Lent Madness is Canceled

Lent Madness Canceled

Lent Madness has been canceled, effective immediately. Even though fans will be disappointed, tensions grew too great within the Supreme Executive Committee. Known widely as archnemeses, it turned out that Tim and Scott just couldn't put aside their bitterness long enough to complete the season.

Expect legal action between them over the name Supreme Executive Committee. For now, Tim has formed a one-man Supreme Executive Council. He is planning to use connections to establish headquarters at 1 First Street NE,
Washington, DC
, a facility that knows how to cater to supremes. Meanwhile, Scott is setting up the Supreme Executive Commission. He's going to take up residence in Avignon, within a palace that knows a thing or two about hosting supremes (or anti-supremes).

Newly unemployed Celebrity Bloggers will face a cruel return to the world of mere mortals, absent the crush of autograph-seeking bracketologists. Distinguished Celebrity Bloggers Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, and David Sibley issued a joint statement on hearing the news, saying, "Now we know the true meaning of that ancient proverb, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. We wish Tim and Scott had never named us Distinguished." It's expected that a collection will be taken up for a therapy fund for bracket czar Adam Thomas, who won't know what to do each morning of Lent without the onerous burden of posting each day's results and updated bracket.

A passer-by in Hingham overheard Tim muttering to himself, "I knew Scott might not ever forgive me for shutting him out of the Toledo Blade in 2012 but I didn't think it would come to this." Meanwhile Scott was seen writing and then deleting the same Tweet over and over again without posting it, "Jesus said take up your cross and follow me, not take up your JERK and follow me. So long, @FatherTim." Go ahead and follow Scott and Tim on Twitter for what promises to be an epic Tweet-storm.


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Lent Madness takes on March Madness

Here at Lent Madness we were shocked to learn that there is some other bracket competition that takes place this time of year. Apparently it involves an orange orb referred to as a "basketball." Not ready to leave brackets to the whims of others, we have done a saintly analysis of this other March endeavor.

What follows is the Official Lent Madness Bracket Analysis For Tournaments Taking Place During March That Do Not Involve Saints.

When you examine the NCAA basketball tournament from a saintly perspective, three categories emerge: The Obvious, The Perhaps, and The Give Me A Break.


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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.


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BREAKING: Lent Madness Panned on Facebook

As people worldwide choose today between Raymond Nonnatus and John of Nepomuk, an unseemly event has taken place to rock the placid sanctity of everybody's favorite online Lenten devotion.

In the first great controversy of Lent Madness 2017, the Supreme Executive Committee has learned that someone gave Lent Madness a 2 out of 5 star rating on our Facebook page. This shocking development comes amid an average grade of 4.8 stars, with over 200 reviews already in.

Without using names, here is the actual review:

2 Stars -- It's fun as well as informative. I know you will enjoy reading each day' s blog during the Lenton (sic) season. There is a diverse roster of celebrity blogers (sic).


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Getting to the Heart of Lent

kid with ashesDear friends in Christ,

It is now customary for us to take a pause from the year-round Madness on this first day of Lent. While we hope everyone has a rich and varied experience of Lent and Lenten disciplines, we encourage everyone to savor the solemnity and, yes, penitence of Ash Wednesday.

George Herbert, English poet and Golden Halo winner in the first Lent Madness, wrote a glorious poem, "Lent." In that poem, he says this:

It 's true, we cannot reach Christ's fortieth day;
Yet to go part of that religious way,
Is better than to rest:
We cannot reach our Savior's purity;
Yet are bid, Be holy ev'n as he.
In both let 's do our best.

So while we won't ever reach the full stature of Christ, as our prayer book puts it, we can benefit from whatever effort we manage. That's what Lent is about. This season certainly isn't about perfection, much less self-inflicted misery. Lent is about growing to be more Christlike.


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When SEC Day arrives on the Lenten calendar, you are guaranteed three things: 1) Celebrity Blogger Week has come to a close; 2) pancake batter is being prepared in parish kitchens throughout the world; and 3) "Ash Thursday" and the start of Lent Madness draweth nigh. In less than two days, the Madness will kick off with our opening round battle between Stephen and Alban. Did you hear that? Less than two days!

But first, here's a peek behind the purple curtain of the Supreme Executive Committee, the (more-or-less) benevolent dictatorship that runs Lent Madness.


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Celebrity Blogger Week: Derek Olsen

Today marks the final day of another epic Celebrity Blogger Week! And that can mean only one thing...Lent Madness draweth nigh. But first, say hello to Dr. Derek Olsen. Yes, we have so many doctors serving as Celebrity Bloggers that we're considering opening our own practice. Or at least solving the health care conundrum by initiating LentMadnessCare. Stay tuned for details on how to sign up.

