The mark of courage: Taking ashes for the first time (COMMENTARY)

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The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer of St. John's Episcopal Church in Chicago imposes ashes on a passerby in 2011 as part of a growing "Ashes to Go" program in the Episcopal Church.

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(RNS) I’ve never taken ashes before, because I didn’t want anyone to judge me for my beliefs. I didn’t want anyone to see. But this year will be different. For the first time, I will show up at church for services, step up to the pastor and present my forehead for the mark.