Pleasantly surprised by how well this came together and greatly encouraged by the response it received. Filmed at the Liberate Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL on 2/22:
This preview comes to us from Win Bassett. To register for the NYC Conference, now just four weeks away, go here.
Reynolds Price, from little old Macon, North Carolina, graduated from Duke University, attended Merton College at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, traveled across Europe, befriended artists on the cusps of their fame, and landed a job as a professor back in Duke’s English Department by the time he turned 25. Four years later he published his first novel, A Long and Happy Life, which won the William Faulkner Foundation Award and sold over a million copies. Price published several more…
Recently, one of my current coworkers, whom we shall call Will, made a confession to me about his first Mockingbird Conference. A friend of mine, with whom Will worked at the time, had convinced him to come along, and so, after flying into LaGuardia, Will found himself in the backseat of my car on our way into Manhattan. Listening in on the front seat conversation between my friend and I (both Episcopal priests), which was undoubtedly, shall we say, “salty,” the following thoughts ran through Will’s head: “Who are these guys? What are they talking about? Are they even Christians?!…
At long last, we can announce the full slate of breakout sessions at our upcoming conference in NYC. They are as follows:
- I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – RJ Heijmen
- Introducing The Fundamentals – Jacob Smith
- What’s My Faction? (Teen) Angst in Dystopian Young Adult Fiction & Film – Deborah Leighton
- National Lampoon: Stephen Colbert and the Ancient Pulpit of Satire – Ethan Richardson
- The Uglier Ditch: First-Century Love in the Present Tense – Jono Linebaugh
- Grace in Identity-Induced Despair: The Literature of Reynolds Price – Win Bassett
- Ye Who Are Heavy Laden: Anxiety, Suffering, and the Gospel – Lauren Larkin
- The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity – Bryan Jarrell
- Arrested Development in Flannery O’Connor – Will McDavid
- It Can’t Mean That: The Terrible Parables of Christ – Nick Lannon
Keep an eye open for previews of each of the breakouts, which we’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks. One final exciting detail to add is that The Rev. John Zahl will be serving as our conference chaplain this year! For more information, or to pre-register, click here.
- Wolfman Jack – Todd Rundgren
- Heaven Sent – INXS
- Anticipatin’ – The Explorers Club
- Faith In Something Bigger – The Who
- Junk – Brainpool
- Milk Train – The Everly Brothers
- Eight Days a Week – Kristine Sparkle
- Dance Apocalyptic – Janelle Monae
- I’m Scared – Burton Cummings
- Keep Me Turning – Pete Townshend
- Get Behind Me – Scott Walker
- Breathless – Nick Cave
- Mirage – Mack Starks
- Good Graces – Johnathan Rice
- Pensacola – Jolene
- Tough – Martin Vogel/Bruce Springsteen
- No. 1 Party Anthem – Arctic Monkeys
- Come to Jesus – Mindy Smith
Also, two quick announcements:
- This coming Friday evening and Saturday morning in Louisville, KY, the docket at St Francis in the Fields’ annual renewal conference is packed with Mockingbirds! Myself, Jacob Smith, and Jady Koch are gathering to discuss “What Would Jesus Tweet?” (#thegospelinthe21stcentury). Click here for more information. Everyone who registers for the event gets a complimentary copy of The Mockingbird Devotional!
- A job opportunity in the Mbird-o-sphere: Here in Charlottesville, the Christ Church Preschool is looking for a new Head Teacher. It’s a 30 hour/week position, teaching 3-4 year-olds, a mix of kids from local and refugee families. The school is a small-but-thriving attempt to incorporate the grace message into preschool education, and the Head Teacher will be a key part of the Christ Church and Mockingbird community here in C’ville. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” –Franny Glass in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey
Is there any question that inspires more fascination and worry, creativity and fear, than ‘who am I?’ Or, put differently, ‘who are you?’ No matter where we are in life, the search for–and maintenance of–an identity seems to be as fundamental as it is irresolvable.
Join us this spring as we delve into the subject that occupies an embarrassing amount of our waking hours—ourselves—and explore how the grace of God might fit in. To help us, we’ve enlisted seven quite disparate identities: a novelist/professor (Francis Spufford), a moral psychologist (Jonathan Haidt), a columnist/cartoonist (Tim Kreider), a children’s book author (Sally Lloyd-Jones), a Reformation historian (Ashley Null), an Episcopal minister/preacher (Paul Walker), and, yes, a mockingbird (David Zahl). We hope the event will shed some light and maybe even some calm on this most consuming of topics.
