Ash Wednesday outreach
Below in an article from the March 6, 2014, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.
For the second year, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church braved the chilly air to offer “Ashes to Go” for residents who didn’t have time to stop into a church on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season.
Cramer stood beside his sign at the intersection of Beacon and Jackson Street from about 8-9 a.m., and then along Beacon near Starbucks from 4:30-5:30 p.m. In the afternoon, he also visited area residents unable to make it to church for services.
Cramer said this year’s weather was “not in favor” of the outdoor event, but that didn’t stop him from bundling up with hunting socks, boots, ski gloves and ear muffs, and trying to keep warm with hot coffee.
While motorists drove by, many waved, honked or gave Cramer a “thumbs up,” while others weren’t sure what he was doing.
“I love watching the looks on people’s faces,” he said.
Cramer said the ashes represent a symbol of repentance in the Bible as mourning for sins. The ashes are created from burning the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
Cramer said Ash Wednesday is about the invitation to draw closer to God during the ensuing 40 days of Lent. And he said the Lenten season isn’t always about giving something up or taking on something new; it’s about finding what draws each person closer to God.