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It Is Good: Waiting on Our New Creation — A Conference Breakout Preview

In preparation for our annual conference in NYC, we’ll be taking the next few weeks to share previews of our upcoming breakout sessions, which cover a variety of topics both personal and spiritual. Here’s the first, from Laurel Marr, staff member with our gracious hosts at Calvary St. George’s.

This breakout will look at where the 12-steps of recovery intersect with Martin Luther’s theology of the cross. We will be connecting The Rev. John Zahl’s book Grace in Addiction and Dr. Simeon Zahl’s dissertation, Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: The Holy Spirit between Wittenburg & Azusa Street. You don’t have to be an addict in recovery to identify with this subject in the least.

Come and hear the theology of the German Preacher, Christoph Blumhardt (1842-1919), the son of a renowned healer. He eventually departed from his father’s healing ministry and belief that supernatural forces were opposing the return of Christ and the Kingdom of God, and adopted the theology that it is the sinful heart of mankind that is in opposition to the Kingdom of God. “Die, so that Jesus may live!” was Blumhardt’s call to his congregation.

This call to death is patterned after the cross of Christ. It is here that we are humbled, that we truly suffer, and that our will is thwarted. The recovering addict must die daily if he or she is to maintain sobriety. Blumhardt believed that this dying “belongs at first only to a few.” Only a few are first called to take on this dying work that opens a pathway for Christ to spread His message and His will. In a day where Christianity seemed to have lost its way, Blumhardt believed the Kingdom would move forward once again when a “little flock” of faithful men and women came to understand the problem of the flesh and put it in its rightful place, in the care and keeping of God.

For more, join Laurel on Friday April 27, at 3:00pm at Calvary St. George’s church in NYC.

You can register for the 11th Annual Mockingbird Conference here! We hope to see you there!

My Empire of Dirt: Delusions of Grandeur & the Grace that Promises to Dethrone Us

Another wonderful talk from our recent conference in Tyler, TX. This one features Mockingbird writer Charlotte Getz, who talks about wanting to become a queen, and about the King who works out all things for good.

My Empire of Dirt ~ Charlotte Getz from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Five Feet High and Rising: Finding God…While Drowning in Fear ~ Aaron Zimmerman

From our recent conference in Tyler, TX, here is the wonderful Saturday morning talk by Aaron Zimmerman, president of the Mockingbird board, who speaks about fear, middle school dances, and Jesus calming the storm.

Five Feet High and Rising: Finding God…While Drowning in Fear by Aaron Zimmerman from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

How to Annoy Jesus ~ John Zahl

Excited to start sharing videos from our recent conference in Tyler, TX! (You can catch all the recordings here.) First up, the inimitable John Zahl, with how to annoy Jesus:

From Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Mbird Tyler 2018 Recordings: The Wonder of Grace

A Texas-sized thank you to everyone who helped put on our conference in Tyler last month, especially the fabulous–and ridiculously ecumenical–steering committee, led by the indefatigable Matt Magill. Huge thanks to all the sponsors as well: B3 Ministries, Bethel Bible, Christ Episcopal, Redeemer Pres Tyler, Moon River Naturals, Porch Culture Coffee Roasters, Sola Bread Co, The Kalos Foundation, Center for Creative Media, The Foundry Coffee House, and True Vine Brewery, not to mention Mark Babikow, who once again came to our rescue on the A/V front, and Casey & Travis Squyres at Stellate Photography who take the best photos ever. And to Josh White for putting on such an extraordinary performance!

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As per usual, we’re making the recordings available at no charge; we only ask that those who were not able to attend this year *consider* tossing something in the hat to help cover the cost of the event. Download links are followed by an in-line player for each session. They’re also up The Mockingpulpit feed if you’d like to stream on your mobile device. We’ll be rolling out the videos super soon (Seinfeld one doesn’t really make sense without the clips). Enjoy!


John Zahl — “How to Annoy Jesus”

Aaron Zimmerman — “Five Feet High and Rising: Finding God…While Drowning in Fear”

Charlotte Getz — “My Empire of Dirt: Delusions of Grandeur & the Grace That Promises to Dethrone Us”

John Newton — “Giving Up On Growth: Rest in a Restless World”


John Zahl — The Good News of Alcoholics Anonymous for Everyone”

Stacy Canion — “Controlled Chaos: An Artist’s Journey to Peace”

Josh White — “The Love of Jesus in a Post Christian City”

David Zahl — “Everything I Never Learned from Seinfeld”

Ricky Garner — “If It Ain’t Broke It Can’t Be Fixed: Why the Cross is the Only Hope for Your Marriage”

Brent Kirkley – What’s Wrong With Me? Why Everyone Needs Therapy

And be sure to check out Josh White in concert.

Live From Tyler, It’s… The Mockingcast!

Grateful beyond words to/for all those who helped put on this past weekend’s conference in Tyler, TX, especially Matt Magill and his stellar team. Best ever.

