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Ski Slopes, Grocery Stores, Hospitals and Pubs: The Episcopal Church in Vermont Takes Ash Wednesday Outside Church Walls

2/19/2015

Vermont Episcopalians braved the cold, and offered “ashes to go” outside church walls across the state yesterday in observance of Ash Wednesday. Ashes to Go is a national movement that seeks to take worship outside and to the people. Browse through photos, reflections, and media coverage below. Did we miss you? Send your photos and stories to kmoore@dioceseofvermont.org.

Church of Our Saviour, Mission Farm, Killington:

Church of Our Saviour offered Ashes to Go at Killington Ski Resort. “I distributed ashes up top (a real mountain top experience!) for an hour in glorious sunshine and not quite-so frigid temperatures as Monday.” The Rev. Canon Lee Crawford

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St. James’,  Arlington:

St. James’, in partnership with Federated Church of East Arlington, offered “Drive-Thru Ashes to Go.”

Click here to watch WPTZ’s piece on Arlington’s Ashes to Go which aired Wednesday night.

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Pictured below: Arlington’s Ashes to Go was featured in the  Rutland Herald and Bennington Banner

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St. John’s, Randolph:

St. John’s ashes – to – go at the Shaw’s grocery store Randolph. This sunny nook gave us a perfect venue to encounter new and familiar faces. Great conversations and blessings shared. Our first friend Scott told us about his work at the Salvation Army and how he once gave a ride to Father Tim who was at the mercy of a flat bicycle tire.  Parishioner Beth was busy busy on errands day and greatly appreciated a breather for a blessing with ash. Parishioner Mary stopped to visit but held out for ashes at the 6:30 p.m. service. Another St. John’s member, Judy, came by with grandkids visiting for vacation – directly arrived from traveling. A beautiful woman named Karen was glad to have this chance because she was unable to get to a service with her care-giving responsibilities. Mark from S. Royalton stopped with bags in hand and announced “I need ashes. ” Clearly this space is too small to share the abundance of some awesome relationship building that blessed us all around. Oh, almost forgot to mention that Ellen asked us to hold onto her giant garlic bulb that had remained in her grocery bag from her last store trip so that no one would suspect her of illegal activity! It looked rather interesting on the table with the cross, candle, and ashes… conjuring up images befitting of the Twilight Saga.” The Rev. Susan Taylor. Pictured below: Steven Eubanks and the Rev. Susan Taylor distribute ashes

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The Rev. Susan Ohlidal (St. Johnsbury):

“As part of my open ministry in St. Johnsbury, I offered “drop-in” ashes at the local hospital chapel to a steady stream of folks over 2 hours. Several said they could not go to a church service due to work and family schedules. Last night, I offered ashes at a local pub, including to a physician who could not get to the chapel that afternoon but knew Wednesday was my night in the pub and followed me there!”

 

Christ Church, Montpelier:

Christ Church offered an Ash Wednesday service at Westview Meadows Independent Living and Residential Care in Montpelier. Pictured below: The Rev. Paul Habersang at Westview Meadows

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Calvary Church, Jericho:

“Ashes to Go. The commuter bus stop across the street. Below freezing when I started this morning. A couple of people said warmly “thank you for offering this” even though they did not receive the ashes. One woman got off the bus to receive them. When there were no more buses I walked up to the UCC/UMC Church and joined the ecumenical Ashes to Go, took the opportunity to have deep conversations with their pastor and a couple of neighbors.” The Rev. Regina Christianson 

 

 

 

 

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