Six Grandin interdenominational churches come together for Ashes to Go


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Today, you may see a neighbor or a friend with repentance ashes displayed on their foreheads, marking the first day of lent.

The ash is that from palm leaves, representative of the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Pastor’s bless those that practice the holiday with words, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or the dictum, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Many church congregations hold special Ash Wednesday services, however, busy schedules, lack of a church home, and other obstacles may lead many to skip the religious holiday altogether.  

Six local congregations in the Grandin neighborhood did not want that to be the case, their resolution, Ashes to Go.

Ashes to Go took place on the corner of Grandin in Roanoke. It is a quicker and more accessible alternative to sitting in on a full Ash Wednesday service. There, pastors from interdenominational churches — Westhampton Christian Church, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal, Christ Lutheran, Raleigh Court United Methodist, Raleigh Court Presbyterian, and Height’s Community Church — worked together for a common purpose.

Instead of seeing each other’s congregations as competitors for the same constituency, as collaborators in common ministry.

Pastor Andrew Whaley, Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church

The ashes symbolizing the same message for the pastors.

Ashes have been a symbol of penance and a need for correction in our life before Christianity.

Pastor Dave Skole, Christ Lutheran Church

Like Job who sat in sackcloth and ashes… So the ashes remind us that everything in this life, doesn’t last.

Pastor Gail Davidson, Westhampton Christian Church

In Grandin, where they see themselves as one parish, a remarkable collaboration in Christ.


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