Dear Christ the Redeemer family,

Soon we will enter the Incarnation season: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. We’ll begin this liturgical year (the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year—this year that will be 3 December) with an exploration of two of Christianity’s most classic reflections on the incarnation of our Lord Jesus.

On the Incarnation

During Advent, Sota Alberty will lead us in reading Saint Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word of God, arguably the greatest classic of all Greek Church Fathers. St Athanasius was the 20th bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. His episcopate lasted forty-five years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373). During his tenure he firmly and articulately defended the belief that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human, one person with two natures. At this time, differing views had powerful advocates both in the Church and in the Empire. Athanasius’ courage was costly. He spent seventeen of those forty-five in exile, five exiles under four different Roman emperors. His perseverance gave birth to the phrase, “Athanasius Contra Mundum” (“Athanasius Against the World”). But his book is not a period-piece. It is timeless and profound, while being surprisingly brief and readable.

So here’s how this works: you can buy the book for $10 at church (that covers our costs) and then join us in the 10:00 hour on 3, 10, and 17 December for a discussion of the book.

The Confessions

In Epiphanytide we’ll move from a theological defence of the incarnation to a consideration of what it looks like to find (or to be found by) the Incarnate One who loves us. Fr Malcolm will lead us in a discussion of arguably the greatest classic of the all the Latin Church Fathers of the church: St Augustine’s Confessions. This book has been called the world’s first autobiography, a book unlike any that preceded it, the beginning of journaling one’s own life self-reflections. In it we meet, as the Classics scholar Peter Brown has said, “a person who appears to be a highly Latinate [educated, urbane] North African… only to learn that he was a middle-aged Christian bishop, with his back turned to us, speaking endlessly, urgently to his God… It was probably written in 397 AD, a few years after Augustine had become a Christian bishop in Hippo (modern Annaba, in Algeria).”

We’ll venture on this second adventure starting 7 January; The Confessions will be available to buy in a few weeks.

We invite you to join us.

May Jesus Christ be Praised,

Fr Tim