Wednesday, March 5, 2014

THe Annual Argument over Ashes to Go.

Well, it's Ash Wednesday so right on schedule the blogosphere has broken out discussing Ashes to Go.  Opinions are strong on both sides.  Same arguments every year. 

 I'm very pro.  I really don't have much to add over what I said in 2011 about what I think about it:
First, it's a powerful outreach. To those fallen away, it is a call back to the signs and rhythms of the liturgy. To those who may be questioning, it is a step towards belonging. Basically, for people who are not going to church, and who aren't going to go in "cold", it's an invitation and a welcome. Maybe it will call them to want to learn more. 
Second, it's a statement of faith in the public square. While I have a passionate sense that the state should not sanction religion..., I have no problem with the free expression of religion. You Episcopalians are the nicest group of Christians that no one knows about, and too often hide yourselves in the walls of your churches. Why not make a statement of who you are where people can hear it?
Except for  this:

One of our friends was a member of one of the Ashes to Go teams that our community sent out around downtown San Diego today.  She said of her experience, "one man stood for a while after receiving ashes and then said - "I thought God had abandoned me, but I guess he hasn't.""

Worth the price of admission?


JCF said...

I hadn't remembered that AtG was so controversial . . . then I saw that the thread on the subject at Episcopal Cafe/The Lead had grown to (at least) 21 posts (got through the first half dozen, then all the sniping and snarking got to be too much for me. Ash, or Don't Ash, sez I. Can't we all Just Get Along?)

A blessed Lent to all at FoJ!

Kevin K said...

We had a "drive up" ashes yesterday.