Last week, yours truly was fortunate enough to see The Rev. Paul N. Walker instituted as rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA. It was an absolutely beautiful service, with a sermon from Paul Zahl (aka dad) and music from the peerless High Street Hymns. For those of you who don’t know him, Paul Walker (pictured, center) has served as the board president of Mockingbird since its founding a couple of years ago, providing a great deal of the guiding wisdom and support for what we do here (for which we are eternally grateful!). So we could not be more excited about this development; it is the culmination of many years of faithful service in C’ville and something very much worth celebrating. Congratulations and much love to Paul and Christie!!

PZ’s remarkable sermon can be downloaded here, or streamed here:

And while we’re at it, the passage from Whit Stillman’s highly-recommended book/novelization The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails At Petrossians Afterwards (also pictured, penultimate chapter) read during the sermon is as follows:

“After the incident itself,” [i.e., being caught in the act of adultery with one of Aunt Janet’s proteges from her travel business] “Uncle Jack had not behaved in the worst way possible. Under the circumstances, he tried to say and do all the right things, and seemed to mean them. He had the advantage of not having a particularly high moral self-regard in the first place, so he was not subject to the usual irresistible compulsion to justify himself by inventing bitter, retrospective reproaches against Aunt Janet… Instead he turned to Aunt Janet with a face that was warm, loving, contrite, abject, sincere, and even poetical.
“But she couldn’t buy it. The moment she had come upon them, she had started down a sort of tunnel of depression and despair that… would not permit the absorption of any ameliorating fact or information. A whole lifetime of Christian education — regarding forgiveness, redemption, Christ’s loving treatment of Mary Magdalene, casting the first stone, or rather the imperative not to cast it — either meant nothing or just seemed beside the point. She could not enter in it intellectually or emotionally.”