Thursday 29 April 2021

Prayer Letter: May 2021

Monday, May 3 - Friday, May 7

We ask for your continued prayers for the Leadership Team as they work toward finalizing the draft 2021-22 budget for approval at the Board meeting at the end of May. Like last year, this is a complicated process as we try to assess the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our revenue and expenses. We are grateful for God’s provision throughout last year, and we continue to pray for grace and insight as we endeavour to make the wisest possible stewardship decisions as we plan for the future.

On May 4th, ICS/CPRSE will join the Canadian Interfaith Conversation and the Manitoba Multifaith Council as they host “Free to Believe, Responsible to Act,” the 2021 online version of the biannual Our Whole Society conference. ICS President, Ron Kuipers has actively participated in the Steering Committee for this event. Please pray for the Steering Committee, as well as all those attending this conference, as they sustain and nourish this important dialogue across diverse cultural and religious groups.

Gideon Strauss will be a keynote presenter on May 5 at the Christian Labor Association of Canada (CLAC) annual Staff Council meeting alongside Anne Snyder (editor of Comment magazine) and John Van Sloten (a pastor and writer from Calgary, AB). Gideon’s topic will be The Cultivation of Character. Please pray for all those involved in this event, that their time spent together might be edifying.

On May 6th, ICS will host an Open House via Zoom for the MA-EL program from 4:00-5:00 pm EDT. Please pray for our two second-year students, Sara and Richard, who will help present the two different streams in the program, i.e. the Instructional Leadership Stream and the School Administration Stream. Paul Marcus, the Principal of Knox Christian School, will also share his experiences from the How To Finance A Vision course that was held this winter semester. Pray also for Gideon Strauss, Edith van der Boom and Elizabet Aras as they facilitate this event.

Please continue to pray for all those involved in the 2021 summer online learning program 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, May 10 - Friday, May 14

Please pray this month for our Junior Members as they wrap up their course papers, with some also working on their theses. It is an intensive period, with diligence and focus required especially for those who are graduating. May God grant them clarity of mind and inspiration as they develop their insights in their writing projects. As May 28th is the submission deadline for outstanding coursework from the Winter 2021 semester, your prayers for our Junior Members would be most appreciated.

On May 12th, the Critical Faith team will record the last installment of the podcast series “The Wake of 2020.” This will be the last of six episodes dedicated to exploring the possibility of political judgment after 2020. We pray in thanksgiving for the production team and, especially, for the openness and insight of our invited guests, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo and Cheri DiNovo, who offered their time and reflections generously to our community.

We ask for prayer for our Academic Registrar, Elizabet Aras, who is currently on partial bed rest to recover from the persistent pain caused by physical fatigue that has haunted her for over a month now. She is slowly beginning to heal and hopes to be back on her feet soon but let’s pray that God, in his grace and mercy, will lay his healing hand on Elizabet, bless her with an extra measure of strength and patience and give wisdom to the doctors who are treating her. 

Monday, May 17 - Friday, May 21

On Monday, May 17th, the ICS Senate will convene for an all-day meeting via Zoom. This year’s meeting will have the special feature of a lunch segment where board members will join the senate members in a time of fellowship and getting to know one another. Please pray for wisdom and clarity of mind for the Chair and ICS Chancellor, Dr. Aron Reppmann, as he leads the sessions, and 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, that all will go smoothly to ensure the meeting is as productive as possible.

From May 17 to 20, Citizens for Public Justice will host the “Seeking Justice Together” conference, an online gathering of justice-minded Canadian Christians. ICS/CPRSE is one of the event’s supporters, sponsoring a workshop on decolonization processes within faith communities, under the leadership of Decolonizing Christianity Canada and Kenosis. Please pray that this event may be an opportunity for growth and transformation of all participants. 

Please pray this week and next for all the preparations that need to be made by the staff, Leadership Team, and Board members for the upcoming Board meeting at the end of the month.

Monday, May 24 - Friday, May 28

On Wednesday, our online learning program will continue with Fashion Theology, taught by Robert Covolo. This is a two-week intensive course running every weekday, 1-3pm EDT from May 26 to June 8. This seminar is for anyone who has wondered how Christianity relates to fashion or has suspected there is more behind fashion than meets the eye. Participants will, among other things, serve as fellow pioneers in the emerging field of fashion theology—that is, the fascinating ways theology intersects with fashion’s social, aesthetic, linguistic, performative, narrative, ethical, etc., elements. Robert has just published a book and been interviewed many times on this topic, to which you can find links here: For more information on this course, and the ones to come, go to: www.icscanadaedu/summer-courses. Please pray for wisdom and insight for the students participating in this course and for Robert as he teaches.

On Thursday evening, May 27th, and Friday, May 28th, the Board of Trustees will meet virtually with the Leadership Team. Please pray for grace and wisdom for our Chair, John Joosse, and all Board and Leadership Team members as they deliberate together on the various matters before them during these still uncertain times. We ask again for ease of use of the virtual meeting technology so that the times together go smoothly with little or no disruption.

Thursday, May 27th is the final class of the course The Soul of Soulless Conditions taught by our PhD candidate, Dean Dettlof. We give thanks for the students who participated in the course, and for Dean as he facilitated the discussions around the readings for this course. 

Monday, May 31

As we come to the last day of May, we want to express our gratitude to our supporters for all the ways you have supported us during this past year. We have been blessed by your encouraging notes and inspired by the way you have stood by us during a very difficult and unsettling year. May you experience Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians (ch. 3:16-21(NIV) in abundance: 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.