Dr. Derek Olsen

Dr. Derek Olsen is a layman within the Episcopal Church with a Ph.D. in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. He is the author of Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book as Guide to a Spiritual Life, a user-friendly guide to the spirituality found in the Book of Common Prayer. He is also liturgical editor of the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book, and the author of Reading Matthew with Monks, an investigation of early medieval reading and preaching.  Derek also served on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission for Liturgy & Music. An IT professional by day, Derek is also the mastermind behind St Bede Productions which is responsible for the St Bede’s Breviary, Forward Movement’s Daily Prayer site, and the St Bede Blog (formerly haligweorc). He lives in Baltimore with his wife, an Episcopal priest, and their two daughters. He spends most of his spare time driving his daughters to and from ballet.


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Celebrity Blogger Week: David Sibley

Distinguished Celebrity Blogger David Sibley remains in the throes of baseball ecstasy as he continues to revel in last year’s World Series victory by his long-denied Chicago Cubs. Of course this pales in comparison to the euphoria he felt in shepherding Charles Wesley to the 2014 Golden Halo. We’re delighted David is back for another year of Lent Madness as we find out — in just a couple of months — whose halo will be doused with champagne in the saintly locker room.

The Rev. David Sibley

The Rev. David Sibley, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger is in the middle of his seventh year as a southern transplant into the northeast, where he now lives on Long Island and serves as Rector of Christ Church in Manhasset, New York. Raised right in the middle of South Carolina, David studied and did research as a chemist before being whisked away to seminary in New York City. When he’s not in church, David enjoys travel, hiking and camping, all things food and music related, and is a sports fanatic – with his teams of choice in baseball (Chicago Cubs), college football (South Carolina Gamecocks), and soccer (Liverpool FC) being minor obsessions. When the ideas are forthcoming, he’s been known to blog at Feeding on Manna, and holds forth much more often with his partners in crime on Twitter at @davidsibley.


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Celebrity Blogger Week: Laurie Brock

Laurie Brock remains the ONLY Celebrity Blogger who owns a horse. And while we think she takes this whole "circuit riding" clergy thing a little too seriously, how could we not name Nina the Official Horse of Lent Madness? Laurie is a long-time Lent Madness contributor who successfully shepherded Francis of Assisi to the Golden Halo in 2014 and we're thrilled to have her back this year (not that we gave her a choice).

The Rev. Laurie Brock

The Rev. Laurie Brock, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger is a returning Celebrity Blogger because she loves getting free coffee mugs and receiving celebrity red carpet treatment at Episcopal gatherings. One of those things may not be entirely accurate. She serves as the rector of St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky. She blogs at Dirty Sexy Ministry, is the co-author of Where God Hides Holiness: Thoughts on Grief, Joy and the Search for Fabulous Heels (Church Publishing), and is also a contributor to a forthcoming book about the real lives of women clergy. A reality series on E! is surely coming soon. She is also the creative force behind Fifty Days of Fabulous from Forward Movement. She frequently shares her quirky, snarky views on faith, Alabama football,and popular culture on Twitter at @drtysxyministry, but don’t follow unless you can laugh at yourself and your religion. Otherwise, you’ll just be offended. When she’s not doing priest things, she is riding her horse Nina, the Official Horse of Lent Madness.


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Celebrity Blogger Week: Amber Belldene

Admit it. Nothing quite says "romance" like Lent Madness. I mean, doesn't everybody purchase a giant bracket poster from the Lentorium for their true love? This is why we're delighted that Amber Belldene, Episcopal priest and romance novelist, is returning for another year of everybody's favorite Lenten devotion.

The Rev. Amber Belldene

The Rev. Amber Belldene is a romance writer and the alter ego of a vampire-loving Episcopal priest. She grew up on the Florida panhandle swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees, and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons — an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. Amber believes stories are the best way to examine life’s truths, and she is passionate about the relationship between sexuality and spirituality — namely, that God made people with a desire for love, and that desire is the heart of every romance novel. Her paranormal romance series Blood Vine is now available from Omnific Publishing and her sexy contemporary novella One Sinful Night in São Paulo, about an Episcopal seminarian looking for love, is scheduled to release later this year. She loves wine, history, heirloom tomatoes and she lives with her husband and children in San Francisco. For more information about her books or to check out her blog go to www.amberbelldene.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmberBelldene or Facebook.


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