Charles Henry Brent vs. Julia Chester Emery

Today’s match-up features two amazing people with six names between them (insert Trinitarian reference here). Charles Henry Brent, bishop and missionary vs. Julia Chester Emery, lay woman and organizer of what we now know as the ECW (Episcopal Church Women). We hope you enjoy getting to know them and then, well, sending one of them into Lent Madness ignominy.

Yesterday’s Lent Madness 2014 kick-off was a historic day in the annals of the Saintly Smackdown. Record turnout saw Basil the Great live up to his name while Christina the Astonishing  was sent packing (given her penchant for levitation, we hope she’s aware of those steep extra baggage fees). Nearly 7,000 votes were cast as Basil defeated Christina 55% to 45%. He’ll now advance to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen to square off against the winner of Antony of Egypt vs. Mary of Egypt.

For those new to Lent Madness, congratulations! You’re now a seasoned veteran. If you tracked the nearly 300 comments you also know that Lent Madness isn’t just voting and learning about saints — it’s an online community where people share some pretty personal stories and connections as well.

Of course yesterday also saw the emergence of our first controversy. In the opening ceremonies video there was lively debate over whether Dean of the Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall’s cassock was purple, as he claimed, or blue. It’s a Lent Madness scandal!

Are you curious about when the various first round battles will take place? We thought so. Thus, you are invited to check out our handy Match-Up Calendar. Go ahead and print it out. Have a teenager add all the dates to the calendar on your smart phone. Put it on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, or have it tattooed to your spouse’s forehead. Once you do, you’ll know that tomorrow’s battle between Alcuin and Ephrem is the only Saturday pairing in the entirety of Lent.

Bishop Brent legitCharles Henry Brent

In 1901 as the Philippine-American War drew to an end, Charles Henry Brent was elected as the first missionary bishop to the islands, arriving a year later on the same ship as its Governor-General, William Howard Taft.

Bishop Brent brought with him $100,000 that he had raised before his departure in order to build churches, schools, and a hospital. Instead of staying within the American enclave, Brent worked with a wide range of people, including the Chinese community in Manila and the Igorot people. He fought tirelessly against the opium trade, chairing the U.S. delegation to the International Opium Conference.

Twice elected bishop of Washington, D.C. and once of New Jersey, he turned down these appointments to remain in the Philippines. After the first election, he sent a telegram to the head of the standing committee that read, “Must decline. I would have gone, but God bids me stay. John 3:30.”

After serving as the senior chaplain of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, he became bishop of Western New York. Prior to this, he established himself as a leader in the ecumenical movement, having attended the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910. He continued to work for the cause of Christian unity, presiding at the World Conference of Faith and Order in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1927. He died in 1929.

Bishop Brent may be best remembered for this prayer that summarizes well his life and ministry:

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, p.101)

Collect for Charles Henry Brent
Heavenly Father, whose Son prayed that we all might be one: deliver us from arrogance and prejudice, and give us wisdom and forbearance, that, following your servant Charles Henry Brent, we may be united in one family with all who confess the Name of thy Son Jesus Christ: who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Laura Darling

jcemeryJulia Chester Emery

Julia Chester Emery (1852-1922) was an extraordinary woman. At age 24, she took over from her sister Mary the job of national secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Episcopal Church. It was the only ecclesiastical post she ever held, and she held it for forty years (and not the Biblical kind of “forty years,” either). She was a missionary whose calling was to do the often unglamorous work of organizing, administering, educating, and supporting. Her work enabled thousands of women to realize their potential for ministry at a time when women’s roles were severely limited. And she encouraged the church to broaden its own understanding of faithful lay ministry.

The Women’s Auxiliary of the Board of Missions of the Episcopal Church was created by General Convention in 1871 mostly through the work of the four Emery sisters. Mary Abbott Emery was the first national secretary, and Julia stepped into the job in 1876. During her tenure, she visited every diocese in the United States and helped organize branches of the Women’s Auxiliary in more than 5,600 parishes—nearly two-thirds of all the parishes in the U.S. Many of these branches continue today as the Episcopal Church Women, or ECW.

The primary focus of the Women’s Auxiliary was to empower women for mission and address the issue of funding for women who felt called to dedicate themselves to mission work. Chapters raised money and awareness for the support of local, national, and international mission. The Auxiliary sought to connect women one to another, to encourage them to know that they each had something to do for Christ and the coming of the Kingdom of God, in the company of Episcopal women everywhere. “There are hundreds more earnest, faithful, devoted women who would be cheered if only they knew what is being done by their sisters in the church and see their offering, small and insignificant as it seems, increased and multiplied by the union with the gifts of others” (Spirit of Missions, volume XXXVII, 1872).

Emery also created The United Thank Offering, represented today by small blue boxes with slots for coins to encourage daily giving and thanks to God. The UTO is still under the purview of the ECW, having awarded $1,517,280 in grants for mission in 2012. Thanks to Emery’s foresight and diligence, the work continues.

Collect for Julia Chester Emery 
God of all creation, you call us in Christ to make disciples of all nations and to proclaim your mercy and love: Grant that we, after the example of your servant Julia Chester Emery, may have vision and courage in proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our light and our salvation, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Charles Henry Brent vs. Julia Chester Emery

  • Julia Chester Emery (73%, 4,449 Votes)
  • Charles Henry Brent (27%, 1,642 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,091

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224 Comments to "Charles Henry Brent vs. Julia Chester Emery"

  1. Donna Wessel Walker's Gravatar Donna Wessel Walker
    March 7, 2014 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    On the International Day of Prayer (, a ministry begun and run by women, I’ve got to vote for one of our first great women leaders. Big fan of Charles Brent, but this day goes to Julia Chester Emery.

    • Lucretia Jevne's Gravatar Lucretia Jevne
      March 7, 2014 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Well put. In an era when women could not have leadership positions Julia found a way to serve her God and church by developing all that womanpower!

  2. linda's Gravatar linda
    March 7, 2014 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    how could christina the astonishing NOT win with a name like that? i had never heard of her before LM. The SEC digs up some amazing people.

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 7, 2014 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      She was just a little too astonishing for me! But interesting, I had never heard of her either

    • Brian Chace's Gravatar Brian Chace
      March 7, 2014 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      “Dig up” is an interesting choice of terms. 🙂

    • March 7, 2014 - 11:09 am | Permalink

      I wonder if Christina was thrown under the bus as a “sacrifice.” The match-up today is between more equal players: both leaders in church missions. If there’s a “wild card” slot based on total number of votes, Christina may yet rise from the dead (again!).

      • pamela's Gravatar pamela
        March 7, 2014 - 2:30 pm | Permalink


    • Jayne's Gravatar Jayne
      March 7, 2014 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I read that Charles Henry was stationed at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the South End of Boston. That is where I am from and have wonderful memories! I have no choice but to vote for him! Go South Boston!

    • March 7, 2014 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I believe Christina was unavailable, as she was previously booked at a children’s birthday party!

  3. Jill Cox's Gravatar Jill Cox
    March 7, 2014 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    For all the women of the Church, I say go Julia!!

    • Pam Griffin's Gravatar Pam Griffin
      March 7, 2014 - 8:36 am | Permalink


    • Fr Bill Loring's Gravatar Fr Bill Loring
      March 7, 2014 - 10:43 am | Permalink

      JCE was certainly an outstanding churchwoman, but she gets my vote for her work in support of the whole church’s mission, not for her sex.

  4. Harry Randall Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Randall Moncelle
    March 7, 2014 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I have always been impressed with Julia Chester Emery and her organizational skills. My vote must go to Bishop Brent and his work with in Asia and his opposition to the drug trade.

    • Irene's Gravatar Irene
      March 7, 2014 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      I wanted to go with a woman, but ended up voting for Bishop Brent because he turned down a couple of big promotions to stay with the people he served.

      • Erin's Gravatar Erin
        March 7, 2014 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

        That’s why I chose him, too.

        • Maria's Gravatar Maria
          March 7, 2014 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Me too.

