Monday 31 January 2022

Prayer Letter: February 2022

Tuesday, February 1 - Friday, February 4:

February 1st is 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 files so that the Admissions Committee can effectively evaluate the applications. Please pray for the committee too as they make decisions about who will be accepted to study at ICS, and for the students themselves as they discern their next steps.

Please pray this week for the Librarian Search Committee as they review the applications received from prospective candidates to replace Hilary Barlow who will be moving on to her new job on February 14th. We hope to have someone in place for when Hilary leaves so pray that they will have wisdom and discernment for this important task.

On February 4th, Mark Standish’s doctoral pre-dissertation examination will take place. Mark is enrolled in the joint ICS-VUA PhD program, which means that his committee consists of four people: Neal DeRoo (ICS Supervisor), Luigi Corrias (VUA Dissertation Advisor or Internal Examiner), Ron Kuipers (Internal Examiner), and Peter Nyers (External Examiner, McMaster University). Please pray for wisdom and discernment for all the members of the examination committee, and for Mark that he will have clarity of mind and gain new insights through this important learning opportunity.

SAVE THE DATE! On June 9th-11th, 2022, ICS/CPRSE will host its 2022 Summer Community Conference. This online event promises to be a wonderful opportunity for the whole ICS community to come together in learning, fellowship, and action, as well as to support the scholarly and pedagogical work done by our Senior and Junior Members. We pray for the Conference Steering Committee, and for all conference contributors and volunteers, as they plan the workshops, plenaries, and reflections that will be offered at the conference. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information about this summer event!

Monday, February 7 - Friday, February 11:

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—Brenna, 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 help teachers and principles learn about the unique virtues of our MA-EL program and decide if it is the right fit for their ongoing professional development.

On Thursday, February 10th, from 4:00 to 5:00pm EST, ICS will host an online Open House to provide a means to promote the MA-EL program to teachers and educational administrators who are thinking about upgrading their professional qualifications. An overview of the MA-EL program will be provided so that participants will be able to determine if this learning opportunity is a good fit for them. Two current MA-EL students (one from the instructional stream and one from the school administration stream) will join a principal from a local Christian school to share their experiences of the program. Please pray for Edith van der Boom, Gideon Strauss, and Elizabet Aras as they prepare for the Open House. Please pray also for those who are participating in the program as they share their experiences, and for all those who attend that it will be an engaging and informative experience. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in attending, please contact Elizabet Aras at: Please note that the last day to register for this event is Monday, February 7th.

Over the course of the past year, we've been working on updating and redesigning our website. Thanks in large part to a successful grant application to The Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust, we were able to bring this project to fruition. We offer prayers of thanksgiving for the financial support of the Reid Trust on this project, and we look forward to exploring more possibilities for making ICS resources, information, and events virtually accessible into the future.

Monday, February 14 - Friday, February 18:

This week, we say goodbye to our librarian Hilary Barlow. We’d like to thank Hilary for the four and a half years of service she’s given ICS, stewarding our library collections, making resources available to our community, helping our Junior and Senior Members in their various research projects, and strengthening our institutional relationship with the University of Toronto Library system. Please pray with us for blessings on Hilary as she enters the next stage of her career and familiarizes herself with her new work environment.

Please pray this week for our Senior Members as they work to finish the grading of their students’ assignments from their fall 2020 courses by February 18. We ask God to bless them in this important work of mentoring and give them the space and energy to finish the task well.

We would appreciate your prayers for Gideon Strauss and the students in the school administration stream of the ICS MA program in Educational Leadership who are taking a course titled 'How to Govern a School' with Gideon this term. All of these students are also full-time school administrators, having to navigate frequent changes as the pandemic continues to pose major challenges to schools and families. We would also appreciate your prayers for the Christian schools that will host Gideon and his students for virtual visits during this semester.

Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25:

Reading Week starts 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.

We give thanks for the ICS Senate meeting that took place during January 2022. In particular, we give thanks for the investment of time and careful discernment made by our Senators, for the course proposals that the Senate was able to approve, for the pioneering Reflective Practice Conversations that the Senate conducted with Senior Members Nik Ansell and Rebekah Smick, and for the election of Beth Green as the Vice Chair of Senate. We ask for your prayers for Aron Reppmann, Chancellor of ICS and Chair of the Senate, who came down with COVID at the end of the Senate meeting, and is now recovering.

We ask for your prayers for Danielle Yett, Vidya Williams, and Pat Webb as they research and evaluate new donor database options this month. This is a much needed upgrade for ICS’s advancement team and we require wisdom and discernment in the process of deciding which software program will best suit our needs.

Monday, February 28:

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

On Monday, February 28th, ICS/CPRSE will launch “Philosophy Otherwise,” a Ground Motive blog series that broadens the discussion about systemic injustice among the ICS community, so as to include questions about the internal complicity of philosophy with realities such as colonialism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression. Please pray for Ground Motive’s editorial team as they get this important and timely conversation underway.