'Ashes To Go': Bergen Churches Take Ash Wednesday To The Streets

DUMONT, N.J. -- Area clergy and lay church members will be out distributing ashes among the public this Ash Wednesday in Dumont, Demarest, Bergenfield and elsewhere as part of a growing nationwide movement.

In a hurry? Need to reconnect?
In a hurry? Need to reconnect? Photo Credit: PHOTO: Courtesy All Saints Church, Hoboken / INSET: Courtesy Old North Reformed Church, Dumont

“Ashes to Go” is about bringing “beliefs and symbols of our faith out into the places where people who may treasure them no longer prioritize them as part of their everyday lives,” said the Rev. Susan Kerr of Old Reformed Church in Dumont, which will participate for the first time on Feb. 14.

It will also be offered at local bus stops by Calvary United Methodist Church in Dumont, the United Methodist Church at Demarest and the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bergenfield.

“As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways,” Kerr said. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives.

“The people who accept ashes on the street are often people looking to make a connection between their faith and the difficulties of daily life, and a special opportunity to be in touch with their Creator.”

Nationwide, clergy and and lay people have visited transportation hubs, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent for their sins and seek forgiveness and renewal.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter.

Christians for centuries have received a cross of ashes on their foreheads at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness.


NOTE: In addition to early morning outreach, Old North Church will also host an evening Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m., joined by Calvary United Methodist, Church of the Good Shepherd, and the United Methodist Church of Demarest.


MORE INFO: Contact Judy at Old North Reformed Church at (201) 385-2243.


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