Lent Madness 2022 boasts an all-star lineup of Celebrity Bloggers serving as contributors. Amber Belldene, Laurie Brock, Megan Castellan, Anna Fitch Courie, David Creech, Neva Rae Fox, David Hansen, Emily McFarlan Miller, Miriam McKenney, David Sibley, and Eva Suarez are all members of the Lent Madness team. Adam Thomas continues in his unsung role as Lent Madness Bracket Czar, regularly updating the bracket throughout Lent.
Enjoy reading the contributor bios below, log onto their respective website and blogs, and by all means buy their books! (where applicable). Oh, and PLEASE don't mob them when you see them out in public places. The aura of "celebrity" can be a heavy burden.
The Rev. Laurie Brock, returns as a Distinguished Celebrity Blogger because she loves getting free coffee mugs and receiving the 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 www.revlauriebrock.com. Her book, Horses Speak of God, was published in Summer 2018. She frequently shares her quirky, snarky views on faith, Alabama football, and popular culture on Twitter at @revlaurieinlex, 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.
The Rev. Megan Castellan, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger, is the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ithaca, NY. Previously, she lived and worked in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, Missouri, and a 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. Sometimes, even actual books.) In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing with yarn, throwing jellybeans at politicians she disagrees with on TV, and contemplating Jesus-based revolutions.
Rev. David Sibley, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger serves as rector of St. Paul's Church in Walla Walla, Washington, within the Diocese of Spokane. Raised in South Carolina, David proudly studied and did research in chemistry at Furman University before a call to ordination. He is a graduate of General Theological Seminary in New York City, and spent the eight years prior to his move to Walla Walla serving as a priest at churches in Brooklyn and Long Island. When he’s not in church, David enjoys travel, hiking and camping around the incredible landscape of Eastern Washington and the Palouse, all things food and music related, and enjoying any number of sporting events, especially the Chicago Cubs, Walla Walla Sweets, South Carolina Gamecocks, and Liverpool Football Club. You may have seen him during a week-long run on a favorite prime-time quiz show with answers in the form of questions in Fall of 2022. David and his wife Em share a home with their Lakeland Terrier, Siena. Neither of them is too foolish to say they are Siena's owners.
The Rev. Amber Belldene 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. Now Amber is an episcopal priest and student of religion who believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. For more information about her books or to check out her blog go to www.amberbelldene.com.
Anna Fitch Courie is an army wife, nurse, college instructor, and author. Anna has been working in the health care field for 20 years. The serves as adjunct faculty at the College of St. Scholastica and a public health nurse consultant on building community coalitions on health. Anna is a graduate of Clemson University, the University of Wyoming, and Education for Ministry at Sewanee: The University of the South. She is currently enrolled at Ohio State University in the doctoral in nursing practice program. Anna is the author of six titles, including books that focus on health promotion programs for churches. In her spare time, she fights cancer, consults in public health, facilitates retreats, writes books, and blogs for Living Compass Ministries, Christ Walk, and Lent Madness. In her dream world, she hikes the El Camino and Mount Rainier, sails, travels, cooks, reads, and attends every Clemson football game each season. Home is wherever the Army (and God) sends her. You can find her on her blog at Christ Walk; on Facebook; on Twitter @christwalk1; and on Instagram @christwalk1.
Dr. David Creech is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. David spends most of his days thinking, writing, and teaching on early Christianities. He is fascinated by hagiography, both ancient and modern. He is a product of an Evangelical seminary and a Catholic PhD program and teaches at a Lutheran college and worships with Episcopalians. Some would say he is an ecumenical voice but mostly he’s just confused. His book title is long and boring (The Use of Scripture in the Apocryphon of John: A Diachronic Analysis of the Variant Versions) but nearly sold out of its initial print run of 200 copies. He also edited the New Testament portion of The Path, a fantastic abridged Bible (now in Spanish!) He is currently working on a project exploring early Christian criminality. You can follow David on Twitter @dyingsparrows. When not teaching and writing, he enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities (mountain biking, volleyball, and disc golf are his faves). A native of Southern California now exiled in the Upper Midwest, David lives in Minnesota with his three exceptional children, Ian, Ela, and Dylan.
