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Join Us for Palm Sunday!

This week we’re streaming the service from All Saints Winter Park FL, with Stuart Shelby presiding and Paul Zahl preaching:

Dear Pastor, How Is Your Soul?

Dear Pastor, How is your soul? I only ask because things are a bit wild right now. The ground feels a bit shaky; the future uncertain. You have become a new kind of pastor to meet a new kind of world. You are rising to meet an unprecedented challenge. You are live-streaming, prerecording, checking-in, and […]

Remembering Sy Sperling — and Your Pastor, Minister, or Priest

A timely suggestion from a pastor friend of Mbird. Pour one out (pluck one out?) for our man Sy Sperling, the greatest theologian of late-night TV ads from the early 90s and late 80s. He died in February at age 78. Don’t remember Sy Sperling? What are you, Gen Z? He was everywhere on TV […]

Daniel Defoe on Preaching During a Pandemic

A resonant passage from A Journal of the Plague Year 1665, in which the author of Robinson Crusoe describes some of the preaching in London during that catastrophe, ht WDR:

Neither can I acquit those ministers that in their sermons rather sank than lifted up the hearts of their hearers. Many of them no doubt did it for the strengthening the resolution of the people, and especially for quickening them to repentance, but it certainly answered not their end, at least not in proportion to the injury it did another way; and indeed, as God Himself through the whole Scriptures rather draws to Him by invitations and calls to turn to Him and live, than drives us by terror and amazement, so I must confess I thought the ministers should have done also, imitating our blessed Lord and Master in this, that His whole Gospel is full of declarations from heaven of God’s mercy, and His readiness to receive penitents and forgive them, complaining, ‘Ye will not come unto Me that ye may have life’, and that therefore His Gospel is called the Gospel of Peace and the Gospel of Grace.

But we had some good men, and that of all persuasions and opinions, whose discourses were full of terror, who spoke nothing but dismal things; and as they brought the people together with a kind of horror, sent them away in tears, prophesying nothing but evil tidings, terrifying the people with the apprehensions of being utterly destroyed, not guiding them, at least not enough, to cry to heaven for mercy.

Join Us For Morning Prayer

This week we’re streaming the service from St Albans in Waco, TX, with Aaron Zimmerman preaching:

I Take It Back

I got what I asked for and I was wrong. (Isn’t that usually how it works?) Not long ago I wrote about wanting to skip church. Making every excuse I could to try to get out of it. Dreading Saturday nights before I’d have to go the next day. As “good” as I know church […]

Barbie Bread and Fresh Fruit

I left the house and our two toddlers’ sides for the first time today in nine days. Knowing that I could not physically stay in our home and see any metaphorical fruit from the two-hour break that my husband was able to give me after he lead Morning Prayer via Facebook live this morning, I […]

The Blessing (in which I begrudgingly admit everything will be alright)

I am what my therapist calls a catastrophizer. I always play out the worst-case scenario in my head. I have done this for as long as I can remember. I used to think that it was just a way of being prudent and planning ahead. I have learned in the past few years that it […]

Join Us for Morning Prayer

We at Christ Church in Charlottesville again taped today’s planned Morning Prayer service, which you can follow along with by downloading the service bulletin here. Paul Walker presided and preached, Sam Bush did the music, Amanda McMillen did the readings, and Christie Walker said the prayers.

What Did You Give Up for Lent? Everything.

After reading a recent CNN article titled, “Americans are asked for more sacrifices as coronavirus keeps spreading,” a thought suddenly popped into my head: “What are you giving up for Lent? Oh, everything.” The timing of this “sacrifice” has God’s timing written all over it. Here we are each year giving up what we think […]

Join Us for Morning Prayer

For those whose churches aren’t meeting for worship this morning, we at Christ Church in Charlottesville taped our planned Morning Prayer service, which you can follow along with by downloading the service bulletin here. Paul Walker presided, I preached, Sam Bush did the music, and Amanda McMillen did the readings.

Christ Episcopal Church Sunday Prayer Service March 15th 2020 from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

The Absurdity of Death: A Lenten Reflection on Camus

I both love and am unsettled by Lent. This season of the church calendar has always felt especially “real,” or maybe “lived-in” to me. I don’t really know the right language to describe it. But where Christmas and Advent quickly become enmeshed in joyful-but-confusing commercialization, and Easter culturally comes and goes over the course of […]