Full audio and video coming soon, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the brand-new episode of The Mockingcast (“Ep. 123: Opiates of the People”) we recorded on site with Aaron Z and Charlotte G subbing in as guest co-hosts. We talked Billy Graham, opioids, and a bunch of other subjects. Click here to listen to the cast on iTunes. Android users will be pleased to hear that The Mockingcast is officially back up on Stitcher, too.

p.s. The pre-sale for this year’s Mbird Tyler Zine is now live over on Etsy!

Closing Q&A from Mockingbird in DC

We closed out this Fall’s DC conference with this insightful question-and-answer session featuring speakers Nick Lannon, Sarah Condon, Jacob Smith, and David Zahl. This “unfiltered” session discusses a sweep of themes including freedom, rest, control, mercy, and the intentions behind this celebration of the Reformation on its 500th anniversary. If you missed the other talks, you can find them here.

Closing Q & A with Nick Lannon, Sarah Condon, Jacob Smith, and David Zahl from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

2018 NYC Conference Schedule!

Very, very excited to announce the schedule for our upcoming NYC Conference (April 26-28th)! A few details may change between now and then–a couple additions still in the works–but this is pretty close to fixed. For more info about the various speakers, visit the conference site. The final talk titles will be up in March. Click here to register!


7pm-ish — Special outing to Babette’s Feast, a new play based on the short story by Isak Dinesen, followed by a Q&A with the developers. Click here to read more about the wonderful source material and here for a review of this exciting new production. Tickets are limited so email today to reserve yours.


5:30pm  —  Registration
7:00pm  —  Opening Devotion and Worship – Sarah Condon & Sam Bush
7:30pm  —  RJ Heijmen
8:00pm  —  Dinner (catered by The Pixie and the Scout)


9:00am – Devotion by Sarah Condon
9:15am – Morning Talks

  • Tim Blackmon
  • Jamin Warren

10:45 – Breakouts A: Alissa Wilkinson, Aaron Zimmerman, Dave Johnson, Nick Lannon & Ethan Richardson
11:45am – Lunch
1:00pm – Afternoon Talks

  • Chad Bird
  • Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips

2pm – Breakouts B: Dorsey McConnell, Carrie Willard, Daniel Emery Price, CJ Green & Sam Bush
3pm – Breakouts C: Duo Dickinson, Mischa Willett, Laurel Marr, Adam Morton & Nate Lee
5:30pm – Drinks with Paul Zahl
6:30pm – Alan Jacobs speaks
7:30pm – Dinner catered by The Pixie and the Scout


9:00am  —  Devotion by Sarah Condon
9:10am —  Morning Talks

  • Alan Jacobs
  • Jason Micheli in conversation with Fleming Rutledge

10:45am  —  David Zahl speaks
12:15pm  —  Book table closes

8:00pm (Post-Conference)Sea Dog Theater Presents “Inherit the Wind”

SUNDAY, APRIL 29th (Post-Conference)

11am — Jacob Smith preaches at Calvary Episcopal Church

MONDAY APRIL 30th (Post-Conference)

Commonweal in conversation with poet Christian Wiman


P.S. There are some limited scholarship funds available for students and seminarians. Email us at for more details.

P.P.S. And while we’re at it, check out the trailer for this month’s Tyler Conference (2/23-24) #mattmagillismyhero #foolforchrist:

Mockingbird Tyler Conference 2018: The Wonder of Grace from Matt Magill on Vimeo.

Daryl Davis: Grace, Race, and the KKK

Very excited to share this talk from our recent conference in DC, featuring the incredible blues musician Daryl Davis. Here Davis talks about how, over the course of 30 years, he made meaningful friendships with some of his greatest antagonists…members of the Ku Klux Klan. Talk about grace in practice! (Also, you won’t want to miss that boogie-woogie piano at the end!)

Daryl Davis: Grace, Race, and the KKK from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Happy MLK!

We’ll be back with new posts tomorrow, but in honor of the day, you can peruse our MLK archive here. Also, as a reminder: today is the last day to take advantage of earlybird pricing for our Spring NYC Conference (4/26-28). All other tiers of registration open tomorrow.

Hopelessly Devoted: Ezekiel Chapter Forty Seven Verses One Through Ten

The second video from our DC conference is here! Adam Morton’s devotion that opened our session on Saturday. It’s a beautiful one:

Devotion on Ezekiel 47:1-10 ~ Adam Morton from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

No, Actually, I Don’t Work Out – Nick Lannon

The first video from our 500 Years of Grace event in DC is here! And it’s of Rev. Lannon’s fantastic talk from Friday night, AKA the one with the killer joke at the beginning:

p.s. Our big year-end newsletter & appeal goes out this week, and we’d love to send you a copy. Just sign up for our (physical) mailing list and we’ll take care of the rest!