      • March 7, 2014 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Interesting how the bios can affect the votes. A later commenter points out that Brent was already a “bishop” when he went to the Phillipines, so he didn’t really turn down a promotion, just a move back to the states.

        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          March 7, 2014 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

          There was, however, an expectation that missionary bishops would come back to a “more important” post as bishop of a stateside diocese, continuing to climb the ladder. Henry St George Tucker is one who comes to mind (and he went on to become PB). Similarly, in the CofE, colonial bishops often returned to England to take up English dioceses.

      • Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
        March 7, 2014 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

        JCE didn’t have the opportunity to turn down those promotions, because at that point having women clergy was a pipe dream. I voted for her because she gave women at least some outlet for ministry in a time when there were very few.

      • Richard's Gravatar Richard
        March 7, 2014 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

        I would bet Julia didn’t get the opportunity to turn down any promotions. Advancement of women in society or the church was rather limited in that time period. As the father of 3 daughters I had to go with Julia, but I was impressed with Bishop Brent and it was a close call. They were both worthy candidates for the Golden Halo.

    • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
      March 7, 2014 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      It’s amazing to me that her work is still so evident in the church! The decision between the two was a real difficult one today though.

  5. Sharon Boivin's Gravatar Sharon Boivin
    March 7, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    It’s fascinating to learn about a woman who had such an impact on what happens in our local parishes today through ECW and UTO. Go Julia!

    • Phil Harrington's Gravatar Phil Harrington
      March 7, 2014 - 11:23 am | Permalink

      Up with blue boxes!
      Down with blue vestments!

  6. March 7, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Two years ago, a little boy in my congregation sat patiently while his Sunday School class’ UTO collection was counted. As each blue box was emptied of its coins, he watched with great interest. In the end the total was something like $50. This little boy stood up, unprompted, and said, “This is great but next year we can do better. Next year I’d like to see us collect $60.”

    The spirit of JCE lives on! My vote goes to her today, even though I love the prayer Brent wrote. It’s my favorite at Morning Prayer.

  7. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 7, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I love learning new people. I was already familiar with Bp Brent, and feel like I’ve always known him as the author of that fabulous collect for mission in Morning Prayer. Somewhere I read that he was also known for having a lead foot (a fact that stuck with me for some odd reason – I’m sure not having anything to do with the speeds I sometimes drive at?) But Julia got my vote today. We truly need to know more about our lay saints, and the work of the Women’s Auxiliary, the ECW (which in my parish has now become the Episcopal Church Workers), and the UTO have all been so important to living as people of God’s kingdom.

  8. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 7, 2014 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    This is a hard one, but an anti-imperialist in the midst of imperialism wins out for me over an anti-sexist in the midst of sexism.

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      March 7, 2014 - 8:44 am | Permalink

      Thank you for putting my gut feeling into words.

    • Susan Fiore's Gravatar Susan Fiore
      March 7, 2014 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      You have killed two birds with one stone: Sexism is a form of imperialism/domination.

    • March 7, 2014 - 11:18 am | Permalink

      Who says Brent was an anti-imperialist? Religion can be used in an imperialist manner, also. Btw, in Brent’s bio the reference should be “Spanish-American War,” not “Philipine American War.” Up to the Filipinos to decide if they were better off under American or Spanish rule, both of which were imperialist.

      • March 7, 2014 - 11:36 am | Permalink

        Smite me: I see the Library of Congress has reclassified what used to be called the Filippino “rebellion” to American rule as a separate war. At any rate, it proves the Filippinos saw Americans as imperialists.

  9. Bill Wilson's Gravatar Bill Wilson
    March 7, 2014 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Tough one, I am in awe of the Rev. Brent and his answer to his call. My vote went to Ms. Emery for the outreach nature of her ministry.

  10. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 7, 2014 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Wow, so it’s gotten hard already. I was all set to vote for Julia until I read Brent’s prayer and agree with Ryan, it’s a favorite from Morning Prayer…

    So, convince me people!

    • Chris Krupka's Gravatar Chris Krupka
      March 7, 2014 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      Brent! Called to do the drudge work instead of the glamour.

      • Pat's Gravatar Pat
        March 7, 2014 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes, exactly! John 3:30 did the trick for me.

  11. Kathi's Gravatar Kathi
    March 7, 2014 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    I so wanted to vote for Chuck–I’ve lived in the Philippines and know how tough existence is there. (And I wonder if he started the Episcopal parish in Manilla?) But in the end, those who work busily in the background–the fast paddling little feet under the water line–enable those like Charles Henry Brent to do their work. So, I had to vote for Julia.

    • Mary Smith's Gravatar Mary Smith
      March 7, 2014 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      Kathi, I totally agree. How many parishes and ministries have long been supported by those who work busily in the background?

      • Emily's Gravatar Emily
        March 7, 2014 - 8:51 am | Permalink

        My thoughts exactly, Kathi and Mary. My vote goes for Julia (and her sisters by extension). Let’s hear it for the those making it sandwiches in the kitchen, as it were (to slightly misquote a great Gaventa sermon).

        • Kev's Gravatar Kev
          March 7, 2014 - 9:37 am | Permalink

          Agree wholeheartedly. Not because CHB isn’t worthy of course but because JCE represents the silent unfussed work without which we’d have relatively little.

    • Linda M's Gravatar Linda M
      March 7, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

      I was all set to vote for Brent, until I read the post from Kathi. Now I have to think about it a little longer-you have made an excellent point. Thank you

  12. Jody's Gravatar Jody
    March 7, 2014 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    I am proud to cast my vote today for Julia Chester Emery. Many of the church women I most admire have been shaped through lay leadership positions with ECW. And yes, today is the World Day of Prayer which brings together Christian women around the world. Go Julia!

  13. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    March 7, 2014 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    getting a message that “your request is still being processed.” Did I break the server?

    • Becky's Gravatar Becky
      March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      I got the same thing—now I don’t know if I have to go back and vote or not…

  14. Lesley's Gravatar Lesley
    March 7, 2014 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Bishop Brent since he baptized two wonderful people I knew here in Geneva: Charles and John Kenny. John Kenny just died recently, and Charlie a couple of years ago. They were wonderful African American leaders in the community here.

  15. Peter's Gravatar Peter
    March 7, 2014 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    As a newcomer to the process, I am immediately impressed with how difficult it is going to be, unlike the process in March Madness, which basically comes down to establishing a team’s “worthiness” through Darwinist survival. But this is all about choosing the greater of two goods (in contradistinction to the lesser of two evils!). Hard choice today, but, as with some others, I am anti-imperialist and laud any and all from our faith tradition who inveigh against that, especially in [personal sacrifice, so I am going with Bishop Brent.

    • March 7, 2014 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

      “But this is all about choosing the greater of two goods (in contradistinction to the lesser of two evils!). ”

      Oh, well said!

  16. Elizabeth Anderson's Gravatar Elizabeth Anderson
    March 7, 2014 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Julia’s work has touch every dioceses – both to challange women to apostolic action and to give monetary aid to programs SO LET’S HONOR HER
    Oh, about the Dean of the National Cathedral – cameras more often than not turn purple blue

    • Emily Agnew's Gravatar Emily Agnew
      March 7, 2014 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      This is my first Lent Madness. I am finding today’s vote very difficult. Sitting with the choice between two such devoted people–the more I sit, the more aware I become of the different ways I could approach making the decision. The only thing I’m sure of is that I’m not done sitting with it yet.

      • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
        March 7, 2014 - 11:05 am | Permalink

        Yeah, me too.

        I wondered how a saint bracket could be considered Lenten reflection. Guess I’m figuring that out at least.

        • Cindy's Gravatar Cindy
          March 8, 2014 - 1:31 am | Permalink

          I am a newbie too. I consider this activity to fall within the ambit of Ash Wednesday’s invitation to “read[] and meditate[e] on God’s holy Word.” I’ve been pulling out the BCP, EfM materials, and other resources to help enlighten me and guide my elections. All in serious fun, but chalk it up to devotional study, which is always good.

