Local Church Brings Ash Wednesday To The Streets

A local minister has once again brought Ash Wednesday to the streets.

The Rev. Matthew Buterbaugh, of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, helped locals express their Christian faith on the fly Wednesday morning outside his downtown church at 5900 Seventh Ave.

“I’ve done this for a few years outside now. It’s a good way to interact with people,” said Buterbaugh, adding that the ashes are made from palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service and oils.

Ash Wednesday — observed by Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholics and many other western Christian traditions — marks the start of Lent.

“It’s a reflective season so you can prepare for Easter,” Buterbaugh said.

Buterbaugh said no one should be afraid of being “ashed,” and he turns no one away, no matter one’s past.

“We’re all fallible. We make mistakes on an hourly, daily basis. We all have flaws. You can’t be a perfect person,” he said. “Only one person has ever been perfect. All the rest of us have to keep working on it.”

Lenny Brezinski, of Beach Park, Ill., spent the morning at the lakefront and made sure to make a quick stop at St. Matthew’s.

“This is nice,” Brezinski said. “God bless you.”

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