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Playing with the Enemy – Jamin Warren

This wonderful talk from our recent conference in New York City features Jamin Warren, founder of videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen. Below, Jamin speaks about how fun and games help us cross the great divide:

Playing with the Enemy – Jamin Warren from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Seeds of Renewal (According to Alan Jacobs)

Seeds of Renewal (According to Alan Jacobs)

We were so honored to have Alan Jacobs, esteemed author of How To Think (and many other books), speak at our 2018 New York Conference and are doubly grateful that he’s allowed us to post an excerpt from his second talk, delivered on Saturday, April 28th. The world really does seem different now; there are, in […]

Let Not Conscience Make You Linger: H.F. Kohlbrugge’s Comma – Tim Blackmon

What does Snoop Dogg have in common with the Netherlands’ best little-known theologian? Find out here, in this wonderful talk from our recent conference in NYC, featuring guest speaker Tim Blackmon.

Let Not Conscience Make You Linger: H.F. Kohlbrugge’s Comma – Tim Blackmon from Mockingbird on Vimeo

Devotion 2 – Sarah Condon

The second devotion from our recent conference in NYC, given by our chaplain, the Rev. Sarah Condon:

Devotion 2 – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Boycotting Communion (& Other Tales from a Divided Church and World) – RJ Heijmen

From our recent conference in NYC (themed “The Grace of God in Divided Times”), here’s Thursday night’s opening talk with Mockingcast host RJ Heijmen.

Boycotting Communion (& Other Tales from a Divided Church and World) – RJ Heijmen from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Subscribe to Talkingbird, the New Home for Mbird Talks, Past and Present

Subscribe to Talkingbird, the New Home for Mbird Talks, Past and Present

Thank you to everyone who helped put on this year’s conference in NYC, especially our invaluable friends at Calvary St. George’s and The Pixie and the Scout! What a wonderful time it was. For the recordings this time around, we’ve decided to launch a brand-new podcast, TALKINGBIRD, which will be your destination for talks given […]

Devotion 1 – Sarah Condon

The first video from our recent NYC Conference is here! It’s the opening devotion from our chaplain, The Rev. Sarah Condon. Recordings should be ready any day now – just waiting on Apple to approve a dedicated feed (stay tuned!).

Devotion #1 – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

2018 NYC Conference Book Table

2018 NYC Conference Book Table

As requested, here’s the list of books we had for sale up in NYC last week, along with a few selections that were heavily referenced in talks. Lots of overlap with the “Recommended Reading” list on our I’m New Here page. Recordings coming later this week! Babette’s Feast and Other Stories by Isek Dinesen Bed […]

Mockingbird NYC: All Such Good Works

Mockingbird NYC: All Such Good Works

I first saw the couple waiting in line at the airport ticketing desk. I was probably standing 25 feet away. They were elderly and Indian. The wife wore a bindi on her head, the traditional marker of marriage in Hinduism and a protection from the evil eye. Neither of them looked like they’d showered in […]

Candy Cigarettes and Stubborn Grace — A Conference Breakout Preview

This NYC Conference breakout preview comes to us from Daniel Emery Price.

When I was thirteen, I was seen walking down the street “smoking cigarettes.” A woman in our church witnessed this “highly rebellious” and “brazenly defiant” act, and she immediately informed a different woman in the church who reported it back to my mother. This lady “just thought my mom should know” while informing her that I was no longer allowed to be friends with her son.

My mother was outraged. I only know about this because I walked into a room where she was firing both barrels of an all-law sermon on gossip and slander to this other mother over the phone. I was completely freaked out as I had never seen my mother this angry before. But not angry at me—angry for me.

I quickly exited the room to retrieve my backpack. While my mother proceeded to unload into the phone, I reached into my bag and pulled out the box of candy cigarettes I had been pretending to “smoke” while walking down the street. After I handed them to her, she hung up the phone with no reference to the evidence of innocence I had just provided

“Why didn’t you tell her they were candy?!” I shouted.

“Because it doesn’t matter,” she replied.

