Tuesday 14 June 2022

Prayer Letter: Summer 2022

Wednesday, June 1 - Friday, June 3:

The beginning of June was packed with year-end events for us. Please take this opportunity to give thanks along with all of us for the productive and inspiring Senate and Board of Trustees meetings that took place on June 2 & 3. The discussions around both tables were forward-looking and uplifting, and Senate and Board members came away with a renewed sense of God’s presence in our midst.

As well, we give thanks for a joy-filled celebration at our Convocation on the evening of Friday, June 3. The ceremony included the granting of an honourary degree to Dr. Barbara Carvill, an address to our graduates from Dr. Carvill on the deep, ethical importance of Christian education to enriching the “how” of teaching and learning, and the granting of degrees to Junior Members across all our programs. Please join us in gratitude for Dr. Carvill and for each and every one of our graduates and their accomplishments. Congratulations!

Monday, June 6 - Friday, June 10:

On June 8–11, ICS hosted its 2022 Summer Community Conference, “Difficult Conversations, Difficult Journeys, Difficult Justice.” Senior and Junior Members, alums, and ICS/CPRSE institutional partners provided leadership through a number of keynote lectures, workshops, and community conversations. Friends of our community had the opportunity to reconnect to ICS, as well as to interact with staff, students, and faculty, in the context of this conference. We pray in thanksgiving for the success of this enriching event, and we hope that the challenging conversations it initiated continue to nourish our communities' reflection and action in the world.

This week and next are very busy in the Academic Registrar’s office so we ask for prayer for Elizabet Aras as she works to finish the tasks coming out of the Senate meeting and Convocation, prepares for the beginning of our remaining summer course next week, and continues work on our new student database. Please pray for rest and renewal in the short breaks she plans to take throughout the summer.

Please also pray this week and next for the Advancement office as they work with the DonorPerfect staff to complete the remaining steps in the data transfer process. Our goal is to go live in the first week of July and we are on track to be able to do that at this point. Please pray that the process will continue to go smoothly and for energy and focus for all members of the team.

As we quickly move toward the end of our fiscal year this month, we would ask that you prayerfully consider sending in your financial support if you have not already done so (you can find the Canadian support page here and the US support page here). We are so grateful for the continued and generous giving of our support community and we pray God’s blessing on each one of you.

Monday, June 13 - Friday, June 17:

This week, ICS/CPRSE published the fourth volume in its Currents in Reformational Thought series (Wipf & Stock) titled, Dancing in the Wild Spaces of Love: A Theopoetics of Gift and Call, Risk and Promise, by James Olthuis, Senior Member Emeritus in Philosophical Theology. In this book, Dr. Olthuis addresses one of the central anxieties and concerns of modern philosophy after the “discovery” of the historicity of human experience: what does it mean to be a human participant in the enduring process of existence? Please pray with us in thanksgiving for Dr. Olthuis and the gift of his scholarly and pedagogical work, as well as for the work of the editorial team in bringing this book to publication.

Please pray for Andrew Tebbutt as he leads his course, The Visible, the Invisible, and the Revealed: Phenomenology and Christianity which began Monday, June 13th and ends July 22nd. This course is delivered in an intensive format, so we ask for creativity and energy for Andrew as he guides the discussions and for new inspiration and learning for the students who are participating.

Please also pray this week for two of our MA-EL summer courses: Cultivating Learning Communities of Grace with Edith van der Boom, and Lead From Where You Are: Making a Difference in the Face of Tough Problems, Big Questions, and Organizational Politics with Gideon Strauss. Both have their third virtual class session on Thursday, June 16th, and finish with three sessions on August 9-11. Pray for continued creative energy for both Edith and Gideon as they lead the courses, and for all the participants that might find joy and inspiration in their learning experiences.

Pray too for the course Biblical Foundations with Nik Ansell and ICS PhD candidate Mark Standish, which continues to run through the month of June. Please pray for all the students and faculty that each class will be filled with interactive discussions and inspired moments of learning about the Scriptures.

Monday, June 20 - Friday, June 24:

The month of June has been busy for faculty as they get caught up on their supervising and mentoring responsibilities before the summer and begin to prepare for the new academic year in the fall. Pray specifically for those instructors who taught in the winter semester as course grades are due on June 18th. Pray for the space and energy in their lives as they work with the students in this important way. And pray also for their various projects and holidays over the course of the summer—that both work and rest may refresh them.

Pray for the students who have been accepted into programs for this fall, as well as for those who are still undecided. We ask God to bless them with wisdom as they discern this important step in their life, and pray that God will provide the necessary funding for their studies.

As the end of the fiscal year is upon us, we ask God for strength, clarity of mind, and encouragement for Harley Dekker, our Director of Finance and Administration. There is much to do throughout this month and into the summer, such as preparation for the year end financial audit, getting the books in order for the new budget year, and preparing for the start of the academic year in September. We give thanks for Harley’s unflagging dedication to this work.

As Thursday next week marks the end of our fiscal year, we want to say a huge thank you to all who have given of their time and financial resources! We are so grateful for the way God blesses us through you with your gifts and encouragement.

Monday, June 27 - Thursday, June 30:

We currently have two Junior Members starting their ICS studies in the fall who are looking for housing opportunities in Toronto before the start of the fall semester. One is named Robert Woods and the other is Traver Carlson.
  • Robert is looking for a location that is not too far from public transport (i.e., the subway) and can be contacted at robertwoods548@gmail.com.
  • Traver aims to move to Toronto in the first week of August and is looking for somewhere with parking and some means of preparing food (shared kitchen, kitchenette, space for electric induction tops, etc.). Access to laundry would be nice but it's not a deal-breaker. He is also fine with roommates and sharing space. Traver can be contacted at tcarlson@icscanada.edu.
If you or anyone you know has available Toronto housing opportunities for these new JMs, please don’t hesitate to email them directly with any leads. And please keep them both in your prayers as they seek somewhere to live in a new city.

Planning for the fall semester has begun early! So during this week and over the summer, please pray for our Senior Members as they start preparing for the courses currently slated for the Fall 2022 semester:
  • Biblical Foundations and Meaning/Being/Knowing, taught by Nik Ansell
  • Grace as an Aesthetic Concept, taught by Rebekah Smick
  • The Craft of Reflective Practice, taught by Gideon Strauss
  • Imagining the World with Ricoeur, taught by Ronald A. Kuipers
  • Transformative Teaching, taught by Edith van der Boom
Please also pray that over the coming months students may find their way to these courses in order to answer some of their own burning questions.

Over the next number of months, ICS will be conducting a search for a new Senior Member in Philosophy. Please join us in prayer during the search that news of this position may find its way to suitable candidates, and that the Search Committee will be granted wisdom in assessing these candidates and their potential contribution to the ICS academic community.

As we take a break from the Prayer Letter over the summer months, please keep in prayer all our Senior Members, Junior Members, and staff that everyone may find ways to rest deeply after what has proven to be a very full and fulfilling academic year. We pray the same for all of you, and are already looking forward to the fall with eager anticipation!