Saturday 1 October 2022

Prayer Letter: October 2022

Monday, October 3 - Friday, October 7:

October 3 is the application deadline for the opening for a Senior Member in Philosophy at ICS. We are grateful for all of the applications we have received, and we pray for the Search Committee as they now begin to evaluate candidates and start the interview process. Please pray that the committee may be granted wisdom in assessing these candidates and their potential contribution to the ICS academic community.

October 3 is also the first Educational Policy Committee meeting of the year at ICS. At this meeting, the EPC will consider the results of a survey of ICS students and instructors that was conducted earlier this year and will advise the Academic Council on the assessment of student work on the basis of those results. Please join the EPC in its own prayers for its work, from the collect for the feast of Hildegard of Bingen: God of all times and seasons: Give us grace that we, after the example of your servant Hildegard, may both know and make known the joy and jubilation of being part of your creation, and show forth your glory in the world; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Earlier this fall, Dr. Neal DeRoo joined the ICS team in the capacity of CPRSE Postdoctoral Research Associate. Dr. DeRoo is thrilled to put his experience and knowledge at the service of our ICS community. Please pray for Dr. DeRoo as he joins the CPRSE team, for a fruitful and smooth transition into his new role.

Senior Members Edith van der Boom and Gideon Strauss will be travelling to Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 5-7. Edith and Gideon will be meeting with the Friends of ICS on the evening of the 5th to give an update on the latest news and projects at ICS. Edith and Gideon will then attend the Kuyers/INCHE Conference at Calvin University. On October 6, Edith will present on “Decolonizing Christian Education for Human Flourishing” and on October 7, Gideon will present on “The Question in Hand: When Teaching Change Leadership Demands Change.” Please pray for Edith and Gideon as they travel and spend this valuable time meeting with colleagues and ICS supporters.

Monday, October 10 (Thanksgiving) - Friday, October 14: 

During this week of Canadian Thanksgiving, we want to join together and give thanks for the many answers to prayer this year. We have been blessed by our ICS community again and again as you faithfully supported us in our times of need and we have been encouraged by the grace and strength that God has given us during the difficult times. We are beyond grateful for the presence of each of our Junior and Senior Members and the unique contributions they make to the ICS community, and we give thanks for all of the ICS staff and the ways in which they faithfully serve the educational mission of ICS. 

CPRSE Associate Director and PhD candidate Héctor Acero Ferrer will be preaching this week at the CRC Campus Ministries at the University of Toronto’s Wine Before Breakfast service. Héctor’s reflection will focus on the image of God the pilgrim as articulated by Liberation Theology. Please pray for Héctor as he prepares his reflection, and pray in gratitude for the important work done by the CRC Campus Ministries, as they provide a space for faithful reflection and fellowship for the university students in the GTA. 

Our first staff meeting of the academic year will take place this week. This is a busy time of year for ICS administration, with many projects on the go and deadlines approaching. Please pray that the ICS staff might find mutual encouragement for their individual and shared tasks during this meeting and in their ongoing work together. 

During the month of October, the Critical Faith podcast will resume its activities after a year-long hiatus. The podcast’s re-launch episode will feature an interview with Eric Van Giessen, Toronto activist, artist, and PhD student at York University. Please pray for the Critical Faith team as they start activities for this academic year.

Monday, October 17 - Friday, October 21:

On October 17, the Academic Council will receive and discuss a report from Senior Member Nik Ansell reflecting on his own practices as a learner, teacher, and lover of Scripture. We pray that this might be a time of gratitude and celebration for Nik’s singular contributions to the academic and spiritual life of the ICS community.

On the evening of October 19, we will host an online Info Night for ART in Orvieto 2023. This event will feature an overview of the art, religion, and theology seminar led by Senior Member Rebekah Smick, the Artists’ Workshop led by David Holt, and the Writers’ Workshop led by John Terpstra. There will also be a Q&A period for any questions hopeful attendees may have. Email if you or someone you know would like to join us and find out more about this wonderful learning opportunity. And please pray that the event will prove both helpful and inspiring to those who attend.

Our Academic Integrity & Citation Management Workshop is taking place on October 20, led by Librarian Peter Gorman. Please pray for Peter as he prepares for this session and for the students who attend this event, that they might gain valuable insights and tools as they pursue their research projects and interests in the coming academic year.

The 16th Annual Society for Ricoeur Studies Conference is being held on October 20-22 in Los Angeles, California. CPRSE Associate Director Héctor Acero Ferrer, ICS alums Andrew Tebbutt and Abbi Hofstede, and PhD candidate Mark Standish will all travel to this conference to present the panel “Public Fragility, Fragile Publics: Ricœur’s Political Thought from Root to Branch.” Please pray for this ICS delegation as they share with the Society’s international audience the product of their reflection on the political, economic, and religious thought of Paul Ricoeur. 

Monday, October 24 - Friday, October 28:

It’s Reading Week at ICS! Please pray for our Junior and Senior Members during this week that they might make the most of this opportunity to attend to the various projects on which they’re working. Please pray for our Junior Members and students that they might have the creative energy and space to complete their writing and study assignments. Pray, too, for the faculty, that God would graciously encourage and refresh them in their educational vocations at ICS.

The next issue of Perspective will be on its way to a mailbox near you shortly! In this issue, you’ll be able to read some reflections from Senior Members Ron Kuipers and Bob Sweetman, alumnus Drew Van’t Land, Kristin Kobes Du Mez, as well as our newest Junior Members on the traditions in which they find themselves and the life they find therein. Please join us in thanksgiving for each of these contributors and the time they’ve spent sharing their insights, and please pray for the editors, designers, and printers as they put the final touches on this issue.

Please hold the Board of Trustees in your prayers as they oversee the vision and mission of ICS, especially as they plan for their next major Board meeting coming up in mid-November and attend to the details of the upcoming Annual General Meeting on November 19 as well. Pray for strength and wisdom for each Trustee as they continue to provide support and leadership in the working out of God’s call to ICS now and into the future.

On Thursday, October 27 at 3:00pm at Regis College, the ICS community will gather to celebrate the publication of Seeking Stillness or The Sound of Wings: Scholarly and Artistic Comment on Art, Truth, and Society in Honour of Lambert Zuidervaart, the second volume of the Currents in Reformational Thought book series. The celebration of this publication will also be an opportunity to honour the contribution of Senior Member Emeritus Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart to the Reformational philosophy tradition. Please pray in thanksgiving for Dr. Zuidervaart, as well as for the numerous contributors to the volume and all those involved in the planning of this celebration.  

Monday, October 31:

Please pray today for the Advancement and Finance teams as they work to organize and send out the necessary materials for the AGM on November 19th and this year’s Advent Appeal. Pray especially for Harley Dekker as he works with the auditors to finalize the annual audit of our financial records for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2022. We continue to be amazed by the generosity of our support community and have seen positive financial developments even amid the global financial stresses of this past year. We give thanks for God’s enduring care for us.