Lent Madness is on again at Christ Episcopal Church!
Our congregation has been getting together every Sunday during Lent for four years now, to pick our individual selections for the upcoming week. We all have our Saintly Scorecards and some dedicated followers do additional research. We allow voters to show their financial favor for their favorite Saints. Not gambling, mind you! Since I serve as the contest judge, everyone realizes they will see no financial benefit from their votes. All funds collected are used for a worthy cause. For the last few years, the funds helped some Diocesan youth attend Camp Nazareth. Prizes are awarded to the participants with the highest point score and highest percentage. Last year we had participants from four counties and two churches.
Most participants wisely vote online at the official Lent Madness site, doing what they can to see that their individual picks fare well.
Our current leaders, as of Sunday, February 25, are Jocelind Gant, with a .875 average, and Noni Stanford, with 40 points.
It is a great way to learn about the amazing lives of the people that populate the pages of Holy Men Holy Women, and really has led to a greater realization of the many ways that they have served others. We have come to appreciate the deep faith of people that we viewed as names from a history text, if we had ever heard of them at all.
If you are unfamiliar with Lent Madness, the Forward Movement has a great website for the event:
And if any other churches are interested in a little intra-Diocesan contest next year, we would be glad to consider any challenges by our brothers and sisters in Christ, in the spirit of Christian collegiality. Just like Georgetown and Villanova.
The Rev. Mark Elliston is the vicar at Christ Episcopal Church, Oil City.