"Ashes to Go" in downtown Rochester

Clergy members meet downtown to help with Ash Wednesday.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 7:54 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Instead of grabbing a coffee to go on Wednesday, people heading to work in downtown Rochester can get an Ash Wednesday service to go. 

"Ash Wednesday is the day that starts the church season of Lent," Justin Chapman, Rector at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Rochester, said. "We gather on this Wednesday to put ashes on our foreheads...as a reminder that we're mortal and God loves us despite anything that may be wrong."

Chapman is among a group of clergy from area churches participating in "Ashes to Go" this Ash Wednesday. The group will meet in downtown Rochester Wednesday morning with ashes to bless those who want to participate in the service. 

The new take on the traditional practice helps people who may be too busy still participate in the holy day. But Chapman said it also allows them to reach out to the community. 

"It allows us, I think, to outreach to people...who might not be inclined to step into a church but are still interested in experiencing God's grace," he said. 

Some criticize the on-the-go service saying it is a short-cut or what Chapman said is commonly referred to as "cheap grace," and he said he understands this criticism. 

"I think there's always a danger of that, but I think this has so many benefits it's worth doing anyway," he said. 

Chapman sees "Ashes to Go" as a way for the church to adapt to modern times. 

"It's the church adapting to a change circumstance," he said. "As people are less comfortable coming to church, it makes sense for us to step out into the world where people are and meet them in the midst of their lives to say God loves you and God cares about you, whoever you are, wherever you're from."

Clergy members will be blessing people downtown from 7am-8:30am. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604406

Reported Deaths: 7629
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249281777
Ramsey52501896
Dakota46829470
Anoka42767458
Washington27423291
Stearns22555224
St. Louis18138313
Scott17550135
Wright16374149
Olmsted13397102
Sherburne1201695
Carver1067248
Clay826092
Rice8200110
Blue Earth762544
Crow Wing681794
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619852
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475481
Mower470633
Winona461351
Itasca459463
Isanti439964
McLeod430561
Morrison424862
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397916
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton352856
Freeborn346933
Pine335023
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311954
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286132
Todd285633
Meeker263342
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
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Fillmore157410
Faribault154719
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Pope11306
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Stevens92411
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Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
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Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371050

Reported Deaths: 6051
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58259640
Linn21218339
Scott20307248
Black Hawk16139312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461985
Dubuque13509211
Dallas1128899
Pottawattamie11225174
Story1071448
Warren583891
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554093
Sioux517474
Webster515794
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467472
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll286952
Boone268634
Crawford268440
Benton259855
Washington257251
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama211971
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198635
Page194522
Buchanan193833
Cedar192423
Hardin187444
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129849
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124817
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard104922
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Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
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Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
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Taylor66812
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Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
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