  17. Geri Swanson, deacon's Gravatar Geri Swanson, deacon
    March 7, 2014 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I have always respected the work of the Emery sisters, and in one of my former parish assignments, St Clement’s in NYC, thee was a stained glass window in the chapel of Julia holding a “blue box” and a coin reminding us all to help the work of the church. As Julia’s organization, which morphed into today’s ECW, supported many deaconesses in their work, I am hoping the modern diaconal community will come out in support of one who supported those who have gone before.

    • Karen Saunders's Gravatar Karen Saunders
      March 7, 2014 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      As a Canadian deacon who regularly works alongside the tireless ACW (Anglican Church Women up here) I had to pick Julia. So much outreach and pastoral work is supported by the dedication of the ACW.

  18. Ron Clark's Gravatar Ron Clark
    March 7, 2014 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks be to God that our heavenly Father made a way through difficult times for women to persevere and to do great things in the name of Jesus. Women like Julia have made things possible for women today.

    • Pam C's Gravatar Pam C
      March 7, 2014 - 10:33 am | Permalink

      I had to revisit the definition of Saint. Once done however, Julia got my vote. I think I am in the company of some living saints today.

  19. Fred's Gravatar Fred
    March 7, 2014 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    It is great to read about a person who expanded the functional role of ALL people in the mission of the church. It was wonderful
    Learning about her

  20. March 7, 2014 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Gotta go with the community organizer and lay person. Go Julia!

  21. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 7, 2014 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Yes to Julia. Too often the people behind-the-people don’t get the credit they deserve. They make everyone else more effective, sometimes even make the crazy dreams possible. Kudos and well-deserved halos for those who do the support work! This vote is for all of you.

  22. Nancy Grear's Gravatar Nancy Grear
    March 7, 2014 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Charles Henry Brent. As he served as Bishop in western New York for a time; where I live. His likeness is in the small Anglican Chapel at Chautauqua Institution. I had the pleasure of hearing his biography last summer as I attend that chapel. I had to vote for him, as he seemed like an old friend.

  23. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 7, 2014 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful pair. I didn’t know much about Brent or Emery before I started reading this morning. I read Brent’s bio and prayer and thought, “Oh yeah, this is the guy.” I read Emery’s bio and collect, and still felt inclined toward Brent. But then the image of that blue box came into my mind–the one in my kitchen cupboard, the latest in a long line stretching back to my childhood, where I also observed my mother taking part in ECW. What came to me is that the work of people like Ms. Emery helped empower Brent to get to the Phillipines and carry out his fine work. I think they each would have voted for each other. Will have to toss some cash in the UTO box in appreciation of both.

    • sophiashinies's Gravatar sophiashinies
      March 7, 2014 - 10:58 am | Permalink

      I love that image of each one of these saints voting for the other. It eases my heart, and reminds me that this devotional is silly, and that both of them have already won.

      (I still don’t know who to vote for. But it seems less all-consuming.)

    • Chari Avolio's Gravatar Chari Avolio
      March 7, 2014 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I, too, have had a blue box going back to my childhood. I am the UTO representative at my church. I didn’t know about Miss Emery until reading about her today. My vote goes to her. Think of all the good works that come from the coins in the blue box from thousands of people, who offer thanks each day. Amazing!

  24. Penny Schmitt's Gravatar Penny Schmitt
    March 7, 2014 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    I am sure that my Mom, a very active ECW member for 60+ years, would be giving her vote to Miss Emery. I, however, must go for Bishop Brent. Any man who could go and work that hard in a struggling country, in difficult conditions, and refuse a call to come back to an elected position of such social and worldly comfort as those offices would have afforded him, gets my vote. A rare heart and character must have been in this man.

    • Cindy Henning's Gravatar Cindy Henning
      March 8, 2014 - 1:39 am | Permalink

      Sigh. Very true.

  25. Carol Ann Webb's Gravatar Carol Ann Webb
    March 7, 2014 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Bishop Brent’s collect is one of my favorites and I’m so delighted to know now the author. This is a tough, tough decision today, because I honor the work and legacy of Julia…

  26. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    March 7, 2014 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Really tough choice. However, since my master’s thesis at UNC many years ago was on “women’s work for women” about women’s missionary organizations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I have to vote for Julia.

  27. Mike Fay's Gravatar Mike Fay
    March 7, 2014 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    While Bishop Brent was an amazing man and an amazing fund raiser ($100,000 in 1901 is almost $2.5 million today) I have to go with Ms Emery; because without the women many of our local churches (and certainly Ascension in Salida, CO) would not exist.

  28. Mary's Gravatar Mary
    March 7, 2014 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    On International Women’s Day there’s no contest! Go Julia…….

  29. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 7, 2014 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Had to go with one of my heroes and vote for Charles Henry Brent. Use his book Things that Matter all the time.

  30. March 7, 2014 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    great way to learn about all these wonderful people who have made a difference in our world. Look forward to learning about all the Saints listed.

  31. Fr. John J. Negrotto's Gravatar Fr. John J. Negrotto
    March 7, 2014 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Does a half a vote each count? I’m torn!

  32. Mary Lysbeth Andrews's Gravatar Mary Lysbeth Andrews
    March 7, 2014 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Julia is my girl to honor her on the eve of International Women’s Day 8 March 2014. Before the Blue Boxes for ECW, we had Mite boxes always for lent, given to us by our three Deaconess at Christ Church, New Haven. Sisters Mary, Martha, and Ruby of St. Hilda’s House. The Mite boxes were collected at the Evensong Service on Easter Sunday as we were given flowers to be put in the Flower Cross.

  33. Cricket's Gravatar Cricket
    March 7, 2014 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    My parishes have benefitted greatly over the years from UTO grants~
    Thank you, Julia.
    Voting for you was the least I could do~~~!

  34. Alan C's Gravatar Alan C
    March 7, 2014 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many Americans even know there was a Philippine-American war? Tough choice today but i enjoyed reading about both of them. I went with Emery.

    • March 7, 2014 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      There was no “Philippine-American War.” It was the Spanish-American War, after which the US took possession of the Philippines.

      • March 7, 2014 - 11:40 am | Permalink

        Apparently the Library of Congress has reclassified the Filippino rebellion to US rule after the Spanish American War as a separate war. Lenten act of contrition is to google first, comment later.

  35. Holy Fool's Gravatar Holy Fool
    March 7, 2014 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but I am go n with Charles Henry…, The Holy Fool

  36. Betsy Rogers's Gravatar Betsy Rogers
    March 7, 2014 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Such a hard call — both are such wonderful saints! I voted for Bp. Brent simply because reading his slim volume “Things That Matter” about 30 years ago was a moving and formative experience for me. On that subject, does anyone know where I could buy a copy of this book?

  37. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 7, 2014 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Even as a young child, I treasured my “mite” box and loved to check its increasing weightiness as my pennies and nickels were added. It served to teach me that God sanctifies small gifts as well as larger noticeable ones. I did not know that Julia was responsible for enabling all of us to add to the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. She definitely has my vote.

  38. Sarah W's Gravatar Sarah W
    March 7, 2014 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Having worked for the church in the “unglamorous work of organizing, administering, educating, and supporting, I must vote for Julia!

  39. March 7, 2014 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Both of these saints are new to me, and both prove impressive. Yet, I had to vote for Julia. The church is the children of God – loving God and others – not ultimately any institution or building. Her life echoes the truth that the priesthood of all believers is powerful when we rely on God and together share the time, treasure and talent gifted to us. God multiplies the blessing, our cups overflow. Cheers to Julia! (Plus its International Woman’s Day. Quoting Luther, “I could do no other…”)

    • March 7, 2014 - 11:35 am | Permalink

      I stand corrected, International Women’s Day is tomorrow March 8th…unless you are in the region around Korea or Australia, etc. Then, tomorrow is today, and I’m fine. Happy on-time or belated) World day of prayer though…

  40. March 7, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for Julia, as she did so much to advance women in the Church and also to instigate the UTO which is still offering so much in today’s world.

