West County church offers drive-thru ashes for Ash Wednesday - KMOV.com

West County church offers drive-thru ashes for Ash Wednesday

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Manchester United Methodist Church will offer a drive thru service for Ash Wednesday ( Credit: KMOV) Manchester United Methodist Church will offer a drive thru service for Ash Wednesday ( Credit: KMOV)

A West County church offered a unique service on Ash Wednesday for church-goers in a rush.

The Manchester United Methodist Church held an ‘Ash and Dash’ drive-thru service where people could pull up, get a blessing and their ashes, and take off.

Pastor Jim Peich said the services are designed to help church-goers in a rush and it's a way for the church to connect more with the community, especially people who do not already attend their church.

"We wanted to come out to the community and meet people where they are," said Peich. 

Manchester UMC Pastors worked in three shifts on Wednesday to serve people ashes. They stood on the side of Manchester Rd., just west of Hwy 141 waving, greeting and encouraging people to pull over for ashes.

"I'm glad that this is a thing," said Ally Henning, a student who got her drive-thru ashes after hearing about it over the radio. "I have work in two hours, so I didn't think I'd be able to go to a service at all, but I still wanted to get my ashes because that's an important part of who I am."

Manchester UMC handed out pamphlets to every person who got drive-thru ashes. By noon they had already handed out 150 pamphlets, and by the end of the day, they hope to hand out 300. 

The Cruz family was stopping through St. Louis briefly for work. They are originally from Southern Texas and wanted to participate in Ash Wednesday, but didn't know of any churches in the area. They were going to skip it altogether until they happened upon the "Ash and Dash" event.

Good Shepard Lutheran Church down the road from Manchester UMC appreciates the new concept to get ashes, but doesn't think their church will stray from a traditional Ash Wednesday service.

"I think that having some connection to the church and to God's grace is probably better than none," said Josh Brecht, Associate Pastor.

Anyone was welcome to come to "Ash and Dash." Manchester UMC still had an evening full-service for Ash Wednesday at their site. Pastor Peich believes they will continue this event again next year. 

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