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Ashes to Go serves Westwood commuters 

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Westwood’s clergy aims to keep faith accessible to all, especially during the upcoming season of Lent. The Reverend V. Michael Bousquet Rector recognizes that not everyone can make it to worship in the middle of the week. To remedy this, St. John’s Episcopal Church is bringing worship out into the community with Ashes to Go.

Three clergy members of St. John’s Episcopal Church visited University Station on Ash Wednesday to give blessings and ashes to folks on the go. The Reverend V. Michael Bousquet Rector joined the Reverend Karen Fraioli and the Venerable Chris Beukman outside the platform of University Station during peak commuter hours. The clergy members dressed in vestments were easy to spot and offered blessings and ashes to busy commuters from 6:45 am to 5:30 pm.

Ashes to Go has been adopted by many ministries in hopes of making the parish more visible. “It’s something that takes about ten seconds of their time. It’s a way of stepping in and stepping out, it’s quick and fast,” The Reverend explained. “Ashes remind ourselves w this mark we are Christians, and we are stepping into the season of lent to prepare ourselves with repentance and reflection… it’s a reminder you don’t need to spend hours at a formal service with a sermon. We don’t want to give that up, but not everyone can access that.” The adaptability of the parish is truly admirable.

A Proper Liturgy for Ash Wednesday with the Holy Eucharist also took place at St. John’s at 7 pm for those who preferred a formal service. “St. John’s strives to be an accessible and welcoming community. This is one of the ways the parish reaches out to the wider Westwood community. Oft times churches say “you come to us’ Christianity can be exclusive and restrictive. That’s not us at all.” The Broad Church Model of Christianity can benefit the community through obtainable efforts such as this. The parish will soon announce its Holy week services and invite everyone to worship on Easter Sunday, April 9, with a 10 am service.

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