  41. Gigi's Gravatar Gigi
    March 7, 2014 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Bishop Brent, although both are admirable examples for us all. His sacrifices make me ashamed that I do not do more for my fellow man.

  42. Meredyth's Gravatar Meredyth
    March 7, 2014 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Ju-li-a, Ju-li-a!

  43. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    March 7, 2014 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    While I have long been a fan of Charles Brent, and that famous prayer of his has always been one of my favorites, I have to give my vote to Julie Chester Emery. Brent is to be commended for his missionary work and the fact that he was probably the first person to wage a war on drugs, but it is hard not to give credit to a woman who served the church and reached thousands of women, and continues to reach women today through her work as the organizer of today’s ECW. She continues to be with us in spirit has we put our hands to complete God’s tasks.

  44. Melody's Gravatar Melody
    March 7, 2014 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Are you saying that Bishop Brent authored the prayer on page 101 of the BCP? That wasn’t clear to me…

    • March 7, 2014 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, he’s the author of that prayer. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear.

  45. EHCulver's Gravatar EHCulver
    March 7, 2014 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one. I voted for Julia Emery because I remember the days when girls couldn’t be acolytes &. Women couldn’t serve on vestries. That said, Bishop Brent was a remarkable man, & I love the collect he wrote. Thanks be to God for the lives & ministries of both.

  46. Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
    March 7, 2014 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    As so many say, a difficult choice. I was sure I’d vote for Emery because of her ECW work till I caught the fact that Brent had written a prayer that I never fail to say in the morning and often add in the evening. I’ll be happy to see Emery win, but couldn’t pass by the author of a prayer that so deeply affects my life.

  47. March 7, 2014 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Vote Julia. Let’s go Girlfren!

  48. The Rev. Thelma Smullen's Gravatar The Rev. Thelma Smullen
    March 7, 2014 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Julia!!! As a former board member of the ECW in the Diocese of Washington (and delegate to Triennial in 1979) I feel compelled to vote for Julia. Her legacy changed my life and the lives of many women. The UTO has also done extraordinary mission work.

  49. Rich Wisniewski, Deacon's Gravatar Rich Wisniewski, Deacon
    March 7, 2014 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Charles Henry Brent turned down New Jersey, so I must turn him down.

  50. March 7, 2014 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    In 2009 my organization, Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope, received a generous grant from the UTO to help build a primary school in a small village of Ghana. That school changed the lives of hundres of children and adults. Now there is HOPE for children to break the bonds of poverty through education. I admire Bishop Brent’s work but Julia Chester Emery wins my vote and my heart! May there be more women like Julie in the ECW and in the world.

  51. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 7, 2014 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Was all set to vote for Charles, a role model of mine who went out to the people, instead of making them come to him. But Julia’s work – and the foundation it laid for all missionaries – cannot be ignored. We received UTO grants in Sudan and Haiti. And for decades, it was the women who paid for the missionaries, this enabling people to follow Jesus’ call to the ends of the earth. I received a scholarship for my doctorate from a bequest from a woman who had been a missionary in West Africa in the eat 1900s, who had been supported by, no doubt, Julia and her work. How could I not support her?

  52. Martha H. Fournier's Gravatar Martha H. Fournier
    March 7, 2014 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Truly a difficult choice. Sigh. As much as I have been, since quite young, pro-women in the church, I feel I must vote for C. H. Brent. Bishop Barbara C. Harris, you’re still Top Ten in my book! Give my best to all in my former Diocese of Massachusetts, especially Bishop Tom, when you are there.

  53. Daniel's Gravatar Daniel
    March 7, 2014 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Charles Henry Brent was an excellent exemplar of a missionary, but I’m going to side in favor of Julia Chester Emery passion, commitment, and organization behind the scenes made the missionary work of the Church possible. It’s important to be reminded that in any organization or movement, the people in public eye who get all the attention would be no where without the organizes and administrators behind them.

  54. March 7, 2014 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Let’s hear it for the laity and their often unrecognized leadership in the background!

  55. March 7, 2014 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    This is one of those happy match-ups where either one winning is totally fine with me, but I had to go with Brent. I really appreciate those who work toward ecumenism (hi, my name’s Christiana, and I’m a United Methodist…) and the “blue boxes” are unfamiliar to me, so they don’t mean as much. It’s great to hear the stories of all of you for whom those are such wonderful things, though!

    • Peg's Gravatar Peg
      March 7, 2014 - 10:21 am | Permalink

      Hi Christina. The mite boxes and blue boxes are little cardboard “un-piggy” banks, into which a person drops cash to express thanks or mindfulness of God’s goodness or hope or whatever moves the person in the course of a day. At some point the boxes are gathered and the contents, now a sum mightier than a mite, are used to good purpose. Anyone can do this, with any container of any color.

      • March 7, 2014 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Ahhh, okay. Does each family keep one at home?

        • Peg's Gravatar Peg
          March 7, 2014 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

          It’s optional. When I was a kid, we’d get the mite box in Sunday School, one per child. The UTO boxes are taken home voluntarily, then gathered at particular times by the parish’s volunteer chair person of that program. It’s all optional. Each member of a family could choose to have one. The UTO folks would LOVE to have every family keep one (or more) at home.

          • Alan Medsker's Gravatar Alan Medsker
            March 7, 2014 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

            My wife has a practice of keeping a UTO offering box on top of the washing machine, and all the loose change that comes out of pockets goes in there. If you leave it there long enough it gets pretty full!

      • March 7, 2014 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the lovely explanation, Peg! I’m Roman Catholic & I’d never heard the term “mite box” before it was mentioned at Ash Wednesday mass this week: apparently before there was Operation Rice Bowl, family Lenten offerings went into something called a mite box.

        But I love the idea of dropping in some money as a thanks or praise or prayer offering at any time during the day. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that concept before: when I hear talk about giving money at church, it’s either framed as stewardship, responsibility, sharing our gifts, or giving alms. This seems spiritually much richer to me!

    • sophiashinies's Gravatar sophiashinies
      March 7, 2014 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      Christina, I feel similarly (raised Catholic, now somewhere in the Lutheran/Episcopalian family tree). Voting for Brent, but I think I will ask at my parish for a blue box this weekend…

  56. March 7, 2014 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    I feel I’ve done Bishop Brent a disservice, here, since all the comments seem to point to his missionary work and fight against the drug trade. What I wasn’t able to fit into this brief bio was how important he was in establishing what we now take for granted in ecumenical relations — actually working with Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. was pretty much unheard of at the turn of the 20th Century. Bishop Brent had a huge role in changing that.

    I don’t expect he’ll move on to the next round; heck, I almost voted for Emery myself. But I hope I represented Brent adequately in his Lent Madness debut.

    • March 7, 2014 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Laura, it seems clear that all the saints’ bios are going to be “crowd sourced” anyway. I don’t envy your job of having to be concise and complete at the same time. Thanks for your hard work.

  57. Paul Williams's Gravatar Paul Williams
    March 7, 2014 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    btw, w/o ECW, TEC’d b like CUL8R. YKWIM? JCE!! JCE!!

  58. Adam Lees's Gravatar Adam Lees
    March 7, 2014 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    This was not an easy one – particularly since it is Friday and my morning prayer group would always use Bishop Brent’s collect at the end on Fridays (hard wood of the cross reference to Good Friday, you see). I also cannot understate the value of ecumenism and the awesome-ness of his tweet-like decline; however, I owe as much to Ms. Emery as much as all the women in the church do. Besides the fact I wouldn’t be the Christian I am today without both female clergy and lay people, her broadening of lay ministry (and I think ministry in general) partially helped me pay for graduate school and has opened the church up both to its lifelong (or mostly lifelong) members and to newcomers. I’m sure the Revs don’t mind the extra help, either.

