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About Sarah Condon

Episcopal clergy lady at St. Martin's Church, Houston. Mother to Neil and Annie. Wife to Josh.

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    When Compassion Hung on a Cross: Mr. Rogers, Janusz Korczak, and Other Unnecessary Miracles

    When Compassion Hung on a Cross: Mr. Rogers, Janusz Korczak, and Other Unnecessary Miracles

    Of all the questions I get in the ministry, “Why aren’t there miracles anymore?” is one that has dumbfounded me for a long time. We read the Gospels and see Jesus enacting one miracle after another. A banquet of food is made from a lunch pail. Healings come one after another. People are raised from the dead. To be honest, I have not really had an adequate answer for the why-don’t-we-get-miracles-anymore question.

    Not until Fred Rogers entered the zeitgeist (again).

    I have been struck by revisiting his old shows and remembering how remarkable he felt to me as a child. He explained…

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    Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Twenty Seven Verses Three Through Five

    Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Twenty Seven Verses Three Through Five

    When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

    “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

    So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself (Mt 27:3-5).

    At the risk of impertinence, I’m just going to assume that everyone reading this (myself included) has already betrayed Jesus today. At least a few times. So I’d like to focus less on…

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    From Ruth Graham: Why Imputation Parenting Books Will Never Sell

    From Ruth Graham: Why Imputation Parenting Books Will Never Sell

    Some years ago, when we had our first child, the trend of putting babies in a kind of “truth telling” onesie had begun. We got several as well meaning gifts. You know the ones. They blaze phrases like, Loud and Proud or Troublemaker in Training across an infant’s tiny chest. Interestingly, I was given many more of these for our son than I was for our daughter. But in either case, I could not bear to put my newborn into a onesie that read, IN CHARGE. And not because I felt like I was in charge. In the first few weeks of having a baby…

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    Wakanda is Where the Real Wonder Women (and Men) Live

    Wakanda is Where the Real Wonder Women (and Men) Live

    I am not a big fan of superhero movies. Blame it on my low anthropology or disdain for a predictable plotline. It’s both really. So when a big budget comic book film comes out that I am interested in, I go with gusto.

    Which is why I H.A.T.E.D. Wonder Woman. The whole thing made me want to tear my (long flowy) hair (extensions) out. I was promised feminism. I was told I would feel empowered. Instead, they gave me a boob-tastic babe with a child-like affect in the world. At one point, Wonder Woman seems oblivious to the fact that she has…

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    The Romance of Ash Wednesday

    The Romance of Ash Wednesday

    This year Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday happen to be kissing cousins. On the same day that people everywhere will purchase bear stuffed animals holding hearts that say, “I love you beary much,” people will also have ashes smeared on their heads as a person whispers to them, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” 

    It is an odd coincidence. And it provides endless opportunities to “get creative” with the liturgy. You can grind up pink chalk and smear the rose colored dust onto the faithful while pushing a pink heart into their foreheads. You could just…

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    Turns Out Sex Is Still a Big Deal

    Turns Out Sex Is Still a Big Deal

    Like many people, for the past few days I have wrestled with what to make of the (too) well documented evening that a woman had with actor/comedian/writer Aziz Ansari. If you are living under a rock, a woman called “Grace” (hell of a pseudonym), had what she called the worst night of her life with Ansari. 

    Needless to say, “Grace” has received a massive wave of critique. People are demanding to know why she stayed when she was uncomfortable and how she could possibly classify the evening as sexual assault. Perhaps the most upsetting critique is that everyone wants…

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    Heaven for Heretics: A Vision from Coco (and Memaw)

    Heaven for Heretics: A Vision from Coco (and Memaw)

    This past October my grandmother went home to Jesus. She was as faithful as they come and her absence has left a hole in the heart of our family. It is one that will not be filled this side of heaven.

    Her funeral was in a small Southern Baptist church with simply stained glass windows and one of the most pastoral preachers I have encountered. Really, we could not have asked for anything more beautiful.

