Monday 1 February 2021

Prayer Letter: February 2021

Monday, February 1 - Friday, February 5

On February 1, the ICS faculty will have their first Educational Policy Committee (EPC) of the term. This term’s priority will be to start the work of updating the Senior Member handbook. There is a lot of detail to go through so please pray for the faculty as they work together in this important work.

February 1st is also the application deadline for new students wishing to enroll in the MA and PhD programs. Please pray for our Registrar, Elizabet Aras, as she compiles all the application dossiers in the first week of February, for the faculty and Academic Dean as they evaluate applications of prospective students and make decisions about who will be accepted to study at ICS, and for the students themselves as they discern their next steps. 

The first of three expert practitioner panels, part of the new course in the MA-EL program, How to Finance a Vision, will take place on February 4. This three-part panel includes 1) a panel discussion led by the course instructor around the question: What does a Christian approach to finances look like?; 2) an opportunity for course participants to relate their own experience related to this question; and 3) a Q & A session dealing with the questions that came up in the second part. In addition to individual MA-EL students attending, the opportunity is also being provided to school teams, and the ICS Leadership Team and several ICS Board members will be two of those teams who will be participating in this unique opportunity. Please pray for Gideon Strauss as he leads this learning event.

Monday, February 8 - Friday, February 12

February is tax receipt month at ICS! Please pray particularly for Harley Dekker, Elizabet Aras and Vidya Williams as they lead the process of preparing the receipts for our donors and students. This is quite a time-consuming task and needs to be finished by the end of February. We ask for God’s sustaining grace for all involved.

Please continue to pray for the Recruitment Team, H├ęctor, Danielle, Elizabet, Pat, and Gideon, as they work on the priority this month of promoting the MA-EL program and courses for the summer and fall semesters. We seek creativity and vision to create a promotional strategy that will encourage teachers needing the opportunity to pursue further education and professional development in their vocation as teachers and principals.

The CPRSE continues to work on research, publication, and community outreach projects that aim at making the scholarship developed by our Senior and Junior Members accessible to larger audiences. Please pray for the CPRSE team as they support ICS in pursuing this key aspect of its institutional mission. 

ICS alum Phil Travis passed away suddenly on Friday, January 22nd. Planning is currently underway for a virtual memorial service sometime in the next week or two, but the details of this service are not yet finalized. Please keep Phil’s wife and three daughters in your prayers during this time, especially that God will grant them peace and comfort them in their mourning. If you would like information for how to join the virtual service, email us and we will send you any details we receive. 

Monday, February 15 - Friday, February 19

Reading Week commences on Monday so there will be no classes this week. This is a welcome opportunity for Junior and Senior Members alike to bury their heads in their books, or digital equivalents, and to concentrate on their current research. May they find joy and inspiration in their studies.

Please pray this week for our Senior Members as they work to finish the grading of their students’ assignments from the Fall 2020 courses by February 19. We ask God to bless them in this important work of mentoring and give them the space and energy to finish the task well.

The first school visit as part of the new MA-EL course, How to Finance a Vision, will be on February 18th at Community Christian School in Drayton, ON. This part of the course is only available to the enrolled students and will consist of an interview of the principal by the course instructor, a virtual guided tour of the school, and a moderated Q & A session with questions from the participants for the principal. Again, we would appreciate prayer for all of the participants and leaders of this learning experience, as well as for the principal and his team at Community Christian School as they host this visit.

Monday, February 22 - Friday, February 26

ICS Emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart has just published a new memoir, titled To Sing Once More: Sorrow, Joy, and the Dog I Loved (Wipf and Stock, 2021). This intimate little book tells about Hannah Estelle, Lambert’s lovely Golden Retriever, and how she helped him learn to sing again. You can find more details at the publisher’s website. The paperback edition sells for $10 USD, and is available directly from Wipf and Stock, Amazon, and other booksellers. We’re grateful that Lambert’s project has come to fruition, and pray that the book will speak wisdom and blessings into the lives of its audience.

This month the Critical Faith team has been busy planning and posting two series of episodes. Nik Ansell joined the podcast for a few episodes on how to read the Bible, discussing gift and call, law and liberation, gender and sexuality, and many other relevant topics. Also, CPRSE Research Associate Andrew Tebbutt has begun a series in which ICS folks and friends discuss the challenges facing political philosophy, especially as it intersects with Christian and Reformational thought, in a “post-2020” world. Please pray for the planning and execution of these series, and for the conversations themselves—that they may prove fruitful to those involved and those who listen.

Please join us in giving thanks for the tremendous response to our Advent appeal! We were so blessed by the generous donations and the encouraging notes that accompanied them. A huge thank you to our supporting communities for their gifts of inspiration and hope.