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Saline, Chelsea Churches to Offer 'Drive-Through' Ash Wednesday Blessings

Busy believers can have a symbolic cross smudged on their foreheads from the comfort of their cars as the Christian season of Lent begins Feb. 13.

Churches in Saline and Dexter are offering "drive-through" Ash Wednesday blessings for residents pressed for time or reluctant to come inside for the Lenten observance.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which concludes after 40 days with the celebration of Easter. During Ash Wednesday, Christians traditionally have a cross smudged on their forehead while being blessed with the words, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Holy Faith Christian Church in Saline will offer ashes to drivers for the second year in a row Feb. 13. Pastor Ian Twiss told MSN.com that he supports the service as a way to reconnect with Christians outside of the church.

"The idea of offering others a ritual freely really appealed to me last year – the church needs to get outside its own walls and engage people," he said.

Holy Faith Christian Church will offer ashes from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the church's parking lot. For more information, call 734-429-2991.

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Chelsea also will offer the ashes Wednesday for people of all faiths beginning around 7 a.m. at the Park and Ride in Chelsea (M-52 and I-94).

Pastor David Glaser said the church has been offering drive-through ashes for several years.

"It's a reminder that we are all mortal, it reminds us to come back to the church and to God, and it's in the spirit of repentance," Gleaser told the Detroit News.

He said the idea of "ashes to go" is catching on with Christians all over the country. Last year, Glaser administered ashes to 22 motorists.

"It might seem to some folks a little flippant, but to the people who were getting a need met, it was important," he said.

Jody Roberts February 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Thank you to Pastor Ian Reed Twiss for his foreward thinking and insight on how to administer to many different lives. I will be driving my 80 year old Irish Catholic mother, Peggy Paffel, who has COPD and Alzheimers Disease, to Holy Faith Christian Church on Wednesday to receive ashes and a prayer from Pastor Reed Twiss. I hope this innovative idea catches on in more churches, including our local Catholic church. Jody Roberts, Saline, MI
Patricia Dersnah February 14, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Thinking outside the walls- great idea!

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