Dean's Lenten Letter
The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington
I'm sure you don't need a reminder that Lent starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. I want to make sure you can participate as fully as possible in all that this season of spiritual renewal brings.

Ash Wednesday
Those of you who were at St. James Cathedral last Sunday heard me joke about how the Dean of my seminary in Oxford would talk about having a "firm expectation" that we would attend chapel each day. As a good liberal, he hesitated to use the word "compulsory" but he made it plain to us that it was the word in his mind, even if it was not on his lips! 

I hope you will make every effort to attend one of our three celebrations of the Eucharist on Ash Wednesday, offered to fit your weekday schedule. Curate Anna Broadbent will preach at 7:30 a.m. in the chapel and at 12:10 p.m. in the cathedral. At 6:30 p.m., Bishop Jeffrey Lee will preach and preside, and the choir sings the famous setting of Psalm 51 by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri.
Take On an Extra Commitment
How is your relationship with God? How can you nurture it this Lent? Every weekday there are two services at St. James: Morning Prayer at 8:45 a.m. and Holy Eucharist at 12:10 p.m.

Sunday mornings are always joyous but sometimes in these bustling services it is not easy to find that moment of quiet. Weekday worship is considerably different. Make one or both of these weekday services a Lenten priority. You will be surprised at the impression mid-week worship has on your life.
Pathways to Reconciliation
Another opportunity we have to deepen our discipleship and commitment in this holy season is through our Lent course Pathways to Reconciliation. Building upon the recommendations of the Diocese of Chicago’s Legacy of Slavery Task Force Report, explore how our community’s sin of racial injustice has impacted who we are today. We will also begin to construct our own pathway, unique to St. James, of how we can be a part of the liberation that lies at the heart of Luke’s Gospel.

Sub-Dean Lisa Hackney-James said in her sermon on Sunday, “God is up to some outrageous acts of liberation in our midst and through God’s kingdom is bringing all things and all people to the fullness of life.” This course offers an opportunity to say "yes" to what God is calling us to do and to be.
Give "Something" Up
Abstinence in Lent is probably the act of discipleship most closely associated with the season, and it may well be that God is calling you to undertake such a discipline to bring you closer to the Christ who walks through the wilderness, beckoning us to follow. However, I unashamedly ask you to give up some of your treasures in support of the Lenten charity designated by the Cathedral Chapter.  Holy Family Ministries nurtures children’s social, academic, physical, and spiritual development from Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods.

We will be learning more about Holy Family this Sunday when CEO Cheryl Collins and Chaplain Leslie Hunter join us at St. James. "Pence Cans" will be available for the young or young at heart to fill with coins, but I encourage you to joyfully "give up" (or "offer up") whatever you can to support the work of this remarkable institution. As ever, we will collect in our Lenten offerings on the Second Sunday of Easter. I hope that in doing so, we will make a substantial difference to young lives through the work of Holy Family Ministries.
Walk With Jesus
Lent comes to its climax in Holy Week, as God calls us to walk with Christ as we remember the last week of his life. Our guest preacher this year is the Rev. Canon Jim Walters, the Director of the Faith Centre at the London School of Economics. Jim is a remarkable preacher and has recently written a significant book that builds on his rich expertise of inter-faith work. I am delighted that he can join us in Chicago this year, and encourage you to keep your calendar clear throughout this "Great Week" as our Orthodox sisters and brothers call it.

A much beloved English spiritual writer last century once penned the simple yet profound truth that “Lent…is Easter in disguise.” May your Lent this year be richly blessed.