Emily Cooper earns spot in Lent Madness XVI bracket

Emily Cooper portraitToday the 81st General Convention of the Episcopal Church held what some say is its most important vote. Emily Cooper edged out Thomas Merton 55%-45%. With this win, Cooper will be featured in the 2025 competition of the world's most popular online Lenten devotion. The rest of the bracket of Lent Madness XVI will be chosen by the Supreme Executive Committee at their annual retreat in an undisclosed coffee shop.

Voters passed over Merton, known widely as a mystic, author, and monk. Cooper is recognized today for her work caring for orphans as one of the first deaconesses in the Episcopal Church. Both Merton and Cooper hail from Kentucky, the home of this year's General Convention.

Lent Madness is brought to you by Forward Movement. You can celebrate Cooper's victory or mourn Merton's loss by visiting the Forward Movement booth in Louisville at the General Convention.

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Monday Madness -- February 15, 2016

Francis at GCIn today's episode of Monday Madness, Tim and Scott report that the 2016 Lent Madness season is off to a good start. They also announce big news. Big as in you can get your own life-sized St. Francis of Assisi cutout. Wow! Watch the video to learn the details and see the actual St. Francis cutout who might come to your home or church. On an unrelated note, to add even more value to this already priceless video, for those who can't remember the Ten Commandments of Lent Madness, the SEC also shares the first and greatest command of Lent Madness, whilst Scott has discovered the audio effects menu in iMovie. You're welcome.

KJS with mugYep, that's right. Post your very own mug shot -- that is, a photo of yourself with a Lent Madness mug -- and we'll pick a lucky winner who will receive the Lent Madness 2015 Golden Halo winning St. Francis of Assisi, the very same cutout that was at the Episcopal Church's General Convention last summer and was photographed with countless church luminaries. To participate post your photo on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and double hashtag it with #LentMadness and #MugShot. We'll pick the photo that best exemplifies the spirit of Lent Madness, and we'll probably share quite a few of the others. Your deadline is March 14, 2016. Enjoy!

If you don't have a mug, you can borrow one from a friend. Or you can visit the Lentorium or the Forward Movement website and buy your own mug. We have Francis mugs, Charles Wesley mugs (2014 winner), Frances Perkins mugs (2013 winner), or always-in-style purple Lent Madness mugs. You can also pre-order a 2016 Golden Halo winner mug, but it won't ship until Eastertide, so it's not helpful for the mug shot context. Anyway, buy the whole set! They're collectible!


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Ye Merry Olde Monday Madness

Purple Union JackThis week, the Supreme Executive Committee brings its missionary endeavours for the cause of Lent Madness to the shores of Merry Olde England. Watch Scott deftly dodge double-decker buses, whilst Tim works wonders under the withering gaze of oil paintings. Hear about the opening day of Celebrity Blogger Week. And learn why Westminster Abbey will be known to the ages for Lent Madness, not just as the wedding chapel for the royal family. Given more time, the SEC contemplates adding a good deal more purple to London.

Make sure you get your Saintly Scorecards and giant bracket posters before they're out of stock. Supplies are limited for both items! You're going to want them, because both the scorecards and bracket posters are printed in full colour.


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Monday Madness (Global Edition) -- January 18, 2016

This week, Tim and Scott come to you live from Accra, Ghana and Stowe, Vermont, proving that the Supreme Executive Committee will go to all the corners of the earth for you, the Lent Madness public. Scott is on a pilgrimage with Episcopal Relief & Development to learn more about their inspiring and transformational work in Ghana. Check out his flickr page for some photos -- or follow him on Twitter or Instagram for more. Meanwhile, Tim is on vacation in Vermont, resting up for the onslaught of All-Lent-All-The-Time. Ah, the burdens of the SEC.

In this video, Tim and Scott urge you to purchase Saintly Scorecards (as low as $1 each!) and giant bracket posters (just $9 each if you buy two or more!). Check all that out, and more, in the Lentorium. Also, if you haven't already liked Lent Madness on Facebook and followed us on Twitter, please do that. And harass ALL your friends until they do the same. Beyond all that, remember that today is the celebration of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. He's one of the greats, though he succumbed to Frances Perkins in Lent Madness 2013 after getting past Martin Luther in the first round.

Lastly, if you decide to use Lent Madness as a fundraiser in your congregation, please do consider sending the proceeds to Episcopal Relief & Development. They're far too enlightened to be involved with something as silly as Lent Madness, but we think they're terrific and very worthy of generous gifts to help heal a hurting world.

