On March 1 at its 7 p.m. worship service, the Lutheran Church in the Foothills (also known as the “Touchdown Church”) held an Ash Wednesday service to mark the beginning of the church season of Lent and to celebrate a day of penitence. It included the imposition of ashes made by the church’s youth group.
For the imposition of ashes, a cross is made with ash dust on one’s forehead while the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” are spoken. It is an act of confession.
The ashes were made by the middle school and high school kids shredding into a large pot the palm fronds that had been used to decorate the church during the prior year’s Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday recalls when Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted with shouts of “Hosanna!” and a carpet of palms was laid for his path.
“It was interesting,” said Freddy Brandt, a high school junior. “We had to burn palms.”
“I had wanted the youth to make the ashes last year, but I didn’t realize you had to save the palms from the prior year. Talk about needing to plan ahead,” added Renee Brandt, who volunteers as the youth director while the church searches for permanent staff. “I practiced at home and watched YouTube videos. It was more difficult than I thought it would be.”
The exercise in burning the palms was challenging in other ways.
“We almost burned down the Fellowship Hall!” said junior Miles Haxton.
“We got behind on our schedule that night, so I just grabbed the supplies and went to where the kids were playing games in the Fellowship Hall. We got a bigger flame than when I did test runs at home. I quickly took the pot outside to the wide concrete path. We did leave some smoke in the Fellowship Hall.”
The season of Lent ends with Palm Sunday (this year on April 9) and Easter (April 16).
The youth group’s next endeavor is to oversee the Easter egg hunt for children, which is on Sunday, April 16 at 9:30 am. This event is free and open to the public. The church is hosting an Easter brunch beginning at 9 a.m. and Easter worship is 10 a.m.
Lutheran Church in the Foothills is located at 1700 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada