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Making Space for Ashes

I have never been able to wrap my head around Ashes To Go - the practice of clearing providing ashes to folks walking by. I always imagined it as a priest on the street corner, in front of their church, offering the ashes of last year's palms to anyone who can't be bothered to come in. It felt lazy to me - not the clergy, but the folks getting the ashes. The church is here, open to you, inviting you - come, taste, see, hear the words and get let in on the little secret that this is not the end, death and resurrection, dust and eucharist - and it doesn't even take that long!

And then Facebook stepped in and suggested I might The Episcopal Church's latest video - The Rev. Stephanie Spellers and her colleagues walking around New York City, offering not just ashes, but talking, praying, laughing, bringing church to the city. And it was amazing. Such a short little video, but I thought, if THAT is was Ashes To Go looks like, I get it. "If you wanted to call time out, and say that I wanted to remember that I am dust and that God loves me, you can do that with us right now."

In then end, after all this dust and ash thinking, I didn't go to church at all. Our church had a noontime service in Cambridge, which I didn't manage to get to, and I thought about bringing the boys to a family oriented service at the Episcopal church just down the street from us, but even the timing for that was going to be challenging. So I was already thinking I might not make it to church when a friend asked if there would be childcare at Highrock so that he could go and hear a long ago friend preach. Well no, but I can provide childcare. So I joined myself with my new understanding of ashes to go, and made space for someone else to go and hear the Word and receive some ashes.

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