Grace Church Takes Ash Wednesday to the Streets

Story Updated 8:52PM Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ashes to go

On the morning of Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Grace Episcopal Church, Medford offered “Ashes to Go,” at the Medford Square and the West Medford Train Station. “Ashes to Go” is anew approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition.

Grace Episcopal Church is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to seek forgiveness and renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

“Ashes to Go is about meeting people where they are, and bringing the important practices of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day,” says the Rev. Noah Evans, Priest
at Grace Episcopal Church. “As the spiritual and religious landscape of our culture changes, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness and renewal, like
ashes on Ash Wednesday. Many people are longing to make a connection between their faith and the forces of modern daily life, and Ashes to Go is an attempt to help them to find that connection. We gave out ashes to over 40 people at our two station this morning, including many folks who had not been inside a church in years.”

The Reverend Noah H. Evans was joined by Grace Episcopal Church parishioners Warren Ramirez, Rachael Pettengill-Rasure, Eva Englert, John Rogers and Cindy Scott in distributing ashes.

– Submitted by Rector Noah Evans

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