Earlier this week, while sitting under a palm tree in San Diego, the Supreme Executive Committee released a response to Lent Madness haters. While generally not overly sentimental (though Scott sometimes weeps when liturgical rubrics are violated), we were blown away by the comments. It is amazing to hear spontaneous stories of how this little devotion has touched people's lives in profound ways. And we weren't even fishing for compliments.
Every preacher has had the experience of delivering what they'd consider a fair-to-middlin' sermon only to have someone say it was precisely what they needed to hear that day. That's the Holy Spirit, folks. The Spirit that weaves its way through and in and among us in ways we can't even comprehend. When we hit the "publish" button on a post, the lives of these saints are released anew not just into cyberspace but into the hearts and minds and souls of many. That's when the mysterious and holy connections are made and the inspiration abounds and the online community forms around learning about the lives of some amazing people who have come before us in the faith.
Anyway, we've compiled some of these comments as a way to stave off Sunday afternoon/evening Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW). Things will crank back up again on Monday morning with two bishops squaring off: Gregory the Great vs. Martin of Tours. But in the meantime, enjoy the distraction.
Spending a whole day thinking about which saint is holier is a day spent thinking about holiness.
I’ve been out to dinner with friends and this has come up too….what a way to welcome others to the Christian church!
It makes me really think about my own core values every day.
For the first time l’m engaged in the season.
Thanks, Tim and Scott for building a community of merry hearts.
The experience of reading the comments after the reading is an experience on communion with fellow Christians on our common journey.
I have learned a lot I didn't know about saints and martyrs (and for a lapsed Roman Catholic, that's saying something). Moreover, the lightness of spirit has led me to contemplate the idea of once again giving the Episcopalian church in my community a try.
It has been a terrific way to educate ourselves on the amazing things our ancestors did from their hearts and souls.
You show us that saints are real people and that Lent doesn’t have be a season of gloom and doom.
As a fallen-away churchgoer now exploring the Episcopal church, I was delighted to stumble across Lent Madness (God’s hand at work?). I love learning about saints, martyrs and other people important to Christianity.
I love the education coupled with irreverent and absurd humor that propels me to learn things that I would not seek out or be exposed to. Thank you for your fun, uplifting and effective evangelism.
I love the humor AND I am learning so much!! The interplay between the astute and lovable SEC only adds to the ambience! Keep up the good work!! Makes me proud to be an Episcopalian.
It has encouraged me to think more about "Religion" during my everyday life through Lent (and not just on Sunday).
The comments each day demonstrate that in reading the profiles and making our choices we are meditating on what really matters as we – and those on whom we vote – live out our Christian faith.
I LOVE Lent Madness. It’s fun, it helps me focus on the sacrifices others have made in their spiritual journey, I’ve learned about all kinds of saints and holy people I had never heard of (and it has me googling things like crazy, as my interest is piqued).
I bet many of us will keep our Lenten discipline all the way through Easter for the first time ever thanks to your hard work!
As a first year LM participant and a Roman Catholic, I want to thank my wonderful Episcopalian friend for introducing me to this game! I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this every day and how much I have learned. I have spread the “Good News” to my priest, Bible study group , and many friends. I want to award my own Golden Halo to my friend!
This is the best educational program in the church! Like a spoonful of sugar.
This is my first year with Lent Madness; I saw the article in USA Today. Unfortunately Lent used to be just a Sunday exercise. Now with Lent Madness I think of Lent, its meaning, throughout the week.
If only all learning could be this much fun – academic achievement rates would sky rocket.
This is my second year following LM. Easter through Ash Wednesday was a dry season of sorts, and I couldn’t wait for Lent to roll around again. Thanks to SEC for all the members do to help us appreciate our diverse heritage.
I’m your average Plain Jane Episcopalian. Lent Madness has inspired me and has helped me fall even more in love with our Church. I AM LEARNING! If this thing of yours is not spreading the Good News, then nothing is.
Know that it is a privilege to walk this Lenten journey with all of you and continued blessings throughout the season.