The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio is offering Ashes to Go on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
Ash Wednesday is the first of the forty days of lent. It is named for the tradition of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of worshipers. The ashes serve as a sign of penitence and as a reminder of mortality, and are frequently imposed with the sign of the cross.
“Ashes to Go is important because it is a way that the Body of Christ can go beyond the walls of the building and walk around the neighborhood and community to meet people who are out and about,” said the Rev. Kelly Aughenbaugh, Vicar at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City. “We must also have a heart-attitude of humility and openness to those we encounter. As much as we want to share the ashes and meaning about this day and season with others, we must also be open to being ministered to and being blessed by those we encounter. You never know who you might meet and what conversations might arise.”
“The ashes are a symbol of our mortality and humanity. We are all human and we come from dust and to dust we shall return. We celebrate Ash Wednesday because all humans are fallible and imperfect and in need of wholeness and forgiveness. We must acknowledge humans all need forgiveness and Lent gives us 40 days to focus on that,” said the Rev. Dr. Brian Wilbert, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin.
“I think that there needs to be flexibility in the world and we need to show people that love is more important than being right, correct, or whatever else. When I look people in the eye and pray for them, tell them God loves them and place ashes on them, we are both transformed wherever that happens,” said the Rev. Gayle Catinella, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Youngstown.
The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio is proud to continue to participate in a tradition that has lasted for more a decade and hopes to continue practicing Ashes to Go for years to come. Ashes to Go will be offered at the following locations:
- St. Timothy's, Perrysburg will offer Ashes to Go from 6:30 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. at River Place (Churchill's) Shopping Center, US 25 and Eckel Junction Road in Perrysburg at the corner near Biggby Coffee and Anytime Sports. They will also offer Ashes to Go from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the Oval in front of Bowling Green State University's Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
- St. John's, Youngstown will be holding Ashes to Go outside of their parish. They will also be visiting several hospital and recovery centers that day. They will be outside of their parish from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. as classes pass, at Akron Children's Hospital at 1:30 p.m., at the Neil Kennedy Recovery Center at 3:00 p.m., and at Belmont Pines Hospital at 4:00 p.m.
- Christ Church, Kent will have their campus ministry partner, United Christian Ministries, offering Ashes to Go at Kent State University on Ash Wednesday. One station will be in the Kent Student Center and the other will be at Eastway (the Kent State University cafeteria). Both stations will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
- Trinity, Toledo will be offering Ashes to Go from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. on the corner of Adams St. Clair, right outside their front door.
- St. John's, Ohio City will be offering Ashes to Go from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. around the parish between Detroit and Lorain Avenue.
The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio consists of 16,000 members in 85 parishes in the 48 northern counties of Ohio. The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop, is our spiritual leader in partnership with the clergy and people of the Diocese. The Diocese of Ohio is part of the Episcopal Church in the United States with 2.4 million members, and the wider church consisting of 70-million Anglicans world-wide.