Ash Wednesday will be observed at St. John the Baptist (Episcopal) Church on Feb. 13 with three opportunities to receive ashes.
At 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. there will be the traditional Episcopal service of the Imposition of Ashes and a service of Holy Communion.
In a less traditional method, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., the church will offer "Ashes to Go." For those individuals just leaving their jobs, or for some other reason unable to attend the traditional service, the Imposition of Ashes will be offered at the immediate entrance to the church. At this time, there will be no service, nor Holy Communion offered. Individuals will be given the opportunity to receive their signs of penitence, individually at their convenience.
The Rt. Rev. William Franklin, the Episcopal Bishop of Western New York supports these efforts.
"Our goal is to meet people where they are in their everyday lives," says Franklin. "The imposition of ashes was once something that took place only in the context of a church service, but it doesn't have to be that way. We'll invite passersby to pause for a moment of prayer and to have the sign of the cross imposed on their foreheads. Through this simple act we hope to create a moment of grace amidst the busyness of people's daily lives."
Before entering the Lenten season, St. John's will offer a pancake and sausage breakfast after the 11 a.m. service on Sunday. There will be no charge for the breakfast, but a free will offering will be accepted for outreach.
Starting on Friday, Feb. 15, and every Friday during Lent, Stations of the Cross will be held at 6 p.m. All are invited to a "Dutch treat" dinner at a local restaurant after the service.
St. John's is located on the corner of West Fourth and Lark streets in Dunkirk.
The public is welcome to attend all services and events.