'Ashes to Go' available in Clay County

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FL. --- When you are in a rush for food or coffee you swing through the drive-thru. Now churches are using a similar service to bless people on the go.

It's called "Ashes to Go" and more than 200 churches are taking part in the national trend. Other churches have also taken more informal approaches to Ash Wednesday.

The "Ashes to Go" movement began in 2007 with ashes given to about 100 passersby outside a coffeehouse in Missouri, the Rev. Teresa K.M. Danieley of St. John's Episcopal Church in St. Louis wrote on the "Ashes to Go" website.

The practice has since spread, and the website lists quick ash distribution services in more than 30 states and in several countries.

Saint Mary's Episcopal Church is jumping on the trend in Green Cove Springs. They set up their sign on the sidewalk outside the Clay County Courthouse.

Rev. Celeste Tisdelle says the blessings-on-the-go helps to connect the community with God.

"Here we are on the public side walk today with Ashes to Go," said Tisdelle. "We want to bring this service to people in the Green Cove Springs Community."

It's for people like Larry Hollingsworth who got tied up at his construction job during church service.

"Sometimes people have to come to the church and sometimes the church has to come to the people," said Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth did not seem bothered by the trucks and cars zooming past as he received his ashes.

Two young sisters, Sophia and Christine Djavaheri, stopped by to get their ashes. They were with their father, who was heading into the Clay County Courthouse.

"Ashes on the side of the road? On the side of the road," said Christine. "This is crazy, but cool."

Patty Turner says she saw the sign on the side of the road and immediately stopped. She missed church service because she was in the hospital.

"That one little sign...on my way from the hospital and headed to the pharmacy. It's a sign from God," said Turner.

Of those churches who are giving out ashes with Ashes to Go, some are even doing a drive-by service so people don't have to leave their cars.


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