November 26, 2012

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On Sunday, December 2, something important begins: the start of the liturgical season of Advent. In this season we reflect on the miracle of the first Christmas, as God underwent the process of taking on human form. The story of the birth of Christ reminds us that a great deal of preparation and labour goes into bringing about an event that is truly transformative. Advent reminds us of this necessity for work and preparation. The coming of the Christ Child is an event so important that it requires a response from us before Christmas; we work to make our hearts and lives ready for the gift of Christ.

At the same time, we must also work in this world to honour the call such a gift issues. Every person who makes the choice to follow Christ has a different way in which he or she is called to respond to this appearance of Christ’s presence in the world.

At ICS, we respond to that call by collaborative learning, research meant to illuminate and shape important debates in the world today, and by uniquely interdisciplinary and spiritually attuned scholarship. Our teaching and mentoring is geared to help people engage the ideas and issues that shape today’s changing world. Our research is oriented toward responding to questions of truth and justice as they are worked out in the lives of people across the globe today. We respond to the call for transformative outreach in this world by trying to live out our faith faithfully as scholars, responding to the call to act as Christ did in all areas of our world.

We could not do this work without donors like you. And so, in this time of preparation for the transformation that Christ brings, we thank you for the gifts you have given us.

There is much that your help has accomplished already. Through ICS, the lives of our Junior and Senior Members have been changed and they are now working to transform our world for the better. I want to share the story of one ICS Alumnus with you, whose time at ICS helped to prepare him for the world transformation and renewal that he is engaged in today. Enclosed in this package, you will find the story of Steve van de Hoef, one of our alumni, who is now working with CRC - Canadian Ministries to encourage and empower CRC congregations and members to understand and respond to God’s call to justice and reconciliation.

• Read Steve van de Hoef's Story

Your support has made Steve’s journey, as well as that of many others, possible. Thank you. Your renewed donation will help to ensure that ICS can continue to attract new students by offering scholarships and financial aid packages. Your gift will allow ICS to offer competitive salaries to our faculty and attract the best minds in contemporary Christian scholarship. With your help, ICS will continue to host critical public outreach opportunities so that we may gather together and gain new insights into our world.

We thank you for your generous support of our work over the years. Would you please continue that generosity and make your gift today. We are counting on your renewed support so we can fulfill our mission and bring hope and reconciliation to our world. You can make an online donation right here. Thank you.

U.S. donors wishing tax receipts should visit www.friendsofics.org.

On a personal note and as my term as President comes to an end, I want to acknowledge and thank you for the role that you have played during my time here. I have been blessed to have met so many ICS donors who believe, as I do, that ICS is a vital part of the Christian education landscape. I am honoured to have been a part of this institution’s 45-year history and I look forward to the renewal and transformation that will occur with the arrival of ICS’s new President team, Dr. Tom and Ms. Dawn Wolthius, in January 2013.

As we reflect during this Advent season, may we all feel renewed in our work and may we find concrete ways to work towards the transformation of our world. I hope that you will support ICS’s work by renewing your donation today.

May you and your family be filled with blessings as you wait, work, and prepare for the warmth and love Christ’s presence brings, responding to the call we have all received. Happy Advent and Happy Christmas too!

In Peace,

Chris Gort, President

PS: Please show your continued support for ICS by renewing your support. To make a donation by phone, please contact Kathy Lynch at 416-979-2331 or toll free 1-888-326-5347 ext 222. To make a donation online, please visit www.icscanada.edu/support. Thank you.

PPS: If you work for a company that matches gifts to higher education, please remember to send your company’s matching gift form. That will mean even more dollars to help ICS carry out its mission! For more information about matching gifts please call Vidya Williams at 1-888-326-5347 x 223 or by email vwilliams@icscanada.edu. Thank you.