Feelin' the Love

imagesEarlier 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.


* indicates required

Recent Posts



21 comments on “Feelin' the Love”

  1. My first visit to March Madness. Learning and fun in one neat package (who knew lent could be fun, not about giving up chocolate!). Again reminds me that Christianity is ever changing and ever the same. Thank you HS.

  2. Our curate, Joshua Caler-Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville TN-couldn't wait to let me know he chatted with the SEC over the weekend and told you that I, the deacon, was one of your most loyal followers. Just one teensy-tiny error: I am your BEST and most loyal...out of a cast of thousands.....follower. I have my Mary Mags cup and wall chart and am ready for tomorrow morning. Fr. Scott, tell Jane Papa..etc..etc.."Hello" for me. Give her a raise.

    1. Small world! Joshua interned at my church St. Philip's Episcopal in Durham. There's another priest with a great sense of humor.

  3. Just want you to know how ecumenical you have become: this Unitarian minister loves your offering! A very clever heuristic device! Haven't yet figured out how to offer it to my flock, but I'm benefitting from it immensely.

  4. Lent Madness has engaged me more than any Lenten offering or program in years. I will be really sorry when it ends and wish you two could come up with something equally educational and spirit filled to occupy the long, green period! I've learned so much about so many self-less people who have given witness to God's love by their lives and actions. I've also been drawn to search out what other contemporary Episcopalians are doing throughout the nation (via links on the LM website) which have become an infusion of fresh ideas for my own parish. Thank you, thank you!

      1. I'm markin" Day by Day website to helo me with Lent Madness withdrawals and the long green mile!! Will still miss the SEC commentary! But, there's another spin off of Lent Madness. It has raised my awareness of the resources on Forward 'Day by Day website. It's not just those little books in the Narthex racks! Thanks!

  5. In my "fair-to-middlin'" sermon this morning, I mentioned Lent Madness as a real piece of Lenten discipline. So far my apartment is not being picketed! But I'm not checking the emails until tomorrow morning!

  6. Here is the best! My friend in a nursing home short term (we hope) is loving Lent Maddness and is looking forward to each day's offering. I do a down and dirty cut and paste, then up the font to 18. I take the copy over, visit and leave the pages with her. When I go back later we decide who most deserves our vote (singular) We love Lent Maddness - keep up the great work, who knew Lent could be fun!

  7. Lent madness makes us truly examine ourselves in reading the ordinary lives of those who became extraordinary through listening to God.thank you team you have made this Lenten journey less stony for me.good on you!

  8. Doesn't Lent Madness just live out for all of the lyrics of the hymn "I sing a song of the saints of God"?

    For those of other denominations (or not) I provide them here, as this hymn shouldn't just be for 1 Nov, "All Saints Day"
    I sing a song of the saints of God,
    patient and brave and true,
    who toiled and fought and lived and died
    for the Lord they loved and knew.
    And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
    and one was a shepherdess on the green:
    they were all of them saints of God--and I mean,
    God helping, to be one too.

    2. They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
    and his love made them strong;
    and they followed the right, for Jesus' sake,
    the whole of their good lives long.
    And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
    and one was slain by a fierce wild beast:
    and there's not any reason, no, not the least
    why I shouldn't be one too.

    3. They lived not only in ages past,
    there are hundreds of thousands still;
    the world is bright with the joyous saints
    who love to do Jesus' will.
    You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
    in church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
    for the saints of God are just folk like me,
    and I mean to be one too.
    taddled from http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/293

  9. Let the church say Amen.
    I am continuing to think of people whom I believe will love and enjoy Lent Madness, and I have introduced a few people who have become participants with great joy and pleasure. In addition to everything that has already been said, Lent Madness allows for participation in a very real way: discussion and voting. the level of pariticpation also draws people, because we can participate and vote on our terms. This is truly a breath of fresh air......the Holy Spirit.......

  10. I am an observant Roman Catholic. I stumbled on Lent Madness in USA Today when I was in Disney World with my grandchildren (never know where the Spirit will strike). I am involved with the Newman Club at the college where I work and suggested it as a Lenten practice for our club members. I don't know how many members are voting but I know it has also taken hold in my office where we engaged in a spirited (pun intended) debate about the choice between ML and MLK. God bless you for your "out of the box" way to evangelize. BTW I love learning about the many modern day saints who have heroically lived the Gospel.

  11. I just returned from a four-day "Journey Into Silence" retreat at the Ignatian Center in Conway, Michigan. No computer, t.v., phone, radio... just peaceful, holy silence and the chance to listen to the Spirit. And I asked the Spirit, "Who won on the Friday vote for Lent Madness?" And the Spirit answered, "My child, you must wait until Monday...." Thank-you, for the chance to visit and learn about the Saints of our faith, in a light-hearted, prayerful way! Blessings!

  12. I agree with whomever posted "For once I feel engaged". All my life I wanted to do something "special" for Lent - giving up candy bars just doesn't do it for me. Last year I found Lenten Madness and couldn't wait to read who was competing!! (YAY Mary Magdelene!!!) Every day I learn about a new "saint" and it helps me realise that each and every one of us has the potential to do something saintly every day!! Thank you more than you know!!!

  13. Just want to say that all these comments mirror all my feelings about Lent Madness too. THanks Guys for the many blessings of Lent Madness.

  14. This is my first year following LM; being a born-and-bred Hoosier, a United Methodist, and a medievalist, this is one of the greatest things the Internet has ever hosted. This has come up in so many conversations with my colleagues and my students as older saints and newer saints make each other live so very vibrantly. Thank you for this engagement with our heritage and hilarity!

  15. This is my first year following LM; being a born-and-bred Hoosier, a United Methodist, and a medievalist, for me this is one of the greatest things the Internet has ever hosted. This has come up in so many conversations with my colleagues and my students as older saints and newer saints make each other live so very vibrantly. Thank you for this engagement with our heritage and hilarity!

  16. Lent Madness gets me through Lent. Thanks for the information, inspiration, and humor.