Asbury church gets creative to observe Ash Wednesday while socially distancing

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 9:37 PM CST
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ASBURY, Iowa (KCRG) - Barry Pickart and his wife, Mary, are regulars at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Asbury.

They’ve been attending worships there for 30 years and they would never miss an Ash Wednesday service.

“We do it every year, it is very important,” Barry said. “It is the start of the Lenten season and the ashes remind us that we come from ashes and we are going to go to ashes.”

This year, with pandemic and all, would not be the exception, even if they had to receive the ashes inside their car.

Lord of Life is one of many churches across eastern Iowa mixing things up this Ash Wednesday.

“We are doing an imposition of ashes in kind of an unconventional way today,” Pastor Paul Amlin said. “We were trying to figure out a way that we could have our people still have that experience of Ash Wednesday of still being a part of the community, but do it in a way that was safe and that was going to give as many people access as possible.”

So they came up with the idea of a drive-thru service: cars pulled up, Pastor Paul imposed the ashes, and people then drove away.

Life of Lord has not held any services inside the building since last Spring.

Pastor Paul said, though, that has not stopped them from congregating.

Even if they have to get creative with it.

“The church is the people, it is not the building,” he said. “The people need to be together and we need to be able to still have worship and still feel the connection we have with each other and with God.

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