Maple Grove Church Offers Drive-Through Ashes
Ash Wednesday brings a somewhat unusual tradition to Maple Grove Lutheran Church. In addition to its regular Ash Wednesday service, the church also offers a lunchtime drive-through service.
As cars file past the church entrance, pastors administer ashes and prayers right through the driver-side window. It’s an amusing way to reach out to the community, but pastors say the reactions tend toward the poignant.
“You know what I get? I get tears,” said the Rev. Christine Chiles of Maple Grove Lutheran Church. “I always ask for what we can pray for and there’s always a need. And so the tears are the comments and we know that something meaningful has happened and the Lord has been here.”
Something meaningful happened at the drive-through several years ago when Nancy Christman was driving past. A transplant from Georgia, Christman had suffered a death in the family. Passing by signs advertising the drive-through, she stopped in on a whim. The experience touched her so much that she joined the church. Now Christman is the church’s associate pastor.
Chiles says outcomes like that from outreach programs like the drive-through aren’t unusual. She says it’s why Maple Grove Lutheran Church holds it every year, rain, shine or snow.