On the second day of Celebrity Blogger Week Lent Madness gave to me…not two turtle doves but a single Lutheran! Beth Lewis is what you might call an overqualified Celebrity Blogger and we’re delighted she agreed to join us for the 2016 Lenten season. Read on!
But first, in case you missed yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness, be sure to tune in as Tim and Scott highlight the start of Celebrity Blogger Week and explain why Westminster Abbey is basically a monument to Lent Madness.
Beth Lewis has served as President & CEO of Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, since September 2002. During this time, the company has transitioned into a leader in delivery of digital content for congregations, higher education and families through their Augsburg Fortress, Fortress Press, sparkhouse, and Sparkhouse Family imprints. This call followed 20+ years of work for several Fortune 500 publishing companies and owner of a computer and technology career school. Beth is a popular speaker in ecumenical groups on a wide range of topics; some of the most popular are Gutenberg to Google: Effective Use of Technology for Congregations, Strategic Planning for Faith-Based Organizations, and Congregational Hospitality. Having been raised Lutheran in Lexington, Kentucky, Beth continues to be a dedicated fan of UK Wildcats basketball, so brackets are among her favorite things to follow! She writes the One Mission blog and you may connect with her on Twitter @bethalewis and on Facebook.
1. Since being named a Celebrity Blogger is obviously your greatest lifetime achievement, how will you handle the inevitable post-Lenten letdown?
I’m thinking a nice bottle of red wine will do the trick; perhaps one of my favorites, Druid’s Fluid from Troon Vineyard in Grant’s Pass, Oregon?
2. What is the single strangest thing you’ve learned about one of your assigned saints?
Dominic’s emblem in art is a dog with a torch in its mouth. It is reported that it is a pun on his name because the Dominicans are sometimes called the “Domini canes,” the hounds of the Lord.
3. What is your favorite saint-inspired food and why?
Chewy German pretzels. I assume that one of my favorite saints, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, having lived most of his life in Germany, must have enjoyed plenty of these! Besides, they are bread-like, so make me think of communion. The best ones have plenty of salt — “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).
And, I find this bit of legend/history regarding their Trinitarian form interesting: “Though the exact origins of the pretzel remain mysterious, legend has it that the story began around A.D. 610, when Italian monks presented their young students with treats of baked dough twisted in the shape of crossed arms. At the time, crossing one’s arms was the traditional posture for prayer. As the custom spread through medieval Europe, the pretzel’s three holes came to represent the Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and the twisty baked good became associated with good luck, long life and prosperity.”
4. Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to during the season of Lent?
This Lent, it will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with my husband! Yes, a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran publisher were married in Lent! Probably slightly scandalous in some circles!