Christmas Appeal – 2009

December 18, 2009

Dear Friend:

Thank you for joining the rapidly growing number of people in the United States and abroad who have made the Web site and blog of the American Orthodox Institute a “must read” for news and analysis on Orthodox Christianity.

One grateful contributer writes:

“AOI is providing the kind of in depth analysis and commentary that is unparalleled in the English speaking world. We stand at a time of competing ideologies in the world, in America, and in the Orthodox Church. AOI has been a beacon of clarity, reason and faithfulness to Gospel principles in the midst of an age of sloppy sentimentality and murky darkness.” Fr. JR

The American Orthodox Institute has become the go-to site for some of the best and most timely analysis of events in the Orthodox world today. Where else do you find:

  • Critical reflection on the Ecumenical Patriarch’s collaboration with the global warming environmentalists?
  • Reporting on the increasing cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican to combat the de-Christianization of Europe?
  • Timely analysis of the Chambesy preparatory meetings for an all-Orthodox Council and what it might mean for Orthodox unity in America?

AOI is not afraid to take on sloppy thinking, even when it comes from high places.

  • AOI was the first organization to warn that the Ecumenical Patriarch’s embrace of the UN Global Warming agenda was a risky position to take (read it here).
  • The Observer blog was the first to post Patriarch Bartholomew’s exhortation to Copenhagen delegates – one that was conveniently ignored by the Greek Orthodox press office (read it here).
  • Then AOI posted a critical reflection on why the environmental ethic His All Holiness supports has serious theological shortcomings (read it here).

That’s not all. In 2010, AOI is expanding into print publication and, with your help, video. We are working on two monographs — accessible pamphlets written for thoughtful lay and clergy audiences – that bring the thinking of our Orthodox tradition into the here and now. One deals with the Orthodox position on the sanctity of life. The second deals with the proper understanding of Hellenism in Orthodox tradition and thinking.

But we cannot accomplish this without your help. As a non-profit, your support is crucial to sustaining and expanding this important mission.

Would consider a gift of $25, $50, $100 or more to the American Orthodox Institute this Christmas? Looking to shelter income through a charitable donation? Contribute to AOI.

Orthodox in America is at a crossroads. Orthodox Americans serious about planting Orthodoxy in American soil know that it can’t be done without serious and deliberate engagement with American culture.

AOI is committed to that effort. We know that American Orthodoxy has to be planted by thoughtful and committed Americans who love this nation and are committed to its renewal.

We won’t let wrong-headed policy objectives like the Copenhagen Protocols go unchallenged when they are promoted under the umbrella of Orthodox moral authority. We won’t sit idle when ideas that elevate ethnic identity over authentic faith in Christ are promulgated as Christian teaching. It’s time for us American Orthodox to take leadership for the future of Orthodoxy in America.

Your financial support ensures that we can sustain and expand AOI’s work.

Your secure, online donation is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

You can donate here.

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Direct link: Christmas Appeal 2009 page.

Wishing you a blessed Nativity,

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse



The American Orthodox Institute Collaborates with AGAIN Magazine for a Special Issue: "Orthodox Leadership in a Brave New World"

NAPLES, Fla., (Oct. 1, 2007) — The American Orthodox Institute and AGAIN Magazine, published by Conciliar Press Ministries, announced the publication of a special issue titled, “Orthodox Leadership in a Brave New World.”

The Fall 2007 issue features a lead article by Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse, president of the American Orthodox Institute, that examines the contentious “culture wars” of recent decades in a new light.

“Every reader is familiar with the hot-button conflicts — teen sexuality, homosexual marriage, abortion, the Terri Schiavo dilemma — that have been fought in the public arena,” Rev Jacobse writes. “The political arena will always remain a venue for moral conflicts, but we sell ourselves short if we conclude that the political dimension is the arena where these questions will find their final resolution.”

Drawing on the Orthodox Christian moral tradition, which finds its sources in the Bible and patristic teachings, he called for a broader involvement in public life by the Church.

“If Orthodox Christians should understand anything, it is this: Salvation is a concrete, existential encounter with the living God,” Rev. Jacobse said. “Moreover, this Lord gives gifts, including wisdom, knowledge, insight, and courage — all the elements needed to confront the maelstrom of confusion in which our culture finds itself, and all meant to be applied in the work of daily life, whether as mother, researcher, mechanic, priest — whatever our vocation may be.”

Also in the Fall 2007 issue of AGAIN, Rev. John Schroedel looks at rapidly advancing medical technology and the ethical questions it raises in “Human Enhancement and the Quest for Perfection.”

Rev. Schroedel, a research fellow at the American Orthodox Institute, points out that even as Christians enjoy the fruits of new technologies, they should understand that the “real journey of transcendence” is not outer, material or technological, but inner, spiritual, and grounded in obedience and communion.

“Whether a particular treatment or application is appropriate will depend a great deal on where it takes us — whether it helps draw us closer to God or drives us away from Him — and what means are used to get there,” Rev. Schroedel writes.

The AGAIN articles by Rev. Jacobse and Rev. Schroedel have been published on the newly launched American Orthodox Institute Web site:

Visit Conciliar Press Ministries at

The American Orthodox Institute, based in Naples, Fla., is a research and educational organization that engages the cultural issues of the day within the Orthodox Christian moral tradition. AOI is non-profit, non-partisan and is supported by Orthodox Christians in all Church jurisdictions. Visit the AOI Web site at

For the media: To arrange an interview with Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse or Rev. John Schroedel, please contact John Couretas at (616) 813-8941 or jcouretas[at]