    • Grace Matthews's Gravatar Grace Matthews
      March 7, 2014 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      I’ve signed up but never received the confirmation email to “click” so I’m not getting the new ballot every day. I’m going to sign up AGAIN and hope it works. Help! I’ve managed to keep track but must go to the home page to be able to vote. I’ll be delighted when the emails come at 8:00 EST. Thanks!

  59. Donald Hill's Gravatar Donald Hill
    March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Bishop Brent was a friend Bisho p of my grandfather. And is still a legendary figure. In the diocese of Western New York.

  60. Kate Norris's Gravatar Kate Norris
    March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Having been the first female acolyte at my church growing up, I cast my vote for Julia, who carved out work for women at a time when there was a lot the church wouldn’t let them do. Sorry, Charles!

  61. Max Bailey's Gravatar Max Bailey
    March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    How can you not vote for someone who declines to be a Bishop?

    • Peggy's Gravatar Peggy
      March 7, 2014 - 12:19 pm | Permalink


  62. Cynthia Fox-Heffron's Gravatar Cynthia Fox-Heffron
    March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    I know we need to move on. However , For those of you that are still about Christina . Please YouTube Nick Cave (an Australian indie band) & Christina the Astonishing . They performed last year at Cochella.
    Beautiful and haunting. Good bye Christina

  63. Megan Emery's Gravatar Megan Emery
    March 7, 2014 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    While Julia is not a relation, it is hard not to vote for her! Particularly since my grandmother, Alice Emery, worked for the UTO for many years! Yeah to women who dedicate themselves to mission work!

  64. March 7, 2014 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I had to go with Julia! What a mighty woman of God, who worked in the shadows of others. My hat is off to her pioneering spirit of influence that survives today!

  65. Jane Cox's Gravatar Jane Cox
    March 7, 2014 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    I was sorely tempted to vote for Bishop Brent due to two “signs”. He worked with the Igorot people in the Philippines and the Igorot Village was my grandmother’s favorite exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Secondly, my brother’s godfather wrote a biographical sketch of Brent in the 1950 edition of his book Things That Matter. Despite that my vote goes to Julia Emery for her lasting work. Not only does ECW and UTO still have a mighty effect but where would we put all that loose change without her blue boxes?

  66. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    March 7, 2014 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    A tough choice, as I’ve come to expect. Both people have formed my sense of mission and service to others. I pray Charles Brent’s collect most days … but have to go with a laywoman who has such an impact.

  67. March 7, 2014 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    I am so happy to follow Max…who said exactly what I was thinking! You gotta love anybody who would turn down being a Bishop three times! I voted for Charles Henry Brent. Somedays, you know the person you vote for is not going to win…but you vote anyway…I liked the comment someone made about “voting for the greater of two goods” yeah. like that.

    • Fr Bill Loring's Gravatar Fr Bill Loring
      March 7, 2014 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      Let’s get this right: Brent NEVER turned down being a bishop — he did turn down three invitations to leave the Philippines and come to stateside dioceses, and that certainly showed a dedication to his mission there, but he was already a bishop when that happened,

  68. Cori Olson's Gravatar Cori Olson
    March 7, 2014 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    This one was tough for me because I really liked both stories of their lives. But were faithful in their walk and determined for a long time. However, I voted for Julia Emery as she worked to empower the disenfranchised of her day. Both did great work, only one can wear the Golden Halo!!

  69. Diane Lynch's Gravatar Diane Lynch
    March 7, 2014 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Emery broke the glass ceiling…..and she deserves the kudos…and the votes!

  70. Tara Soughers's Gravatar Tara Soughers
    March 7, 2014 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    23 years ago on Julia Chester’s name day, I was ordained a priest. Although I appreciated my bishop’s effort to find a female saint, I wanted a more exciting saint. I preferred her sister, Mary Abbott Emery Twing. Mary was married to an older man and widowed early. It gave her great freedom to travel the globe, investigating the horrible plight of women missionaries. She was a gadfly, arguing for the need for proper support (both in the field and later) for them, as well as supporting women deacons. Over the last 23 years, however, I have learned to appreciate the less exciting but equally important tasks of everyday ministry. Julia has now become a friend.

  71. Jo Meachem's Gravatar Jo Meachem
    March 7, 2014 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    As a proud Western New York denizen, as well as one who often uses Bp. Brent’s lovely prayer, I have cast my vote for Charles Henry Brent – thus assuring that I will find myself at 0-2 in the morning.

  72. Gary Goldacker's Gravatar Gary Goldacker
    March 7, 2014 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    When I was in seminary, several of us who had been history majors in college asked to proficiency out of Church History, figuring we knew enough. Fr. Roland Foster, new history professor at Nashotah, allowed us to do so. One of the questions was, “Who is Charles Henry Brent?” None of us knew, but were passed anyhow, but not until we had a strong lesson on Brent from Fr. Foster who had just come from St. Andrew’s Seminary in the Phillipines! SO I have to honor CHB today.

  73. Cdcrosby's Gravatar Cdcrosby
    March 7, 2014 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    He’s Going To Be Trounced By Julia, But I Voted For Charle.

    His Prayer Is Also Collect For Station 11 In Stations OF The Cross.

  74. March 7, 2014 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    I am moved by stories remembering blue mite boxes of childhood, a little boy who said we could do better and days when girls couldn’t even be acolytes. Having been one of the first female acolytes in a church I attended as a teen, I must go with Julia. I also salute her because I understand the great value of behind-the-scenes work that makes the church soar. And, yet, I must say, the bishop’s prayer is one of my favorites, too. Still, it’s Julia for me.

  75. Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
    March 7, 2014 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one. I love Bp. Brent’s prayer. However, my departed mother, a diocesan ECW president, will haunt me if I don’t vote for Julia Chester Emery!

    • Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
      March 7, 2014 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Let the haunting begin – I voted for Bp. Brent.

  76. aleathia (dolores)nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores)nicholson
    March 7, 2014 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Aha! Somebody remembers the “mite” boxes that preceded the blue boxes! You just showed your age. Who can forget the box getting heavier week by week and fighting the urge to shake out a nickel to get a forbidden piece of candy? Julia Emery and her sisters by birth and by spiritual adoption were the only ministry for many women who wanted and deserved more. “Nuf said. My vote goes where my heart was early on as I folded and filled the blue box knowing there was some inequity afoot in the Church.

    • Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
      March 7, 2014 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I can’t believe that I am voting for Julia. I grew up in a church where as a young women I was strongly encouraged to serve coffee and join ECW. Being an acolyte and reading lessons or prayers were for males. I fought that battle and won, but the cost has been an abiding dislike of ECW as a symbol of gender segregation and devaluing. I guess the time has arrived to see such work through a new and more encouraging lens.

      • March 7, 2014 - 7:22 pm | Permalink

        So you were lucky — many of us never had the opportunities to serve that you did. ECW gave women a way to belong and serve that the wider Church did not.

  77. March 7, 2014 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    My Lent Madness bracket is filled with preferences for female saintly folk — except for yesterday and today. While I value the contributions of Julia’s work — it was still within the bounds of her culture and her country, Bishop Brent truly did “proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth”

    • Ann's Gravatar Ann
      March 7, 2014 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Episcopal Church Women are involved in ministry in the wider community and Women are empowered by working collaboratively with women’s organizations, program and ministry groups within and outside the Church, as well as with global and local networks working for gender justice, and individual women compelled to risk transformation – of the world, the church, and their own lives in Christ.
      So, the work envisioned by Julia and others in her lifetime are bound by her culture nor her country. Thank you.

      • Ann's Gravatar Ann
        March 7, 2014 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

        My last sentence should contain the phrase “not bound”. Sorry

  78. Georgianna's Gravatar Georgianna
    March 7, 2014 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    I was disappointed, but not surprised that Christina the Astonishing did not win yesterday. Today, I have voted for Julia because of my connection to women who do mission work. You ladies rock!

  79. Catherine Schiesz's Gravatar Catherine Schiesz
    March 7, 2014 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Have to go with Bishop Brent. His prayer is one of my favorites…

  80. Chris Krupka's Gravatar Chris Krupka
    March 7, 2014 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Man I keep backing the looser. Come on Brent!!!

