Last night the streets of downtown Durham were teeming with Fat Tuesday revelers; today people walked down Main Street with ashes on their forehead.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent in Christian traditions, the beginning of 46 days of repentance, introspection and spiritual awakening. In downtown Durham this morning, the Rev. Taylor W. Mills, senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, and two congregants performed the Imposition of the Ashes on several passersby near Main and Market streets. The church members did not proselytize, and quietly offered the ritual.

Among those accepting the offer was Keeva Kase. A community organizer and advocate for children, he works at Bull City Forward, which works with entrepreneurs to create social change.

After a brief prayer, the Rev. Mills drew a cross on Kase’s forehead. He went on his way, while the church members headed to their next destination, a sidewalk in front of Duke Hospital.