As we enter a new year, I pray that God will bless you in the various responsibilities you have taken on in your day-to-day lives. I am also vividly aware that some of you are grieving deep personal losses, and I wish you God's comfort as you continue on a journey for which one can never be adequately prepared. During Advent, we collectively prayed: "Come, Lord Jesus!" in anticipation of Christmas. In a larger sense our whole lives on this earth are one continual Advent season, during which we constantly pray for Jesus' return.

Over the holidays we all rested while fighting illness as well, which is hardly unusual for us as winter closes in. One of the highlights was attending the Christmas day service at the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church Trinity in Toronto, pastored by the Rev. Joshua Lie, our daughter's future father-in-law. The liturgy was in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, and we were provided with headphones for the simultaneous translation into English. Afterwards we were treated to a lavish Indonesian dinner, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We are most grateful for the hospitality the parishioners showed us.

As I mentioned in my year-end letter, my forthcoming book now has a title: Citizenship Without Illusions: A Christian Guide to Political Engagement, and as of now it is set to be published in November. I spent much of December working on the requested revisions to the manuscript, incorporating the advice of both my editor and the anonymous reviewer. I am grateful to both for their wise comments and suggestions for improvement. Now the manuscript goes to the copy editors, while the art department comes up with a design for the cover. We will also be seeking endorsements for the book in the coming months.

Although my major field is, of course, political science, I have spent recent weeks exploring and writing about matters liturgical. Here are some of the results: a review of A new Dutch psalter: De Nieuwe Psalmberijming (I do understand some Dutch, but I also used the Google translator); a brief look at a now defunct church denomination with an apparently solid prayer book: Liturgical standards and living faith: the case of the Evangelical and Reformed Church; and my review of two books about the Book of Common Prayer: Cranmer's liturgical legacy.

Christian Courier recently published two articles of mine: Anna's unexpected blessing, about the prophet Anna, who makes a brief appearance in Luke's narrative of Jesus' infancy; and Seeking our roots, relating the story of my own genealogical research and the role of genealogies in the Bible.

Finally, a friend drew my attention to a wonderful quotation from Abraham Kuyper, made in the Dutch Second Chamber during his final months as prime minister of the Netherlands: Kuyper on education. Do watch the clip from the classic British comedy, Yes, Prime Minister, at the end.

Nearly two years later, we continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and, more recently, in Gaza. I will undoubtedly be commenting further on these conflicts this year.

As always, I am thankful for your financial and prayer support for my work. A special thank you to those who contributed a little extra at the end of last year. Please consider a regular monthly contribution, as it makes it easier for Global Scholars to set an annual budget, including the modest salary I receive from the organization. GSC's page for giving can be found here. Once you are in the page, scroll down to the heading marked DONATION DETAILS, and then choose one of the options under FUND. Americans may donate through our sister organization in the US.

Canadian donors can now donate publicly traded securities (shares or mutual funds) directly to charities without having to pay the capital gains tax. This is a cost-effective way to make a donation that comes with a substantial tax incentive. By donating securities, donors pay no tax on capital gains, receive a tax receipt for the fair market value of the securities, as well as reduce their taxes. Watch this video for more information about this option: Link Charity Canada: Donation of Securities. If interested, please visit the Link Charity Canada Inc. website, and call for details at 1-800-387-8146. Link Charity Canada is a partner organization of Global Scholars Canada, so Link Charity can easily direct funds for my work. Thank you!

Yours in God's service,

David Koyzis, Global Scholar





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