Tennessee: Snow, ice leads churches to cancel Ash Wednesday services

By JASON REYNOLDS

Tennessee Christian News

MIDDLE TENNESSEE–Schools are not the only institutions that are having to cancel functions due to the weather – many churches have had to change the way they mark the start of Lent.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season that leads up to Easter, which is April 5. Some churches hold special services on Ash Wednesday. Some also host special meals the day before, which is called Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday).

But the snow and ice that hit Middle Tennessee, including Bedford County, this week has put a dent in those plans.

The Rev. Lanita Monroe said her church, First United Methodist in Shelbyville, had to cancel its Fat Tuesday pancake dinner. Tonight’s Ash Wednesday service is canceled as well.

“I worried about the older members of our congregation showing up” in the weather, Monroe said.

First UMC plans to hold its Fat Tuesday pancake supper as part of next Wednesday’s services, she said.

First Baptist Church on Depot Street also is concerned about people’s safety, said Zach Kirby, worship pastor. Unless conditions improve today, the church will cancel all activities that were scheduled for today, he said. The church normally has 250-300 people on its campus on Wednesday nights.

“We are concerned about our parking lot being safe, let alone the roads,” Kirby said.

First Baptist operates a food pantry. Kirby said the pantry will be open during the day if church employees can safely make it to work.

Cannon UMC also is canceling its Ash Wednesday service, pastor Doug Dezotell said.

In Murfreesboro, Fellowship UMC also canceled all Wednesday night activities, including Ash Wednesday services.

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