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Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.

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    Devotion (Tyler, TX) - Aaron Zimmerman

    This short devotion, from our recent conference in Tyler, TX, features Aaron Zimmerman discussing this verse from Romans: “So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy.” Topics include: gold stars, summer jobs, a manual transmission, and God’s grace.

    Devotional – Aaron Zimmerman Tyler Texas 2019 from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    What Do We Say to the God of Death? When Ministry Forces Us to Answer “Today”: A Conference Preview

    Below is a preview for our fast-approaching Mockingbird conference in Lancaster, PA (June 11-13). This particular conference aims to minister to those who minister—though all are welcome. Do register promptly so we can be sure to know you’re coming! The following sneak-peek comes from speaker Tasha Genck Morton:

    For those who don’t speak Game of Thrones, the answer to the question, “What do we say to the God of death?” is a very inspiring, “Not today!” But ministry and life force us to say “today” over and over again as parishioners, family, and friends die. Facing death on a regular basis seems to demand that we who are left live better and fuller lives than those who went before. Every death whispers “earn it” to the living. In this session, we will explore what the Gospel has to say to us in the face of the impossible demands of “near death experiences.” Heads up: major spoilers will be discussed for perennial Mockingbird favorite TV show The Good Place, so what are you waiting for? Watch it!

    Register today for Mockingbird in Lancaster, PA!

    Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You - Sarah Condon

    Incoming! Continuing on with videos from this year’s phenomenal Mockingbird conference in Tyler, TX, themed “The Future of Grace,” here’s the Rev. Sarah Condon discussing fighting in school, early puberty, Curious George, the hardships of growing up in the world, and the child inside all of us.

    Children Are Horribly Needy People: And Other Reasons Why Jesus Loves You – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    By the Grace of Dog

    You know the old truism: Wanna know unconditional love? Put your spouse and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. When you open the trunk, only one of them’s still going to be happy to see you…

    As we’ve compiled the many essays and interviews soon to make up Mockingbird’s fourteenth magazine issue, The Family Issue, we noticed a glaring and certainly inadvertent omission. How in the world does one put out over a hundred pages of tender, nuanced reportage relating to the family unit—not to mention grace in the family unit—without paying homage to its most gracious member?

    Yes, we’re talking about the family dog. While families are full of conflict, perennial victims and perpetrators of so many circumstantial slings and arrows, there is no greater emblem of unconditional love and, um, dogged loyalty. Some may call dogs “inferior” or just plain “stupid.” To those people, we offer our prayers, because they must have never heard the foolish wisdom of God. Dogs are heaven-sent. And so, in lieu of an entire essay, we’re asking you, dear reader, to send us your “By the GRACE of DOG” stories. Where has the furry, four-legged love of God found its way through the doggie door and into your heart? What blessed paw-marks has it left on your interior furniture?

    Just one small paragraph will suffice. We’ll keep you confidential. Send your submissions to bythegraceofdogz@gmail.com. They can be funny, heart-wrenching, really weird, or really sweet. And then keep an eye out for your submission in the next issue. If you have a cat story, well, good for you…

    2019 NYC Conference Book Table

    2019 NYC Conference Book Table

    Many thanks to all who attended and helped pull off the 12th annual Mockingbird conference in NYC! For all who couldn’t make it, and also those who could, each year we like to put together a virtual book table, with the various recommended readings and resources written by our speakers and guests. (Last week we […]

    Mission: Difficult

    Mission: Difficult

    The following was excerpted from Nick Lannon’s fantastic new book Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News—a fundamental distillation of the law and the gospel in everyday life. This comes from the third chapter “Mission: Difficult.” I have heard the Christian life described in many different ways. Some have compared it to a race, or […]

    2019 NYC Conference Recordings

    Thank you to everyone who helped put on this year’s conference in NYC, especially our dear friends at Calvary St. George’s and The Pixie and the Scout! What a fantastic time it was.

    Click on the image to subscribe

    Once again, we’ve uploaded all of the recordings to our TALKINGBIRD podcast feed–your destination for talks given at Mockingbird events, past, present and future.

    CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO TALKINGBIRD!

    If you’d rather go a la carte, the individual files are now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and our Resources page for you to listen to, download and share–minus Alfie Kohn’s which was an in-person-only deal. Videos will start rolling out in the next couple weeks.

    Please note: As always, the recordings are free. We only ask that those who were not able to be there in person *consider* making a donation to help cover the cost of the event.

