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Bethel Churches take Ash Wednesday to the Streets

Two Bethel pastors have a modern take on an ancient Christian tradition. On Ash Wednesday, February 13, they will be bringing Ashes to Go to the front lawn of Molten Java from 6:30-9:00am.

On Ash Wednesday, February 13, The Rev. Norma Schmidt of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and The Rev. Laura Westby of The First Congregational Church of Bethel will be offering “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, outside Molten Java, 213 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel from 6:30-9:00am.  Everyone is welcome to have a cross of ashes placed on their forehead or hand and receive a blessing.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, a time for reflection and reformation in preparation for the celebration of Easter.  Rev. Norma and Rev. Laura are offering Ashes to Go as a way of bringing one of the important traditions of their faith out from behind church walls and into the places of everyday life.  “In a world that is changing at lightning speed, we understand the need to offer the traditional gifts of our faith in non-traditional ways.  Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition to those who have lost their connection to a church, have never participated before or are unable to attend a traditional church service.”

St. Thomas and First Congregational are offering Ashes to Go for the first time this year.  The two parishes, along with the Bethel United Methodist Church, will also be coming together as a Christian community to share a simple soup supper and Lenten study Wednesday evenings beginning February 21.  The study will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 95 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel and will be led by the Rev. Bob Johnson.  The meal is free and all are welcome.

More information about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at www.AshesToGo.org

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