1985 ICS Niagara Conference
Perspective: From the President’s Pen by Clifford C. Pitt
Well! Now I’ve really seen the strength of ICS! Dorothy and I thoroughly enjoyed the Niagara Conference and particularly the warm Christian fellowship and hospitality of so many of you! It was good, too, to meet separately with special circles of our supporters, the groups from Chatham, Brampton, St. Catharines, London, Barrie and Sarnia. We both felt very much at home: we had very much a sense of being in the midst of the Lord’s people.
You will read elsewhere in Perspective of the Niagara Conference highlights. Very personal highlights for us in cluded Derk Pierik’s ministry, a wonderfully moving remem brance of our Lord on Sunday morning, Peter Slofstra’s unusual sermon-cum-song vesper service, Jim Olthuis’s stimulating address, the obviously deep personal impact and involvement ofthe workshops, the glorious singing that went on to well after midnight, and much, much more!
In my own ten minutes before the assembly at Niagara, we went back to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, to “the city set on a hill lighting up the darkness ofthe night forall to see.” Again, that’s the way I perceive the Institute for Christian Studies, no more than the flicker of a small flashlight at times perhaps, but nevertheless Christ’s Invaders shining into areas where His Lordship is unknown, into the academic disciplines of history and philosophy and science and all the rest and, indeed, into the areas of politics and the arts and psychology and medicine. Just yesterday morning after church a friend, a much-travelled missionary-stateman, gave me a fresh reminder ofthe uniqueness and practicality of the Institute’s work. My friend said that from the Institute and reformational thinking came the only Christians he’d ever met who believed it at once appropriate and imperative to apply a Christian perspective to, for example, so practical a field as agriculture, a major missionary endeavour.
So, I continue to be excited about the Institute for Christian Studies and the Invaders! At Niagara I challenged all of our faithful CRC adherents to so generously support ICS that we might extend it as a gift to the whole of the Christian Church in Canada. It is my firm belief that that’s where the Institute belongs, not selfishly to us alone, but to the whole Christian fabric of this wonderful country. Will you join the rest of us in trying to make such a gift possible?
In fact, many of you now are supporting ICS with new vigour and a fresh excitement in the vision that had waxed dim or out offocus. Personally, I am much encouraged. For example, the Niagara Conference Sunday offering for ICS was up 87% over last year! It would appear that donations from all sources for July/August will be 57% higher than for the same period last year. God has placed us in a land ofi wonderful freedoms and wonderful blessings; for even the poorest of us, compared to the rest of the world, it is a land flowing with milk and honey. Should we be saying “Thank you, Lord!” in more substantial ways than we presently are? I don’t know and certainly cannot tell you. The Lord can; please pray that He will guide you about the needs of ICS amidst all of the other needs that properly lay claim to your Christian stewardship.
But the greatest need ofall isforyourprayersupport. I much covet the fervent, effectual prayers (James 5:16) ofthe Lord’s people that ICS may be given the wisdom that is from above, and the will to follow that wisdom and not our own.
We are most grateful for all your helpfulness and counsel and kindnesses. May the Lord bless you most richly in ways that you cannot fail to recognize as from Him.