Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 
This Sunday we find ourselves at the second preparatory Sunday before Great Lent, that of the Prodigal Son.  This is a parable that each of us can identify with, some of us multiple times, as we come close to God and then drift away again.  It is a very apt lesson for us all.
 
1.  This weekend and the coming week:  We will begin to be increasingly busy over the next few week.  We will start on Saturday with great vespers at 5:00 p.m.  Bear in mind that when Great Lent begins, on March 11, our time for Saturday vespers will be pushed back to 6:00 p.m. 
 
The next morning, at 9:30 a.m., we will baptize Sabrina (Sabine by baptism) Roden, the infant daughter of Joe and Nikki Roden.  Afterwards we will serve Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Prodigal.
 
On Wednesday evening, we will offer small compline at 6:00 p.m. 
 
Next weekend, on Saturday morning at 9:30, we will have the first of our Soul Saturday liturgies.
 
2.  Copies of "Way of A Pilgrim" are available in the coffee hour room, if you do not already have a copy.  This will be our Lenten reading over the great fast.
 
3.  March 10, immediately before the start of Great Lent on March 11, is Forgiveness Sunday.  I mention that because it is time to begin searching ourselves for hurts that we may have caused others, as well as any resentment or anger we may feel toward any other person.  I am acutely that I have a sort of talent for offending others, and I suspect that many other people sense the same thing.  Let us prepare ourselves over the next two weeks so that we may receive, and give, forgiveness to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
4.  At the top of the email you will find a poster prepared by Fr. Jonathan Bannon, a very talented priest of our Diocese.  It is very informative regarding Great Lent, and I commend it to you.  In particular, though, look at what it suggests on the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas.  We need to adopt his suggestion!
 
Try to stay dry!  It is rumored that Sunday will be rain free, so that is a most excellent sign!  I hope to see you all this weekend.
 
In Christ,
 
Fr. James