  81. ellen campbell's Gravatar ellen campbell
    March 7, 2014 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Let’s give one to the laity today! Go Julia!

  82. Laura J. Schomberg's Gravatar Laura J. Schomberg
    March 7, 2014 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    In honor of my husband’s grandmother,who did much the same thing in her church ( United Methodist), I voted for Julia Chester Emery. My grandmother- in-law traveled the United States talking to women’s groups in the Methodist Church.

    • March 7, 2014 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

      May I ask who your grandmother was? Being a UM, I’m super curious about such an important figure.

      • Laura J. Schomberg's Gravatar Laura J. Schomberg
        March 7, 2014 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I don’t really know if she had an official title. Her name was Mrs. F. B. Godfrey. She did her work in the ’40s and maybe ’50s., I think. She was a lovely person.

  83. Joel Bejot's Gravatar Joel Bejot
    March 7, 2014 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    I wish you had included that CHB was the first bishop or Western New York. He also founded the first Episcopal Church I worked at after college, St. Andrew’s, in Buffalo, NY. So he got my vote today!

    • March 7, 2014 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

      That’s always the hardest part about Round 1 — so many things I wish I could have included!

  84. David+'s Gravatar David+
    March 7, 2014 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    I have always cherished Bishop Brent’s lovely prayer. On most Fridays, I say his prayer at MP. I vote for Bishop Brent who taught and lived the way of love through the cross.

  85. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 7, 2014 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    My vote is Julia Chester Emery. I fondly remember mite boxes as well; I’m an oldy but a goody! Julia was a strong, confident and faithful lady who knew what was right and loved her Lord. She helped to better man (and woman) kind. Am I seeing a Golden Halo perched on JuJu’s pretty head???

  86. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 7, 2014 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    My grandmother attended the Gen. Con. in Kansas City, so in solidarity with her and all the saints, I vote for Ms Emery.
    It takes a certain depth of character to be patient, to stay for the long haul, working for the betterment of the human condition, despite the fact that the whole enterprise is being run by induhviduals who don’t even discern your worth.
    After seeing a woman dissed by a person who supported a dogma that, even today, most of us still don’t understand, it’s definitely time for a woman to lead the way.

  87. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 7, 2014 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I also think the Emery sisters donated their family property to the Society of St. John the Evangelist. I was renovated with funds from a bequest from another woman and Emery House today is a monastery and retreat center. And a blessing to all of us who have been blessed by visiting!

  88. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    March 7, 2014 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    (I voted for Christina yesterday, and Julia today. Hope I’m not subconsciously just rooting for the girls.)

    I do love to pray “he stretched out his arms of love…”, but I have such ambivalence about mission work–not the fantastic, selfless, risky business of healing and serving the least of these in far-flung places that generations of missionaries have done. But the often patronizing, culture-erasing “imperialism,” as others have said today, of some missionaries. Ironically, though, the monies raised by UTO are also used for missionary work…. So we are voting for a missionary in the fields or a funder of missionary work. Hmmmmm……

    Since so many of my heroes in the gospels are the women who funded and supported the “missionary” work of Jesus, I have to go with Julia.

  89. Michael Denzin's Gravatar Michael Denzin
    March 7, 2014 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    I am all in for Charles Henry Brent. I had the privilege to attend multiple services at the at the National Cathedral of the Philippines in Quezon City. And I have considered all Filipinos to be my “homies”. All in. Simbahang Episkopal ng Pilipinas

  90. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 7, 2014 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Both Charles and Julia are worthy of victory. Usually I lean toward women as unsung heroines of the church but today I am torn. Charles was once bishop of Western New York where I grew up and women’s groups in our parish were named after various people. The group for women of my grandmother’s age was named the Bishop Brent group and for some reason that name stuck with me. It was only in the last decade or so that I learned of his respect for all people as children of God and how that influenced his work and the people around him. So, for him and for Gram, I vote for Bishop Brent.

  91. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    March 7, 2014 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    This was a hard vote for me. The Emery House (a retreat center in West Newbury, Mass. run by the SSJE Monastery in Cambridge) is named after Julia. I spent a weekend there a few months ago, and it was a powerful experience. I’m surprised that collect from Brent was so recent; goes to show that liturgy doesn’t have to be ancient to pack a punch. Solid witnesses to the faith, both of them.

  92. Nancy Ann's Gravatar Nancy Ann
    March 7, 2014 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Did you happen to notice that yesterday’s scandal was in Washington DC? Enough said.

  93. March 7, 2014 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    It is great to have two saints who chose the hard and humble road of service, dedicating their lives to realizing the Reign of God for many. Both are examples we can hold up for our youth, “Now that’s one way to follow Jesus!” But our church wouldn’t have the reclaimed sub-basement now transformed into a full-service Food Pantry, with elevator access for the disabled –which serves the community twice a week, bringing help and hope to marginalized and discounted people– if it weren’t for the United Thank Offering. So just out of direct personal gratitude, today I’ll vote for Julia Chester Emery.

  94. Adam's Gravatar Adam
    March 7, 2014 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice. This one came down to a coin toss for me and Charles Henry Brent won the toss. Although it looks like he may have won my coin toss but won’t be moving on to the Saintly 16. Maybe I should have done best 2 out of 3 on my coin toss and come up with the winner.

  95. Mary Eliot's Gravatar Mary Eliot
    March 7, 2014 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    As a female clergy person I owe a lot to Julia for her hard work and persistence, over 40 years in the church! In the end, though, as a former Peace Corps Volunteer, I had to go with Charles. Love that he lived with the locals and not in a grand expat castle. What tipped the balance was his refusal to conclude his ministry to serve as a Bishop, until the time was right. For opting not for not come back until the work was done, I vote Charles.

  96. Samantha's Gravatar Samantha
    March 7, 2014 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Julia visited EVERY diocese in the US?!?! My vote goes to her. That’s perseverance.

  97. Margaret Irwin's Gravatar Margaret Irwin
    March 7, 2014 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    An unfair match-up in Round One, especially compared to yesterday’s. This one was like pitting two number one seeds against each other in the NCAA brackets – a definite no-no.

  98. March 7, 2014 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling today’s the day my bracket gets busted, but I have to cast my vote for CHB the ecumenist. His prayer feeds my conviction that being in Christ means “reaching forth our hands in love to bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you.” Every Friday morning (and many other mornings besides) I pray with CHB be clothed in Christ’s spirit.

    Plus I used to work with a guy who called himself “the world’s tallest Filipino,” so there’s that, too.

  99. sophiashinies's Gravatar sophiashinies
    March 7, 2014 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    Today I’m uncomfortable with the “who had the more thankless job” strain in the comments. Missionaries may be glamorized, but their day-to-day work is often thankless behind-the-scenes drudgery, as well. Although of course Bp. Brent had the privilege associated with being a man at the time…

    Thank you, Charles, for uniting denominations in the work of the church.

    Thank you, Julia, for influencing the work of women in the Church Universal so that even the Catholic Church, when I was a child, finally allowed girl altar servers. (And for those of you who are curious, I was born in 1987, so this change came to the Archdiocese of Atlanta in the early-to-mid-90s!) I still remember how excited I was as a five-year-old, when I first saw a girl altar server at my parish, and how much being an altar server for nine years influenced my spirituality and religious practice.

  100. Jim Jaworski's Gravatar Jim Jaworski
    March 7, 2014 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    Given the contributions in advancing the social and economic causes in Philippines by Robert, whom I share the same surname, I am challenged in how I could possibly not vote for Bishop Brent, However, Julia Chester Emery was “Leaning In” long before it was stylish. And, let’s face it, my Mom will be happy with my vote.

