Ashes for Action

Ashes for Action

By Dawn Martin Hyde, MDiv ‘12

Following a full morning of #AshesonBART, our church intern Lacey Hunter, elder Tom Pack and I gathered in front of the immigration court building in San Francisco to offer a service of ashes and prayers.

The connection for me is clear. On Ash Wednesday, we step into the season of Lent. We mark a cross with ashes on our forehead and we remember that we are mere dust…beloved dust…and that as God’s creation we belong (in life and in death) to God. We also belong to each other…

Together with the Interfaith Coalition of Immigrant Rights, we lamented the fear and uncertainty that hundreds of thousands of immigrants feel as they cannot yet apply for safety through Obama’s extended programs DAPA and DACA. Read more here.

“Somos todos seres humanos.” We are all human beings. We are connected beyond borders, beyond governments, beyond racial differences … by our faith. By our Creator. By our God.

Thus, Ash Wednesday and this season of Lent cannot be just a time to focus on our personal relationships with God … as important as those are. We cannot just be aware of how God is present to us, but to our neighbors as well.

The ashes remind us that we are dust and we will return to dust. That dust is all of creation … God’s creation … we are connected.

This Lenten season I’m excited to walk with my community (Mission Bay Community Church) toward a deeper faith as we seek to see and care for our neighbor.

As a great mentor and professor Bill Brown once said, “May we see what God sees, and may our hearts break over what breaks God’s heart.”

Parts of our Service of Ashes and Prayer was documented by NBC Bay Area News. You can watch online here: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Protests-Follow-Court-Order-on-Obamas-Immigration-Reform/292514031

North Carolina native Dawn Martin Hyde graduated from Columbia in 2012 and is the pastor at Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco. She lives with her husband Tim and spends her free time exploring the city.

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