CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP – It’s a drive-thru service unlike any other in Monroe County as Christians mark the beginning of Lent in Brodheadsville.
At the Zion United Lutheran Church, people are getting their ashes to go.
“Saw the sign and just decided to pull in. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to my other church so I just decided to pull in,” said Carmen Marti of Cresco.
More than 40 drivers pulled off Route 209 this Ash Wednesday, rolled down their window and received the ashes. Pastor Ann Merlot says this isn’t replacing services, but helps reach those with busy schedules.
“A lot of folks have been very thankful. One person said she works two jobs and there’s no way she could get to a worship service she was very appreciative,” said Pastor Merlot.
Lawrence Lutz, an assistant at the church, says although some may be critical of this drive-thru service, he believes it’s a great way to spread the faith.
“We are doing the exact same thing that Jesus did. We are going out to the people,” said Lutz.
Many of the folks who drove through at the Zion United Lutheran Church weren’t even members, but the pastors say they don’t mind. They hope the ashes along with this information that they passed out to each and every car bring them closer to the faith.
Jennifer Fitzsimmons of Stroudsburg isn’t a member of the Zion United Lutheran Church but saw the sign and drove through herself, not even turning off her car engine to get ashes.
“I think it is pretty cool because you know because I think more people will do it. And they can stop later on and reflect,” said Fitzsimmons.
This church plans to have ashes to go again next year and hope other churches take notice of what they’re calling a success.
“I hope so, I hope so, I hope that other churches are going to realize that they need to reach out to other people,” said Lutz.