Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lent Madness - Not On the "Give-up" List

LENT 2013: With the Super Bowl over and the NCAA basketball tournament weeks away, sports fans throughout the Episcopal Church in California and the U.S. are turning their gaze toward Lent Madness. Mixing spiritual enlightenment and competition, people have found a way to create a win-win situation. Many participants choose to donate all of the entry fees to a local or other charity. 

Based loosely on the wildly popular NCAA basketball tournament, Lent Madness pits 32 saints against one another in public voting as they compete for the coveted Golden Halo. But it is more than that: Lent Madness is really an online devotional tool designed to help people see how God works in the lives of ordinary women and men. The competition begins on Thursday, February 14 and takes place at

Lent Madness offers a fun and creative way to learn and be inspired by some amazing people, whose lives were outstanding in terms of their sensitivity and compassion for others. In learning about them, we’re likely also to learn about ourselves and how we might contribute to the world’s betterment.

The Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal priest in Massachusetts, combined his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints to create Lent Madness in 2010. Schenck partnered in 2012 with Forward Movement, a publisher and catalyst for spiritual vitality in The Episcopal Church. 

Here is a chance to show that, even during the traditionally penitential season of Lent observed in many places, we’re not required to give up our sense of humor,” said the Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement. “Last year we reached over 50,000 people with Lent Madness, and we hope to spread reckless joy and contagious discipleship with even more people this Lent.

Visit to view the full bracket of saints, learn about the contributors, and, starting on February 14, to vote.

Forward Movement has worked since 1935 to reinvigorate the life of the church. Based in Cincinnati, OH, Forward Movement is widely known for the daily devotional, Forward Day by Day. Lent Madness is one of many ways that Forward Movement, an outreach of The Episcopal Church, hopes to encourage spiritual growth in our daily lives. 

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