Bishop Scott Mayer and the Rev. Hunter Ruffin distributed ashes at Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth on Ash Wednesday, which also was Valentine’s Day.
They were present from 11 am to 1 pm, during which time nearly 60 people stopped for the imposition of ashes, or a prayer, or simple conversation. Most wanted ashes. A security guard on a bike stopped and asked for prayers. Construction workers doffed hard hats to receive ashes. Business women and men stopped. Workers emptying the trash bins on the Square stopped. People walking dogs, people pushing strollers, people coming to and from a lunch break stopped. Nearly all expressed joy at being able to receive ashes, the most common refrain being, “I’m not going to be able to get to church.”
A Lutheran pastor and an intern also were distributing ashes on the other side of the square. The bishop and Hunter amiably directed folks to them when people enquired, “Are you the Lutherans?” The two stopped by on their way back to the church to introduce themselves and engage in some ecumenical conversation.