Sunday 21 March 2021

Prayer Letter: April 2021

 Prayer Letter: April 2021

Thursday, April 1 - Friday, April 2:

On Thursday, April 1 (1:00-2:30pm EDT), CPRSE will host ICS’s Winter Term Scripture, Faith, and Scholarship Symposium. For this event, we will welcome Dr. Nadine Bowers Du Toit, Director of The Unit for Religion and Development Research at the University of Stellenbosch, who will share with us some of her most recent research on Christian youth and inequality in post-Apartheid South Africa. Please pray that this event will be an opportunity for reflection and growth for our community, as we continue to attend to our institutional focus on race relations and systemic racism. 

We are happy to announce that after years of hard editorial work, ICS/CPRSE has published the second volume of its Currents in Reformational Thought book series. Seeking Stillness or The Sound of Wings: Scholarly and Artistic Comment on Art, Truth, and Society in Honour of Lambert Zuidervaart pays tribute to Emeritus Senior Member Lambert Zuidervaart, one of the most productive Reformational philosophers of the present generation. We pray in thanksgiving for Lambert, for the volume’s editors Héctor Acero Ferrer, Michael DeMoor, Peter Enneson and Matthew Klaassen; and for the multiple scholars and artists who contributed essays, statements, and pieces of art to this festschrift. 

Easter Sunday:

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid;I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead and is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matt. 28:5-8 NRSV)

Monday, April 5 - Friday, April 9:

Please pray for our Perspective production team this month as they work hard to finish the editing of the articles and compiling the content for the spring issue. Pray particularly for Danielle Yett and Héctor Acero Ferrer as they give leadership to the process, ensuring that all runs according to the timeline to meet our printing deadline; and for Vidya Williams as she prepares all the data for the mailing.

The second, and last, school visit for this semester as part of the new MA-EL course, How to Finance a Vision, will be on April 8th with Smithville Christian High in the Niagara region of Ontario. This part of the course will consist of an interview of the principal, Ted Harris, 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 Ted and his team at Smithville Christian School as they host this visit.

As this semester’s classes wind down, please pray for our faculty as they continue to provide the teaching and mentoring to our Junior Members in this remote learning environment. We ask that God will give energy and inspiration to these mentoring relationships which will lead to the flourishing of ideas and furthering of projects for our Junior Members.

The month of April will be an exciting time at our institutional podcast, Critical Faith. As part of our new series “The Wake of 2020,” we will interview historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez and theologian Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo to talk about the ways in which their research can help us think of a world after 2020. We pray in thanksgiving for Kristin, Jonathan, and all other guests who have offered their time and talent to our community through our podcast.

Monday, April 12 - Friday, April 16:

Please continue to pray for the Recruitment Crew as they continue to promote the summer courses being held from April 20th to the end of August. There is a diverse lineup of learning opportunities available for students who want to take courses for credit or for personal interest. We’re grateful for the time and effort spent by the teachers preparing these courses. Please pray for their continuing preparations, and that students might find their way to these exciting learning opportunities. You can find out more about what’s on offer this summer here:

Friday the 16th is the last day of classes and just like last year, ICS will be holding its annual spring retreat for staff, faculty, and students in the evening. Gideon Strauss and Elizabet Aras have been hard (and creatively!) at work to make this virtual spring retreat as uplifting and hope-filled as it has been in the past. We’re grateful for their efforts and ask for prayers for their continued strength and inspiration in their work. We pray that this important culminating event in the school year will continue to build us a community, and help us to reflect on the various lessons, insights, and blessings in the past academic year.

ICS is delighted to welcome Prof. Janel Kragt Bakker as our newest external Senator! Prof. Kragt Bakker is Associate Professor of Mission, Evangelism, and Culture at Memphis Theological Seminary. She received her BA from Dordt College and her MA and PhD from the Catholic University of America. Prof. Kragt Bakker is the author of Sister Churches: American Congregations and their Partners Abroad (Oxford  University Press, 2014). Recently, Prof. Kraft Bakker commented on “Josh Hawley, Betsy DeVos, and Abraham Kuyper” on the Patheos website. She is an organizer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Due to the postponement of Ontario’s March Break to the week of April 12th, we’ve extended the application deadline for the MA-EL program so principals and teachers could have the time to reflect on what courses they would like to take in the summer and fall semesters. Please pray for these educators as they discern their priorities for professional development during this busy year.

Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23:

On Tuesday, April 20th, our Summer Online Learning program starts off with the course “The Soul of the Soulless Conditions: Marxist on Christianity, Christians on Marxism,” led by our very own Dean Dettloff. This course will run in a semi-intensive format, meeting virtually twice per week between April 20 and May 27 (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-9pm EDT). “The Soul of the Soulless Conditions” will be a great opportunity to learn about the multiple ways in which Christianity and Marxism intersect, as we get a glimpse into the cutting-edge research that our sessional lecturer and PhD Candidate Dean Dettloff is currently doing in the topic.

Please pray this month for Gideon Strauss, Elizabeth Aras, and all the faculty as they review the applications for the MWS-ART and MA-EL programs. Pray that they might have discernment and wisdom as they review the student files, and that the Lord might bring us students who are a good fit for the programs, and for whom the programs are a good fit.

The Leadership Team, and especially Harley Dekker as he pulls all the materials together, will be working hard on the coming year’s budget. Please pray for them in their deliberations, that they might be granted insight, wisdom and hope as they make stewardship decisions for the 2021-2022 budget year in the midst of a financial environment that is still unpredictable and constantly changing.

We ask for prayer for the ICS Academic Council as it concludes its review of the ICS Senior Member Handbook in April in preparation for the Senate’s consideration at its May meeting. This is a long and detailed process, and we’re grateful for the hard work of all involved. Please pray for continued strength of spirit and fruitful discussion among the Council members in their deliberations over the updates and changes to be made. Pray also for Gideon Strauss and Elizabet Aras as they work to compile the many other documents for the dossier that goes to the Senate members for their review at their meeting in May. 

Monday, April 26 - Friday, April 30:

Once a month, the administrative staff of ICS gather together virtually over Zoom to update one another and to provide support where needed on the various projects that everyone is involved in. Monday the 26th is our April meeting day, and we ask for prayer as we gather together online, that we will continue to experience the same support and camaraderie with one another that has been present in our virtual meetings throughout this past year.

We are thankful for the learning we have experienced in our MA-EL winter courses Deeper Learning, Transforming the World, and How to Finance a Vision. This past term we have made some wonderful connections with expert practitioners from both elementary and secondary Christian schools. Please pray for students in these programs as they now turn to completing their final projects and sharing their learning with authentic audiences.

We are thankful that our new Christian Educators Certification Program has been approved 

by the Senate and is ready to be launched this summer. Please pray for K-12 teachers, who are very tired due to a challenging year of teaching during the pandemic, as they consider registering for our upcoming summer courses, Finding Joy in Learning, Lead from Where You Are, and Transforming the World.