This morning, over atI Think I Believe, a blog written by theology student Arni Zachariassen (living in Manchester, England), Mockingbird got a mention… and was baited. Arni posted a video, called it “Mockingbird bait”, and said it would be right up our alley. So here we are, taking the bait. The video:
So, what to make? Well, that WOULD be a great stunt, if I thought the “winners” weren’t corporate plants in crowd! (It’s got to be tough to predict that a guy’s vision of a perfect escape will be a trip to Lapland!) But I think the reason this is “Mockingbird Bait” is the truth inherent in the recognition that we humans have an incredible desire for escape. Loren Dean (in the great and under-seen movie “Mumford”) says that humans have always found a way to escape, “even if it’s just banging our heads against a rock.” In the movie, he’s talking about his drug use, but the fact remains, escape is a tantalizing prospect. Dean’s character can’t take the depths to which his life has sunk, and turns to drugs as his means of escape. People turn to virtual worlds (like World of Warcraft or Second Life), pornography, or literal travel to “get away.” The problem with escaping is that you always have to come back. The drugs wear off, the computer gets shut down, or the headache (from the rock) dulls. I wonder if the guy’s trip to Lapland has a required end? Is it a round trip ticket? Bet it is! The fact that a person (disbelief suspended for a moment) would press a button on a scary black box for the chance at escape is evidence of the pressure (what we MBirders…and St. Paul before us…call “the law”) we all feel all the time. But like trips to Lapland, human- (or coporate-) provided escapes always end. It’s only the escape (or, more accurately, the death and resurrection) provided by Christ that is forever (2 Cor. 5:17).
WHAT: Mockingbird seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
WHY: Are we called Mockingbird? The name was inspired by the mockingbird’s peculiar gift for mimicking the cries of other birds. In a similar way, we seek to repeat the message we have heard - God’s word of grace and forgiveness.
HOW: Via every medium available! At present this includes (but is not limited to) a daily weblog, semi-annual conferences, a quarterly print magazine, and an ongoing publications initiative.
WHO: At present, we employ two full-time staff, David Zahl and Ethan Richardson, and four part-time, Sarah Condon, CJ Green, Scott Jones and Bryan Jarrell. They are helped and supported by a large number of contributing volunteers and writers. Our board of directors is chaired by The Rev. Aaron Zimmerman.
WHERE: Our offices are located at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA.
WHEN: Mockingbird was incorporated in June 2007 and is currently in its ninth year of operation.
The work of Mockingbird is made possible by the gifts of private donors and churches. Our 2016 budget is roughly $240,000, and with virtually no overhead, your gifts translate directly into mission and ministry. Can you help? Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like more information.
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