Drive-Thru Ashes in the Southlake/Keller area at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
As the season of Lent began, St. Martin-in-the-Fields offered drive-thru ashes on busy Pearson Lane just south of FM 1709 on the border of Southlake and Keller. The Rev. Henry Penner offered drive-thru ashes in the morning to commuters and early-arriving school teachers at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal School from 7:30-8:30am.
In the Ash Wednesday evening, EYC @ St Martin in the Fields, the church’s youth group, led drive-thru ashes from 5-6pm. The youth were joined by new rector Scot McComas, who is eager to meet everyone. The simple ritual of imposing ashes and offering prayers allowed passers-by to thoughtfully enter the season of Lent. The youth had assembled a family-friendly daily or weekly reflection called Lent in a Bag and offered it to all who stopped.
Afternoon drive-thru ashes was especially meaningful for the youth of St. Martin’s. The EYC worked for weeks to make Lent resources to give to those who might stop in our church parking lot on Ash Wednesday. Meeting the week before Ash Wednesday, the teens practiced how to greet people, made posters and offered prayers for those who might experience drive-thru ashes.
Teens met in the afternoon on Ash Wednesday and went straight to work. They held posters, waved and even danced a bit to welcome people into the church parking lot. Teens loved imposing ashes on the 52 people who drove through. We had visitors from St. Stephens, our own parish family and beyond. Even a dog received prayers for healing! One woman asked for special prayers for healing for a loved one with cancer. She remarked that it was wonderful to drive in for prayers and a free gift of “Lent in a Bag.” Her teen was with her in the car and was too sick to attend a service, but was grateful for prayers and ashes.
Teens smiled, got to know Fr. Scot, our new rector and had a ball even in the chilly weather. They remarked that they liked saying prayers and being a part of “real” ministry. We even had a short discussion about the importance of lay ministry in the church. It was a wonderful evening and a great way to begin Lent. Look for coffee and ashes next year from the Episcopal Youth Community.