SEC Day!

After a rollicking, Celebrity Blogger Week, it’s time to highlight the Supreme Executive Committee. Just who are these masked (in the appropriate MMliturgical color, of course) men? Lent Madness creator Tim Schenck and Forward Movement executive director Scott Gunn form the self-appointed and, mostly, benevolent dictatorship that is the SEC.

In real life, the one word they would use to describe one another is “archnemesis.” Fortunately, for the season of Lent they engage in a 40 day and 40 night period of detente in order to pull off the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion. The moment the Easter Acclamation is announced at the Great Vigil on Easter Eve, the world returns to normal and their rivalry is revived.

Besides simply being supreme, what exactly is the role of the SEC? Well, that’s a mystery that will never fully be revealed. But Tim spends much of his time corralling Celebrity Bloggers into meeting deadlines, writing introductions to posts, and  managing the Lent Madness social media presence. Scott manages the Lentorium and helps bring to bear Forward Movement’s resources in terms of graphic design, publishing, and technology. He also heads the Voter Fraud Department (one vote!). Both Tim and Scott film award-winning Monday Madness episodes throughout Lent to keep the faithful informed and up-to-date on all things Lent Madness; determine the yearly bracket; and publicize Lent Madness by any means necessary.

Scroll down for some never-seen-before SEC Fun Facts!

Tim.Headshot.EditedThe Rev. Tim Schenck is rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts, on the South Shore of Boston. He is the author of four books full of humor and faith including the recently released Father Tim’s Church Survival Guide (Morehouse 2015) and Dust Bunnies in the Basket: Finding God in Lent & Easter (Forward Movement 2015). Tim writes a monthly syndicated column for Gatehouse Media titled “In Good Faith.” When he’s not tending to his parish, drinking coffee, or blogging at Clergy Confidential, he’s likely hanging out with his family that includes his wife Bryna, two sons Benedict (16) and Zachary (14), his dog Delilah, and a ferret named Mimi. Friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @FatherTim.

DSC_6879-e1315428467832-297x300The Rev. Scott Gunn is an Episcopal priest and self-confessed technophile. He serves as the executive director of Forward Movement in Cincinnati, Ohio, whose mission is to inspire disciples and empower evangelists. Though Scott is happily married and the proud owner of a dog named George, he will never, ever have ferrets at home. His blog is Seven whole days, and he is the co-author of Faithful Questions, an introduction to the Christian faith. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, flickrLinkedIn, or Instagram.

SEC Fun Facts

  1. While Tim and Scott don’t agree on much, there is one thing they have in common: They drink their coffee like they wear their IMG_0159clergy shirts: black.
  2. Every edition of Monday Madness is filmed in ONE TAKE. This explains the high quality of every episode.
  3. Tim and Scott first met as members of the now defunct Board of Governors of the now defunct Episcopal Life newspaper.
  4. The saintly bracket is discerned and finalized (after a period of open nominations) at the yearly SEC Retreat, traditionally held in Eastertide, at a remote, secure location. Inane icebreakers, PowerPoint presentations, and small-group breakout sessions are always involved.
  5. Both Tim and Scott believe that most churchy types take themselves too seriously, while often not taking Jesus seriously enough. So they talk a lot about Jesus. And laugh often.
  6. Tim’s ferret is on Twitter, and so is Scott’s dog. The difference is that Scott has the password to his dog’s Twitter account, but Tim’s ferret runs rogue. Check it out at @GeorgeTDog or @MimiTheFerret.
  7. Just as Supreme Court justices never take sides when they attend a State of the Union address, the Supreme Executive Committee never takes sides when it comes to the saintly smackdown.
  8. In the unlikely event the Supreme Executive Committee is deadlocked at one vote each, they would contact their fellow supreme, the Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome, to cast the tie-breaking vote. Failing that, they keep Diana Ross of the Supremes on speed-dial.
  9. When it comes to the humorless and/or complainers, the SEC lives by the two great commandments of Lent Madness. 1) If you don’t like the world’s greatest online Lenten devotion, go ahead and start your own; 2) Lent Madness is…OPTIONAL.
  10. Both of their spouses will be quick to point out that supremity does not extend beyond the online world of Lent Madness. At home, they’re just two guys cleaning up after a ferret or walking the dog.

20 Comments to "SEC Day!"

  1. Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
    February 6, 2016 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    thanks but TMI! (too much information)

    • Agnes Grace's Gravatar Agnes Grace
      February 6, 2016 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Neva, you’re no fun. Lent Madders want to know everything!

