Wednesday 17 January 2024

Prayer Letter: January 2024

Monday, January 8 - Friday, January 12:

Please pray for our Junior and Senior Members as online classes resumed this week. We pray especially for Junior Members’ encouragement, connection, and insightful engagement in their studies. In addition to various guided readings and thesis writing and projects taking place this term, please pray for each of the following courses:

  • On Tuesdays at 10:00am, Nik Ansell will be teaching about the implications of the human embodiment of Christ in his course: God in Flesh and Blood: Revolutions in Christology. Please pray for Nik and the students as they draw on contemporary New Testament scholarship in order to engage the exegetical and theological issues at the edge, and at the heart, of contemporary Christology.

  • Also on Tuesdays, starting at 2:00pm, this year’s Interdisciplinary Seminar will address the topic: Philosophical Inquiry and the Practices of Everyday Life: An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Philosophizing in a Time of Crisis. Please pray for the seminar leaders, Gideon Strauss and Neal DeRoo and the students in the course as they explore the implications of philosophical inquiry for the everyday practices of philosophers as well as the implications of our everyday concerns for philosophical practices, with particular attention to the relevance of our political circumstances for this exploration.

  • On Wednesdays, starting at 10:00am, Bob Sweetman will teach his course: Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Scholastic Approach to the History of Philosophy. Pray for Bob and the students as together they examine the role philosophy or theology's history plays in the conceptual constructions of scholastic thinkers.

  • On Thursdays at 10:00am, sessional instructor Michael Buttrey teaches his course: What Were the Women Up To? Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch. Please pray for Michael and his students as they attend to the important work of these four philosophers and the ways they revolutionized the fields of ethics and analytic philosophy.

  • Also on Thursdays, starting at 2:00pm, Neal DeRoo will teach his course: Issues in Phenomenology: Spirituality. Pray for Neal and the students as together they look at the notion of spirituality introduced by Hegel, and developed by Husserl, Derrida, and others; examining the implications of this account of spirituality for understandings of religion and oppression.

  • On Thursdays, starting at 6:00pm, Nik Ansell will teach his course: Meaning/Being/Knowing: The Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Implications of a Christian Ontology. Pray for Nik and the students as together they examine the roots and developments of an integral ontology throughout the Reformational philosophical tradition.

Pray also for the instructors and students partaking in our two MA-EL courses which will begin this week and meet regularly throughout this semester:
  • Transformative Teaching: The Role of a Christian Educator with Edith van der Boom, and

  • How to Finance a Vision: Setting Direction and Managing Change within Financial Limitations with Gideon Strauss.

Monday, January 15 - Friday, January 19:

We want to extend a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated during our Advent campaign and throughout 2023! We were blown away by your generosity during this Advent season in particular. Your faithful and generous gifts of prayer and financial support, month by month and year by year, have been a blessing to us and continue to bolster us in our daily work of providing Christian education. We give thanks to God for each of you, and we start 2024 filled with hope and strength to face what the new year brings.

Irene Suk, the wife of former ICS President John Suk, was recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. On January 20, at 11 am, at Lawrence Park Community Church, there will be a "Farewell" gathering for Irene. A few friends and family members will speak, and hopefully Irene will speak too. There will be fine music, a solo or two, a prayer and a scripture reading. This will be followed by an open house in the Fellowship Hall. You can find information on how to join in person or online at Please pray with us for Irene, John, and their friends and family during this time.

Please pray this week for the Chair and ICS Chancellor, Dr. Pamela Beattie, as she leads the discussions at the ICS Senate meeting (via Zoom) on Saturday. Please also pray for Gideon Strauss, our Academic Dean, and all the external and internal Senators as they consider the issues on the agenda. Pray too that all will go smoothly technologically and the meeting will be as fruitful as possible.

Monday, January 22 - Friday, January 26:

Dr. Samson Makhado, ICS alum and honourary doctorate recipient, will be having back surgery on January 22 to replace some missing cartilage. Doctors believe there is a good chance of success, but a fairly long period of physical therapy will follow. Please join us in keeping Dr. Makhado and his family in prayer during this operation and throughout his time of recovery.

New book alert! Gestures of Grace: Essays in Honour of Robert Sweetman is now available for purchase through Wipf & Stock! Please join us in prayers of thanksgiving for Joshua Harris and H├ęctor Acero Ferrer’s editorial work, the writing efforts of the numerous contributors, and the many academic gifts of Bob himself. This is the latest volume in the CPRSE’s Currents in Reformational Thought book series, and you can get a copy for yourself via the publisher’s website.

Please pray this week for our Junior Members who still have outstanding work to be submitted from their fall courses. The deadline for submission is on Friday of this week, so we ask for clarity and creativity as they complete their various assignments, and for dexterity as they balance the work of this semester and last.

Monday, January 29 - Wednesday, January 31:

Our MA and PhD program application deadline is February 1st. Please pray that potential Junior Members may find their way to ICS, that they might discern how ICS can support them in considering the big questions they want to explore, and that they will be able to compile their applications in time to start their programs in the fall. For more details, you can email Brenna at

The ART in Orvieto 2024 early bird deadline is January 31. This deadline is for applicants to the program to receive a $500 scholarship to attend the program, funded by the Ruth and Ines Memorial Fund for Artistic Education. We continue to accept ART in Orvieto applications until March 31. Please pray that interested artists, teachers, and students of the arts will find their way to this year’s program, and please share news of this wonderfully rich learning opportunity with everyone you know!