Insane Bargains at the Lentorium!

St Barbara on bargainsDid you know St. Barbara is the patron saint of warehouses? It’s true! She didn’t do so well in Lent Madness 2015, having lost to Thomas Ken in the first round in the epic Barbie vs. Ken battle that people are still talking about. Anyway, we sure hope we’re still on St. Barbara’s good side, because Forward Movement is moving from one warehouse to another. We could use St. Barbara’s intercession as we pack up truckloads of stuff and set up in a new spot!

Forward Movement’s logistical hassle is your gain! The warehouse move has occasioned a massive sale, including some bargains on Lent Madness items. Sale items are discounted up to 50%! Check out the whole sale, with over 60 items on sale!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said cheap grace isn’t worth much. But we wonder if even Bonhoeffer would love these cheap prices on fantastic resources. Here are a few examples of stuff that true Lent Madness fans will want to purchase.
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Last week, Americans were glued to their televisions each night watching the Republican convention. This week, we all tuned in to watch the Democrats. Here at Lent Madness HQ, we’re equal opportunity humorists, because just as America is made up of red states and blue states, so too purple is made up of red and blue.

We shared our insights about Lent after watching the Republicans (“Make Lent Great Again!“), so now it’s time to share what we’ve learned from the Democrats about Lent. While The Donald is about making things great, Hillary’s people are always saying, “I’m with her.” So let’s see how we can all say, “I’m with Lent.”


purple balloon drop1. Balloon drop. Let’s face it, the balloon drop at the end of conventions is a cliché, but it’s an awesome cliché. So how about a balloon drop at the end of Lent? That’s just what the Easter Vigil needs, some more drama.
2. Star power. Lots of people hate Lent. We don’t, but we know people who do. It’s understandable, with all the fasting and discipline. So how about a star-studded preaching series? People would love Lent if the sermon was delivered by Episcopalian Sam Waterston or if Morgan Freeman was a lector.
3. Video montage. Why do we spend so much time working on carefully crafted intellectually engaging sermons? In the age of video, we should just go ahead and switch over to heart-warming video montages.
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Make Lent Great Again

Everyone knows that purple is made by combining red and blue. So as far as we’re concerned, whether you’re in a red state or a blue state, you’ve got to be filled with Purple Fever. Like everyone else, we’ve been watching the Republican party’s convention this week, and we’ve learned a few lessons. Don’t worry, we’ll be watching the Democrats too, and we’ll be sharing what we learn from them.

Make Lent Great AgainIf nothing else, The Donald has mad showman skillz that even two publicity hounds like the Supreme Executive Committee can respect. So we watched and learned. Here’s how we think we can make Lent great again.


1. Fasting?! Forget it. Real Christians feast. All. The. Time.
2. Confession. Let’s face it. It’s no fun to confess privately. If you’re going to describe your sins, get a reality show and do it on the air.
3. Gambling. Forget that Wednesday evening book group. You can do better. You might not be able to set up a Trump Lent Casino at your church, but you can at least do bingo instead of books.
4. Sermons. Tell your priest to stop working so hard on carefully nuanced essays. Sermons need to be filled with an endless succession of bumper-sticker sayings that may or may not tie together. An example. “Jesus went into the wilderness. It was the greatest wilderness. It had angels. They gave him bread. It was Wonder Bread, because that is the most American kind of bread. Jesus was the greatest. Make Lent great again.”
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SEC Retreat: Unprecedented Inside Peek!

13532819_10209530209402863_6644557316526171939_nLate last week the Supreme Executive Committee met for their annual retreat at a secure, undisclosed coffee shop. Over 24 hours, Scott and Tim drank coffee, discussed saints, argued in a Biblical fashion over which one of them was “the greatest,” and then drank more coffee. As befitting any church conference there was worship, plenary sessions, break-0ut groups, and easels with newsprint. Unlike your average church gathering, the coffee was outstanding. Because the SEC is composed of insufferable coffee snobs.

The major focus of this annual event is the discernment of the following year’s bracket. This year was no exception and the SEC is pleased to announce that, while it was touch and go for awhile, there will indeed be a Lent Madness 2017. Scott and Tim sifted through 456 separate saintly nominations submitted by 637 people in order to whittle the field down to 32 saints. How did it go? All we can report for now is that Scott and Tim came to blows several times and that the official bracket will be released on All Brackets’ Day, November 3.

There was also, apparently, a mole as photo documentation has been released highlighting some of what took place during this secretive session. This security breach means that the Lent Madness faithful have been given a unique glimpse into the inner workings of the SEC. Scott and Tim, naturally, blame each other for this dangerous situation.

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Monthly Madness — Nominationtide Edition

As long-time Lent Madness fans will know, the epic video series offered by Tim and Scott, Monday Madness, changes to Monthly Madness in the off-season. This is the first episode of Monthly Madness for 2016. In this month’s episode, coming in the final hours of Nominationtide, the Supreme Executive Committee answers viewer questions about nominations. (Remember to make your nominations before Tuesday afternoon, April 26.) They also cover important topics such as the news that 2013 Elate Eight veteran Harriet Tubman will appear on the US $20 bill.

There is only one place to make your nomination for Lent Madness 2017. Go to our Nominationtide post and leave a comment. That’s it. Well, that or a name penciled on the back of a $20 bill and mailed to the SEC. But the free version is to leave a comment on the Lent Madness post seeking nominations.

Bonhoeffer mugMake sure you stop by the Lentorium and stock up on Dietrich Bonhoeffer Golden Halo winner mugs or pint glasses, or Silver Halo winner Julian of Norwich soup mugs. At the moment, the items are being individually hand-crafted, so order now to make sure you’re at the top of the list when they ship. Or else you can camp outside Lent Madness HQ and buy them on opening day.

