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Academy Newsletters

September 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

To the family of +Fr. Gordon Walker,

Our heart-felt prayers to Mary Sue and family, as they celebrate the joyous memory of the newly departed Fr. Gordon. In the name of our Lord and Father, may Jesus our Christ, continue to hold Fr. Gordon in His open arms.

Words offered by the Antiochian Archdiocese in memory of Fr. Gordon Walker, are fitting and well-deserved – a special person to be remembered as a caring parent and fatherly priest, to many. He sincerely loves the children of the Lord, especially those seeking the promise of His Incarnation. His life is a wonderful example of a living-offering to the Lord and what it means to be a good and faithful servant.

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

August 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Please remember our prisoner-students.
We have worked with many, many prisoner-students these near 20 years. Their commitment is real and lives are changing. Many are now free, where freedom was otherwise impossible. This is not a feel good ministry, but one that challenges and tests them. Why? This is about their relationship with their Lord and Creator – He Who desires their eternal salvation. We do not take this lightly. We are most thankful for your helpful prayers and encouragement, and financial assistance. We need each other and we need the Lord's loving-kindness.

OSB – SEPTUAGINT:
A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BOOKS OF PROPHECY

The Books of Prophecy help bring to light, the mystery of the Lord' s love for His Creation and all mankind. It opens a window of appreciation for the "I AM" – for Jesus our Christ, the Incarnate One - Who creates all existence and gives life, from non-existence. The OSB-Bible, it's detailed notes and study boxes, helps brings this clarity, while deepening our loving-remembrance of Him.

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

July 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

From this month's offering:
Gospel of John: The Healing Waters of Pentecost

The Jews Persecute The Man Made Whole ( John 5:10-15)

10 Therefore the Jews said to the healed man, "It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to take up your bed." 11 But he answered and said to them, "He who made me healthy said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" 12 They answered him, "Who is the man who said to you, "Take up your bed and walk?" 13 The healed man did not know who it was, for Jesus withdrew from the multitude in that place.

1. Imagine the cruel hearts of the Jews desiring to condemn a man paralyzed, with little hope, for thirty-eight years. Yet now healed of the sickness of the fleshly body, they choose not to celebrate. Instead they accused him of breaking the Sabbath. Why? Because by taking up his bed, joying in being able to walk, he had done work on the Lord's Day. From their legalistic view, forgetting the compassion of the Lord, this action was in open violation against the commandment regarding the Sabbath Day: "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy (to the Lord). Six days man shall labor and do all their work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath, in honor of the Lord your God (the I AM). In it you shall do no work: neither you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, and your stranger who sojourns with you. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, and rested on the seventh day (in contemplation of the Lord and His workings). Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed this."(its purpose and purposing, and in His Name)

June 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

THE SEVENTY THE LORD CALLED – Luke 10:1-17

In celebration of Pentecost and the spirit of evangelism, let's review one of the many educational boxes found in the OSB-Septuagint Old Testament and New Testament. In particular, let's focus on the seventy appointed by the Lord, to take the good news of His Incarnation – His New Covenant – to all the world. Here we will discover and gain helpful insight into the guiding spirit of the Lord's instructions.

In Luke 10:1-17, the Lord appointed seventy men as missionaries. Though not as prominent as the Twelve, these Seventy apostles worked with fervor and enthusiasm. Church Tradition confirms they persevered as true servants of the Lord, fulfilling a vital role in the spread of the good news, throughout all of the Roman Empire. The Lord called them and they knew Him as the One Who loved them, as a father loves his own.

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

May 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

JESUS, BEING OUR CHRIST, IS THE I AM – OUR PASSOVER

From in the beginning, our Lord continuously interacts with the entirety of His creation, promising to be with us always. He will not forsake or abandon us to the fears or empty promises of any dominion of death. Why? Because He is the "I AM" and Pantocrator, Jesus our Christ. He made us whole, molding our person-ness in His image and likeness. And as Pantocrator, He loves us with the understanding patience of a loving Father. And in times of stress, He provides us the comforting grace of His Spirit and newness of life. Why would He allow us to remain in subjection to a domain of bondage, especially if based upon the foolish wisdom of man, not His own?

Yes, we do such things to ourselves. And yes, the Lord allows us the consequences of poor choosing. But not to abandonment or total hopelessness. For our Lord of Lords, our Passover and Father, led His children out of the bondage of Egypt. He later liberated all from subjection to the dominion of death and Satan. Such is the wonder of a caring and watchful Father to His prodigal children.