  101. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 7, 2014 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    Read more about what July Chester Emery accomplished in “A Century of Endeavor, 1821-1921” where she documents the tireless work women did on behalf of missions everywhere, and is still ongoing. She raised the dignity of the ministry of women in the church by shinning a light on their efforts. It was a lot harder to do than it seems now… something about having to do it ‘backwards and in high heels’

  102. Joan's Gravatar Joan
    March 7, 2014 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    This is a tough one. Both were employees. The Bishop sacrificed a lot going to the Phillipines, he went beyond the scope of his duties, he went out into the poor and less fortunate. Julia was an ee of the Church and traveled this country. Yes, she was a woman but I’m voting for the one who I feel did the most for humankind. Go Bishop Brent.

  103. Myra Ransick's Gravatar Myra Ransick
    March 7, 2014 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    While Christina levitated, Julia kept her feet on the ground and got the work done. A bit more astonishing in my book, so she gets my vote today.

  104. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 7, 2014 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    How cruel and heartless the person must be that paired these two together! I’m voting for Bishop Brent as a champion of Christian unity and invite all of you to prayerfully reflect on this quote of his:
    The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go limping until Christ’s prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.

  105. Karis's Gravatar Karis
    March 7, 2014 - 11:43 am | Permalink


  106. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 7, 2014 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    I voted for Julia in honor of my mother and all the wonderful ECW ladies who kept the church running. They were not allowed to have a role in the worship services but did the work of the church not only on Sundays but on all the days in between.

  107. Margaret Moran's Gravatar Margaret Moran
    March 7, 2014 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Both good and admirable, but the tiny thing that confirmed my vote was that Charles forged ahead and took on a job not knowing what might occur, while Julia took over from her sister. Results on both sides were great benefits to all of us and deserving of halos.

  108. Connie Keller's Gravatar Connie Keller
    March 7, 2014 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    I am torn on this one. Having been a beneficiary of the UTO grants when my husband and I lived in Alaska in the 50’s, and an ardent admirer of the courage of the early women missionaries in our church history, I honor Julia Emery. But I grew up in a rectory in which my father had a devotion to Bishop Brent. When Dad went to Okinawa after World War two to establish the work of the Episcopal Church there Bishop Brent was his model for doing missionary work. Dad found Bishop Brent’s untended grave in Switzerland and lovingly cleaned it up. So I had to go for the Bishop.

  109. Carol M Arney +'s Gravatar Carol M Arney +
    March 7, 2014 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    “Who was Julia Chester Emery” was one of the “coffee hour questions” I missed on my GOEs. I’ll never forget her again.

  110. Becki Dean's Gravatar Becki Dean
    March 7, 2014 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Both excellent choices but I voted for Julia because the ECW at my home parish was so generous in there support for me when I was in deacon formation for two years.

  111. Tim Trussell-Smith's Gravatar Tim Trussell-Smith
    March 7, 2014 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Could you come up with a harder choice? Truly missionary Bishop or early promoter of the ministry of women and laity more broadly? Geez!!!

  112. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 7, 2014 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    What a blessing to have such a challenge to make a choice. How truly blessed the Church is to have so many who have served God and humanity. I am thankful for all who are in the “Madness” event. Julia opened the way for a large part of the Body to become more involved in servant ministry through ECW. God bless her and Charles and God bless us everyone!

  113. Irene's Gravatar Irene
    March 7, 2014 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I love reading respondents’ personal connections to these two saints. It shows that their work has ripples that continue today, probably not what either of them expected. My connections are that my grandfather returned to the Philippines after the Spanish American War to live and work for some twenty years, and my father was baptized there by Bishop Brent. I myself was a missionary-teacher in Liberia for several years, and the ECW gave us a great deal of support, including the gift of a Land Rover to me personally (well, ex officio). So I’ll be happy whoever wins, which is probably as it should be.

  114. Clara Mitchell's Gravatar Clara Mitchell
    March 7, 2014 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This vote was particularly difficult for me, as I strongly believe in total inclusion as a result of religion, and the empowering of all women.
    Happily difficult.

  115. Sharon Stetz's Gravatar Sharon Stetz
    March 7, 2014 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    For me, it is Brent today. He so strongly modeled following the Holy Spirit, not the ego. He could have responded to appointments, greater recognition, power, and probably money. He recognized his calling.

  116. Johannas Jordan's Gravatar Johannas Jordan
    March 7, 2014 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to vote for Laura Darling! She is reading and replying and is willing to say she wishes she had represented Brent in a more complete way!
    However, in the choice between to the two goods (after all that is what Lent Madness is really about, learning about all the goods!) I decided I’d vote in honor of my dear dead Mother, Mary Asmussen of Agar, SD. She loved Brent’s prayer and had it on a plaque that hung in our house for years and now hangs on my husband’s wall. And my Mother was very active in ECW and a worker for women’s rights. So where does that leave me?

  117. Rena Lewis's Gravatar Rena Lewis
    March 7, 2014 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I am still pondering the astonishing Christiana. Any chance of a wildcard entry later in the proceedings?

  118. Andrea Feist's Gravatar Andrea Feist
    March 7, 2014 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Charles Brent’s beautiful prayer sealed the deal for me

  119. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 7, 2014 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Another tough one, but after reading most of the comments, my vote goes to Julia. I see how far women have come over the years and for that I must say Go Julia!!

  120. Mary Johnson's Gravatar Mary Johnson
    March 7, 2014 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Having been priest in charge or rector in two parishes that have greatly benefited from support of UTO-funded outreach projects, how could I NOT vote for Julia? No, she didn’t buy my vote, but her idea that small gifts offered in Christ’s name to the Church’s work could add up to something big–that’s so in keeping with the idea that God abundantly provides.

  121. dr.primrose's Gravatar dr.primrose
    March 7, 2014 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    A few months ago, I had dinner at a church conference at a table filled with very active Episcopalians in our diocese. One of the diners grew up in the Phillipines. Not only was he the only “cradle” Episcopalian at the table but he was a fourth-generation Episcopalian.

    He explained that, when the Episcopal Church began its missionary work in the Phillipines, they did not try to convert the Roman Catholics. Instead, they concentrated on working with the poor, marginalized people in rural villages. Whole villages became Episcopalian as a result of their work. His ancestors lived in one of those villages and have remained active Episcopalians through all these generations.

    As a result of this witness (of which I was completely ignorant at the time), my vote has to go for Bishop Brent and the work of the Episcopal Church in the Phillipines.

  122. Marie Greatorex's Gravatar Marie Greatorex
    March 7, 2014 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Not and easy choice! I go for Julia, having been (the Parish Club) ECW for years when I lived on the east coast. God bless Bishop Brent, but cheers to Julia.

  123. Rob's Gravatar Rob
    March 7, 2014 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

    My wife & I both have connections with the work of Bp Brent – she through teaching at the Bp Brent School in the Philippines, and me through doing field ed @ the Bp Brent House on the U of Chicago campus. So he got my vote today.

  124. March 7, 2014 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

    So, as the chaplain of Brent House, named after Bishop Brent, I am, perhaps biased. But I have been struck by some of his writing—apart from the collect that several have mentioned. Here are a couple:

    “Pray with your intelligence. Bring things to God that you have thought out and think them out again with Him. That is the secret of good judgment.”


    “It is appalling to think of a power so strong that it can annihilate with the irresistible force of its grinding heel; but it is inspiring to consider an Almightiness that transforms the works of evil into the hand-maidens of righteousness and converts the sinner into the saint. And it is this latter power which eternal Love possesses and exhibits. He persistently dwells in the sinner until the sinner wakes up in His likeness and is satisfied with it.”

    • March 7, 2014 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful. “Pray with your intelligence”: that’s what made me an Episcopalian, after so many years of being told I had to check my mind at the church door.

  125. Johnna's Gravatar Johnna
    March 7, 2014 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Julia! I was struck by how much work it must have been to travel to all of the diocese in order to connect women for ministry. Amazing.

