Another day, another Lent Madness veteran. Megan Castellan has been a Celebrity Blogger for a long time. So long that she helped Brigid of Kildare become the first ever Silver Halo Winner (the Supreme Executive Committee occasionally awards the second place finisher with official laurels — based on their whim). But enough about the space and time continuum. Megan will be spending Lent in some sort of time machine/cosmic transporter as she moves between calls this Lent (read her bio below for the skinny).
The Rev. Megan Castellan, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger, is really living into the Lenten thing this year. She starts Lent as the Assistant Rector of St. Paul’s, Kansas City, MO and Diocesan Network Coordinator for Youth, and ends it as the Rector of St. John’s, Ithaca, New York. Previously, she has lived and worked in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, and that period of time in the West Bank that the government can’t know about. Her ongoing adventures and strong opinions are chronicled in her blog Red Shoes, Funny Shirt and on Twitter @revlucymeg. (From time to time, you can also catch her writing in various other places, like Episcopal Café, Fidelia’s Sisters, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, or The (late, lamented) Toast. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing with yarn, throwing jellybeans at politicians she disagrees with on TV, and cheering on KC-based sportsball teams.
1. If you could have dinner with any saint, who would it be and what would you serve? (and, duh, why?)
I get very intimidated by people I admire, so this is a hard one. Were I to have dinner with any saint, I would probably just stare quietly at my plate in abashed silence. That being said, I would love to have a long conversation with Sojourner Truth. She has one of the most fascinating life stories of all time, and saw so much happen. She won a case in federal court, became a renowned public speaker, fought off a murder charge (google it!), and she took on the forces of slavery, racism, and sexism. So much of what she said in her speeches rings true even today, so I’d love to get her take on current affairs.
2. What hymn would you pay money never to hear again? And which hymn are you convinced is on the play list in heaven?
The First Noel needs to be burned in effigy. I don’t care how classic and English it is; it sounds like a bunch of tipsy sailors recounting the Christmas narrative while lost on the ocean.
I will, however, put in a plug for the Calvin Hampton version of There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy, which fits the text much better than the overly-cheery march it usually goes with. And They Cast Their Nets in Galilee is also a favorite, though admittedly also pretty somber.
3. You’re busy during Lent. Why do you make time for the Saintly Smackdown? What do you get out of it personally?
Researching the saints each year and telling their stories has become my own Lenten devotion. It never fails, but I discover a story or two that stay with me for the next year. The other gift of Lent Madness for me is watching how people react to the stories of the saints. It is truly unpredictable and chaotic, but I love each day as people share what they found inspirational about a given saint. It’s lovely to be in a space that remains joyous, compassionate, and witty.