Everyone needs a Brooklyn hipster in his or her life. We’re not entirely sure former chemists qualify as hipsters but David Sibley is most definitely living in Brooklyn amongst the artisinal-everything loving hipsters. Sure, he’s actually from South Carolina but what’s a little geographical fudgery among friends? This is David’s second year as our youngest Celebrity Blogger but, since he’s in parish ministry, he’s aging rapidly.
David Sibley, while living in Brooklyn, does not craft artisanal cheeses. Instead, he serves as Priest-in-Charge of Saint John’s Church, Fort Hamilton, where six of the saints featured in this year’s bracket stare back at him every time he celebrates the Eucharist. Raised right in the middle of South Carolina, David studied and did research as a chemist before being whisked away to seminary in New York City. When he’s not in church, David enjoys travel, hiking and camping, all things food and music related, and praying for the yearly resurrection of the Chicago Cubs’ World Series hopes. When the ideas are forthcoming, he’s been known to blog at Feeding on Manna, and holds forth much more often with his partners in crime on Twitter at @davidsibley.
How has Lent Madness transformed your life?
Well, let’s just say that when you’re searching for Saintly Kitsch on Etsy and eBay during the Elate Eight, you see things, man. I just can’t unsee some of the terrible, terrible, kitsch that I’ve seen. There is nothing – nothing – that someone out there has not thought worthy of bedazzling.
For me, perhaps the most rewarding and transformative aspect of Lent Madness has been to hear the stories people share in comments and on social media about how the various saints have had an impact on their lives of prayer and discipleship. People come to regard the saints as their friends in faith, and as companions along a journey. So Lent Madness has become a regular part of Lent for me, and one that I look forward to each year, because it means not only learning some new things, but also, hearing how other people’s lives have been transformed by walking with the saints.
Obviously being a Celebrity Blogger is your greatest lifetime achievement. What perks have you enjoyed as a result of your status?
This one time, Tim handed me a free cup of coffee. It was a touching moment that I’ll cherish forever. Actually the biggest perk of being a Celebrity Blogger has been that I’ve been able to meet and converse with a whole bunch of really cool people over on social media, and made a few really good friends through the process.
What do you hope the Lent Madness public will learn from the lives of the saints?
I would hope people will learn see that when people follow after Jesus, God inspires ordinary people to lead lives of extraordinary faithfulness and boundless courage. My preaching professor in seminary often pointed to a saying attributed to Martin Luther, “God rides the lame horse; God carves the rotten wood.” For me, that’s true when I look at the lives of the saints: for as often as a saint wanted to quit, or failed in a venture, or was on the edge of burnout – God would transform brokenness and failure into something bigger and grander than they could have ever imagined. The lives of the saints are so often images of magnificent transformation in the service of Jesus Christ – and the saints inspire me to want to be transformed, too.
To paraphrase the old Tommy Lasorda Slim-Fast Commercials: If they can do it, I can do it, too!
Someday, when you become the answer on Jeopardy, what will the question be?
Now hold on a second: shouldn’t this go the other way? I thought the answer is a question on Jeopardy, and the question is the answer. I’m very confused as to what is actually being asked here, so I’m going to present the episode as I picture it playing out:
Contestant: “I’ll take Being Pedantic on Profiles for $500, Alex”
Alex Trebek: “During Lent Madness Celebrity Blogger Week 2014, he started arguing with a very easy profile question because he didn’t have an insightful way to write about his deep love of the Chicago Cubs and South Carolina Gamecocks, his tendency to binge television series on Netflix, or the fact that he spends way too much time on Twitter.”
Contestant: “Who is David Sibley?”
Alex Trebek: “Correct.”
That question, neeedless to say, should not be a Daily Double.