On Wednesday, March 1st, Berry UMC offered glitter ashes to commuters at the Western brown line station. This action was an intentional participation in a movement of other welcoming Chicago churches.
“Glitter+Ash is an inherently queer sign of Christian belief, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a season of repentance. During Lent, Christians look inward and take account in order to move forward with greater health. At this moment in history, glitter ashes will be a powerful reminder of St. Augustine’s teaching that we cannot despair because despair paralyzes, thwarting repentance and impeding the change that we are called to make.” -Read more about Glitter + Ash from Parity.
Berry’s pastor, Rev. April Gutierrez, was also quoted in The Chicago Tribune. Read the post here. The glitter ashes were met with surprise by some, and gratitude by many, including one man who drove into the city from Elmhurst to receive the ashes.