How to manage long-term Lent Madness Withdrawal

April 10, 2012
Scott Gunn

Many Lent Madness fans have beseeched the Supreme Executive Committee for ways to survive the long duration until Lent Madness 2013. By the way, Lent Madness 2013 begins on February 14, 2013, and you can check the countdown clock any time on Anyway, in their mercy, the SEC has compiled a list of suggestions for those of you wondering how you'll last until next year's Ash Thursday.

We're also starting a support group called Lenten Seasonal Affective Disorder, or LSAD. Never before have so many lamented the end of Lent. We've heard reports that in at least one parish, a distraught Lent Madness participant tackled the Celebrant at the Easter Vigil just before she proclaimed the Easter Acclamation. And the managers of several fine hotels along Waikiki Beach have complained about finding several defaced copies of the requisite Gideon's Bibles. It seems that several guests have crossed out verses referring to "40 days and 40 nights" and have inserted the word "endless."

Top Ten Ways to Combat Long-Term LMW

1. Study the lives of more saints. Not only will you learn more about ways God's grace can work through any of us, but you'll have a leg up on next year's bracket.
2. It's never too soon to start organizing Lent Madness 2013 parties (dress up as your favorite saint) and bracket betting pools. Just make sure you are giving the proceeds to charity, as we do not condone gambling. Sure, St. Matthias was chosen by lots in the Book of Acts but that doesn't mean you should call your bookie to get lines on Lent Madness.
3. Start something fun and educational in your own congregation. Freely steal promotional ideas from Lent Madness, such as weekly videos or "Brackets to Go." We probably won't sue you.
4. If you enjoyed the humor of Lent Madness, follow Tim's blog. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.
5. If you enjoyed Lent Madness humor, but want the slightly less filtered version, follow Scott's blog. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.
6. Identify holy people who have not made it onto the calendar of the Episcopal Church, which would make them eligible for inclusion in Lent Madness. Lobby your bishop and General Convention deputies to push for calendar reform. If John Muir can make it into Holy Women, Holy Men, then our calendar could certainly hold a few prominent athletes who would kick some saintly rear in Lent Madness.
7. Think of more ways Forward Movement can support humor and fresh ways to nurture spiritual practices. Let Scott know. Or if you have suggestions for what to do with a two-room rector's office suite, let Tim know about those (he could really use a fireplace).
8. Invite Tim and Scott to come speak to your congregation or diocese. Seriously. They'll talk about how the church can grow when we take ourselves less seriously while taking Jesus more seriously. Just make sure there two two green rooms separated by great distance, as they have resumed their archrivalry.
9. Find some other places with great humor on the Internet.
10. Stop by Lent Madness and say hello now and then. We'll post something every few weeks to keep the Lenten fires going. Look for saint- or kitsch-related news. And you can be the first to know about Lent Madness 2013.

Finally, if you have suggestions for the bracket of Lent Madness 2013, contact the Supreme Executive Committee soon. They will be meeting in an undisclosed location to begin deliberations. Make sure you review this year's bracket, as well as the brackets for Lent Madness 2010 and Lent Madness 2011. The only saints who make repeat appearances are those who did not make it past the first round. Unless the SEC grants a special dispensation.


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