new role, particularly as he will be an integral part of the podcast team. We pray in thanksgiving for Mark’s presence in our community and for his willingness to serve ICS as a Research Assistant.

Monday, November 12 - Friday, November 16:

Please pray for the Academic Council of the ICS during the course of this year, as they imaginatively consider the big picture and future strategy with regard to ICS's three main streams of education: our MA-PhD program, our MA (Phil) in Leadership program, and our MWS (Masters in Worldview Studies) and continuing education efforts.

Hoping to develop new collaborations with academic institutions and community organizations, CPRSE will be submitting a Partnership Development Grant to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSRHC) later this month. Please pray for the success of this grant application as well as for other partnership initiatives of our research centre.

Monday, November 19 - Friday, November 23:

Please pray for those of our MA and PhD students who are working diligently to complete their degrees in the course of the current academic year. We ask God for creative minds and a steadfast heart as they pursue their educational goals for this year.

Please pray for the students in the pioneer cohort of ICS's new MA (Phil) in Educational Leadership. This pioneer cohort will be as much co-developers as beneficiaries of the program, as they will help ICS and our partners at the Christian Teachers Academy and Edvance (the Ontario Christian Schools association) understand what is really needed by education innovators and what is really possible in the busy lives of school teachers.

This month, the team of ICS/CPRSE’s podcast “Critical Faith” will begin another year of activities. Under a more dynamic format, the new season of “Critical Faith” aims to generate meaningful conversation between scholars, practitioners, faith leaders, and ICS Senior and Junior Members. Please pray that our podcast becomes a space for fruitful exchange of ideas and an opportunity to carry out ICS’s mission beyond the borders of the classroom.

Monday, November 26 - Friday, November 30:

We give thanks for the generosity and support of our amazing ICS community in the past four months during our New Home campaign. We ask for your prayers as we prepare now for our Advent Appeal.

Please pray this week as we prepare for our special New Home celebrations on Saturday, December 1st. Our Annual General Meeting will also take place on Saturday at 3:30, followed by an Open House from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and our Advent Concert at 7:30 pm.

The Board of Trustees at ICS gather on Friday in Toronto, with many able to be present in person (and some joining electronically). Pray for them as they continue to safeguard our vision and mission in Christian higher education. It is an often onerous task, with many weighty matters to consider, yet they serve with joyfulness and unremitting dedication. We praise God for calling them to serve ICS in this way.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Cal Seerveld News

Senior Member Emeritus Cal Seerveld has just published a small book with Dordt College Press (2018) titled Never Try to Arouse Erotic Love Until--. It is a companion study book to his earlier translation of the Old Testament Biblical Song of Songs, The Greatest Song, in critique of Solomon. There are provocative questions for discussion, reflection on friendship, and comment on redeeming spoiled love.

Cal has a short essay titled "WANTED: Vegetarian Kuyperians with Artistic Underwear" in Pro Rege 46.3 (March 2018), 24-28.

Also, Cal has written an extensive review of Bob Sweetman's book, Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercises and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship, in Pro Rege 46.4 (June 2018), 26-30.

Prayer Letter: October 2018

Monday, October 1 - Friday, October 5:

We give thanks today for Danielle Yett who began last month as ICS’s new Communications Coordinator. Danielle’s role will consist of organizing and synthesizing ICS’s suite of communications, including advancement communications, social media, and promotion of public outreach events so that our messaging to our diverse audiences is consistent and effective. Please pray for Danielle as she takes up this multi-layered and complex role while at the same time continuing her studies here at ICS.

We thank God for the successful installation of our computer network, telephone, and internet connection late last month. Without this essential infrastructure in place, we have had to get creative in order to accomplish the many tasks necessary for the daily operation of ICS. While we have been grateful for everyone’s willingness to “make it work,” we are also thankful to get back to full connectivity.

Bob Sweetman is presenting a paper titled “Languishing in the Wild Spaces of Love: What is Shared (and Not) by Plato’s Alcibiades and Some Thirteenth-Century Love Mystics” for the conference “The Way of Beauty” to be held on 5-7 October at Villanova University in Wayne PA. Please pray for travelling mercies for him and for a time of fruitful discussion.

Monday, October 8 - Friday, October 12:

During this Thanksgiving week, we thank God for the many mercies shown to us throughout this past year as an institution and as individuals. We thank God for the many opportunities we have had to witness personally the dedication of faculty, staff, Junior Members, and ICS families, volunteers, and supporters. And we pray that this time of year brings you much joyful reflection in gratitude.

We are especially grateful to God for his grace and strength last month as we made the move to our new home in the lower level of Knox College. We made the deadline of leaving 229 College by August 31st and successfully had the classroom space ready for our students for the start of classes on September 10th. We ask for your continued prayers for flexibility, patience, and smooth transitions during the ongoing renovation work this month.

Please pray this week for Harley Dekker and others in the Finance office as we prepare to receive the auditors later this month or early November to evaluate the annual financial statements.

Monday, October 15 - Friday, October 19:

Bob Sweetman will be giving a paper titled “Gilson, Medieval Studies, and Right-Left Divide in France and North America” for the conference “Symposium 2018: Medieval Studies at the University of St. Michael’s College: Past, Present, and Future” to be held at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto on October 19-20.

Our Junior Members wear many hats in addition to pursuing studies here at ICS. We ask for prayers on their behalf as they balance life’s many demands with regard to work, family, relationships, and well-being. We pray for them that they may find fulfillment, joy, and opportunities in what can often be a hectic time of life.

Monday, October 22 - Friday, October 26:

This week is Reading Week at ICS. We ask God to provide our students and faculty with the necessary space in their lives for rejuvenating rest and creative thinking as they prepare for classes and get caught up on their research and writing projects.

For our Junior Members, we pray that God will give them wisdom in applying complex texts and theories to a complex world.

Monday, October 29 - Wednesday, October 31:

Please pray this week for the successful delivery and setup of the new workstations for our faculty and staff. Everyone has been most patient making do with a small table and chair upon which to work and we are looking forward to settling in to more comfortable and efficient workspaces.

We also pray that God will foster genuine dialogue between seemingly opposing factions throughout the world.