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Faith in a flash: Arizona churches offer ashes to go to mark start of Lent

LISTEN: Ashes to go

PHOENIX — Episcopalians struggling to find time for church on Ash Wednesday can still partake in the holy festivities without the time commitment. Several churches in the Valley are offering “ashes to go.”

“This is an age-old tradition to kick off Lent,” Rev. Jonathon Christopher said. “It is to remind us that this is the season of penitence and fasting and to remember that we are created from dust.”

Christopher is a pastor at Epiphany on the Desert in Gila Bend.

“For people that are rushing around and may not have a chance to get to a service that day, they can stop by and get their ashes,” he said. “They can get a couple of prayers and a blessing.”

Christopher said that more people are getting ashes to-go this year to accommodate their busy schedules.

“Every year there is an increase in the amount of people doing it,” and there are also an increasing number of churches getting involved according to Christopher.

Ashes to go are available at the following locations:

• Epiphany on the Desert, Gila Bend (in the park diagonally across the street from the Post Office from 6 to 11 a.m.)

• Episcopal Campus Ministry at Arizona State University, Tempe (in front of Danforth Chapel from noon to 2 p.m.)

• Episcopal Canterbury Fellowship at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff (University Union from 8 a.m. to noon; du Bois Center from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.)

• St. Andrew’s, Tucson (Armory Park on the corner of 12th Street and Sixth Avenue from noon to 1 p.m.)

• St. John’s, Globe (In front of the church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

• Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s, Phoenix (Montebello Light Rail station from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.)

• St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson (Starbuck’s at River and Campbell from 9 a.m.-noon; bus depot on north Stone from 9 to noon; Northwest YMCA on Shannon from 9 to 11 a.m.; Campaña del Rio on River Road from noon to 2 p.m.; the river walk near Campbell from 1 to 4 p.m.)

• Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix (Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m; Transit Station at Central and Van Buren Street from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; Central and Taylor Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)