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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

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December 2010 Newsletter: Upon the High and Spiritual Thrones

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

As I write, we approach a day most familiar - CHRISTMAS. And yet, if we meditate upon the meaning of the wondrous joy welling up inside, we also find a sense of unanswered mystery. As we anticipate the coming celebration of the birth of our Lord God and Savior, it is hard not to wonder how we can adequately celebrate His birth.

It is strange and beyond comprehension. Yet, real and very physical. He, the Pantocrator, choose to be born to a family of little honor, unbeknown and no wealth, with an earthly step-father. Yet, it is the beginning of His Promised Incarnation - the anticipated age of the ages. This babe in the manger is the very power of the Promise of our renewed beginning – a redeeming of our lost relationship with Him and a reopening of Paradise to those made in His likeness and image.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

St. Athanasius Academy: Ministering for 34 Years

St. Athanasius publicationSt. Athanasius publicationThirty four years ago, a group of evangelical Christians on the road to Orthodoxy founded St. Athanasius Academy with the vision of serving the Church through long distance study programs, theological studies, and research. From the start, they strategically focused on publishing materials for the laity, as well as producing audio and video tapes, and ultimately, the Orthodox Study Bible. Fifteen years ago, the Academy began to minister to prisoners who were discovering the Orthodox faith through their Prisoner Education Program, which provides study scholarships to qualifying students. Current Academy Director Paul Goetz says, "We have a steady prisoner-student list of 100 active prisoners. And we mean active. We grade and respond to nearly 120 lessons per month. Their enthusiasm is marvelous."

Adds Goetz, "Along with our Correspondence Division (its primary focus being the laity), and our Prisoner Education Project, we continue publishing our research. We are providing live classes – even webcam studies – on the Orthodox philosophy of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Orthodox theology, studies the Book of Romans and the Gospel of John, and monastic principles for non-monastics. Even here, we provide detailed study notes based on the renowned Fathers of the Church."

Recently, interviewed Paul Goetz about the ongoing work of St. Athanasius Academy. Read the interview in full here.

Listen to an interview with Fr. Jack Sparks, St. Athanasius Founder, here, and listen to Part II here.  

November 2010 Newsletter: Prisoner Education Scholarship Project - Reaching the Forgotten of Christ Through Almsgiving

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We need your prayers and gifts to help and aid our Prisoner Education - Scholarship Project. There is indeed no adequate way to measure the good being done by this program for prisoner-students. Even so, it is amazing to see people who never before gave serious thought to putting their lives in the care of God, now spending hours writing about it at length.

Here are men and women, incarcerated for many years – some for life – who complete lesson after lesson, course after course, and begin to confide in us their deepest thoughts and sense of repentance. Most wonderful, they come to understand their need be to near to God, desiring His Will not their own.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

October 2010 Newsletter: The Seed of Sarah and Abraham

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Their faith was in the promise of the pre-incarnate Son of God, the fulfillment of the Seed of promise and the One true faith, being gifted to every generation – Jew and Gentile.

Some say three great nations emerged from the lineage of Abraham: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. For many this idea brings confusion, even doubt, bringing such questions as: Is this true? Was the Lord’s promise to Abraham and Sarah – speak to a faith in Him alone, or to ancestral bloodlines? What does Scripture tell us?

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.