Ash Wednesday Goes Mobile

Chicago churches offer Ash Wednesday at unexpected places

By Katy Wolpoff
|  Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012  |  Updated 3:37 PM CDT
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Ash Wednesday Goes Mobile

NBCChicago.com

Members of Chicago’s Urban Village Church stand in Daley Plaza offering ashes to commuters on Ash Wednesday. They plan to make several stops throughout the city, including outside Willis Tower.

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Can't attend church today to observe Ash Wednesday? Congregations across Chicago are bringing Ash Wednesday to you.

Multiple Metra and CTA “L” stops, college campuses and Willis Tower are some of the spots where pastors and other congregational staff will be stationed throughout the day.

Chicago’s Urban Village Church started the day offering ashes to morning commuters in Daley Plaza and the Howard Red Line "L" stop.

“It’s part of our church’s philosophy to bring ourselves to the streets, not just for people to come to us,” Pastor Christian Coon of the Urban Village Church said.

The church picked locations close to where they offer worship services, in addition to going to places with heavy foot traffic. Pastor Coon estimates they saw about 120 people before 11 a.m. and are expecting 500 all day.

Starting at noon, members from the Urban Village Church can be found at the Willis Tower main entrance and at the Clark & Berwyn intersection. They'll be at each location for about an hour.

At 5 p.m., they'll be in front of the Chicago Board-Trade Library at Jackson & LaSalle and at the intersection of 18th & Halsted. At 5:30 p.m., find them at the Belmont Red Line Station, Berwyn Red Line Station and at the Hyde Park Shopping Center.

Receiving ashes is symbolic for the beginning of Lent, which signifies reflection and recommitment.

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