EXCLUSIVE: Lent Madness Sweeps House of Bishops

Bishop Curry with mugAs some Lent Madness fans will know, the bishops of the Episcopal Church gather a few times a year to engage in important bishop activities. Normally, those who are not bishops are not privy to exactly what goes on at these meetings, but we know it's vital and holy, because bishops. Right now, the bishops are meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina. When they're not eating world-famous Kanuga Toast, the bishops are bishoping.

The Supreme Executive Committee has placed a spy inside the House of Bishops, and we are pleased to share exclusive photos of bishops doing important bishop things. We have learned that, in fact, Lent Madness is an important part of this bishops' meeting.

Even the Presiding Bishop has purple fever, not the kind that comes from a purple shirt, but the kind that comes from Lent Madness. See, pictured in the top-right, Bishop Michael Curry sporting a Dietrich Bonhoeffer 2016 Golden Halo winner mug (and you can get one too).

Here are some more exclusive photos showing the behind-the-scenes work of the House of Bishops.

Bishops pondering
Here we see (from left to right) Bishops Josè McLoughlin of Western North Carolina, Matthew Gunter of Fond du Lac, and Anne Hodges-Copple of North Carolina pondering the merits of various saints. Look at the high-grade pondering here, folks. This is why these people are bishops.

Eaton PHOD
Bishop Peter Eaton of Southeast Florida and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, find common ground as Lent Madness fans and, no doubt, discussing the life of Bishop William White, who was the ultimate crossover artist. White served as President of the House of Deputies back in the day and then as Presiding Bishop. Some people say the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies aren't in harmony, but this photo proves naysayers wrong. Also, we all know both houses are united against a common foe, the House of Pancakes.

Spellers Duncan-Probe
Here the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers and Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of Central New York are clearly enjoying the Madness. Canon Spellers does great work and has one of the coolest titles in the Episcopal Church, "Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Stewardship of Creation." Can it be long before she's the "Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation, Stewardship of Creation, and Liaison to the Saintly Smackdown"?

Bp NeilNow, there are people who say that Lent Madness is too silly to be taken seriously, that it's all halo and no substance. This photo right here proves them all wrong. You see, this is Bishop Neil Alexander, sometime Bishop of Atlanta and now dean of the School of Theology at the University of the South. Got that?! A seminary dean and bishop is sporting a Lent Madness mug. Doubters: the case is closed. And by the way, if you're trying to decide where to send people to seminary, Sewanee is VERY CLOSE to receiving an official endorsement from the SEC. We happen to know those people are big fans of the saintly smackdown.

PB Neva
Here is Celebrity Blogger Neva Rae Fox pictured with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Who's a bigger deal? Hard to say. Chief Pastor and Primate vs. Celebrity Blogger. We'll call that a toss-up.

We hope you have enjoyed this exclusive content. More news from the House of Bishops as we learn it. We're sure you'll understand the need for complete secrecy around the identity of our spy. But the Supreme Executive Committee is gracious, so we'll give you a couple of hints. The spy's code name is Opera Fan, and we'll tell you she's clever like a...fox.

Until Monday, when the competition resumes, we wish you luck surviving this first full weekend of Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW). Stay safe, people.


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76 comments on “EXCLUSIVE: Lent Madness Sweeps House of Bishops”

  1. I am surely edified by the Supremely close connection between the pondering going on at Kanuga and Lent Madness.

  2. Holy Mole-y what a photo op! Still, my favorite PAST photo remains Bishop Michael Curry (pre-presiding) posing with Golden Halo winner Mary Magdelene (cardboard cutout). What a couple.

  3. Love it. House of Bishops in my prayers, especially our Bishop, Dabney Smith, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of his consecration.

    1. Yes!!!! Looked for a photo of him. We were there as former parishioners from St Michael's, South Bend

  4. Delightful. Very happy with the mention of Swanee (University of the South), my husband's alma mater.

  5. So glad to see that my Bishop Matt Gunter is part of this "madness"!!! This is another way that he is supporting his diocesan EfM groups who are part of Lent Madness (as if they didn't have enough to read already!!!)

  6. Household of God, Detroit event, hosted Bishop Curry years ago. He so blessed us with his message and song. Just love his messages and energy.

  7. All Saints' Episcopal Church, Jensen Beach FL is doing the Lent Madness study, so glad to see our Bishop Peter Eaton in these photos from the House of Bishops.

  8. Way to get the Bishop work done right. Coffee does taste better in a proper mug!

  9. Lent madness always inspires me to do a little research - this time I learned of the legend of Kanuga toast. Thank you!

  10. Wiki-Bishop leaks! We all must be informed of Bishop madness! Good job! We know, at least, they have fun!! Go Bishops!

  11. Thank God there's a warning about Kanuga Toast when you Google it online! Kathleen Purvis's 2014 article on the crispy stuff comes up at the top of the stack, and she warns you not to try making it at home! I was about to run (well, waddle) to my kitchen and try whipping up a batch to see what the ecstasy was all about. And BTW you should never travel anywhere breakfast is served without bringing along your own packets of marmalade. I filch as many as I can whenever I eat breakfast at one of the (alas, too few) places that has them on offer.

    1. We must be related! I am Shirley Lewis Gordon, and I judge restaurants by whether or not they have marmalade. I have 9 packets of filched marmalade on hand. BTW I am a 94 year old widow and live in Alaska where my husband was the Episcopal bishop for 26 years.

  12. I'm delighted and encouraged with our Episcopal church - to see Bishops relaxed and enjoying community warms my heart. Thank you for providing this glimpse and humor!

  13. SEC, your timely post reminds me that our soon-to-be seated new Bishop, Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, would undoubtedly find her consecration complete with the gift of a Lent Madness mug. (hint, hint) I wouldn't want there to be any mug envy among the bishops when they are bishoping.
    Yours in the Golden Hallo, hg

  14. Thank you for the fix! I was in serious Lent madness withdrawal. Glad to know our Bishops are being fortified with Saintly mugs of coffee. Will we ever see a saintly coffee blend in the Lentorium? Could be good for mug sales..."Bishop's Bounty", "Celebrity Blogger Joe"...

  15. Tune: Lead on O King Eternal

    Do they wear purple halos,
    Our bishops when they meet?
    We know they’re mighty holy;
    Our spiritual athletes.
    May God grant them true wisdom
    And joyous humor too!
    To lead the Jesus Movement
    Needs daily grace renewed!

  16. Yet another reason to love Lent Madness!!! The Presiding Bishop has the most spectacular smile, along with all his other spectacular attributes, and it's great to have 2 new photos of him smiling that smile. Thank you so much for the wonderful story and the delightful photos.

  17. Wow, bishops bishoping! And with Lent Madness mugs! That should tide me over until Monday!

  18. I lived in North Carolina for fifteen years, and spent a lot of time at Kanuga. Love the place. Thanks for the LMW fix - keep 'em coming.