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

April 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

ST. ATHANASIUS: ON THE INCARNATION
PROPHECY OF HIS CROSS & THE END OF ALL DARKNESS

You have heard the prophecy of His death, so perhaps now you want to know what indications there are about His Cross. Even this is not passed over in silence: on the contrary, the sacred writers proclaim it with the utmost plainness. Moses foretells it first, and that right loudly, when he says, "Your Life shall hang before your eyes, and you shall fear day and night, and you will not believe in your Life." (OSB-Deut. 28:66) After him the prophets also give their witness, saying, "For I did not know I was likened to an innocent lamb led to be sacrificed. They plotted an evil device against me, saying, "Come, let us put wood in his bread and destroy him root and branch from the land of the living, so name might be not be remembered any more." (OSB - Jer. 11:17-18) And, again, "They pierced My hands and My feet, I numbered all my bones. They divided my garments among themselves and for my clothing, they cast lots." (OSB - Psalm 22:17-19).

Now a crucifixion, taking place on wood, can be none other than the death by the cross. Moreover, it is only in this death are the hands and feet pierced. Besides this, since our Savior dwelt among men, all nations every where begin to know Him as the promised One. This too Holy Scripture expressly mentions; "There shall be a Root of Jesse, and this divine One Who rises up to rule the nations. The Gentiles shall hope in Him, and His resting place shall be honorable." (OSB - Isaiah 11:10)

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

March 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF THE LORD AND NEIGHBOR
Is it about fasting, for the sake of food?

Years ago a good man came to a parish during its most troubling and rebellious days. I knew him then as Bishop Joseph. Perhaps unknown to him, he taught me an important lesson about following the letter of the law, and about the harshness of fasting. I gained a better appreciation of Great Lent, of our remembrance of our loving Lord and His calling us to care about our neighbor-in-need. He showed this perspective to be more important than any individual act of self-discipline. For certain, we should not blame an immature Adam and Eve, nor use the legalisms of fasting as an excuse to measure and divide people, one from another – placing the law above loving kindness.

I remain appreciative of this special person who called me friend; who prayed for my healing while in the hospital ten years ago. Thank you His Eminence and our beloved Most Rev. Metropolitan Joseph. You are a good man who cares and walk with a healing spirit. May Jesus Who is our Christ, continue to guide you and all who sit at table in His name.

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

February 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

HIS PEACE AND PROMISE WORKING IN OUR PRISONS FOR THOSE SEEKING HIM WITH A SINCERE HEART

BELOW IS A LETTER FROM A PRISONER STUDENT WHO THANKS THE LORD FOR HIS FORGIVENESS AND THE EFFORTS OF THE ACADEMY TO BRING HIS GRACE AND TRUTH TO HIS WANDERING CHILDREN.

It is written in the Book of Proverbs, "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart" (11:29). So it has been with this sinner, who, because of great trouble in his own house, had to serve the wise in prison for twenty plus years. However, the Lord in His infinite mercy granted me to learn the meaning of St. Moses the Ethiopian's words, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything."

Having sat in a prison cell contemplating my lot, I saw clearly the veneer of lies that I had hid behind for so many years. "Who am I?", really, I wondered. Also, I remembered the many good Christians I had known who were still free and blessed of He Who is our One true God. Again I wondered, what do they know that I obviously don't know? I concluded, therefore that I needed to find the truth about myself and true faith. Thus, for the next two years I fully immersed myself in self-examination and a thorough re-study of the faith I had claimed, but not practiced, in the churches of Christ, Jesus.

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

January 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

LIFE ANEW IN THE WATERS OF HIS BAPTISM
HIS NATIVITY - HIS BAPTISM – HIS CROSS

Founded upon the wealth of the Old Testament, the ancient Church provides a year-round liturgical opportunity to participate in the remembrance of our Lord and His boundless Grace. One of these is His Nativity, anticipated weeks in advance through fasting and prayerful preparation. Then after the celebration of His birth on December 25th, there are twelve days of special commemorations. This in turn, is followed by the commemoration and celebration of the ancient Feast of the Lord's Baptism. It is here the Word of God Incarnate, Jesus our Christ, is revealed to be the divine Son of the eternal Father and promised Messiah, clothed in flesh.

Sadly, the Feast of His Baptism is becoming more and more overlooked in the commercialized secular world of today. As a result, the ancient hymns of the Church often seem drowned out by the raucous blare of Madison Avenue and celebrations of the New Year. These worldly seductions can entice one to seek the glitter of this world first, participating in its vain folly. Let us be vigilant, not turning away from the Lord and His Covenant, favoring the empty cares of the world.

