'Got Ashes?' offers ashes to Christians not able to attend regul - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

'Got Ashes?' offers ashes to Christians not able to attend regular services

Source: James Sparvero/WAFB Source: James Sparvero/WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

For those in the Christian community who can't step away from work for a traditional Ash Wednesday service, there was another option.

"Would you like a blessing of ashes," asked Becky Poor at Town Square Wednesday afternoon.

Town Square is one of a few spots in Baton Rouge where the First United Methodist Church offered ashes away from a church to anyone out and about.

"On this Ash Wednesday, you are a child of God, claimed by God, loved by God, and that is a truth that will always be, Amen," said Poor as she gave a woman her ashes.

This is the third year the church did this crusade of sorts.

"We started in a little coffee shop this morning to reach out to the community in a new way outside of our church campus," said Rev. Katie McKay Simpson.

"Not only is it a blessing to people who are receiving ashes, but it's a blessing for me being able to offer ashes to somebody who is on the street, aren't even expecting it," said Poor.

For people who work downtown, they told 9News bringing ashes to the public made their day a lot more convenient.

"I normally go to church on Ash Wednesday. Today it's not going to happen. I have a one-year-old I have to pick and he's not going to behave.

It's nice that God comes where we are and we don't always have to go to him," said Megan Stafford who received ashes and works downtown.

Other locations were the church gave out ashes Wednesday included the Main Street Market, Christ in the City on Third St., The One Stop on 17th St., the Greyhound bus station on Florida St. and the St. Vincent de Paul dining room.

The church is calling "Got Ashes?" a success. Members say they gave out around 125 blessings Wednesday. They say they'll expand their outdoor presence next year.

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