The Mbird Tulsa Conference Schedule

Streaming info and the conference schedule (with talk titles and summaries)

Mockingbird / 1.12.22

It’s finally here! See below, for a schedule of events, with talk titles and descriptions.

For those unable to attend, live streaming of the conference will take place on the Mockingbird YouTube channel.

Click here to register for the conference.

 

Friday, January 21st

5:30pm — Evening Prayer by Everett Lees
6:00pm — Dinner
7:00pm — Keynote Talk

Chad Bird — “What Kind of God Is Waiting for You Back Home?”

There are multiple prodigal son stories in the Bible. There’s Jacob. There’s Absalom. And there’s the anonymous one of whom Jesus spoke. All these “Coming Home” stories, including the others in the world’s religions and literature, all share this loaded question: what kind of homecoming will it be? It’s the same kind of question haunting all lost and wandering souls: What kind of God is waiting for me back home?

8:15pm — Hang out at McNellie’s South City

Saturday, January 22nd

8:15am — Morning Prayer & Coffee with Jason Bobo
9:00am — Morning Talks

Denise McKinney — “Welcome at the Door and in the Mirror”

God’s hospitality makes room. Room for one more. Room for understanding. Room to make things right. I trace my own journey of lived welcomes that started at a dinner table in Excelsior Springs, Missouri and how that journey has impacted my experience of inviting others to be known and loved, including myself.

Kara Slade — “The Terror of Being Our Own”

The notion that we belong to ourselves as autonomous beings is one of the cornerstones of the modern, secular age. At its heart, though, it is profoundly bad news. The good news is that Jesus Christ is the center of our lives – and of all that has been, is, and will be. With conversation partners that range from Robert Jenson to the recent dark comedy Don’t Look Up, we will explore what it might mean for our hearts to learn, with the Heidelberg Catechism, that “I am not my own, but belong — body and soul, in life and in death — to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

11:00am — Breakouts 

Jason Bobo — “Non-Christian Parables w/a Tulsa twist”

In his Church Dogmatics, theologian Karl Barth mentions secular parables as cultural artifacts made by non-Christians that still express or embody Biblical truths. Culture is telling the world meaning laden stories, and too often the Church either ignore or talks (shouts) over them. Maybe the kindest way we can extend grace to our story-making neighbors is to carefully and quietly listen to what they’re telling us. Along with an exploration of parables and listening, we will practice what we preach and consider what’s being said in 3 Tulsa based tales — Reservation Dogs, Watchmen series, and Minari.

Blake Connelly — “Are there really any ‘Good Country People?’: Concepts of Sin and Grace in Flannery O’Connor”

It was from O’Connor that I first learned that Christianity is not so much a matter of believing certain things, or even of doing certain things, but of seeing the world in the light of faith,” stated editor Robert Ellsberg upon first reading the short stories and letters of Flannery O’Connor. In my talk we will explore the unique theological vision of O’Connor, epitomizing her view of sin and grace, found in her short story, “Good Country People.” By seeing through the lens of this story, we will be able to more adeptly understand O’Connor’s uncanny ability to observe the reality of the paradox of human nature.

Todd Littleton — “Pastoring, Lasso and Grace”

Like Jamie Tart, most pastors (even Christians) think we are one in a million. Then, AppleTV theologian Ted Lasso steps up to coach and sneaks in a little low anthropology, “I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there you’re just one in 11.” Lasso-ing grace may be a bit harder than we think. About the time we rightly point out our need, we are drawn back into a culture of performance when AppleTV theologian of Glory Ted Lasso wrestles with our cultural tea, or brown water, exhorting, “If God would have wanted games to end in a tie, she wouldn’t have invented numbers.” More than believing belief, all of us need our own therapist like Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, whose confidence needs just a slight, but important, adjustment to remind us that as good as we may be at our job, Jesus is twice as good. And that is grace.

12:00pm — Lunch
1:15pm — Afternoon Talks

Todd Brewer — “An Idiot’s Guide to Wisdom”

It seems that we all have an opinion about everything. Or at least we’re expected to. One must be knowledgeable on current events, politics, science, medicine, pop culture … the list goes on. Knowledge is power, and therefore a pillar of our supposed self-sufficiency. But a world full of experts lacks genuine expertise. Where is the line that separates knowledge from foolishness? What quality differentiates wisdom from mere education? In a word, humility — the kind that comes on the other side of failure, suffering, and the interruption of grace.

David Zahl — “The Kindness Diet (and Other Life-Saving Bad Ideas)”

They say you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to see an increase in kindness in our world — and a decrease in flies. Why then does all our food taste so sour today? In this talk we’ll explore the mechanics of kindness, both human and divine, and its relation to the tyranny of expectation and the disposition of grace.