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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

Latest from the Academy:

March 2012 Newsletter: Great Lent

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

A Challenge to Us, As Orthodox

One of our prisoner-students, taking the advanced Academy course – Orthodox Church Year, was reading Isaiah 58, from his Bible. He wondered if this reading reflected upon Great Lent and the purpose of fasting – what we fast from, and for what reason? Here is the text he sent to the Academy.

58: 1- 9 Shout the message! Don't hold back. Say to my people Israel: You've sinned! You've turned against the LORD. Day after day, you worship him and seem eager to learn his teachings. You act like a nation that wants to do right by obeying his laws. You ask him about justice, and say you enjoy worshiping the LORD. You wonder why the LORD pays no attention when you go without eating and act humble. But on those same days that you give up eating, you think only of yourselves and abuse your workers.

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

February 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

My name is David, a graduate of the Academy and former prisoner. In the 60s, as a committed Evangelical Protestant Christian, I took a Gospel of John bible class as a college freshman in San Francisco. Who would know 50 years later I would be helping an Orthodox Academy build a brand new study course for prisoners on the Gospel of John. Glory be to God. This course is written from an Orthodox perspective, with research by St. Athanasius Academy, the home of the Orthodox Study Bible: Septuagint Old and New Testament. It is an in-depth, verse by verse, study of the Gospel of John, based upon the Apostles, Holy Scripture, and renown Fathers of the early Church – a true work of joy. Please help us make this available to prisoners.

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

January 2012 Newsletter: Nativity Icon

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We received this letter from one of our prisoner-students. It arrived unexpectedly and speaks to a heart filled with the Joy of the Lord and His Nativity. We thank him and the many students who found the time to send us Christmas letters and cards. Our program is helping the Lord in finding many of the lost sheep seeking His Light. Please help us as we help each other in doing the Lord’s work. Your prayers and donations are being well served.

Dear Paul and Anastasia,

The top of the icon is of gold, reminding us of the eternal glory of the Lord’s Kingdom (Luke 2:9). We also see the darkness being overcome by the inspired Light of the star pointing to His birth (Num. 24:17; Matt. 2:2). The 3 rays of light radiating from the star, speak to the One Light of the Holy Trinity, bringing enlightenment to this fallen world (John 1:5, 9). To the left, are the three Magi who followed the star to the Child (Isaiah 60:5-7; Psalm 72:10,11; Matthew 2:1-11).

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

December 2011 Newsletter: Zossima

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

My name is Zossima, a former prisoner and graduate of Saint Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (SAAOT). I did my course work under the guidance of Father Jack N. Sparks (may his memory be eternal!) and later, Paul Goetz.

In my former life, I was a member of a very conservative fundamentalist denomination who loves nothing more than to hate on catholicism and what even appeared to be Catholic, including Orthodoxy.

Having been so busy condemning others, while finding spiritual satisfaction in it, I found the perfect lazy man's excuse not to see nor even tend to my own, more serious problems – problems eventually landing me in prison.

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

November 2011 Newsletter: Apostle Peter and Paul Prisoner Education Scholarship Program

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Before losing my personal freedom to the cold of prison, I was a Protestant pastor for nearly a quarter century, a child of dedicated missionary parents.

I witnessed most Protestant beliefs, coming to prison believing in Jesus alone. Half way through my time, I was introduced to orthodoxy and came to understand the Christ.

It was a conversion one might liken to St. Paul on the road to Damascus. I was knocked off my high horse, or in my case, jolted off the hard steel springs of my bed.

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