First United Methodist Church of Land O’ Lakes will be hosting “Ashes To Go with a Cup of Joe” on March 2 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
It’s a repeat of the event the church held last year, to commemorate Ash Wednesday, while at the same time making it convenient for motorists to get to work on time, or go about their busy day.
The only difference in the event this year is that the hours were changed in response to the shift in the starting time for Pasco County Schools, said Pastor Kevin Grills, who leads the First Methodist Church of Land O’ Lakes, at 6209 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O Lakes.
The way it works is this: Anyone who pulls onto the church driveway will have the opportunity to receive the imposition of ashes on their forehead, as well as a free cup of Aroma Joe’s Coffee.
As motorists pull in, they’ll be directed to see one of the two pastors — Grills or Rev. Barry White, who will impose the ashes. They also will share some information about Ash Wednesday and opportunities for worship.
Ash Wednesday, according to Christian tradition, marks the beginning of the Lenten penitential period leading to Easter, which Christians celebrate to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.
After receiving their ashes, motorists will be directed to another station where their coffee will be made to order by Glenn Cote, the owner of Aroma Joe’s.
Pastor Grills said it won’t take more than 5 minutes for commuters to drop by, get their ashes and a cup of coffee, too.
Just like last year, Grills explained the church’s motivation this way: “The reason for us doing this is simply to love our neighbors. We have wanted to offer coffee to commuters for years, but it just hasn’t happened. We hope to make it a more regular thing throughout the year. The imposition of ashes “on the go” is something that I honestly have resisted over the years, given its “fast food” kind of feel, but the pandemic has shaped our thinking to look outside the box and get creative, meeting the community before they race past our church on the way to work.
Published February 23, 2022