    And yet, one thing stayed with me. And it’s not a complaint but more of a longing. There was very little mention of my grandfather,…

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    I'm Going to Be Nothing: On Giving Up at a Christmas Pageant

    I’m Going to Be Nothing: On Giving Up at a Christmas Pageant

    When our daughter announced last week that she wanted to be “nothing” in the Christmas Pageant this year, I was like cool, cool. Totally fine. It’s just that you’re already assigned to be one of the angels. And you look like an actual angel. Oh, and your Dad is the minister at the church. But you do you, three year old.

    So when the other kids were all, “I’m going to be a sheep! I’m going to be Mary!” our daughter was all, “Imma be nupping.”

    This week I struggled with what I should bribe/threaten her with. I told…

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    The Very Persistent Pirate: A Thank You Note from Houston

    Dear Mockingsupporters,

    This isn’t a normal post. I’m not here to talk about the wonders of Martin Luther or to tell you that Advent could be more chill. I am writing to thank you.

    Yesterday I visited our neighborhood school and talked with a room full of first graders about what it’s like to be a published author. This past fall, they worked for months writing and “publishing” their own books. The topics ranged from Pokémon to Cats to Jesus (“’cause it’s close to Christmas”). As St. Whitney profoundly sang, I do believe the children are our future.

    I fielded questions about what it is like to be a published author. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you:

    1. Does your book have any explosions in it?
    2. Did you know that the Mockingbird is the state bird of Texas?
    3. I have a sister named Maddy.

    Of course, in talking about being a published author, there was no way I could actually read from my own book. Not only is Churchy not public school safe, it’s not really “safe church” either. Besides, it didn’t seem like the place to offer the little girls a cautionary tale about the difficulties of being a mother and a priest.

    Anyway.

    When they asked me to spend some time with the kids I knew immediately the book I had to read: Mockingbird’s own The Very Persistent Pirate. It casts a picture of grace that is foreign to most of us in this frightening world. The Kid in the story keeps doing the wrong thing and the Pirate continues in his persistent generosity. They even have a party at the end. I needed to hear it more than the children did.

    Plus, The Persistent Pirate has the word “booty” in it no less than 4 times. Which is a real riot when you are 7.

    But these are not just any kids at any school. These are kids at a school in Houston. They are from neighborhoods that were hit particularly hard by Hurricane Harvey. Many of their houses flooded which meant that entire childhood libraries were lost. Many of you donated to make sure that every one of those first graders received their own copy of The Very Persistent Pirate. So thank you.

    As one little girl exclaimed to me, “YOU MEAN WE GET TO TAKE IT HOME?!”

    Yes. Yes you do.

    Grateful,

    Sarah

    Praise the Lord: I Saw the Light (this Advent)

    Praise the Lord: I Saw the Light (this Advent)

    Its official, men are no longer sure what they can say. Last week an elderly gentleman complimented my outfit and then promptly recanted and apologized. Little did he know that as a 35 year old mother of two zoo animals, I actually appreciate being told I look nice. Nonetheless, I suppose we will all just stand around and not interact. That should take care of everything.

    The surprise and outrage are jarring to me. Who finds it surprising that this has happened? That sexual deviancy is rampant? That women, still relatively new to the workplace, have been treated horribly?…

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    Thanksgiving: A Personal History

    Thanksgiving: A Personal History

    There were the countless Thanksgivings of my childhood spent in the Mississippi Delta. There’s nothing better than farm country in the fall. Harvest has happened and deer hunting season is in full effect. I remember the adults being cavalier with their joy. I would sneak beers, and I once almost lit my Memaw’s house on fire when I was playing with matches. That was not all in the same year.
    Once, in high school, my mom decided we should get up at East Jesus in the Morning and drive to the Baptist Mission Church in downtown Jackson to feed the homeless a Thanksgiving…

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    Lord God, From Even Our Motives, Save Us

    Lord God, From Even Our Motives, Save Us

    This past Sunday was the kind of Sabbath that heals me. It was All Saints Sunday, my husband preached about my grandmother, and the church was full of loud children. During communion, a guy played “Amazing Grace” on the horn. It was a taste of heaven.

    And then I turned on the radio in my car and heard about the horrific church shooting, just a few hours away from us, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. And then I turned the radio off.

    My heart felt too full of heartache. The vision of babies being shot to death in a Baptist church was more…

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