Too busy to go to Ash Wednesday service tomorrow?
Just pull through the drive-through.
Novi United Methodist Church will be offering blessings to anyone who pulls through the parking lot from 7:30-9 a.m. Wednesday morning—and you don't even have to get out of your car.
Rev. June Smith said the service of marking ashes in the shape of the cross on the foreheads of the adherents will be offered in drive-through fashion for the first time this year.
She said she decided to offer the service after a Roman Catholic woman came to Novi United Methodist three years ago, looking for ashes, but no church was open.
"It's been on my heart ever since," Smith said. "How can I do this so people can at least come have ashes, then be on there way to work?"
Smith will be standing in the portico of the church Wednesday morning, giving people a quick blessing and praying with them if they have time. She will also give everyone a prayer to take with them to say later when they have time.
Smith said she remembers feeling frustrated when she worked as a claims adjuster and couldn't find any Ash Wednesday services to attend in the morning.
"I wanted to go. It was the start of my Lenten pilgrimage and it just bothered me that we weren't giving that to people," she said.
She has now posted about the drive-through ashes service on the church's Facebook page, and she said she has heard from a lot of people who are interested. She welcomes adherents from all denominations and said she will still encourage them to attend a service later that evening.
Novi United Methodist will be having brief services on Ash Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. At 7:30 p.m., the church will have scripture readings and a song.
Although Smith didn't find out until recently, other churches in the area have begun offering drive-through ashes, as well, such as Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church in West Bloomfield.
"Some people think it's wrong to do, but I think anything that can draw people back to their faith and give them a chance to reflect, it can't hurt," she said.