Some people want to be the President of the United States when they grow up. Some want to win a Nobel Prize. Some want to win a Super Bowl or a World Series. But not me. When I grow up, I want to be a MacArthur Fellow.
Every year, the MacArthur Foundation chooses a class of MacArthur Fellows, who each receive a stipend (currently set at $625,000 and paid out over five years) to do with as they please. These “genius grants” are typically a complete surprise to the chosen Fellows, who are “selected through a rigorous process involving thousands of…
Well, this is about as interesting as it gets, especially during a week that so revolves around food. In the past 48 hours, I’ve been forwarded not one but four separate articles about the religiosity inherent in the juice cleanse phenomenon. It would appear that, after receding for a number of years following the boom in the early 00s, juicing has come back with a vengeance, especially in affluent circles. While each of the articles takes a slightly different angle, all of them agree that when someone pays close to $10 for a small bottle of green liquid, there is…
The street artist Banksy is all over the news lately–or at least he’s been there since October 1st, when he began a thirty day stint of public art projects in the New York City area. We’ve mentioned him before on Mbird, including his Exit Through the Gift Shop, with a particular interested in the ueber-creative, borderline absurd prophetic law-voice that pervades his work. You’ve probably seen his trademark stencil-based-style and tongue-in-cheek dark humor before, and if you haven’t, here are some of our favorites.
Since we last caught up with Banksy, a strange thing has happened to his subversive persona. In an…
The recent hubbub surrounding Anthony Weiner’s second exposure for “sexting” is immensely difficult to write about, but relevant. Recidivism? Check. Judgment? Check. Grace? We’ll see.
The media has spent a good portion of the past week trying to classify the New York mayoral candidate’s behavior. Is he a punchline? A sex addict? A narcissist? Classifications are easy, especially when they allow us to exempt ourselves. But the story clearly has broader implications, for example, the role of social media and the instantaneous affirmation we derive from it. We might look at exhibitionism as a misplaced instance of the fundamental desire to…
Guess who’s back?! Everyone’s favorite sports talking point (including Mockingbird’s) is heading to the New England Patriots, and the initial reactions are just as polarized as any conversation about Tim Tebow has ever been. There’s the cautious optimist, there’s the outright optimist, and then there’s the severe pessimist, to name just a few.
The Patriots are building a track record for giving high-profile names a second shot after failure. Sometimes it has worked (see Randy Moss) and other it has failed (Albert Hayensworth). Even though he is willing to give these second chances, the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, isn’t exactly the…
Just when we think we have settled our account, life presents a new one, more difficult to pay. – T.S. Eliot
One of The Onion’s most brilliant headlines has got to be “Man Gets Life in Order for 36 Minutes.” Who can’t relate? The story captures something important about our daily lives. Try as we might, need and trouble never seem to go away – in relationships, in work, in the world, in ourselves. It can be exhausting, to say the least! Fortunately, the good news of God’s grace has no expiration date. Join us in Manhattan this coming April 18-20th as we explore what the Christian faith has to say to us about today… tomorrow… and the next day.
Our keynote speaker this year will be Tullian Tchividjian, noted author, pastor and all-round hero. We are still waiting to confirm a couple of very special guests, but rest assured Tullian will be joined by other members of the Mockingbird team, with devotions from conference chaplain Drew Rollins. There will also be a number of breakout sessions, covering a wide range of topics, from television and social media, to addiction and theology, to literature and parenting. The full schedule will be up by Feb 1st.
If the past five years are anything to go by, the conference is sure to be a time of warmth, fun, great food, and maybe even a little emancipation. We hope you can come!
The event is open to anyone and everyone. Our emphasis at Mockingbird is always on keeping things as down-to-earth as possible. Just be sure to pre-register ASAP, as space is limited.
An article that appeared in Monday’s New York Times discussed something absolutely fascinating to me. I had no idea of the problems that the New York City cigarette tax has created for so many New York residents.
According to the article, an average pack of smokes now costs $12.50 in Midtown Manhattan, a price that is outrageous. Even with the salary premiums that New Yorkers enjoy when compared with other parts of the country, such a high price is going to price people out of the habit…or should price people out. But instead, it simply turns them to…
Each year it seems like such an undertaking: spending money on travel for myself that could have been used for a family vacation; enduring crowded flights and dreary layovers; trudging to and fro on subway lines and unfamiliar avenues, a stranger in a strange land – all to spend a few fleeting days at a religious conference. Is it worth it, you may ask? Well, I wrote what follows after last year’s conference, and it sums up the reason why I intend to make this annual pilgrimage to New York City as long as there is a Mockingbird…
Here at Mockingbird we pride ourselves on being Theologians of the Cross. That is to say, we believe that God works, most often and most powerfully, through weakness and defeat, rather than in strength and victory. As Paul writes, recounting God’s answer to him in the midst of suffering:
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in…
NEW YORK CITY—This dance school image was part of a photo story about upper-class children taking dancing lessons and being taught social graces. The lesson pictured was conducted in the lobby of a ritzy Park Avenue building to the music of a live four-person band, part of the social set Lester Lanin Orchestra that used to play at many of the New York balls and social events (and perhaps still does), 1977.
Taken from Slate’s always amazing MAGNUM photo gallery.
Watch the Mockingbird favorite Metropolitan if you want to see those kids all grown up.
Frank Bruni cooked up (!) quite the enlightening editorial in Saturday’s NY Times about the recently deceased fitness guru Jack LaLanne, tracing the ways LaLanne was responsible for turning exercise into a religion, the gym into a temple, etc. I’ll spare you a diatribe about the superficiality of “discipline” for discipline’s sake – Bruni says/implies what needs to be said/implied – what’s more interesting here is that although LaLanne may not have come up with the outside-in approach to self-improvement (that particular ‘face’ has been launching ships since the Stone Age), he was certainly instrumental in figuring out how to…
I’m a huge Steelers fan. I come by it honestly, having lived in Pittsburgh for three years while I was in seminary. Yet I’ve recently noticed that rooting for the Steelers really throws my lack of sanctification into sharp relief.
Before last week’s AFC Championship game against the hometown Jets (my parish, though in New Jersey, is closer to New York than New Meadowlands Stadium, where both the “New York” Jets and Giants play), people started asking me if we were going to throw a Super Bowl party at our church. We did last year, watching the Colts fall short…
WHAT: Mockingbird seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
WHY: Are we called Mockingbird? The name was inspired by the mockingbird’s peculiar gift for mimicking the cries of other birds. In a similar way, we seek to repeat the message we have heard - God’s word of grace and forgiveness.
HOW: Via every medium available! At present this includes (but is not limited to) a daily weblog, semi-annual conferences, and an ongoing publications initiative.
WHO: At present, we employ three full-time staff, David Zahl and Ethan Richardson and William McDavid. They are helped and supported by a large number of contributing volunteers and writers. Our board of directors is chaired by Mr. Thomas Becker.
WHERE: Our offices are located at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA.
WHEN: Mockingbird was incorporated in June 2007 and is currently in its seventh year of operation.
The work of Mockingbird is made possible by the gifts of private donors and churches. Our 2014 operating budget is roughly $195,000, and with virtually no overhead, your gifts translate directly into mission and ministry. Can you help? Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like more information.
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