Episcopal Church takes Ash Wednesday to the streets
On this Ash Wednesday, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church will offer "Ashes to Go," at the corner of Southeast Jefferson Street and 21st Avenue in downtown Milwaukie.
People who want to receive a cross of ashes on their forehead will be offered the experience from 1-3 p.m. on Feb. 26.
"'Ashes to Go' takes the church outside its four walls and into the world to meet people where they are," said Rev. Stephen Denny, deacon of the Episcopal Church in Milwaukie.
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 forehead as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God's forgiveness.
"It is an opportunity to bring God's grace and forgiveness to people in a brief, but holy moment and a reminder God is with us everywhere," said Rev. Carol Sedlacek, who works for the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon.
St. John's is part of a nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passersby with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.
More information about the movement is available at ashestogo.org.
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