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2016 NYC Conference: Breakouts and Theme

Will Eisner - New York - Expo CBBD

At long last, some details about our upcoming 9th Annual New York conference (4/14-16). Thank you for your patience! We’re excited to announce that the theme this year will be “Relief! The Boldness of Grace in a World of Expectation”, and we can confirm that the slate of breakout sessions will include:

  1. I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – Melina Smith and Bryan Jarrell
  2. Performancism 101: Achievement Culture and the Golden Calf of College – CJ Green
  3. Good Enough? Where Positive Psychology and the Gospel Meet – Sasha Heinz and Jacob Smith
  4. Grace Stinks: When the Healer Carries a Sword – Stephanie Phillips
  5. An Episco-Disco Primer: Exploring the Oddball World of Leftfield Christian Music (1975-1985) – John Zahl
  6. Good News at World’s End: Grace in Eschatology – Will McDavid
  7. Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: The Relief of Grief – Lauren Larkin
  8. Cheap Grace? A Fresh Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Javier Garcia
  9. A Just Relief: How the Gospel Inspires Justice and Mercy – Raleigh Sadler
  10. The Most Foolish Job in the World: Planting a Grace-Centered Church – Jonathan Adams and Curt Benham
  11. Impossible is Nothing… and Everything – Nick Lannon
  12. Grace-based Healing Prayer – Laurel Marr and Ben DeHart
  13. The Future’s Past: Time Travel and Justification in Fiction, the Bible and You – Adam Morton

1cf32dc0b32ac7254af47125729237cbOther Special Events include: A Mockingbird at the Movies panel, the first-ever Friday night Episco-Disco (courtesy of DJ JAZ), and a live taping of The Mockingcast in which Scott Jones sits down with Paul Zahl to talk about the 10th anniversary of Grace in Practice, among other things.

We’re still waiting to hear from a couple of potential speakers (sorry!), but we can tell you that the line-up for the “main stage” already includes theologian Ted Peters, sociologist Eric Klinenberg, musician Derek Webb, comedienne-priest Sarah Condon, wannabe gentleman farmer Ethan Richardson, and blizzard enthusiast David Zahl. Our chaplains this year will be The Rev. Dave Johnson and The Rev. Nancy Hanna. Watch this space, and, for more details as they emerge.

Earlybird discounts expire this coming Monday, Feb 1st, at which point all other price options will be available. Again, thanks for your patience. We are really, really excited about this event. I mean, who doesn’t need a little relief?!

MBird Tyler 2016 Conference (3/18-19) – Registration Now Open!


The human heart responds to story. Narrative is unique in its power to shape our imagination and inspire us to dream and, yes, even wake up. But stories can also trap and trick. Join us for The 2nd Annual Mockingbird Tyler Conference, March 18th-19th, as we welcome acclaimed Hollywood script developer and “story guru” Bobette Buster along with David Zahl, Ethan Richardson, Sarah Condon and Aaron Zimmerman of Mockingbird to explore the question we all must answer: “What’s The Story?”

To register, or find out more, click here.

Zen and the Art of Law and Gospel – Jim McNeely

Only a couple more left! This one comes to us from our esteemed conference magician:

Zen and the Art of Law and Gospel – Jim McNeely from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Even My Slate? Jesus as the Ultimate Mr. Clean – Nick Lannon

Believe it or not, we’re not done with the videos from our 2015 NYC Spring Conference. Here’s a great one from Rev. Lannon:

Even My Slate? Jesus as the Ultimate Mr Clean – Nick Lannon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

P.S. We’re hard at work nailing down everything for 2016 (4/14-16). Getting really excited! Look for an announcement in the next week.

Stories of Grace – John Zahl

Couldn’t be more excited about this one – the audio alone wouldn’t have made much sense. Just be sure you have the Kleenex box nearby:

Stories of Grace – John Zahl from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Salty Lamb: The Ludicrous Legacy of Robert Farrar Capon

Don’t stop til you get enough! Of our Spring Conference in NYC, that is. Here comes Mr. Richardson, talking about one of our heroes:

Salty Lamb: The Ludicrous Legacy of Robert Farrar Capon – Ethan Richardson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

From the NYC Conference: Absolution Is Just

This from our Calvary-St. George’s host, the one and only Rev. Jacob Smith

Absolution is Just – Jacob Smith from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Devotions from the 2015 NYC Conference

These gems come from our 2015 conference chaplain Jim Munroe.

Devotions – Jim Munroe from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – Jacob Smith & Sarah Condon

A crowd favorite from our Spring Conference, featuring quite the dynamic duo:

I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – Jacob Smith & Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

2015 Kanuga Renewal Conference: Rest


An enormous thanks to all those who make last week’s Renewal Conference at Kanuga happen. It was such a joy and privilege to be asked to provide the content, and spend a week with such a wonderful group of people (in such a beautiful place). Best of all, the time itself proved genuinely restful for all involved. The recordings of the main sessions are now up on The Mockingpulpit as well as the Recordings page, but for those who would rather stream or download directly from here, you’re in luck.

1. Rest for the Restless – David Zahl

2. Christian Obstacles to Rest – Jacob Smith

3. Rest in the Bible, part 1 – Jady Koch

4. Rest in the Bible, part 2 – Jady Koch

5. How Rest Is Applied – Jacob Smith

6. The Life of Rest – David Zahl

7. Closing Question and Answer Session – DZ, JS & JDK

Lay Down Your Weary Tune (TX version) – David Zahl

We’re only just beginning to roll out the clips from our pair of Spring Conferences. Here’s the next installment from Tyler – same name but not the (exact) same talk as the Dylan-centric one DZ gave in New York a couple weeks later. Enjoy:

Lay Down Your Weary Tune – David Zahl from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Hiding in the Bathroom: Why Inspired Parenting Will Kill You – Sarah Condon

Happy Memorial Day! While those of us in Cville catch our breath, we thought we’d share the second video from our recent conference in Tyler, TX, Sarah’s fabulous (and hilarious) session on parenting:

Hiding in the Bathroom: Why Inspired Parenting Will Kill You – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.