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A different kind of drive-thru

By Staff | Mar 3, 2020

PHOTO BY CINDY KNIER/The Luminary Gay Ann Gearhart (center) with Cindy Rine (l.) and Connie Richart (r.) pause momentarily following the imposition of ashes during last Friday’s Ash Wednesday drive-thru service at Kedron United Methodist Church.

MUNCY VALLEY-“It’s just been a blessing to have this available,” said Pauline Leister during last Wednesday’s event at a small country church 10 miles north of Hughesville.

The “it” which Leister referred to was a drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessing performed by Gay Ann Gearhart, ordained elder at Kedron United Methodist Church located along the winding curves of Route 220.

This was the third year Gearhart performed the simple divine sanction, an outreach she believes is needed in the area.

Gearhart made herself available for the imposition of ashes to foreheads during both morning and afternoon stretches of time.

Earlier in the morning, Leister, of Muncy Valley, was taking Donald Leister to an eye appointment and had spotted the Ash Wednesday drive-thru roadside sign in front of the chancel.

PHOTO BY CINDY KNIER/The Luminary Pauline Leister of Muncy Valley receives the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross during Ash Wednesday last week. Ordained Elder Gay Ann Gearhart believes the service to be a needed one in the rural setting.

“So many people who stopped by expressed their appreciation for the drive-thru,” Gearhart said, noting the continual traffic the main highway provides. “Everyone is busy with work or meetings and can’t break away to attend a traditional indoor Ash Wednesday service. Doing this gives them that opportunity to identify with Christ,” she said.

The turnout has increased since its beginnings and Gearhart anticipates more participants next year. The church is located at 14725 Route 220.