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Some Pastors Offer ‘Ashes To Go’ For Commuters On Ash Wednesday

Pastor Peggy McClanahan, of Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn, offers Ash Wednesday rites to commuters at the Metra station on 95th Street on Feb. 13, 2013. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya/WBBM)

Pastor Peggy McClanahan, of Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn, offers Ash Wednesday rites to commuters at the Metra station on 95th Street on Feb. 13, 2013. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya/WBBM)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – For the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, some ministers were catering to commuters, by placing ashes on their foreheads as they waited for their trains.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports many Christians don’t have time to get to church to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, so some pastors brought the ashes to them at local train stations.

“There’s people who don’t have time to do it before they go to work, particularly the early commuters, and that’s why we’re out here in the morning,” said Pastor Peggy McClanahan, of Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn.

She went to the Metra station on 95th Street, right across the street from her church, to give Ash Wednesday rites to commuters.

“There’s also folks who just are kind of separated from the church right now, but they still have their spirituality, and are glad to have the opportunity to connect with the church in this way,” McClanahan said.

She said she’s glad she decided to take the church to the people, and – for the first time – take part in the “Ashes to Go” movement.

“Just seeing the joy on people’s faces when they discover that they can get ashes this morning,” she said.

Commuter Bill Lyons received ashes from McClanahan.

“It’s kind of a shame that we have such busy lives, and we don’t think sometimes to put God and our spiritual life ahead of some of our other activities, but I think it’s an excellent thing that Pastor Peggy is doing,” he said.