Tryon churches offer drive-thru Ash Wednesday service

Press release from The Congregational Church, UCC, Tryon Presbyterian Church, and Tryon United Methodist Church:

On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, The Congregational Church, UCC, Tryon Presbyterian Church, and Tryon United Methodist Church will be offering an Ash Wednesday Drive Thru Service, a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, from 4-6 p.m. in the parking lot of Tryon United Methodist Church in Tryon, NC.

As churches we are called to share and live out our faith in the world, beyond the walls of our sanctuaries. This is even more true as churches respond to the realities of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Ash Wednesday Drive Thru service will have stations for prayer, communion, and ashes. Participants are asked to remain in their cars and wear masks at all times. Using pre-packaged communion kits and q-tips to administer ashes, The Congregational Church, UCC, Tryon Presbyterian Church, and Tryon United Methodist Church are offering a safer way to mark the foreheads of interested persons with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness. Responding to the realities of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the churches are offering an opportunity to bring a reminder of love, forgiveness, and connection, to those who need it, even in the midst of our busy lives, full of work and family commitments.

In discussing their shared mission as churches, The Rev. Meghan D. Young, Pastor of The Congregational Church, UCC, The Rev. Dr. Allan Purtill, Pastor of Tryon Presbyterian Church, and The Rev. Lynnette Sills, Pastor of Tryon United Methodist Church decided to offer this unique opportunity to our community, to pause, to mark our mortality, and celebrate the blessings of this life.

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