A New Jersey Church is offering a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service.

New Jersey commuters now have the advantage of drive-thru prayer services as Reverend Rich Wisniewski marks the start of Lent by offering the “Ashes to go” service. His church, The Church of the Holy Spirit, is located in Tuckerton. The church will provide drivers the basic ceremony without them exiting the confines of their vehicles. The Church of the Holy Spirit is an episcopal church.

The Reverend will be stationed outside the church for two hours every day. He will sit on the driveway of the church and provide ashes to any individual who passes by. Recipients until now have been waitresses, truck drivers and many more people from a number of professions who do not have the time or are too tired to visit church.

The Ashes to go activity started in 2007 in St. Louis. It is a method to reach a greater number of people on the day devout Christians wear ashes on foreheads. This marks the start of Lent. According to Wisniewski, he has made a satisfactory impact with his Tuckerton services, a town blighted by job losses and economic hardships. This is clearly an area where faith is needed. Rev. Wisniewski had asked God when he first came to the place the reason he was sent. He realized that God has sent him due to abundance of opportunities. He added that things can also be done through non-traditional methods too and it is important to do just that.

The Reverend holds the opinion that a majority of Churches nowadays are at the crossroads. A lot of things happen when people work excess hours to survive or they cannot attend church due to feeling uncomfortable during a standard worship service. Churches are places to go. It is actually about what the people do and the connection between them. A church is a teacher. Wisniewski believes that bringing the services and a number of other faith centric activities from beyond the constricted church walls makes a viable way to make the ministry more accessible.

Wisniewski disagreed when asked whether the value of prayer declined with the introduction of the drive-thru service. He recommends that the person who have such an opinion meet a drive-thru participant. The joy on the latter's face is a strong emotion which can never be denied.  Services, however, could vary depending on the weather. 


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