Academy Newsletters


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.

September 2010 Newsletter: The Voice of the Father - A Second Time

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

FIRST HIS BAPTISM – NOW HIS TRANSFIGURATION

"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The Uncreated Grace and Power of the Lord is revealed to us a second time. This time at His Transfiguration. Not from a sense of obligation, but for our sake, just as a father honors us and a mother offers her child comfort. Best, this divine providence is natural and thus unconditional. Music of the Church helps summarizes the significance and power of His Transfiguration on Mount Tabor: “... O Sovereign Lord, taking Thy chief disciples, Thou wast transfigured on this day, high upon holy Tabor, whereon Elijah and Moses stood in great awe and trembling as they Thy servants talked with Thee. Like them, we give Thee worship, O Savior Christ, with Thy Father and Thine All-holy Spirit, Who from a Virgin does shine forth for mortal man's salvation.”

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

August 2010 Newsletter: "The Devil Made Me Do It." Is Sin Nature An Acceptable Excuse Before God?

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

An idea often heard is that when man fell and was cast from Paradise, his God-created good nature, became changed into what is referred to as “sin nature”. Sadly for some, this becomes a convenient scapegoat of, "Don't blame me, it's not my fault. Blame Adam." This view all but makes the words of John the Baptist spiritually fruitless – Luke 3:3. A Baptism of Repentance for what?

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

July 2010 Newsletter: In Answer to a Protestant Asking About Baptism and its Importance to Christian Faith

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Faith founded in love, is a gift from God. We give ourselves to Him, soul and body, and in return, He grants us the gift of faith. This gifting is dynamic, on-going and beyond man’s understanding. It begins in a daring trust in Him Who guides us to repent and be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. In baptism, we are given the opportunity to be born from above as renewed and adopted children of God, while He gently washes away our sins, bathed in His kindness and mercy.

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

June 2010 Newsletter: Jesus Goes to Jerusalem to Heal a Sick Man

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We now have available CHAPTER 5 OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN – PART I. Chapter 5 begins with Jesus going up to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. While there, we read and gain spiritual insight about the healing of the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda – the House of Grace. For Orthodox, this is a foreshadowing of Baptism in which God's grace in the goodness of salvation is poured out abundantly on the baptized. It reveal its power to cleanse sins, restore the relationship between God and man, and make people alive.

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

May 2010 Newsletter: The Flood Ceases

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

This month we continue with our second booklet from the Book of Genesis – Noah to Abraham, including Chapters Chapter 8-20. These detailed notes help bring a better grasp of the verses found in the OSB – Old Testament and New Testament and confirm our need to know the Orthodox Church to grasp Holy Scripture. The format offers explanation and understanding of the verses with the notes based on the Fathers of the Church. New Testament Scriptures are underlined to show harmony with the Old. We hope you find the following snippet relevant to the season of the Last Supper, Pascha and the coming of the One promised by the Lord – the Comforter – the Holy Spirit.

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

April 2010 Newsletter: Jesus' Words Prove He Claims To Be Equal With The Father

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

In love of our newly departed Fr. Jack and his eternal remembrance, we offer a teaching from an upcoming Academy booklet on the Gospel of John. This seems appropriate during the Paschal season, as we celebrate our being set free from the fear of death; learning, by faith, to live in the hope of the Resurrection and His promise of the world to come.

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

March 2010 Newsletter: Hospitality of Abraham

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The letter below continues our in-depth study of the BOOK OF GENESIS and is a small snippet of this month booklet: NOAH TO ABRAHAM. These are the more detailed notes edited for the OSB - Old and New Testament. It provides a detailed explanation of the time from the Covenant of Noah to just before the birth of Isaac, the son of Abraham. We start with a few verses followed by a detail discussion. It is perfect for family study. The notes are based on the renowned Fathers of the Church with relevant Scriptures included to help connect the dots. Please don’t miss these.

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

February 2010 Newsletter: The Flood and Baptism

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

This month’s booklet concerns the study notes from the Book of Genesis. What follows are the complete and detailed study notes from CHAPTER 7: THE FLOOD. From these detailed notes, came the finalized study notes found in the OSB - Old and New Testament. This booklet provides a more detailed account and explanation of Noah and the Flood. The layout format offers a general summary of the verses being studied. After this, we offer a more detailed explanation and understanding as to their meaning, based on the renowned Fathers of the Church. Included and underlined, are relevant New Testament Scriptures to show how that which is first foreshadowed in the Old, is brought to light in the New Testament, showing the harmonious interconnection.

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

January 2010 Newsletter: The Benefits of Baptism

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We continue our work on the Gospel of John as viewed primarily from the teachings of St. John Chrysostom. Yet, considering the significance of the Season of the Baptism of our Christ, the Son of the living God in Whom His Father was well pleased, we thought it might be helpful to present a few thoughts regarding Baptism from his writings. It gives a small taste of our next project – the Book of Romans. Sadly, there is only space for Verse 18. However, perhaps it will inspire further reading about our own Baptism in the Orthodox Study Bible: Old and New Testaments, while reminding us of His eternal love for all mankind – both Jew and Gentile.

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

December 2009 Newsletter: The Incarnation of Christ - The Mystery of Salvation

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

THE NAME JESUS: We properly unite the word Nativity with the prophecy of Isaiah (OSB- Is. 9:5) and the marvel of Mary giving birth to her son, though she knew no man. We rightly praise her as the mother of our God – the Theotokos. For within her womb, she held the uncontainable divine person Jesus – the Word of the Father, and the “I” of the I Am – the Existing One (Ex 3:14).

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

November 2009 Newsletter: An Orthodox Response to Nominalism

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Nominalism is a way of thinking, a view point, that dominates Western thought. But more, it is a paradigm shift from what the Apostles preached, the Bible speaks, and the Church taught. To Orthodoxy, it is a darkening veil forming over the eyes of Christians and non-believers that denies Orthodox universal truths. It prefers to view people as but mere individuals able to be known only by their responses to environmental surroundings, political situations, or social upbringing – things over which they have no control. This thereby gives one the opportunity to excuse himself from poor choices and accountability. Such over emphasis on individual perspectives, experiences, and emotions, can weaken the all-important, on-going, interaction that exists between one’s soul and body – and the individual person – interacting with Jesus, our Christ. Thus Nominalism can be a stumbling block to what the Lord delivered to the Apostles.

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

October 2009 Newsletter: Why the OSB – Septuagint Old Testament?

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Because it has been, from the first, the only authoritative text of the Church. It is the only text able to escape questions of motivation or scholastic doubt. It originated with 70 scholars writing 200 plus years before Christ’s incarnation, before Mary became the Mother of God, before Christ was crucified and then rose, and the words of the Prophets fulfilled. Perhaps St. Augustines says it best: “the Jews, being envious of our translation of their Law and Prophets, made alterations in their texts for the purpose of undermining the authority of ours” (De Cititae Dei 15:11).

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

September 2009 Newsletter: The Dormition of Mary

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

In August, the last month of the Church year, we honored the Dormition of Mary, the Mother of our Lord. In September, we start the new year by celebrating the great joy of the Birth of the Theotokos, the virgin and first-fruits foreshadowed in the Old Testament by type, the Prophets, and promise. She who would choose to become the God-bearer. She who is to hold in her own womb, the very One who gave her life – the uncontainable Creator of all. Therefore let us rejoice with awe, in the mystery and anticipation surrounding this new life and its hope of fulfillment. Truly, the Theotokos is our window of new Hope; the door and the ladder to our return to eternal Paradise. And it is her son Jesus, and our Christ and Savior, Who leads us as our Good Shepherd, on this straight and narrow path.

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