Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is an exhausting day, even for an extrovert like me.  My co-pastors and I, of The Slate Project, worked the streets all day and although we are dog-tired, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.ash wednesday (1).png

What did my day look like? Here is a glimpse….

A hug from a 5-year-old twin on her way to move with her mom and sister to Utah.
A woman who is 13 years in active recovery from her heroin addiction.
A man who invited everyone he knew on the street to come over so we could pray together.
A woman waiting for her daughter at a Hopkins bus stop.
A teacher at a daycare.img_4648
A woman who went to multiple #ashestogo locations looking to be blessed and prayed over.
A man whose views I couldn’t disagree with more.
A woman under hospice care with Hepatitis, AIDS, and cancer.
A man who was hungry and just wanted a bit to eat.
A woman who wants this Lenten season of transformation.
A man who is a hospice doula.
A woman struggling with her mental health.
A man who didn’t want to talk, so we stood together in silence.

For me, this is what ministry is all about: sharing our story.  Today, I was blessed with many. many stories.  Stories about name origins. Stories about the Church.  Stories about Baltimore. Stories about receiving God’s strength.  Stories about cars. Stories that show vulnerability.  Lots and lots of stories.

To everyone who shared a story with me or one of my co-pastors today.  You blessed us.  Thanks for being a part of our day.  Thanks for being a part of our story.

A Blessing for Ash Wednesday
by Jan Richardson (originally found here

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made,
and the stars that blaze
in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.


One thought on “Ash Wednesday

  1. Reblogged this on Following The Way and commented:
    I’ve been engaging in the online Twitter community organized by The Slate Project, a progressive Christian real world and online group of people, called #SlateSpeak (Thursdays 9pm Eastern). Check it out. Rev. Jenn is one of the co-founders.


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