This year we began the journey of Lent by observing Ash Wednesday in a radically inclusive way. With both traditional ashes and glitter ashes in hand, as well as our Berry Church sign, we hit the streets to invite morning and midday commuters to stop for a moment and partake in the weird, morbid, and beautiful ritual of receiving dirt on your forehead in the shape of a cross. We offered blessings and ashes to Catholics, Protestants, religious nones, and everyone else catching the Brown Line train at the Western Station that day.
The season of Lent is a journey to the cross of Jesus, a time to contemplate deeper the God that joins us in the pain and beauty of human existence. Ashes remind us of our mortality, sin, and need to turn to God. Glitter reminds us that there is always hope, and that all people our included in God's hope--particularly our LGBTQ+ friends and others excluded by religious structures. Thus we stood at a street corner and invited commuters to take a holy pause and experience the God that is with us in the grit and glitter of our existence.
One of our volunteers described his experience of offering ashes as, "...the encounters were brief and appropriately solemn. Perhaps this is how God wants to be manifest this lent, in quiet supplication."
Join us through Lent as we continue to make spaces for these types of encounters.