Tuesday 1 December 2020

Prayer Letter: December 2020

Tuesday, December 1 - Friday, December 4:

Please take the opportunity this week to give thanks for our Board of Trustees as they continue to serve in their oversight of the mission and vision of ICS. Please pray for wisdom for John Joosse as Chair, and for Diane Stronks as Vice Chair in their leadership roles. We give thanks for each trustee for their faithful service to and support of ICS.

On December 4th, ICS, under the leadership of Edith van der Boom, will be hosting a virtual Q&A session for MA-EL students to answer their questions about the three upcoming winter courses. Please pray that God will establish the work of our hands as we reach out to potential students that there will be both interest and commitment to sign up for these courses so that our classes will be full.

HENK HART'S 85TH BIRTHDAY — A virtual event is being planned for December 12th to celebrate the life of Hendrik Hart on the occasion of his upcoming 85th birthday. If you wish to join this online event, or submit photos or a tribute to be shared with Henk, please contact the organizing team at henks85th@gmail.com.

On November 13th and 14th, ICS hosted its Fourth Annual Undergraduate Workshop, “Evil, Resistance, and Judgment: Creating a World Fit for Human Habitation.” We pray in thanksgiving for our keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Jo Leddy, and for our guest undergraduates, Matthew, Tanner, Anna, and Tomy, who challenged us with their reflections, inspired us with their insight, and enlivened us with their engagement.

Monday, December 7 - Friday, December 11:

We pray for continued stamina and enthusiasm for our Senior and Junior Members as they finish out the semester and prepare to start their new courses in January. We pray for Gideon Strauss that he might have rhythm and creative energy in his administrative role as Academic Dean, and for strength and inspiration for all our faculty who are teaching in the winter semester.

We ask for prayer for Elizabet Aras, our Registrar, as she makes plans for the Virtual Christmas Party on December 19th. It isn’t always easy to creatively design a party such as this virtually -- this will be the first time that we have had our Christmas Party remotely. We ask for inspiration for Elizabet as she puts all the pieces together. 

During the month of December, ICS’s Hegel Study Group will continue to read Hegel’s seminal work The Phenomenology of Spirit under the leadership of Andrew Tebbutt, CPRSE Postdoctoral Research Associate. We pray in thanksgiving for Andrew, who has provided vital support to many of our learning initiatives and has brought much life to our community. 

Monday, December 14 - Friday, December 18:

On Monday, December 18th at 1:30pm, CPRSE will host ICS’s Fall Term Scripture, Faith and Scholarship Symposium, “Decoloniality, Hermeneutics, and Theo-Ethics: A Conversation with Dr. NĂ©stor Medina.” Please pray for this event to be an opportunity for focused reflection and fruitful dialogue for our community of learning.

This Friday is the final day of classes for the fall semester at ICS. On Saturday, December 19th we will share in a time of fun and fellowship at our annual Christmas Party -- this time held virtually. Pray that it might be a wonderful evening of giving thanks for and celebrating the gifts we have in one another in this blessed community of learning at ICS.

As we look forward to next week which celebrates Christmas by the giving and receiving of gifts, we thank God for our committed and faithful friends for their gifts of encouragement and faithful support in prayer and financial support. We pray for each one of you that you will receive the amazing gifts of love, joy and peace this Christmas season and be filled with hope with what God will do in the new year.

Monday, December 21 - Friday, December 25:

Please pray today for the families of our staff, faculty and students as they find ways to celebrate the birth of our Saviour amidst the restraints of the pandemic. Most of our families are spread far and wide and so it won’t be possible to be together in person. Pray that despite the separation, families can find joy and inspiration in their virtual get-togethers. As well, we ask for special prayer for those families who may be suffering because of illness or grieving a loss in their family. 

May the blessings of love, joy and peace be yours as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour this Christmas week.

Monday, December 28 - Thursday, December 31:

We sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading our very special issue of Perspective and have been as inspired as we’ve been by the beautiful tributes to Hendrik Hart. For those of you who know Henk but have not received this issue in the mail or by email, you can follow this link (https://tinyurl.com/PerspectiveFa2020) to read the issue for yourself. If you would like to join in this spirit of giving before the year ends, you can find the letter that accompanied the issue and some additional information about ways to donate here.

The 2021 winter semester was scheduled to begin on January 3rd. However, prompted by the fact that the burdens imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic caused added stress, the University of Toronto (which determines our semester timing) decided to delay the start of the semester to January 11th. Please pray along with us that this extra week will enable all of us to rest and recharge, and make the most of the upcoming holiday break.

As 2019 draws to a close, we give thanks for another fruitful year of work at ICS and for all our supporters and friends who made that work possible through their prayers and financial gifts. We especially give thanks to God for the strength and wisdom he gave us in this pandemic year to steadfastly pursue our vision. We pray for God's blessing upon our staff, faculty and students as we work out our mission, in the classroom and beyond, throughout this next year.