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Church takes Ash Wednesday to the streets

On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oregon City will offer “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old tradition, at the Oregon City Transit Center and the Clackamas Town Center Max station, from 8 to 9:15 a.m.

St. Paul’s is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passersby with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.

“Taking this tradition from the church to the streets is a sign of our renewed commitment to showcase the connections between our spiritual lives and our daily tasks and journeys.” said Rev. Dan Morrow, the priest at St. Paul’s.

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 boosters hope to provide opportunities to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

“As our lives get more and more hectic, it’s good to have a moment where we are reminded of the need to prioritize and to experience forgiveness and acceptance,” Morrow said. “This might just be an opportunity for someone to reflect on these aspects of their life in an unexpected place.”

St. Paul’s is a church where all are welcome, regardless of race, economic or social status, gender or sexual orientation. For more information, contact 971-258-4258 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More information about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at AshesToGo.org.




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