Below is a February 11, 2016, article and video from the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.
Chilly air and blowing snow didn’t stop the Rev. Jared Cramer on Ash Wednesday.
Cramer, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, devoted one hour in the morning and another hour in the late afternoon to waving, smiling and offering “Ashes to Go” for motorists along Beacon Boulevard.
Cramer started offering “Ashes to Go” in 2013 for residents unable to attend a church service on Ash Wednesday, which starts the six-week Lenten season.
“It’s important people hear the invitation of the church to practice the Holy Lent to devote themselves to self-examine, prayer and works of charity that this time of the year is for drawing closer to God and others,” he said.
Cramer said he also offers “Ashes to Go” as a way to reach out to the community. He said worship attendance rates and involvement in churches have been going down, and he believes churches have to be willing to get into the community to reverse that trend.
Cramer offered ashes in both English and Spanish. He said the Grand Haven Episcopal church started a Spanish service in August 2015 as a way to reach out to the Spanish-speaking community.
The ashes used Wednesday are from the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
“Whether they stop here to get ashes from me and an invitation to my church, or whether it reminds them to go to their own churches and to be a part of Ash Wednesday, then it’s been well worth my time to be here,” Cramer said.