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A Solemn Proclamation from the SEC

A Solemn Proclamation from the Supreme Executive Committee of Lent Madness

Lent CrierBe it known to all unto whom these present letters may come, that the Episcopal Church is preparing to gather in its General Convention, said Convention to be held in Salt Lake City and in the Diocese of Utah in the Beehive State; and

Whereas, It would be madness if no one lent the Convention a bit of holy humor and saintly piety; and

Whereas, The Supreme Executive Committee has taken unto itself to improve and saintify the General Convention; now therefore be it

Resolved, That Thursday, June 25, 2015 is hereby declared as Lent Madness Day; and be it further

Resolved, That Francis of Assisi, or a life-size cardboard image thereof, shall be present for those who wish to have their photographs taken or portraits painted with the winner of the Golden Halo in Lent Madness 2015; and be it further

Resolved, That a play-in match for Lent Madness 2016 shall be held on this day, allowing General Convention guests, bishops, and deputies the opportunity to cast the most important vote of the entire Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the entire Supreme Executive Committee shall be present at the Forward Movement booth of the exhibit hall to offer autographs of the aforementioned Supreme Executive Committee.

Given under our hand, seal, and smirk on this day, the eighteenth day of June in the two thousand and fifteenth year of our Lord’s grace and in the fourth year of our reign over the Saintly Smackdown.

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Monday Madness -- April 6, 2015

Monday MadnessAs we get started in the Great Fifty Days of the Easter season, most of us are still basking in the glow of Lent Madness 2015, with its epic final battle between two worthies, Francis of Assisi vs. Brigid of Kildare. Francis earned his golden halo, and in today's episode of Monday Madness, Tim and Scott talk about the first-ever silver halo awarded to Brigid. That's not all. They talk about some exciting new items for the Lentorium, especially Francis of Assisi mugs and Brigid of Kildare pint glasses. (Order your Brigid pint glass now at the special pre-order price of just eleven bucks and enjoy 16 ounces of beer, root beer, or your beverage of choice.)

Last but not least, tune in for details of how you'll be able to nominate saints for the 2016 edition of Lent Madness, which starts in only 310 days. Oh, and you'll notice Scott and Tim tout their favorite baseball teams, both of which won today on Major League Baseball's opening day.


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Monday Madness -- March 23, 2015

KitschJust in the nick of time (before Tuesday, that is), Scott and Tim are back with the latest episode of Monday Madness. This week, they preview the Elate Eight match-ups and the change in style which comes with this round, also known as the Round of the Saintly Kitsch. Because every year brings out a few Kitsch Kranks, the Supreme Executive Committee reminds everyone of the two Lent Madness rules, which will help anyone through whatever objection to Lent Madness they claim.

Also, in this week's episode, the SEC basks in the glow of flattery which springs from imitation, since Crux Now has cloned a nearly identical "Saints Madness" for their faithful. While we are glad to see others joining in Lenten fun, we also wish to remind the world that all are welcome here at Lent Madness, and that our halo can be worn by Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, or any stripe of Christian. So c'mon over everyone, and join the party. Plus, at our party, we feature the world-renowned Original Saintly Smackdown.

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Monday Madness -- March 16, 2015

Another Monday brings another action-packed episode of Monday Madness, brought to you by Lent Madness TV. This week, Tim and Scott talk about some common misunderstandings of the Saintly Sixteen, such as "You forgot the collect!" and "Where is the bio?" They also remind the global viewing public that cheating in Lent Madness has consequences, so don't do it.

Then there is the big news, the Monday Madness NEWS EXCLUSIVE. If you stay tuned through the end of the video, you can watch the moment when Scott and Tim reveal who writes the script for each episode and how many takes go into each week's episode.

If you're inspired by Tim's use of the Golden Halo Flying Disc in this week's episode, you can get your very own disc to toss or to wear.

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Monday Madness -- March 9, 2015

Watch now purpleThis week's episode of Monday Madness is especially exciting, because Tim and Scott are 7,000 miles apart. Tim is still snowed in, whilst Scott is in Kenya on a pilgrimage with Episcopal Migration Ministries. But that's not all! For the first time ever, the Supreme Executive Committee awards the Lent Madness Medal of Valor for service above and beyond the call of Lent Madness. Tune in to see who won, and why! Also, when you watch this very special episode, you can be present for the creation and first use of a new word: servermageddon.

Scott also models a Lent Madness Purple T-Shirt, and you can own one too! The offer to autograph your shirt is for real. Just attach your request to a $20 bill with a paperclip, and Scott will consider it carefully.

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Monday Madness -- March 2, 2015

This week finds the Supreme Executive Committee on the move once more. Well, half the SEC anyway. Tim is still snowed in, left behind to invoke the patron saint of ice dams but Scott speaks from an airport on his way to Kenya. Because of lousy Internet speeds, there is bonus entertainment as Tim's face at times resembles an Impressionist painting.

In this episode, hear updates on the first round of Lent Madness and note the admiration of the SEC for a grassroots campaign for one of the candidates. (Like some other Supremes, Tim and Scott stay publicly neutral, but they nevertheless commend good practices when they see them). There's also plenty of time to cast your vote in today's matchup between Francis of Assisi and John Wycliffe.

Scott is going to Kenya and Rwanda on a pilgrimage with Episcopal Migration Ministries to learn more about their good work and about the plight of refugees. Episcopal News Services has a story, and you can follow along on hashtag #ShareTheJourney on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Or at least that's his cover story. In reality he's trolling international airports handing out Lent Madness tracts to everyone he meets.

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