Ash Wednesday Observances Hit the Streets

ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Several local churches in Ashland closed their doors and hit the streets on Ash Wednesday.

"We feel the more we can get out in the community, the better," the Rev. Diane Zuckerberg with Calvary Episcopal Church said. "It speaks to a need. I think people are hungry for spiritual growth."

The "Ashes To Go" movement has roots in St. Louis and Chicago. In less than a decade, it has grown to reach 35 states and parts of Europe.

"Some people are just going to be curious," said Mother T.J. Azar of Calvary Episcopal Church.

She helped organize Wednesday's event with several other leaders of the Ashland Area Ministerial Association.

"We are all serving the same Creator," Azar said. "We need to be more mindful of the people outside the church doors."

A similar service was held during lunchtime in Huntington's Ritter Park.

"The church is reminding people they're in a relationship with God whether they're in a pew on Sunday or not," said the Rev. Lisa Graves with St. John's Episcopal Church. "We laugh and say, 'Like Elvis, the Church has left the building.' We're looking for ways to get out into the world."

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent leading up to Easter, which is April 20 this year.

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