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. Great Intel. Glad to see high level pondering is occurring. I would like to see a photo of Bishop's Lee and Gunter pondering together. The Bonhoeffer mug is the right touch.

  2. I'm just curious about "bishoping." Shouldn't it be "bishopping?"
    And I love Lent Madness no matter how you spell it!

  3. Recall seeing years ago, a bumper sticker that read: "A woman's place is in the House -----of Bishops" and thinking (or perhaps praying), "Hope this happens in my lifetime!" And, guess what ? IT DID !!!

  4. Glad to hear they like Lent Madness, but also glad to know they are holding their meeting at Kanuga - another holy place.

  5. Just another reason to love Lent Madness!! How does the church function without the coffee pot (or teapot) in operation for every meeting? And of course, the proper mug is necessary!!!

  6. Happy to see the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, who will present a workshop on "The Spirituality and Practice of the Jesus Movement" August 4-6 at the Adelynrood Conference Center in Byfield, MA.

  7. And of course, remember that every Sunday we have a day of Lent withdrawal entirely. So if you have some problems upholding all those self-denial vows, just remember that Sundays are not Lent, so you're off the hook for 24 hours and no harm, no foul.
    I continue to be surprised by folks not aware of this. ("Gee! No WONDER Lent always seems to be so long. It's all those Sundays!") It's only fitting. The JOY of the Resurrection always trumps all those self-punitive urges.

  8. I would like the Supreme Executive Committee to consider sending one or more Golden Halo mugs to Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ecumenism would certainly benefit from such a gesture. We will know that Church Unity is moving forwards when we see Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, at one of their cardinaling retreats at Castle Gandolfo, smiling and holding Golden Halo mugs!

  9. Thank you, dear spy, for letting us see the gifts of the Spirit in such a spirited way among our bishops. Do they drink "spirits"-ually from these blessed mugs? Hmmm, what beverage of choice would our respective halo winners drink? Bonhoeffer, altbier? Charles Wesley, definitely not gin, maybe wine? Francis, a chianti?

  10. Really? I do accept that humor can be a very valuable tool for coping with difficulties in personal and corporate life..... nothing against that. Use it myself. And still - all this is just a bit hard to take when we are in such truly treacherous times. To turn Bonhoeffer into a cutesie logo, etc etc with the current dearth of real leaders and genuinely moral voices in our Christian and interfaith communities, leaves me, a humble laywoman, rather disappointed, to be honest. (It's not why I am an Episcopalian.)

  11. These photos are great ! Thanks for including them for us to see. Good news dep't.


  12. Being a fan of toast, I want to know what "world famous Kanuga toast" is.
    Kay Rossiter