Neva Rae Fox is excited to return as a Lent Madness Celebratory Blogger. Despite the lockdown, over the past year she has been quite active: teaching budding journalists/videographers/bloggers/writers (perhaps there is a future Lent Madness Celebrity Blogger among her university students); writing and reporting for national/international print and online publications; and serving on boards and commissions for dioceses, regional groups, and non-profits. A quick nod of thanks to zoom! She continues to hope that, on the other side of the pandemic and quarantines and restrictions, people of faith will gather in thanksgiving for deliverance and in prayerful lament for those whom we lost.
The Rev. David Hansen, despite growing up as a pastor’s kid, turned out okay. An ELCA pastor, he serves at Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas (outside of Houston), where he lives with his wife Megan, their daughter, and their menagerie of pets. When not preaching and teaching for the Lutheran diaspora in Texas, David is helping to drag the church into the digital age – teaching congregations and leaders to make use of online tools for ministry (You can catch David this year leading an Intensive as a part of the ELCA YouthMinistry Network Extravaganza. He is a regular contributor and moderator in the Church Social Media (#chsocm) community, and wrote the forward to Celebrity Blogger alum Meredith Gould’s The Social Media Gospel. He is an occasional contributor to The Lutheran magazine and Living Lutheran, and blogs at Pastor David L. Hansen. David has recently begun work as the Director for LEAD -- an organization committed to providing resources for leaders and ministries. Connect with him on Twitter @rev_david and Facebook.
Emily McFarlan Miller is inundated every Lent with messages from friends asking if she's heard of this Lent Madness thing because they know how she feels about the saints. Emily is a national reporter for the Religion News Service, where she covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity. In 2017, she wrote an article about Lent Madness, and the rest is history. When she's not writing for or about Lent Madness, she's working toward a master’s in intercultural studies from the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies and Portland Seminary, volunteering for Hope for the First Nations and leading a women's small group at Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago. In addition to the stories of the saints, she loves books, vinyl, reruns of The X-Files and working with her husband Joel on their fixer-upper. Find Emily on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as emmillerwrites.
Miriam Willard McKenney serves as Forward Movement’s development director and is on the Way of Love working group. She was a children’s librarian and school media specialist for twenty years before joining Forward Movement’s staff. She finds extreme joy in parenting her three girls, Nia, Kaia, and Jaiya, with her husband, David. Miriam loves to evangelize about her love of outdoor fitness, even in extreme temperatures — as there is no bad weather, just incorrect clothing choices.
The Rev. Eva Suarez is an Episcopal priest in New York City; she serves at St. James’ Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Her preparation for the priesthood included stints at Union Theological Seminary, CUNY Hunter School of Social Work, working as a lunch lady in the D.C. Federal Court Cafeteria, and a very chilly period at popsicle factory in Brooklyn. Born in Chicago, raised in Washington D.C., and now a long time New York resident, she has no idea how to drive and prefers life in the bus lane. Her husband Robert is a professional food photographer, and you can usually find them reading on a blanket in Central Park.
The Rev. Adam Thomas, Distinguished Lent Madness Bracket Czar, has been with Lent Madness since 2012 in various capacities, most recently as the keeper of the bracket and writer of pithy headlines. Since 2014, he has served God as the pastor of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Mystic, CT, where he lives with his spouse Leah and their twins. In the early 2010s, Adam wrote a few books for Abingdon Press, and now he independently publishes fantasy novels, as well as cohosting the Podcast for Nerdy Christians. You can find out more on his websites adamthomas.net, wherethewind.com, and nerdychristians.com, and on his Amazon author's page. You can also follow Adam on Facebook and Twitter @RevAdamThomas.