Monday 2 May 2022

Prayer Letter: May 2022

Monday, May 2 - Friday, May 6:

On May 2, ICS Senior Member Edith van der Boom published a short article with Christian Deeper Learning titled “Global Citizen Education: A Responsiveness to Culture.” In it, Edith reflects: “Together with our students we need to challenge ourselves by first looking at our own actions and our biases and how they may need to change to grow into the global citizens we are meant to be.” We are grateful for this opportunity for Edith to publish some of her thoughts on education in this venue.

We ask for your continued prayers for the Leadership Team over the next two weeks as they work toward finalizing the draft 2022-23 budget for approval at the Board meeting on June 3rd. After two full years of the pandemic, we still require wisdom to assess the ongoing impact on our revenue and expenses. We are grateful for God’s provision throughout this past 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.

During the month of May, the CPRSE’s Philosophy Otherwise team will focus its activities on the new Ground Motive series, “Philosophy Otherwise: Knowledge Reconsidered, Learning Reimagined.” This online forum seeks to better equip our community to listen to alternative philosophical voices and to integrate them in a renewed approach to the philosophical craft. We pray in thanksgiving for the series’ contributors and participants, as they share their written reflections on this challenging subject with the ICS community and beyond.

Monday, May 9 - Friday, May 10:

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 27th is the submission deadline for outstanding coursework for the Winter 2022 semester, your prayers for our Junior Members would be most appreciated.

Please pray for the three MA-EL courses which started on April 25th and run through to the week of August 12th. The summer courses running during this time are: Biblical Foundations with Nik Ansell and ICS PhD candidate Mark Standish, Cultivating Learning Communities of Grace with Edith van der Boom, and Lead From Where You Are with Gideon Strauss. Please pray for all the students and faculty that each class will be filled with interactive discussions and inspired moments of learning.

Monday, May 16 - Friday, May 20:

On Monday, Junior Member Grace Carhart will defend her MA thesis entitled Acedia, Despair, Nihilism, and the Chronic Human Condition of Self-Separation: What We Can Learn from a Tradition of Fear and Failure. We congratulate Grace on reaching this important milestone! Please pray for Grace during this time of preparation for her exam and during the defense itself, and pray also for the members of her examination committee—Bob Sweetman (supervisor), Rebekah Smick (internal examiner), and Dr. William V. Rowe (external examiner)—as they engage with Grace’s work, that everyone may experience a fruitful discussion.

Our spring mailing is on its way to a mailbox near you! It includes the latest issue of Perspective (also now available on our website) and the President's letter to our ICS community. We pray that all our readers will thoroughly enjoy this special issue of Perspective devoted to the legacy of Cal and Inès Seerveld who were instrumental in creating and encouraging at ICS an appreciation of life’s aesthetic dimension.

Monday, May 23 - Friday, May 27:

Between May 25-27, ICS will actively participate in the second annual Seeking Justice Conference, organized by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). Focused on the theme “Seeking Justice in our Institutions,” this year’s conference explores ways to co-create more just, faithful, and healthy relationships within institutional frameworks. On Thursday, May 26 at 7:00pm EDT, ICS President Ronald A. Kuipers will participate in a panel marking the release of CPJ’s Equity and Anti-Oppression Statement; and on Friday, May 27 at 1:00pm EDT, CPRSE Associate Director Héctor Acero Ferrer will co-lead the workshop “Decolonizing Faith as Individuals and Institutions.'' Please pray for all of the conference’s organizers, presenters, and attendees as they engage in these timely and challenging discussions.

Please pray this week for all the preparations that need to be made by the staff, Leadership Team, Senate, and Board members for the upcoming events that will be happening the beginning of June:

  • On Thursday, June 2, the ICS Senate will convene for an all-day meeting. After having adjusted to Senate meetings being conducted by means of online video for the duration of the pandemic, Senators are excited by the prospect of being able to meet in person and on site in Toronto. 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 the Academic Dean, Registrar, and ICS staff who will be supporting the Senate meeting, that all will go smoothly to ensure the meeting is as productive as possible.

  • On Friday, June 3rd, the Board of Trustees will meet together in person for the first time in two years. 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 at this particular time of the year. We also ask for prayer for our ICS staff as they finalize all the details to ensure a smooth meeting and enjoyable time of fellowship for our trustees.

  • Then at 6pm EDT on Friday, for the first time in three years, our Convocation will take place! Again, we ask for prayer for our staff who will be overseeing the logistical and hospitality details of this event, especially for Elizabet Aras, our Registrar, as she ensures all the academic details of Convocation are in place. Pray too for our graduands and their families who will be traveling to Toronto, that they will have safe journeys and that their participation in this important event in their lives will be inspirational. We ask for your prayers for all those who will be participating in Convocation in an official capacity, and especially for Barbara Carvill, who will be receiving an honourary doctorate on the night and giving the Convocation address. This year’s Convocation ceremony and address will be live-streamed, so keep an eye out for those details in the June E-Newsletter (you can also email Danielle at to let us know ahead of time if you’d like to receive the live-stream information).

Between June 8–11, ICS will host its 2022 Summer Community Conference: "Difficult Conversations, Difficult Journeys, Difficult Justice.” This online space for reflection, dialogue, and capacity-building aims to offer participants the tools to think critically and dialogue constructively about the most pressing issues faced by our communities today—such as polarization, colonization, systemic oppression, and Indigenous-settler relations. ICS Senior Members Edith van der Boom, Rebekah Smick, Ron Kuipers, and Nik Ansell will offer keynote presentations. The conference is free, so please consider registering, and sharing the link to invite your friends and family to join the conversation too! Please also pray that this event will be a fruitful step in our community’s ongoing journey towards justice.

Monday, May 30 - Tuesday, May 31:

Andrew Tebbutt will be teaching a summer intensive during June 13 - July 22, The Visible, The Invisible, and the Revealed: Phenomenology and Christianity, which explores philosophical innovations—such as love, faith, grace, Word, and incarnation—that a phenomenology of Christianity makes available to thought, as well as other philosophical themes—such as attention, embodiment, language, and community—that are enriched by the intersection of phenomenology and Christianity. Registration is still open for this course (just email Elizabet Aras at Please pray for students to find their way to the course and for a time of deep and inspiring conversations for Andrew and the course participants.