    • Jen's Gravatar Jen
      February 6, 2016 - 7:51 pm | Permalink

      never TMI!
      (JK [just joking])

  2. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    February 6, 2016 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Alleluia (I can still say that, right?) for Lent Madness and the SEC!

  3. February 6, 2016 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Lent Madness is NOT optional. It is manna from somewhere near Heaven. It is the cream in my coffee (though I don’t take cream) and it is most certainly, the Most from Coast to Coast. But it is NOT optional. It is sanity and humor in the midst of serious stuff. And finally, how can a team who have Diana Ross on speed-dial be considered optional? Diana Ross is like manna…somewhere near heaven.

    • Susie's Gravatar Susie
      February 6, 2016 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Totally agree!

  4. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    February 6, 2016 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Arch-nemeses? I’d call this one of the great bromances of our times!

  5. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    February 6, 2016 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Alleluia! Lord love a duck….a ferret? Have to think hard about that! The little critter is sure living a long time. Anyhoo…I am so thankful for LENTMADNESS as it keeps me sane. After retiring after 25 years as a Vocational Deacon and then quadruple heart surgery and then banishment to assisted living and NO MORE DRIVING…I need all the help I can get. Black coffee at every meal and LENT MADNESS + the SEC + fabulous Bloggers all due to the love and mercy of Jesus will make it all hunky dory…about Ms. Ross…the Supreme One is a toss-up between Aretha and Tina to break a tie. LENT MADNESS forever!

  6. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    February 6, 2016 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank Heaven for Lent Madness! I’ve learned about some really obscure saints and had a great time along the way. Looking forward to learning about some new ones–especially Elmo and Drogo; I’m presuming we’re not talking about the Sesame Street character and the father of Frodo Baggins.

  7. Bob Nelson's Gravatar Bob Nelson
    February 6, 2016 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

    By what process does the SEC assign the bloggers to the saints?

    • February 6, 2016 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Good question, Bob. After the bracket is formulated, we ask them for their top 10 list. Then we give them whoever we want. Actually they usually end up with at least a couple of their top choices.

  8. Sally Duernberger's Gravatar Sally Duernberger
    February 6, 2016 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Here we go again…thank goodness! LM lends just the right amount of levity to our otherwise serious Lenten season. And Scott and Tim are our Saintly Duo!

  9. Dan Lester's Gravatar Dan Lester
    February 6, 2016 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    We’re still missing one answer from you two: Who is going to win “The Big Game” (since the official name is copyrighted and I wouldn’t want to get sued by the NFL)

  10. John Miller's Gravatar John Miller
    February 6, 2016 - 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Ok, but what would the entry be if one of the SEC ended up in the round of Saintly Kitsch.

  11. Kronae's Gravatar Kronae
    February 7, 2016 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

    It seems as though we should all Google Fr. James Martin, S.J. He, for the uninformed, is one of the better writers in the R.C. He functions at the Editor at Large for America Magazine. He is well worth reading. His latest book on the Seven last words is a splendid example of what Episcopalians need to read. Afterall, the 40 day Lenten period did not go un-noticed by St. Ignatius. His 30-40 day retreats are wonderful and they are fun. Fr. Jim has some of his talks online and he is really funny.

  12. Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
    February 9, 2016 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hmmmm. Isn’t a “group” of two already a pretty small “group?” (SEC Fun Fact #4?) Or put another way, the SEC has small “group” breakouts of “one?” Interesting! Just one more example of the intrigue and mystery surrounding our beloved SEC! They can participate in a “group” of one! Does that bear any relation to the sound of one hand clapping?

  13. Grace Matthews's Gravatar Grace Matthews
    February 9, 2016 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Can’t get this video to play. Drats!

  14. Donna H.'s Gravatar Donna H.
    February 12, 2016 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Just currious why there are no West Coast Celebrity Bloggers? No one qualified? No one interested? No one asked?
    First time for Lent Madness, Life long Episcopalian, love this format for fun and learning.

  15. Chris ruggieri's Gravatar Chris ruggieri
    February 13, 2016 - 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Help me please. Since this mailing, I have not receivrd Lenten madness. I have not been able to read your wonderful blogs about the nominees. I don’t know why it seems you suddenly lost my email address. Please put me back on. I love Lenten madness

    • February 13, 2016 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

      The email process is managed by WordPress, and we have no control over it. Usually when email isn’t getting through it’s because the person has unsubscribed or because messages are getting blocked as spam. You can go to and log in with your email address to make sure the subscription isn’t canceled. Or check your spam folder. Good luck!

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