Several weeks ago in June, when this old world was just slightly younger, some of the Lord’s own rabble met in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for Mockingbird’s first ever conference for pulpit-lurkers: “Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher”. It was not a terribly large group, but the food and wine were plentiful, and the talks and questions and observations from accumulated years in ministry were graceful and moving, not least to this first-time conference organizer.

Some thanks are in order, for those whose efforts made the event possible. Bruno’s and Upohar, our caterers, outdid themselves, as did Gesino’s Italian Specialty Foods, our wine supplier. The staff at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church were outstanding, and remarkably patient with the odd requests of their strange associate pastor. Our attendees – all of them – contributed mightily to the event. Everyone got a chance to be heard, and to lift one another up.

Our conference chaplain, Kyle Tomlin, gave three wonderful devotions, two of which were recorded and are posted here. Rob Myallis (who once taught David Zahl to pronounce ‘Forde’) gave a fantastic talk on why church administration is like sex, but it involved so much back and forth that the recording simply couldn’t capture the spirit of the thing, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Tasha Genck Morton blended Game of Thrones and The Good Place into a beautiful meditation on death and ministry. Nick Lannon, true preacher that he is, spoke powerfully about his inability to dunk a basketball, and about compassion. I offered some words about heroes, our inability as preachers to finish the job, and the Word who brings all things to completion. Mark Tranvik, our keynote speaker, gave two superb talks on Luther, the doctrine of vocation, and the peculiar vocation of preaching the Word. Listen and enjoy.

All presentations are available to stream and download on our Recordings page, as well as The Talkingbird podcast feed.

Please note: As always, the recordings are offered free of charge. Those who were not able to be there in person might *consider* making a donation to help cover the cost of the event.

P.S. We’ll be off over the holiday weekend, resuming normal blogging on Monday. Happy 4th!