Saturday 30 May 2020

Prayer Letter: June 2020

Monday, June 1 - Friday, June 5:

This week, the Summer Online Learning Initiative will continue with Dr. Gideon Strauss’ course: World-Viewing: An Introduction to Worldview Studies. This touchstone course for the ICS Master of Worldview Studies (MWS) program has been re-imagined for its online format as a highly interactive, self-reflective workshop-style course that invites you to explore how we humans make sense of our lives. Please pray for wisdom for Gideon as he leads this course, and for all the participants that they may benefit greatly from the opportunity to reflect deeply on what it means to find their way in the world, and make culture—and to consider their own vocation in accompanying others in their world-viewing, way-finding, and culture-making.

During the Summer months at ICS/CPRSE, we will continue to recruit participants for our Undergraduate Workshop, “Evil, Resistance, and Judgment: Creating a World Fit for Human Habitation.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made this event available in a hybrid format–with an ongoing virtual mentorship component and a closing gathering in the Fall of 2020. Please pray for the planning team, as well as for the workshop participants, as this wonderful initiative gets underway.

This May, we were able to creatively celebrate the convocation of now-alumna Danielle Yett, who completed her MA Philosophy degree this past year. Danielle wrote and defended her thesis on the dynamics of openness and normativity in the writings of ICS emeritus Calvin Seerveld, placing him in conversation with other contemporary thinkers in aesthetics. Her thesis was titled: “Making Sense: An Expansive Study of Imagination, Structural Metaphor, and Aesthetic Normativity with Calvin Seerveld.” Since her arrival at ICS as a Junior Member, Danielle has contributed to the community, dedicating her time, talent, and expertise to enriching our institutional life—which she now continues to do in her capacity as the ICS Communications Coordinator. Please join us as we pray in thanksgiving for Danielle and in wishing her all the best as she celebrates the completion of her MA program.

Monday, June 8 - Friday, June 12:

As we quickly move toward the end of our fiscal year this month, we would ask that you prayerfully consider sending in your financial support if you have not already done so. We are so grateful for the continued and generous giving of our support community and we pray God’s blessing on each one of you.

One of the impacts of COVID-19 has been the disruption to students’ study schedules. As a result, our students have had to apply for extensions to complete their course work. Please pray for these students that they will find the time and space to be able to finish writing their papers in June. Pray also for the faculty as they work on the assessments of the students in their classes, and for Elizabet Aras, our Registrar, as she processes the final reporting to the students.

Please continue to pray for the planning and execution of our new Summer Online Learning Initiative taking place May through August. Please pray for Gideon Strauss as he leads the academic program, for the staff involved in its administration and promotion, and for the faculty and students who will be teaching and taking the courses.

Monday, June 15 - Friday, June 19:

We had a very special event happen in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis -- one of our PhD students, June Moon got married! The name of her partner is Silvere Gangloff and they are truly thankful and blessed that this could happen even in the midst of this unsettling time. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was held at a church near their home in Wisconsin with less than five people attending. June will be going back to Korea this month to spend her summer time there. Please join us in prayers and blessings for this happy couple that, despite the separation for a time, they will grow in their relationship and journey together.

On Monday, June 15th, the ICS Senate will convene for an all-day meeting by Zoom in three one and half hour slots. Please pray for wisdom and clarity of mind for the Chair and ICS Chancellor, Dr. Aron Reppmann, as he leads the sessions. Please also pray for all the external and internal senators as they consider the range of issues on the agenda concerning ICS’s academic programs. We also want to pray for both Gideon Strauss and Elizabet Aras as there is a lot to oversee during the meeting, particularly the use of the virtual meeting technology. Pray that all will go smoothly so that the meeting can be as productive as possible.

Also starting this week is our third course in our Summer Online Learning Initiative: Faith in Art: Spirituality and Lived Experience with Dr. Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin. This all-online course will explore the various ways in which art can act as a bridge to transcendence and/or a deep articulation of embodied human experience. Please pray for wisdom for Adrienne as she leads this course, and for all the participants that they might benefit greatly from the opportunity to reflect deeply on the intersection of faith and artistic practice to consider especially the ongoing contemporary relevance of these themes.

Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26:

As the end of the fiscal year is upon us, we ask God for strength, clarity of mind, and encouragement for Harley Dekker, our Director of Finance and Administration. There is much to do at this time of year, such as preparation for the year end financial audit, getting the books in order for the new budget year, and preparing for the start of the academic year in September. We give thanks for Harley’s unflagging dedication to this work.

Please continue to pray for our dear friend, Henk Hart, as he continues to struggle with the effects of the cancer medications that he is on. Please pray that he will find some relief, especially from the way it affects his sleep and mobility. As well, Henk hopes to be well enough to start chemo again in the second half of June, so we pray that God’s grace will pour down on him with strength and healing

Monday, June 29 - Tuesday, June 30:

The month of June has been busy for faculty as they get caught up on their supervising and mentoring responsibilities and begin to prepare for the new academic year in the fall. Pray for the space and energy in their lives to work with the students in this important way.

Pray for the students who have been accepted into programs for this fall, as well as for those who are still undecided. We ask God to bless them with wisdom as they discern this important step in their life, and pray that God will provide the necessary funding for their studies.