As we begin this Lenten season, Father Bill Stanford and others from St. Christopher will again take the church out of the building and into the community.
On Ash Wednesday (February 26), St. Christopher’s clergy will set up in the drive-thru lane for people to receive their “Ashes to Go” at the Starbucks along Interstate 20 and Trail Lake Drive. It'll last from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
“We do it because there are people who because of their work schedules don’t have time to go to church,” Father Bill says.
The first time the church did Ashes to Go about 60 people stopped into receive ashes in the sign of a cross on their forehead as a sign of repentance. Last year, more than 200 took part.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the six-week Lenten season, a period of pray, fasting and repentance before Easter. Ashes have traditionally been a sign of grief and mourning.
It is a time where we are mourn our faults, grieve our misdeeds and resolve to do better. It is also a season where we take off our cross, deny ourselves and say, “No, I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to keep my eyes on the Lord.”
The concept of Ashes to Go began with several Chicago-area Episcopal churches in 2010 taking ashes and prayer to train stations, according to ashestogo.org
It reminds us that “need, humility and healing shouldn’t be confined to a church building,” the site says. “The ashes we receive are to remind us throughout the day of our need for God and God’s call to us.”