Monday 31 October 2022

Prayer Letter: November 2022

Tuesday, November 1 - Friday, November 4: 

November 1 is the application deadline for students wanting to enter the MA in Education Leadership (MA-EL) program in the 2023 winter term. Please pray for wisdom for Gideon Strauss and Edith van der Boom as they review the students’ applications this month, and for these applicants as they make space in their lives to embark on a program of graduate study.

Our first Open Class of the fall is taking place on November 2, with Ron Kuipers welcoming prospective students into his Imagining the World with Ricoeur seminar. Anyone interested in finding out what an ICS course is like can RSVP to Elizabet Aras at Please pray for this and each of these open class sessions in the coming weeks, that ICS might speak to prospective students’ desires for their future studies.

Also on November 2, Gideon and Edith will be hosting one of our regular writing workshops for Junior Members. Please pray for those Junior Members participating in this event that they might make the most of their time together to share their questions and insights with one another and to strengthen their writing practices.

Please join us in thanksgiving for the successful event on October 27 celebrating the publication of the festschrift in honour of Lambert Zuidervaart, and the second volume of the Currents in Reformational Thought series,
 Seeking Stillness or the Sound of Wings. We’re grateful for Lambert’s contribution to the Reformational philosophical tradition, for everyone who attended the event in person and online, for each of the presenters and participants who made the event possible, and for everyone involved in the book’s writing and publication process.

Monday, November 7 - Friday, November 11 (Remembrance Day): 

The latest issue of Perspective and our annual Advent Appeal should be making their way to supporters in the mail over the next couple of weeks. This issue includes some deep reflections on the idea of “living tradition,” and we’re excited to be sending it out. Please pray for everyone involved in the final stages of the production process as they bring all the pieces of the mailing together. Please also pray for a strong response to our annual Appeal. We are always impressed and humbled by the faith our supporters place in us, and we thank God for your generosity during this time of year. 

On November 8, Nik Ansell is hosting the Open Class session of Biblical Foundations. Please pray for Nik and for those visiting students that they might spend an inspiring class time together digging into the life-giving scriptures.

Our search for a new Senior Member is moving onto the stage of evaluating the applications we’ve received and reaching out to applicants. We’re grateful for everyone who made the effort to apply. Please pray with us for wisdom and insight for the search committee as they consider these applications and discern who might best fit this position. 

Today, on Remembrance Day, we lift up all those who have suffered and sacrificed in the Great War and in the many wars that came before, that have happened since, and that rage today. Please join us in a prayer for peace:

God of all, remember your holy promise, 
and look with love on all your people, living and departed.
On this day we especially ask that you would hold forever
all who have suffered during war, those who returned scarred by warfare,
those who waited anxiously at home,
and those who returned wounded, and disillusioned;
those who mourned, and those communities that were diminished and suffered loss.
Remember too those who acted with kindly compassion,
those who bravely risked their own lives for their comrades,
and those who in the aftermath of war, worked tirelessly for a more peaceful world.
And as you remember them, remember us, O Lord;
grant us peace in our time and a longing for the day when people of every language, race, and nation will be brought into the unity of Christ’s kingdom.
This we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, November 14 - Friday, November 18:

Our MA & PhD program Open House is happening on November 16 at 6pm. Please pray that word of this event might reach prospective students to whom ICS would make a nourishing academic and spiritual home, and that those students might be able to discern the vocations, academic or otherwise, to which the Lord may be calling them.

On November 17, Rebekah Smick will be hosting an Open Class for students interested in her seminar, Grace as an Aesthetic Concept. Please pray that the students who attend this Open Class might be intrigued by the aesthetic, theological, and historical insights put forward in Rebekah’s seminar and that they might take steps to join our academic community.

On Friday, November 18, the Board of Trustees will meet online. Please pray for grace and wisdom for our Chair, John Joosse, and all our Board members as they deliberate together on various matters pertaining to the stewardship of ICS’s calling and resources. Please also give thanks with us for those outgoing Board Members who have given generously of their time and talents during their terms of service: Hilda Buisman, John Joosse, Diane Stronks, and Ray Vander Zaag. 

This Saturday, November 19 at 2pm EST, our Annual General Meeting is taking place online. 
Please pray for John Joosse as he gives leadership to the meeting, for all those who will present reports, and for the time participants will be able to spend together talking about our hopes for ICS. We’re grateful for this yearly rhythm which affords the opportunity to attend to what we’ve accomplished, and the goals to which we aspire institutionally. We also give thanks for this chance to gather with the broader ICS community to reflect together on our educational calling and hopes.

Monday, November 21 - Friday, November 25:

In early October, CPRSE Associate Director and ICS PhD candidate Héctor Acero Ferrer was appointed as Interim Program Coordinator of Martin Luther University College’s Bachelor of Arts: Christian Studies and Global Citizenship program. We thank God for Héctor’s role in the Martin Luther community and for this exciting new opportunity for him to shape undergraduate learning experiences at the school.

There will be an Open Class for The Craft of Reflective Practice with Gideon Strauss on November 24. Please pray that teachers and school administrators can find time in their busy schedules to join this session and get a taste of the tools and frameworks this and our other MA-EL courses have to offer them in their practice as educators. 

On this Thanksgiving Day in the US, we want to share our prayers of gratitude for each and every one of our supporters in Canada, the US, and across the world. Your continued financial, prayerful, professional, and personal support of the day-to-day educational mission of ICS has carried us through the pandemic and keeps us goingso thank you!

ICS alumnus Caleb Ratzlaff was just elected as a new city councillor in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. We congratulate Caleb on his successful campaign! Please also join us in praying for wisdom and ingenuity for Caleb as he takes up his new role and familiarizes himself with how to best represent the interests of his community in St. Catharine’s and support their wellbeing at the municipal level. 

Monday, November 28 - Wednesday, November 30:

The season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 27. On this first Sunday of the season, please join us in the vigilant expectation for peace hearkened to in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “[The nations] shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!” (Isaiah 2:4-5). We pray that, during this season, and amid the looming darkness, all may awaken more and more to the light of the coming Lord.

ICS Junior Member Jimmy Ronald has been selected as this year’s CPRSE Research Assistant. Jimmy will be an integral part of the Critical Faith podcast team as it reboots production during the coming academic year. We pray in thanksgiving for Jimmy’s presence in our community and for his willingness to serve the ICS community in this role. 

This academic year, CPRSE will once again collaborate with the Canadian Interfaith Conversation—as well as many other community, faith, and academic partners—in the planning of the annual Our Whole Society conference. This conference offers a space for a nationwide conversation about the role of religion in Canada’s pluralistic society. Please pray for the CPRSE, and for the Canadian Interfaith Conversation and organizational partners, as they continue to plan this important event.

As we quickly move into the end of the fall term, we would ask you to please pray for our Senior Members and faculty as they teach in the final few weeks of classes, and as they prepare for their teaching in the quickly-approaching winter term. We also want to express our deep gratitude for the new students who have come to ICS this academic year, as well as all the returning ones. Our students keep us alive in all kinds of ways. So we pray that they may stay in touch with their infectious enthusiasm amid the demands that can be felt as we move towards the end of the semester and as they work to finish up readings and other assignments and as they start to prepare their term papers and projects.