Tuesday 10 September 2019

Prayer Letter: October 2019

Tuesday, October 1 - Friday, October 4:

Please pray with us this week and next as we work to finalize the compilation of our Fall edition of Perspective. We desire to have the issue in the mail to everyone just after Thanksgiving and so in these days we ask God for energy and clarity to ensure that all the details are taken care of before it goes to print. Pray particularly for Danielle and H├ęctor as they oversee the receiving and editing of the articles from the seven contributors.

On October 3rd, ICS/CPRSE is partnering with Citizens for Public Justice in “Shaping a Just Canada” a gathering that promotes a better understanding of key policy issues in preparation for the upcoming federal elections. Please pray that this collaboration might serve as an opportunity for fruitful dialogue about the role of religion in the public sphere and a space for reflection on the responsibility of faith groups in Canadian political life.

Please pray for Gideon Strauss this week as on October 4th he will be delivering a paper titled, "Beautiful Work: Experimental and Collaborative Design in the Launch of the Institute for Christian Studies’ MA (Phil) in Educational Leadership" at a conference hosted by the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning and INCHE (the International Network for Christian Higher Education) at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On October 6-8, by special invitation, ICS President and Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion Ron Kuipers is participating in Brigham Young University's Twenty-Sixth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium on “Human Dignity and Religious Freedom: Preventing and Responding to Persecution." Ron will speak in a breakout session on "Human Dignity and Religious Freedom: Conceptual Frameworks" with Tore Lindholm (Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo), Alberto Melloni (University of Modena), and Reggio Emilia (UNESCO Chair on Religious Pluralism and Peace, University of Bologna). Please pray for all the participants at this important international conference, that their efforts might enhance our understanding of religious diversity and promote the cause of international peace.

Monday, October 7 - Friday, October 11:

This month, ICS/CPRSE welcomes Junior Members Mark Standish and Theoren Tolsma as Research Assistants. Mark and Theoren will support the production team of Critical Faith, our institutional podcast. Please pray for Mark and Theoren as they begin to take on their additional responsibilities as CPRSE Research Assistants, interviewing guests, editing recordings and helping plan upcoming episodes.

Please pray for the students in the Principal Stream of ICS's Masters in Educational Leadership (MA-EL) this fall as they visit Halton Hills Christian School (Georgetown, Ontario), King's Christian Collegiate (Oakville, Ontario), and Providence Christian School (Dundas, Ontario), to study best practices in hiring, professional development and crucial conversations.

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, 2019. We continue to see some positive financial developments this past year and we give thanks to God for his watchcare over us.

Monday, October 14 - Friday, October 18:

This being the week of Canadian Thanksgiving, we want to join together and give thanks for a number of answers to prayer last month:

On September 9, our Registrar, Elizabet Aras, was finally granted permanent residency in Canada. She is very grateful that this process at long last is complete and gives thanks for all the prayers and support from the ICS community throughout the process.

On September 10, Danielle Yett submitted a complete draft of her MA thesis and now awaits notification of acceptance and a date for the defense.

On September 11, Helena Hoogstad successfully completed her pre-thesis examinations for the PhD program.

On September 16, Joshua Harris successfully completed his PhD defense at the VU in Amsterdam.

The ICS Library welcomes Junior Members Jueun Moon and Abbigail Hofstede as Research Assistants. Jueun will be expanding the ICS Repository to reflect a wider array of published work by Junior Members and Senior Members, diversifying the library's digital resources. Abbi will be making an inventory of potential archival acquisitions and assisting in preservation, laying the groundwork for ICS to grow its archives. Please pray for Jueun and Abbi as they begin their projects to improve the digital and paper archival holdings at ICS.

Monday, October 21 - Friday, October 25:

Today marks the start of Reading Week for ICS Junior and Senior Members. Please pray for our students that they might have the creative energy and space to complete their writing and study assignments. Pray too for the faculty that God would graciously encourage and refresh them in their vocation at ICS.

Please pray with us this week as we, along with our volunteers, work hard to prepare the latest Perspective issue for mailing. We are thankful for the joyful atmosphere as we work together. We are also thankful for those volunteers who take the time to help and we trust that God will bless all of us in this important task.

Gideon Strauss, and the students in the Instructional Leadership Stream of ICS's Masters in Educational Leadership (MA-EL) will host a roundtable conversation about Deeper Learning practices at the Edvance Christian Educators Annual Gathering on October 24th, and facilitate the Fall 2019 ICS Scripture, Faith, and Scholarship Symposium at ICS later this month. Please pray for both these events that they might be edifying and encouraging to all the participants.

On October 25, Bob Sweetman will give a paper at the conference "Omnia disce: A Celebration of Father Leonard E. Boyle OP on the Twentieth Anniversary of His Death." The paper is titled "Boyle's Nod to Bodily Piety as Echo of Aquinas's Nod to Bodily Understanding." This is a conference put on by the Boyle Chair in Manuscript Studies, the University of St. Michael's College, the Dominican Institute of Toronto and our own Institute for Christian Studies.

Monday, October 28 - Thursday, October 31:

Junior Member Samir Gassanov undergoes ICS's pre-thesis examination process: a combination of essay writing and oral exam in which he will defend the thesis proposal he has formulated during his program of PhD study at ICS. Samir will be defending his proposal to examine the debate between Nicholas Wolterstorff and Oliver O'Donovan about human rights from the point of view of property and property rights—rights which seem to be missing from the debate despite their importance for the historical materials both Wolterstorff and O'Donovan draw on. The thesis he proposes to write is titled: “Doing Justice to Property: What Augustinian Theorists can Learn from Medieval Mendicants and Modern Jurists." He will write between 25 October and 1 November. The oral exam will take place on Friday, November 8th.

Please include in your prayers Academic Dean, Gideon Strauss, as he focuses on three institutional priorities during the 2019-2020 academic year: the future of the ICS MA-EL program; a review of ICS's MA and PhD curricula by the Education Policy Committee, Academic Council, and Senate; and, a review of ICS's academic policies by the Education Policy Committee, Academic Council and Senate.

Please uphold the Board of Trustees in their oversight of the vision and mission of ICS, especially as they head towards the Board meeting during the day on November 15th, and the AGM in the evening. Pray for strength and wisdom for each one as they continue to provide support and leadership in the working out of the vision and mission of ICS into the future.