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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

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January 2013 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

This Season of our Lord – His Birth and Baptism – is a season of fond memories for those who came together to form the Academy. They came seeking the gift of great hope and renewed promise of His Incarnation. And this, not for themselves, but for anyone seeking the gold placed within by the Lord.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have known, met, and worked with them. Few have shown such dedication in seeking this great faith; of diligently contemplating, confirming, and keeping the Word of the Lord – His Holy Scriptures, oral traditions, and Seven Ecumenical Councils. Such great grace and compassion, with a willingness to struggle for the sake of the Lord's own, are virtues we can strive to imitate.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

December 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The birth of Jesus, He being our true Christ, begins the fulfillment of Isaiah (OSB-Is. 9:5). His nativity opens the door to us; to the restoration of our fallen relationships with our Lord, between men and women, and with all of His creation.

Let us marvel in a virgin giving birth to a son. Let us be amazed – this Child, the Word of God Incarnate. Let us be filled with awe, knowing that what Jesus assumed to Himself, is being healed, as we are being reconciled to Him. Let us rejoice in the significance of women being restored and healed, through this young virgin called Mary – the second Eve - who gave birth to God the Word in the flesh.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

November 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

A Protestant friend steps into an Orthodox Church and carefully comments: “Quite beautiful, he said, but doesn't the Bible warn against graven images?"

His concern was sincere as his Old Testament law warns, "You shall have no graven images" (Ex. 20:4). So, do the icons portraying Jesus the Christ, His Mother, the saints, and biblical events, represent graven images? First, icons were not inventions of the apostate medieval Church. Instead, from the earliest, they proved a good tool for piety and instruction, with images of the cherubim being integral to the Jewish Temple.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

October 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

"Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." – Luke 23:43

A good and dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy, Fr. Deacon Howard Shannon recently departed to the Lord. He was best of friends with the recently departed Fr. Richard Ballew, Fr. Jack Sparks, and Fr. Peter Gillquist. Together as a team, they were in constant pursuit of the Lord’s Grace and Truth. Dn. Howard will be remembered as a man with the spirit of true charity, opening his heart to the many in need of the Lord and His gentle-kindness.

+ UNIQUE AMONG MEN, MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL.

Deacon Howard loved the Academy, especially our prison ministry program. He appreciated our careful attentiveness to the special needs of people with troubled lives, living difficult, almost hopeless lives. He will be dearly missed as a good friend to our prisoner-students, yet we joy in his being in Paradise.

In remembrance of his caring love of people, we offer the following letter from a prisoner-student....

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

September 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

A question from the OCPM convocation in Minneapolis with our response.

Q: WHY DOES EACH HUMAN PERSON, EVEN THE MOTHER OF GOD, SIN AND MISS THE MARK?

First, let us establish and contrast the name “Jesus” and the term “the Christ”. Matt 16: 13-16 points to Jesus being the Divine Person and Son of the living God the Father. And through His Incarnation, we also know Jesus as “...the Christ”, being fully God AND fully man in His two distinct natures.

Even more, through Mary and in the Holy Spirit, Jesus is also known as Son of Man and Son of God. Thus, Jesus being the divine person while yet the Christ, via His two natures – He is the Lawgiver and Perfect One. He is the One Who sets the mark to which all compare, for His being Jesus our Christ, born of a woman – cannot sin, nor miss His own mark, for only He is in all things and knows all things.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.