Church takes Ash Wednesday to the Streets

On Ash Wednesday, March 6, Hickory Neck Episcopal Church will be offering "Ashes to Go," a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, from 8:00 - 9:00 am and 4:30 - 6:00 pm at 8300 Richmond Avenue, Toano.

Hickory Neck is part of a nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God's forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

"Ashes to Go is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day," says the Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly, Rector. "As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives. As people rush off to work in Upper James City County, our hope is that Ashes to Go will help people make a connection between their faith and the forces of daily life."

This will be the first year Hickory Neck is offering Ashes to Go. Drivers can pull into the Church circle off Richmond Road, receive a brief prayer, and their ashes. Traditional Ash Wednesday services are also available at Hickory Neck at 7:00 am, Noon, and 7:00 pm.

Hickory Neck Episcopal Church was founded in 1734, and has been ministering to families in Upper James City County for centuries. Both the school and church are located at 8300 Richmond Road, Toano, Virginia.

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