Celebrity Blogger Week: Megan Castellan

The Rev. Megan Castellan

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.

11 Comments to "Celebrity Blogger Week: Megan Castellan"

  1. Kate Firestone's Gravatar Kate Firestone
    February 6, 2018 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you. You opened a door for me I had left closed for too long. Looking forward to Lent with remewed eagerness!

  2. Emily Fitzgerald's Gravatar Emily Fitzgerald
    February 6, 2018 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    I always treasure your Lenten comments and your witty “Red Shoes…”. (And still treasure memories of EFM classes together. ) emily

    • Emily Fitzgerald's Gravatar Emily Fitzgerald
      February 6, 2018 - 8:49 am | Permalink

      I always treasure your Lenten comments and your witty “Red Shoes…” (And still treasure memories of EFM classes together.) Emily

  3. Gina's Gravatar Gina
    February 6, 2018 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    An early welcome to NYS. St. John ‘s in Ithaca is such a pretty church.
    Perhaps we’ll meet at a diocesan event sometime in the future.
    I am fairly new to Lent Madness and look forward to your saintly
    Syracuse, NY

  4. Jan Martin's Gravatar Jan Martin
    February 6, 2018 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy and They Cast Their Nets in Galilee are both two of my favorites also. They Cast Their Nets is so melancholy but important to remember. And, hey, I’m from KCMO originally!

  5. February 6, 2018 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    I love your suggestion about Sojourner Truth; her favorite quote of mine is “If women want rights more than they got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.” “I’m not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.” I would suggest that Ruth Bader Ginsburg join you at that meal. The conversation between them would be glorious! That would be especially appropriate today when Ginsburg is being attacked by the KKK gang from the Republican Party, as a threat to our freedoms. Today we are the slaves on the Upper 10% Plantation called Maro Lago. (I made my St. Brigid’s cross last Friday too.) The song that I’d like to hear then is “We Shall Overcome”, a hymn for our time!

  6. Francis Hubbard's Gravatar Francis Hubbard
    February 6, 2018 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    All due respect to those celebrity bloggers you have this year, but how many black celebrity bloggers have you had in the history of Lent Madness?

    • February 6, 2018 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Several CBs of color over the years. Not enough. Always open to suggestions. Thank you.

      • Polly's Gravatar Polly
        February 6, 2018 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Stephanie Speller

  7. Melissa Gallison's Gravatar Melissa Gallison
    February 7, 2018 - 6:03 am | Permalink

    The welcome mat to Ithaca is extended to every door you find on your journey here! Blessings on your ministries, am looking forward to learning and growing together! PAX

  8. Cicely's Gravatar Cicely
    February 12, 2018 - 12:16 am | Permalink

    Wow, you all make commenting so easy—no username, no password, just compose and post, thanks for that! I am looking forward to this year’s competition! I haven’t read any bios, yet! Since, I attend the loverly St. Peter’s Episcopal in Red Bluff, Ca—I’m pulling for him! A wise woman introduced us to lm last year, and our young congregants are hooked (half of them are mine) and maybe it’s just me. Okay, okay, okay, you’ve got me unabashedly, tremendously excited about this year’s participants. Last year, my strategy was lackadaisical—more day-by-day, and usually for the lady saints…Good Luck, Everyone!

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