A Rocky Mount church recently linked up with on-the-go Christians just off a busy intersection to help them mark Ash Wednesday.
Members of St. Paul United Methodist Church set up Ash & Dash, a worship space complete with an altar table, candles and palm ashes, Feb. 13 in the parking lot at Jeffreys Road and Sutters Creek Boulevard. St. Paul’s pastor, Dr. Marty Cauley, and other members prayed with drivers and passengers who stopped and used ash to mark their foreheads with a cross as Lent opened the Easter season.
“This is an amazing way to serve the community,” one young woman who stopped in is quoted as saying in a release. “I haven’t been to church in years but was thinking this morning that I missed focusing on God and wanted to find a place to experience Ash Wednesday that was not as intimidating as a church.”
Said Cauley in the release: “We thought this would be something to help people be able to have the experience and observe Ash Wednesday but make it fit into their schedules instead of expecting them to fit into the church schedule. Our congregation has made the commitment to find ways to get out of our building and make a difference in the community.”
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of prayer and fasting before Easter. The cross drawn on the foreheads of those who stopped is a sign of mourning and repentance. Lent ends with the celebration of Easter, which this year falls on March 31.