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Nominations Open!

NominateWelcome to Nominationtide! For one full week, the Supreme Executive Committee will be accepting nominations for Lent Madness 2017.

Please note that the ONLY way to nominate a saint is to leave a comment in this post. We will not accept nominations via social media, e-mail, carrier pigeon, brick through a window at Forward Movement headquarters, or singing telegram.

As you discern saints to nominate, please keep in mind that a number of saints are ineligible for next year’s “saintly smackdown.” This includes the entire field of Lent Madness 2016, those saints who made it to the Round of the Elate Eight in 2015 and 2014, and those from the 2013 Faithful Four. Below is a comprehensive list of ineligible saints. Please keep this in mind as you submit your nominations.

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Monday Madness — Easter Edition

Bonhoeffer mugIn this post-game episode, Tim and Scott chat transatlantically, with Scott coming “live” from Salisbury Cathedral in jolly old England. Responding to cries from the Lent Madness Global Viewing Public, the SEC has awarded the Silver Halo to Julian of Norwich, who lost out to Golden Halo winner Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the epic championship contest. A new set of halos means it’s time for new merchandise in the Lentorium, and Scott and Tim do not disappoint.

Dietrich pint glassYou can get your very own Dietrich Bonhoeffer 2016 Golden Halo mug, which you’ll probably want to go along with your mug collection of previous years’ winners. Check out the gallery of available mugs at the Forward Movement website. Because Dietrich was German, and Germans are known for their love of root beer and/or beer, there’s a pint glass available this year too.

And for all you Julian of Norwich fans, can can buy a set of Julian of Norwich 2016 Silver Halo soup mugs! These handy mugs can be used to heat up your favorite soup or giant serving of a warm beverage. You can also use them the way Julian would have, to offer milk to your cats. (The image shown here is a place-holder, and the real soup mug will show Julian, not just a Silver Halo.)

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Lent Madness 2016 Swagapalooza!


Bonhoeffer mugWith the close of Lent Madness 2016, it has become a tradition to award the Golden Halo winner with a mug bearing his or her likeness. This year is no exception and we’re pleased to make available the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Golden Halo mug.

Whether you exclusively drink single-origin black coffee like Tim and Scott or defile it with additives (or even use it for tea!), this mug works for the hot beverage of your choice.

But that’s not all! We are also offering a Dietrich Bonhoeffer Golden Halo pint glass. Bonhoeffer’s German heritage unnamed-10demands it — whether you fill it with an IPA, German root beer, or any other beverage is up to you.

But fear not Julian of Norwich fans! After much deliberation, the Supreme Executive Committee has decided to award Dame Julian the 2016 Silver Halo for her second place finish. All may not have turned out well in the championship round, but we have heard the plaintive cries (meows?) of her ardent supporters.

2016-Julian-of-Norwich-MugThus we are offering an official Julian of Norwich Silver Halo soup bowl. This image is merely a placeholder to show you the shape of the bowl. While you can preorder it now, the above link will include the actual artwork on Easter Monday.

Let a bowl of hearty hazelnut soup warm your soul as you reflect upon Julian’s words of wisdom. Or fill it with milk and allow your cat to lap it up. Either way, we hope you will enjoy this unique saintly product to honor Julian.

We hope these fun saintly mementoes of Lent Madness 2016 will assist you in your long-term Lent Madness Withdrawal. Now back to your regularly scheduled Holy Week programming.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer wins 2016 Golden Halo!

Congratulations to 2016 Golden Halo Winner Dietrich Bonhoeffer!


The Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness has unearthed a heretofore undiscovered Bonhoeffer text on the viscitudes of cheap and costly grace in the context of Lent Madness. We share it with you, without comment, as we believe the text speaks for itself.

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of Lent Madness. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like wares from the Lentorium. The Saintly Scorecard, the bracket posters, the write-ups of fabulous Celebrity Bloggers are thrown away at cut prices — like Frances Perkins mugs at 50% off. Oh wait…

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching on topics other than saints, writing our own name in the bracket, voting without reading the comments, not seeing the humor in Lent Madness…Cheap grace is grace without Wi-Fi, grace without the Golden Halo, grace without an updated bracket.

Costly grace is the saintly kitsch hidden in the field; for the sake of it, a person will gladly go and sell all that he or she has. It is the Lent Madness bracket of great price for which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of the Supreme Executive Committee, for whose sake a voter will pluck out the internet connection which causes the participant to stumble.

Costly grace is represented as Lent Madness’ inexhaustible treasury, from which the Supreme Executive Committee showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits (except on votes).

PS. Stay tuned for information released later today about Lent Madness 2016 swag. Mugs? Pint glasses? A Silver Halo for Julian of Norwich? All will soon be revealed.

For the Golden Halo: Julian of Norwich vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer


We embarked upon this Lent Madness journey over five weeks ago on “Ash Thursday.” With your help we have narrowed the field of 32 saints down to just two: Julian of Norwich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (who edged Sojourner Truth yesterday 52% to 48%). Who will win the coveted Golden Halo of Lent Madness 2016? Only 24 hours and your voting participation will reveal this holy mystery.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we’ve met some truly remarkable saintly folks along the way. Perhaps you learned about some saints you’d never heard of or maybe you renewed acquaintances with saints who have long offered inspiration. Of course the entire notion of placing saints in a bracket is absurd — each “contestant” has already earned a crown of righteousness in addition to a “golden halo.” But at the heart of Lent Madness is the abiding conviction that encountering those who have come before us in the faith enriches and enlivens our own walk with the risen Christ.

In the process of this whimsical Lenten devotion we’ve all made some new online friends, encountered a community of believers who take their faith but not themselves too seriously, learned a few things, were inspired by saintly witnesses, and had a lot fun along the way.

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