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

December 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

THE LORD'S NATIVITY:
BEGINNING TO ANSWERING THE DIVINE DILEMMA OF THE WORD OF GOD

When writing on the Incarnation, St. Athanasius comments on how the fear of death and man's decay in the grave, were gaining an ever firmer hold on them, even to how their relationship with their Creator, was increasingly bleak and hopeless.

What was the Word of God to do when those He created, had failed to acknowledge or even remember, their being in His image and of His likeness. To make things worse, they had even forfeited His marvelous gift of true reasoning, a reasoning which allowed them to reflect upon Him and hear His invitation to be in constant fellowship with Him. Instead, all mankind, both Jew and Gentile, was actually drifting farther and farther away from any sort of personal relationship with Him, even to serving two masters.

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

November 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Prisoners Celebrating the Lord through Our Prisoner Education Program

We have so many prisoners who are active students. For each of them, we try to meet them where they are; to help them grow and mature in knowing the Lord; to know through His truth the Spirit of grace, they are made by Him; to know they are in His image and of His likeness; that the goodness of His blessing shines forth in their love of the Lord and love of neighbor, even those with hate in their hearts. And why? So they too, may celebrate in the peace of Jesus our Christ and the promises of His Incarnation. For such is a gift of the Lord, attained through the repentance of the Thief, the Lord's forgiveness, and a heart willing to put Him first.

And Who is this Lord? He is the I AM, YHWH, known to Abraham, Moses, and Micah in the Old Testament, and confirmed in the Gospel of John. He is the Word of God Who became Incarnate through the womb of Mary, and came in the flesh to save, heal, and reconcile our relationship to Him and restore us to Paradise and Heavenly worship.

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

October 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Prophet Hosea: the One God Is Help
His Cross and Hope of the Resurrection
Book of Hosea, 6:1-3 - OSB Septuagint Old Testament

Hosea is often remembered for his deep suffering. Some 800 years before the Word of God became Incarnate, Hosea forewarned the Northern Kingdom of Israel of a coming period of great darkness, a darkness not seen since their days in Egypt. This time, it would be at the hands of the dreaded Assyrian warriors.

Amazing as it is to us, the Lord commanded Hosea to, "Go take a wife of fornication . . .", i.e., marry a woman who was essentially a prostitute and probably a worshiper of Baal. Yet as a courageous servant of his God, YHWH, his hope remained steadfast, and he loved his spouse, regardless of her adulteress ways. One might see a parallel here to the Lord's long-suffering relationship with His beloved Jews, a people soon to suffer a great chastisement for not keeping their covenant with their loving Lord.

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

September 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Celebrating the Holy Prophet Moses
Exodus 12:1 – 15:21, OSB Septuagint Old Testament

The birth of Moses was spectacular, as was his whole life. He was born during a time when infant sons of the Hebrew clan, were systematically murdered by the command of the Egyptian Pharaoh. And how did this defenseless child survive slaughter and the Nile? By the prayers of his mother, the caring heart of a watchful sister, Miriam, a floating baby crib, an Egyptian princess, and foremost, Divine Providence. At journey's end, this special baby was discovered by an Egyptian princess, who named him Moses – "the one who comes out of the water".

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

August 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:


Celebrating the Prophet Micah
(Chapter 4 and 5, OSB Septuagint)

Chapter 4 of Micah, is a marvelous example of our lasting hope in the Lord, even when we're our own worst enemy. This prophecy of Micah concerns the Jews being both dispersed and exiled for their disobedience, while at the same time, Micah's words are of hope to the "remnant". Chapter 4 also confirms the Lord interacting with the most humble of His people, as Micah was known to be an everyday farmer, with no specific reputation. Yet those knowing Micah, listened intently, for his words were true and sincere. Interestingly, the name Micah means, one likened unto the One God, the I AM. He reminds one of St John the Baptist.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching, and to order The Fathers Speak.

July 2014 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The Holy Spirit
Annunciation and Pentecost
(From St. John of Damascus and the OSB Septuagint Old Testament)

In loving obedience, the Lord's messenger came to Mary, the Virgin of prophecy. Yet being of the disgraced House of David and from the womb of Anna, this seemed near impossible. However, with glad tidings, the grace of the Holy Spirit became known, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with thee." While pondering such words, the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You shall bring forth a Son, to be named Jesus." His name lets us know He will deliverer and save the faithful from their trespasses. Then she asks, "How can this be, since I know not a man?" The angel responds, "The Holy Spirit shall came upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore the Holy One, whom shall be born from thee, shall be called the Son of God." She offered in respond, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to Your word." Such is the wonder of the Holy Spirit.

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