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Ashes to Go puts the Episcopal Church in the news once again

Ashes to Go puts the Episcopal Church in the news once again

Few things that Episcopal Churches do are noticed as widely as the now annual custom of offering ashes to people in public places such as transit stops and street corners on Ash Wednesday. This year #Ashestogo once again caught the media’s eye.

Lynette Kalsnes of WBEZ, the NPR affiliate in Chicago filed this excellent report featuring Bishop Jeff Lee and the team from Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Ill. Hear the story about how one asher was invited to bring ashes to an office.

Adelle Banks of Religion News Service shot a photo essay of Bishop Mariann Budde of the Diocese of Washington and clergy and lay people from St. Paul’s Church K Street giving ashes at the Foggy Bottom Metro stop in D. C.

Seacoast Online captured the moment in Portsmouth, N. H.

Arizona News Radio interviewed the Very Rev. Troy Mendez of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix about Ashes to Go, and Ash Wednesday more generally.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s story included a picture of Bishop Clifton Daniel.

The Providence Journal was out in the streets with Episcopal clergy and lay people in Rhode Island.

The Chicago Daily Herald shot this video at a train station in Geneva, Ill.

The Newark Star Ledger visited train stations with Bishop Chip Stokes of the Diocese of New Jersey.

Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed this story. And the Staten Island Advance told its readers that:

Over 300 people had the sign of the cross imprinted on their foreheads in black at the St. George Ferry Terminal during the height of the Wednesday morning rush hour in an effort inspired by the Ashes to Go national movement of bringing that sacrament to the streets.

Ashes were distributed to 332 people from about 7:30 to 9 a.m. by the Rev. Charles Howell, rector, and Geri Swanson, a deacon, of Christ Church New Brighton with the assistance of Hal Reiersen from the parish and June Perrine of Trinity Lutheran Church in Stapleton.

We know this list isn’t exhaustive. Send us more links in the comments!


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In several places in the Diocese of Maine Ashes to Go follks were out in force!

[Thanks for your comment – please sign your name next time you comment. editor]

Kit Tobin

In Corning, NY (Diocese of Rochester) following an Ecumenical noon time service four of us, 2 Episcopal priests, 2 UCC ministers went to the streets and the local hospital, cancer center, subsidized and senior housing, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Kit Tobin+

Stacy Walker-Frontjes

St. Paul’s, DeKalb Illinois partnered with Grace Place Campus Ministry at Northern Illinois University to offer ashes to go for the 4th year to students and other neighbors walking by our buildings on the way to classes, work, etc.


St Paul’s Cathedral San Diego sent 9 teams around the city yesterday. Several of them ran out of ashes. Two TV stations sent film crews (KUSI and Univision). Two other TV stations covered it ahead of time (e.g., ABC-10 news).

This did not detract from the Ash Wednesday services; I am reliably informed that attendance was quite high at church.

Susan Forsburg

Vicki Zust

Bishop Franklin of Western New York was interviewed in drive time by WBEN this morning – here’s the link –

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