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Commuters get ‘Ashes to Go’

Father Sean Cox imposes ashes on Pat Nash, a parishoner at Faith Episcopal Church. Photo by Lynsey Paulo
Father Sean Cox imposes ashes on Pat Nash, a parishoner at Faith Episcopal Church. Photo by Lynsey Paulo

CAMERON PARK — On Wednesday, March 5, Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park offered “Ashes to Go,” a new twist on an old Christian tradition, at the Park-and-Ride locations in Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the forehead at the beginning of that season as a reminder of human mortality and a sign of repentance to God.

Started in 2010 by three Chicago-area Episcopal congregations that on their own took ashes and prayer to suburban train stations, “Ashes to Go” is about bringing spirit, belief and belonging out from behind church doors and into the places where we go every day.

“It’s about sharing God’s word where we live, work and play,” said Sean Cox, Rector of Faith Episcopal Church. “In today’s busy world, this is an opportunity to reach out to people in our community rather than wait for them to walk through the doors of the church.”

In 2011, more than 25 Episcopal congregations and organizations around the Chicago area offered ashes on street corners and train platforms, coffee shops and outside grocery stores. Last year, “Ashes to Go” went international, offering ashes to people in more than 31 states, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

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Posted by on Mar 6 2014.
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