    Major thanks go to Margaret Pope, Meaghan Ritchey, Melina Smith, and Chelsy Haynes for all their incredible work behind the scenes, to Mark Babikow, Lino Martinez, and Thomas Sireci for making our AV dreams come true, and to the super talented Casey & Travis Squyres at Stellate Photography for capturing it all on camera! A few highlights below:

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    "Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher": An Mbird Conference in Lancaster, PA (6/11-13)

    "Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher": An Mbird Conference in Lancaster, PA (6/11-13)

    Excited to announce our (fast!) approaching Mockingbird conference in Lancaster, PA, hosted at the historic Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. With its theme—“Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher”—this intimate, impromptu conference aims to minister to those who minister. But of course all are welcome, not only preachers. Topics may include: family life, isolation/conflict, church […]

    PZ's Podcast: You Little Trustmaker, Lazy Susan, and The Bell That Couldn't Jingle

    PZ's Podcast: You Little Trustmaker, Lazy Susan, and The Bell That Couldn't Jingle

    EPISODE 270: You Little Trustmaker So I was looking high and low for a little peace the other day. An article I read had upset me, and I thought to myself, “Well, if that’s true, then why not just go to sleep for the next ten years, say, and not be conscious.” Then suddenly, an […]

    NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers - Adventure One: Creation

    Pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ first kidzine has landed and is available through our online shop and StoryMakersNYC.com!

    When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories ARE the big stuff. And the story of our rescue by God is the biggest story of all and for all. StoryMakers offers a new approach to drawing kids into this ultimate story—and helping them find their own stories within it.

    Many of us remember getting a heaping dose of LAW as the first part of our early spiritual formation as children. In fact, the church has confused generations of children by leading them to believe that Christianity is all about following the golden rules of life in order to earn God’s favor. When young people come out of their church experience associating the Christian faith solely with moralism, two types of adults emerge—pharisees or burnouts.

    At StoryMakers, we recognize that kids (and their grown-ups) need GRACE first and foundationally. So how do we help young people connect to this grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, all of which are ultimately the love story of Jesus, the one who created us, loves us, and is actively redeeming us! We introduce them to a person, not a list of rules.

    And by giving our kids the chance to engage the stories of the Bible through imaginative creation and play, we tap into their developmental forte. Kids don’t need to take a giant leap of faith to envision the stories of the Bible, so we use their natural curiosity, creativity, and imagination as the pathway into a lifetime of being known and loved by God.

    Our first Adventure is an immersive experience all about Creation. Children will discover that God is the Creator of all, the ultimate StoryMaker, and faithfully shows mercy to us from the very beginning. Through our visuals and activities, StoryMakers will experience the progression of Genesis and will be given a glimpse into God’s promises to Creation.

    • The zine explores a story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, interactive play, and thoughts to ponder. Every chapter includes a 6-page spread, so there is plenty of detail to dig deep. ($20, or save 25% on 5 or more)
    • The teacher’s guide helps grown-ups use the kidzine with their children and students. Sometimes it is hard for adults even to know where to begin teaching the old stories with our little ones. Our Creation guide is available to support our StoryMakers along the way. It includes: Fun Facts, Deeper Thoughts, and Activity Instruction. The guide is perfect for any grown-up hoping to connect and discover God’s love and mercy alongside children. ($15)
    • The memory cards use visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Order this set of memory cards and get to know Creation and God’s words of hope in the midst of the Fall. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMaker internalize God’s story. ($12)
    • The playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Creation by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts, to get to know Genesis in a new way. ($10)
    • You can purchase the entire creation zine set together. Each kit includes a zine, a teacher’s guide, our memory cards, and the playbook. Every piece enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Creation to life. ($50)
    • Last but not least, you can also download 12 printable posters, drawn from the beautiful zine illustrations. ($5 each)

    ORDER YOUR FIRST ADVENTURE TODAY!

    ANNOUNCING: <i>The Youngest Day</i>, by Robert Capon!

    ANNOUNCING: The Youngest Day, by Robert Capon!

    When it comes to grace, no one writes with more elegance, humor, and well, grace, than Robert Farrar Capon. Since his first publication hit shelves in 1963, Robert’s voice has served as one of the guiding lights for the Christian faith from generation to generation. Now, in this final book for Mockingbird’s series of Capon […]

    What the Hell Is Going On?: The Strangest Things about Stranger Things - Leigh Hickman

    This next video from our Tyler conference features an amazing analysis of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. With English professor Leigh Hickman as our guide, we re-discover the greatest story within all great stories and why the show resonates with so many viewers. Trust us, this you will enjoy:

    What The Hell Is Going On?: The Strangest Things about Stranger Things – Leigh Hickman from Mockingbird on Vimeo

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