I didn’t realize until much later that my mother was not defending my innocence. She didn’t think I was innocent. She was merely defending me. She was defending my reputation and was willing to sacrifice her own reputation (as a good Christian mother) out of love for me. It seems like a small thing, but that helped shape my thoughts on grace and Christ-like-ness.

That is a short story, a parable of sorts. Jesus told a lot of those. People like short stories because our lives are made up of a long series of them.

At the Mockingbird Conference in NYC, I will be sharing a few parables of Jesus (and a few of my own) to talk about our addiction to judgment and the stubborn nature of God’s grace.

Don’t forget to register for the 11th Annual New York Conference!

Lent Itself — A Conference Breakout Preview

This conference breakout preview comes from Duo Dickinson.

Between Ash & Maundy, I write in silence.

It happens to be Lent. I happen to be at Level 23. I most always do this every day anyway, but 90 minutes, every day, is a lot.

Like this morning, while writing, I trigger some unknown algorithm on my new iPad, and some weirdness happens, but stuff gets done.

Like my childhood, it is a time of screaming. Almost every channel that I usually watch while working out every morning is trying to express a point, to validate its presence with a conviction. It is depressing.

I retreat to Law & Order reruns when they are on, and I have missed those during these 40 days, and replays of NFL games. In these 40 days, I have heard no Joe Scarborough or Jack McCoy (or is it McCaughey?) for the 4th Lent.

Four years ago, it was just Holy Week, where I ranted about what none of us know, but what is undeniable.

The next year I wrote a modest set of observations, mostly to myself, about myself in the world.

Last year I tried to be more thoughtful, graphically evocative, and then BANG (or better, POP) a defective vein burst and I missed a day, the Spring Equinox, with the first gap in two years, a planned gap, but not because I was in Yale Hospital, but because I was to be in DC. Which was cancelled. A good thing for those scheduled to fly and meet with me. (THANK YOU, God).

That event framed all the other events since, even though apparently, according to all those doctors, I cured myself — despite 100 hospital hours and $64,000 of insurance. But I take 4 pills, every day. So this morning I am at 120/67BP with 49 HBM.

This 40 day period is, intentionally, of the Flood, the Wilderness, and any other allusion the learned can divine. But Lent is, like, 45 days long, or 44 — because the Sunday’s should not count, but, that does not work out either, as there are 5, and Leap years, and…

This year I initially noted the point guard on F&M’s basketball team was on the verge of an end of his 4 years that may be exceptional to the tiny number that care. It turned out to be mixed. He got the record 2,000 points, the 4th First Team All Conference, the NCAA Sweet 16 (D3). But missed all the national honors that were hoped for. If you cared about numbers you were happy and sad.

Like Lent.

Don’t forget to register for the 11th Annual New York Conference!

Do I Feel a Draft? Keeping the Door Open for Reconciliation — A Conference Breakout Preview

With one week left until our New York Conference, here’s another breakout preview. This one comes to us from Carrie Willard.

Reconciliation might feel like something that is Someone Else’s Problem, preferably people who live at least an ocean away. Korea should probably get its act together, and the Middle East would also be a nice place to start. These conflicts are a nice, safe distance from our having to do anything about it. But reconciliation comes home in this conference breakout session, when we discuss reconciliation in family life.

We’ll talk about family reconciliation close to home, especially about the sister who’s been missing from the Family Math for the past eighteen years. Even when reconciliation isn’t readily available on the deadline we’d prefer, we can count on God to keep the door open for that reconciliation as we move through the rest of our lives without a balanced, settled equation.

We’ll also discuss the reconciliation in the House of Windsor, when the Queen of England felt called to reconcile with her uncle, the former King. Again, there’s no tidy, balanced equation in this family story, for all of the Queen’s desire to forgive.

As Fleming Rutledge so aptly highlights in The Crucifixion, any reconciliation we might realize in this life is a temporary one. So why should we bother? With clips from Grumpy Old Men and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, we’ll talk about asking God’s forgiveness for our own failings, and how we get in our own way of reconciliation.

Don’t forget to register for the 11th Annual New York Conference! You won’t want to miss it!