If your eye has ever drifted over to the right side of the Lent Madness website, you’ve no doubt noticed the Forward Movement logo there. Now if you know anything about Forward Movement, it might have surprised you that the venerable publisher of Forward Day by Day would sponsor Lent Madness. “Aren’t these the people who publish pamphlets?” you might have said.
Here’s the thing. Forward Movement has actually been working hard since 1935 “to reinvigorate the life of the church.” The mission of Forward Movement is not to publish things, but rather to encourage discipleship and support evangelism. So Lent Madness is a perfect fit: it deepens our knowledge of how God has worked in the lives of ordinary men and women and it invites non-churchy types to think about saints.
If you’re new to Forward Movement — or if you haven’t been keeping up with recent changes — you might want to check out the website. There you’ll find plenty of resources, both printed and electronic. Here are some recent hits:
- Their first smartphone app, Day by Day, is out for iPhone. In addition to the daily meditation from Forward Day by Day, you can get the complete text of the daily office — including lessons, psalms, and proper collects — in Rite I or Rite II. There’s info about the saint of the day, and plenty more.
- The Bible Challenge is a book of meditations to accompany you on a yearlong adventure of reading the entire Bible. Contributors include SEC member Scott Gunn and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
- Deep Wisdom, Holy Struggle was published in partnership with Trinity Wall Street. Continuing themes begun in Joan Chittister’s book, The Radical Christian Life, Barbara Crafton offers reflections and questions on how the six pillars of Benedictine spirituality can be experienced and lived out in our lives as individuals and in community.
- For Lent, Forward Movement published a small book of meditations by Carol Mead called Disciples on the Way. We’re still pretty early in Lent, so you could download the ebook today (for Kindle or Nook) and add another kind of Lenten reflection to your spiritual practice for the season.
Besides Lent Madness, Forward Movement has other partnerships, with some new ones brewing.
- You can now get lots of material from the brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) from Forward Movement. Look for more new content co-created in the next few months.
- Forward Movement is proud to publish the best confirmation program in the Episcopal Church, Confirm not Conform. There’s a youth and an adult version, with ecumenical versions on the way.
- Look for great stuff from the Episcopal Church Foundation–fantastic materials on stewardship and congregational vitality.
Plenty of churches still use pamphlets, and there are a few new ones for Holy Week and Eastertide. Check out Celebrating the 50 Days of Easter by Nancy Hopkins-Greene or Resurrection Living by Christine McSpadden. One SEC member has written a pamphlet on hospitality in churches, with insights from some lessons learned the hard way (as a visitor).
There’s more in the works. Follow Forward Movement on Facebook or Twitter for daily inspiration and occasional news. You can also sign up for the Forward Movement email newsletter, and you’ll get one or two emails per month with new products, sales, and other nifty stuff.
Last, but not least, you could make a donation to support the work of Forward Movement, which is a self-sustaining ministry of the Episcopal Church. Your gift will help fund new products to reach new audiences, such as free online resources, smartphone apps, and publications that are not “commercially” viable. Donations also support free material given to prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and military bases. Every year, Forward Movement gives away well over 100,000 pieces of printed material to those in need. So if Lent Madness has made you grateful, a gift to Forward Movement is one great way to share your gratitude.