With just five days until the start of Lent Madness 2012, it's time to highlight some recent bloggers and parishes who have jumped on the Lent Madness band wagon. We did this a few days ago which you can read here but since this is all snowballing or hitting a crescendo (depending on which analogy you prefer), we thought it was time to acknowledge some others with Lent Madness fever.
This is by no means a complete list. Some of us have day jobs after all. But if you don't see your own group, by all means send me a link at email@example.com and I'll see what I can do to place your lamp on the proverbial lampstand. As we move forward, pictures and anecdotes are encouraged. You send 'em, we'll post 'em. Unless we get really busy because, you know, it's Lent.
Here we go:
One of our "celebrity bloggers," Meredith Gould, got into the spirit this week on her blog More Meredith Gould. In a post titled #Lent Madness begins this year on February 23," the Twitterific Meredith writes:
"It's a great way to learn more about saints and watch otherwise faithful and cordial colleagues succumb to electioneering faster than you can cross yourself after receiving Communion."
We got some Roman Catholic love from Victoria Gaile Laidler on her blog Gaudete Theology. In "Lent Madness!" she writes about several of the match-ups and encourages others to "join the party!"
"I was delighted to see my recently-discovered friend St. Ephraim of Edessa on the list, as he and his hymns deserve to be much better known. And since he’s matched against Thomas Cranmer, that’s an easy pick for this Catholic!"
"Anyway, I’m thoroughly looking forward to filling this thing out (assuming I can find a more sports-savvy soul to show me how), learning about all these people, voting for my favorites, and just generally joining the party. I hope you’ll join in, too!"
Greg Richardson, AKA Strategic Monk, used a guest blogger to promote the cause. Yes, that would be me -- an inside job if there ever was one. I didn't say anything I haven't said before other than ending with, "Let the games begin and may the 'best' saint win!" It was nice to be asked but we'd prefer it if Greg would have simply sent us some beer brewed by Trappist monks. He's an expert as he hosts his own Craft Brewery Pilgrimages.
Jean Wise, a spiritual writer from Ohio, who blogs as Healthy Spirituality listed us in a post titled 15 Lenten Practices. Yes, this confirms that Lent Madness is good for your health!
St. Hubert's in Kirtland Hills, Ohio (what is it with Ohio?) has listed instructions on how to participate. They've adapted Chris Arnold's helpful tips and upped the ante to $10 per bracket. Who knew Lent Madness would be able to help raise money for so many good causes?!
We got a brief mention from Father Larry, chaplain of the Catholic Community at Connecticut College, encouraging his "flock" to participate.
Caroline Church of Brookhaven on Long Island, NY, proclaims that Lent Madness is A Lenten Activity for the Whole Parish Family. Indeed.
The Rev. Kevin Olds of St. John's in Saugus, Massachusetts, posted a link to Lent Madness on his blog Padre K with these words:
"For those of you who do not yet know just how zany the Episcopal Church really is, please check out this site. Afterward, consider the startling truth: these are my people (thank God!)."
The rector of All Saints', Phoenix, Poulson Reed, has encouraged his parish to participate in the Madness writing:
"At a church dedicated to the witness of all the saints, it is good for us to use any tool to learn more about them, as we, like they, pattern our lives after Christ. It’s also an easy way to start a conversation with someone you think might be interested in learning about The Episcopal Church."
And we've gotten some recent shout outs (shouts out?) from a number of Dioceses includuing Kansas, Massachusetts, Southern Ohio and a bunch of others that I don't have time to list but we love all of y0u.
Finally, I used my monthly syndicated "In Good Faith" column to discuss Lent Madness (shocking, I know). You can read the article, which goes to obscure communities all over the place, by clicking on this link to the Crookston (MN) Times.
Blessings to you all in these waning days of Ordinary Time.