  126. Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
    March 7, 2014 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Either/Or….? Today’s picks should be Both/And! I voted for Julia because without her perseverance my Oh-So-Great Aunt Aimee (Drake) would not have been able to be a teacher at St. Hilda’s School in China during the early part of the 20th century. And the “mitey” Blue Box would not be what it became and still, I hope, will continue to become. However, Bishop Brent founded the church in the Philippines where many of my extended-family members became Episcopalians and where my dear friend Jim Gill was a missionary. Not to mention that ecumenism is the only way to religious peace. Oh, what a choice…

  127. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 7, 2014 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Julia. I love the personal stories I am reading in the comments – the connections people have to these saints. Mine is pretty remote but meaningful to me – I was born in Dorchester MA where Julia was born. When she lived there, she was in St Mary’s Parish which my church, the Church of Good Shepherd in Acton partners with. I am a madness newbie … thank you to mad people and saints everywhere.

  128. March 7, 2014 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m a Methodist interloper to this party. I’m going with the ecumenist. One vite for Brother Brent. No offense SisterJulia.

  129. March 7, 2014 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Julia it is as we celebrate International Women’s Day. And Ellen, two comments before this, interesting that we are both named Ellen and we are both at a Good Shepherd Church.

  130. Lori C.'s Gravatar Lori C.
    March 7, 2014 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I placed my daily thank offering into my Blue Box, then cast my vote for Julia.

  131. Dale's Gravatar Dale
    March 7, 2014 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Julia, you had me at “unglamorous work of organizing, administering, educating, and supporting.”

  132. Karen Tucker's Gravatar Karen Tucker
    March 7, 2014 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

    My vote must go to Mrs. Julia today as I find she is a prime example of how the simple lay person can and does make such a difference in the church. However, after reading all the responses I am now searching for a copy of Bishop Brent’s book ‘Things That Matter’. I figure a book that has had such a positive influence should be added to my library. This is my first year to join Lent Madness. I ordered my Saintly Scorecard weeks ago and can honestly say I have never looked forward to the start of lent with such anticipation before.

  133. March 7, 2014 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The Bishop is taking a beating!

  134. Carla Hale's Gravatar Carla Hale
    March 7, 2014 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I agree with some others that on this World Day of Prayer – initiated, organized, and led by lay women, I voted for Julia Chester Emery. However, I am preaching a sermon series on spiritual disciplines during Lent this year, and the Sunday I preach about prayer, I will be using Bishop Brent’s prayer during our worship service!

  135. March 7, 2014 - 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I had to voted for Bishop Brent. As much as I love my ECW group and know how much a part of the Church it is, I am from Western New York. Bishop Brent confirmed my Dad and my grandmother loved his sermons. I remember learning about him in Confirmation Class and learning his prayer in Sunday School class.

  136. Laura Dejmek, OP's Gravatar Laura Dejmek, OP
    March 7, 2014 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    As a lay minister with limited opportunities, (I’m Roman Catholic) my vote had to go to Julia–a kindred spirit.

  137. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 7, 2014 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

    My vote went to Julia for her 40 years as an unsung hero –“Organizer, adminstrator and Educator”

  138. Kartmania's Gravatar Kartmania
    March 7, 2014 - 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice! I loved reading all the comments.

  139. Patty DeMaria's Gravatar Patty DeMaria
    March 7, 2014 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I love Charles Brent’s prayer, but I love a good Auxiliary more! Do you remember Woody Guthrie’s “Ladies’ Auxiliary” song?! Julia gets today’s vote.

  140. Janet Mapel's Gravatar Janet Mapel
    March 7, 2014 - 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Charles Brent. My grandfather was named after William Howard Taft…becoming a William Taft Swygert born in 1906. With Lutherans in my heritage, I was being called to vote for him! Good luck, Charles…for staying where you were led.

  141. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 7, 2014 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    As a feminist who’s chosen to stay close to the Episcopal Church because of its social justice activism, I think it’s imperative to vote for the lady saints. I’m saddened, but not surprised that Christina lost–it’s arguable that Basil achieved much more for the faith, but who knows what women of the early church could have done if allowed positions of power? I feel like any flesh-and-blood woman before 1800 is set up to fail in LM, since women were not allowed power to achieve more.

    There are so many women doing good, steady, quiet work, like Julia, and I’m psyched that she’s winning today. Let’s give her some credit!

  142. Linda Dunn's Gravatar Linda Dunn
    March 7, 2014 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Although I find the accomplishments of Charles Brent to be admirable; I find those of Julia to be astonishing considering the era in which she lived and the conviction and faith with which she accomplished goals that still aare valid today.

  143. Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
    March 7, 2014 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Both were inspiring and humbling! Lovin’ Lent madness

  144. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 7, 2014 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    My vote is for Julia in honor of all the ECW ladies at St. Peter’s in RWC, CA.

  145. Tom Stickland's Gravatar Tom Stickland
    March 7, 2014 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Today’s choices remind me that when my best friend and I were contemplating entering the priesthood , a cousin of his in Theology College then, said to us one night that “when we become priests, remember that there is lots of ministry to do here…you don’t really need to go around the world!”
    Neither of us became priests, but both of our careers were ministries in their own way (social work and education), at least as we tried to approach them! Both realized here in our home province!
    I thought of Julia this morning and how her ministry grew forward ,like a mustard seed blossoms!
    I voted for her!

  146. March 7, 2014 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I tough match up again…women going the extra mile and accomplishing great things is admirable and all the Episcopals in the crowd seem to have fond memories of those blue boxes. But in the end I went with Brent for pushing the ecumenical movement. We are stronger as one and STILL need to find was to work as one.

  147. March 7, 2014 - 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Very tough choice: pioneering ecumenist, or pioneering feminist? But as an aspiring ecumenist who came to adulthood as a Catholic in an interfaith chapel in Western NY, I finally had to go with Bishop Brent. I was impressed by his refusal to be promoted up (something I wish more of our bishops would do!).

    And I liked the story shared by the 4th generation Filipino Episcopalian that the missionaries went out to the rural villagers, rather than “sheep stealing” from the Catholics. Not because I’m Catholic, but because a) that also reflects his ecumenism, and b) it seems to me that the mission field is, first, among non-Christians.

  148. Bob Mayer's Gravatar Bob Mayer
    March 7, 2014 - 11:25 pm | Permalink


  149. Bob Mayer's Gravatar Bob Mayer
    March 7, 2014 - 11:33 pm | Permalink


  150. melissa's Gravatar melissa
    March 8, 2014 - 1:37 am | Permalink

    Have to go with my ordination saint, Julia!

  151. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    March 8, 2014 - 2:28 am | Permalink

    I love Brent for his ecumenical work, but I have to go with Julia. What an amazing family of women! UTO boxes were one reason I became an Episcopalian, & Julia & her sisters showed the kind of sticktoativeness that brought me to ordination but not before I served in almost every lay position possible. I’m curious tho; after over 100 years of women managing the UTO, did I just read recently that General Convention is taking it over? I’m not happy with that!

  152. Irene Cowley's Gravatar Irene Cowley
    March 8, 2014 - 2:35 am | Permalink

    OK, took me all day, but I went with Julia. The organizing and strengthening of the work of women in the church in the modern day has been very important.
    The challenge to learn more and then prayerfully consider choices is making an interesting Lent for me!

  153. Lynn W.'s Gravatar Lynn W.
    March 8, 2014 - 3:40 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! This is my first Lent Madness and I am finding it difficult to choose. I am already agonizing over my decisions and vascillating between my choices–and this is only Day 2! In the absence of the still, small voice of guidance, I may have to resort to eeny, meeny, miney, moe!

  154. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    March 8, 2014 - 7:28 am | Permalink

    Julia in honor of my parish’s still-active ECW and for her image of lay ministry. Tough choice–ecumenism is a passion of mine.

  155. Bettina's Gravatar Bettina
    March 8, 2014 - 7:59 am | Permalink

    Brent vs. Emery was a tough one. They both did so much. However, when I read these biographies, and I have trouble deciding, I ask myself two questions: 1) How many people’s lives were impacted by this person’s work? 2) Can this impact still be felt today? So, in this case, I voted for Julia.

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