In addition to the main presentations, there will be a full slate of breakout sessions by Mockingbird writers and volunteers, covering a wide range of topics, from theology to literature, television to aging, music to parenting, etc. Look for announcement with more details in early February.
The event is open to anyone and everyone. Just be sure to pre-register ASAP, as space is limited.
This just in: art historian Dan Siedell has agreed to lead a pre-conference gallery outing for those who arrive early on Thursday the 3rd. Email us at email@example.com if you’re interested.
“My friend Robin grew up in an army family, and learned early on that she wouldn’t live anywhere or know anyone for very long, that things like houses and best friends were strictly provisional and temporary. It makes me sad to know that she had to internalize this lesson so early–kids like me, with stabler lives, were brought up with the delusion, fuzzy and comforting as a favorite blanket, that home and friendship were givens, fixed forever. But, as Robin points out, transience wasn’t just a peculiarity of her own upbringing; it turns out to be the reality of life, for all of us. Everything is contingent and ephemeral, and the flimsy little Potemkin villages of permanence and security we rig up for ourselves—real estate, possessions, tenure and retirement plans, circles of friends and long-term relationships–are easily demolished by layoffs or divorce, accidents or diagnoses, even, on occasion, non-metaphorical hurricanes.”
If I’d had it on hand this past August, it would’ve definitely been included in this sermon, “Plank to Plank”:
Speaking of both Kreider and anxiety, we are finally ready to announce the theme for the upcoming NYC conference (4/3-5)! Curious? You know the drill. Preliminary Schedule coming next week.
We are beyond thrilled to announce the line-up of speakers at our 2014 Spring Conference, which takes place in New York City on April 3-5th. For a sense of why we’re so excited, click on the names below and peruse our coverage of their work. We’ve also provided a couple of individual highlights for your reading pleasure. Needless to say, this should be interesting:
Plus, David Zahl and various members of the Mockingbird Team. We hope to announce more details, including breakouts and themes, in early December.
P.S. While we’re at it, we can officially confirm that our 2014 Fall Conference will take place at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Houston, TX on October 17-18. Save the date!
You may have noticed that our Resources page has been under construction most of the summer. That’s because we have been hard at work expanding our sermon archive and doing a complete overhaul of its functionality. The new page went live this past weekend! A couple of features to highlight:
- Searchability — Simplified dropdown menus and tabs for easier sorting, plus sidebar widgets to highlight things you may have missed.
- Size — Twice as many files in the archive, including a number of new speakers and venues. Of the 200 or so that have been added since June, most are older, so if you think you’ve heard everything, guess again!
- Speed — New software allows for much faster browsing.
- Mobility — Unlike the old one, the new page is fully compatible with smartphones and other such devices. Files are easily accessible and playable via the menu on the mobile version of the site.
- Snazzy New Look — In other words, silly images galore.
- The Mockingpulpit Podcast! Mbird now has a dedicated podcast on iTunes, which you can subscribe to by clicking here. Subscribers will automatically receive every new sermon or talk that gets uploaded, regardless of when they were recorded.
Major thanks to Win Jordan and James Fishwick for making this happen. And while it may take a week or two to work out the kinks, please don’t hesitate to let us know if your run into any issues (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We knew this day would come. It’s been a fun ride but we’ve officially reached the end of the road, NYC Conference video-wise. And our final installment just so happens to be Tullian’s second talk (and closing Q&A), which describes an end of a different kind. To watch part one, go here. And thanks again, so much, to Mark and David Babikow for making it all possible:
You may download the audio recording by clicking here.
Alright TV fans, the moment of truth (and consequence) has arrived:
You may download the recording of this session by clicking here.
Hopelessly Devoted: One Thing Needful, I Can Stay All Night, Baby Beluga, and How I Ended Up At The Bottom Of A Dumpster On Christmas Eve
The hits just keep on coming! In lieu of our usual bi-weekly Monday devotion, here’s four for the price of one, all of Drew Rollins’ wise, funny, and deeply pastoral words from the NYC Conference in one video. They are far less conference-specific than they may initially appear–each one is about 10 minutes long:
Seeing as Wednesday has become our unofficial sports day, we continue with our series of conference videos with Nick Lannon’s terrific presentation on success and failure in the public eye:
You may download the audio recording by clicking here.