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Ashes to Go offered on Wednesday

Below is an article from the February 28, 2017, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.

If you don’t have an opportunity to participate in a church service on Ash Wednesday, the Rev. Jared Cramer is again offering an on-the-go opportunity.


Cramer, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, will again offer Ashes to Go from 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday. He will be standing along North Beacon Boulevard in front of Starbucks and the Don Luis Restaurant.


Following the morning event, Cramer will bring ashes and do pastoral visits to residents who are unable to attend worship services this year.


Each year, about a dozen people pull into the parking lot to meet Cramer and participate in Ashes to Go.


“But to me it is not only for those who stop, it is an invitation and reminder to those who drive by, hopefully encouraging them to visit their own faith communities or come visit us at St. John’s Episcopal for the full Ash Wednesday experience,” he said.

Ash Wednesday’s weather calls for likely rain before 1 p.m., and then snow showers, with a high in the lower 40s and gusty north-northwest winds, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast for Grand Haven.


In previous years, Cramer has endured freezing temperatures and bone-chilling winds while offering Ashes to Go. Cramer said he’s thrilled about the forecast and not having numb feet and face, and he’s hopeful more people might stop.


Despite what the weather and forecast bring, Cramer said he enjoys hearing everyone’s stories. He said people often tell him why they can’t be in church that day or what keeps them from where they want to be.


“The various ways in which life can crowd out our ability to find time for spiritual reflection is an increasing problem,” Cramer said. “While the ideal Ash Wednesday is always spent in community, with the celebration of Holy Eucharist, it is a joy to be able to bring the Ash Wednesday call to repentance and declaration of pardon to the cracks of the lives of busy people.”

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