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Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

“You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again.” My dad’s family gathered in his parents’ kitchen, all 27 of us, for the Thanksgiving thanksgiving. Before my dad’s dad prayed, as he always does at these meals, my grandma spoke...
The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

Saint Stephen’s Day 2018 was marked by the passing of the art historian, TV presenter, and author, Sister Wendy Beckett. I surprised myself when a few unexpected tears leaked out on hearing the news. It wasn’t from her untimely death; she was 88 after all. No, the tears, the more...
The Top Theology Books of 2018

The Top Theology Books of 2018

So many books, so little time (and money). Here’s a brief guide to some of the best academic theology books of 2018 for all those without the time (or the money) to waste on disappointing reads. For our picks of ‘trade’ religion releases, see the Consuming 2018 post. Militant Grace:...
The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

Buried in a recent installment of Another Week Ends, CJ mentioned the book by sociologist Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Faith: Why the World Is More Religious than Ever. The subtitle pretty much says it all. The Wall Street Journal, in its review, summarized Stark’s principal finding this way: For the champions...
I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This...
Now Available! <i>An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark</i>, by Larry Parsley

Now Available! An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley

We could not be more pleased to announce the latest Mockingbird publication, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley. This accessible, down-to-earth devotional walks verse-by-verse through the shortest official take on the biggest life ever lived — the story of Jesus played out in...
TOP FILMS OF 2018

TOP FILMS OF 2018

2018 has come and gone, and we’re a bit late on getting you our favorite flicks to hit the big (and small) screen this year. That’s just the type of year it was, though. Am I right? But this past year wasn’t all that bad. Superhero fans witnessed the Marvel...
Mockingbird Update: What's in Store for 2019 and How You Can Help

Mockingbird Update: What’s in Store for 2019 and How You Can Help

With 2019 busting down the door, it’s time for our annual update on all things Mockingbird! And what a year it’s been, praise God. Such a privilege to bear Good News, especially when the world feels like an increasingly merciless place. At the end of last year, we launched a...
My Honest Recommendation

My Honest Recommendation

Part of being a school chaplain is writing college recommendations for students. Most colleges want similar information. Is the student responsible, driven, civic-minded, a good student? Some colleges ask more specific questions. What has the student done to serve their community? How is the student committed to making the world...
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I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This year I have decided to […]

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

“You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again.” My dad’s family gathered in his parents’ kitchen, all 27 of us, for the Thanksgiving thanksgiving. Before my dad’s dad prayed, as he always does at these meals, my grandma spoke up. Papa would be having […]

The Top Theology Books of 2018

The Top Theology Books of 2018

So many books, so little time (and money). Here’s a brief guide to some of the best academic theology books of 2018 for all those without the time (or the money) to waste on disappointing reads. For our picks of ‘trade’ religion releases, see the Consuming 2018 post. Militant Grace: The Apocalyptic Turn and the […]

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Grateful for this reflection by Erin Jean Warde. I try to set aside Friday evenings to cook a lovely meal that I enjoy cooking—for one. On most evenings of the week, I cook food I don’t really want to eat, because it doesn’t seem worth it to spend so much time on recipes, mise en […]

January Playlist


Listen on Spotify by clicking here.

Another Year Begins: Quarter Life Crisis, Relentless Parents, Haunted Houses, Merton's Epiphany, Trendy Church Names, and Jubilee Street

Another Year Begins: Quarter Life Crisis, Relentless Parents, Haunted Houses, Merton’s Epiphany, Trendy Church Names, and Jubilee Street

Happy January! So glad to be back at the dials to kick off a fresh year of Mocking-activity and deeply grateful to our many supporters who came through, big time, this past month to make that possible. Stay tuned early next week for details about our upcoming NYC Conference (4/25-27), earlybird registration for which expires […]

Looking East

Looking East

Through accidents of First Worldness, I have come to spend much of my life in airports and on airplanes. I live in a city so small that its airport has flights to only one city—Philadelphia—and where there is active opposition to the idea of lengthening the runway so that we might be able to travel […]

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

Saint Stephen’s Day 2018 was marked by the passing of the art historian, TV presenter, and author, Sister Wendy Beckett. I surprised myself when a few unexpected tears leaked out on hearing the news. It wasn’t from her untimely death; she was 88 after all. No, the tears, the more I thought about it, were […]

TOP FILMS OF 2018

TOP FILMS OF 2018

2018 has come and gone, and we’re a bit late on getting you our favorite flicks to hit the big (and small) screen this year. That’s just the type of year it was, though. Am I right? But this past year wasn’t all that bad. Superhero fans witnessed the Marvel Cinematic Universe grow EVEN BIGGER. […]

The Time Has Come

The Time Has Come

From heightened expectations to regrets about past failures, the turn of the year offers plenty of unique difficulties. So for those of us who remain not-very-skilled at New Year’s resolutions (and other time-sensitive things), here’s a *timely* devotion from An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley. Take heart, and happy […]

Mockingbird Update: What’s in Store for 2019 and How You Can Help

With 2019 busting down the door, it’s time for our annual update on all things Mockingbird! And what a year it’s been, praise God. Such a privilege to bear Good News, especially when the world feels like an increasingly merciless place.

At the end of last year, we launched a series of new initiatives called “Mbird 2.0.” Twelve months in, the first fruits have arrived—top of the list being The Mockingapp, the cutting-edge app for iOSx mobile devices we unleashed in October. Next would be StoryMakers, our new children’s ministry venture which is going gangbusters (look for their first offering in early 2019). And then there’s our spectacularly redesigned print magazine, two issues of which appeared in 2018.

We also held three conferences, published four books, and hosted five ongoing podcasts, including the revitalized lectionary guide, Same Old Song, which hit earbuds at the beginning of Advent.

What’s next? My own book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It drops in April and is already available for pre-order. I think you’ll love it. In addition to our annual conferences in NYC (4/25-27) and Tyler, TX (4/5-6), we have a pastor’s gathering on the books for June, as well as a Fall event in Virginia. The Faith & Doubt Issue of our print magazine will be out in January, and later that month, we begin work on a second 365-day devotional! We’re also stockpiling new pastoral resources for a planned overhaul of this site.

All this while the parade of high-quality written and audio content continues apace.

How You Can Help

Mockingbird relies on the generosity of individual donors and churches to fund its operations. In 2018 we ran into some unexpected (one-time) expenses, mainly having to do with web hosting and conference scholarships. We’ve cut our budget going forward but are still playing catching up and could really use your help. Specifically, we need to raise $360,000 to keep fulfilling our mission in 2019. For more info about where the money goes, click here. Three easy ways to help might be:

  1. Become a monthly supporter. Close to 250 people give automatically to Mbird every month, anywhere from $10 to $1200. We would love to see that number increase. Remember, anyone who signs up for monthly giving will receive a complimentary subscription to The Mockingbird. Same goes for those who give one-time gifts of $500 or more.
  2. See if your church can help. A handful of ‘partner’ churches support us every year with funds from their outreach budgets. Others give via discretionary accounts. If you attend or work at a church that is benefiting from our ministry but hasn’t gotten behind Mbird “officially” yet, be our advocate! Email us at info@mbird.com if you have any leads.
  3. Spread the word. If you’re not in a place where you can give, there are other ways to pitch in. Write a review of one of our books on Amazon. Rate one of our podcasts on iTunes. Publicize Mbird events and articles on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. Use one of our resources at your church or in your small group. Recruit folks to come to an event. Above all, pray for us!

If you believe in what we’re doing and want to ensure that it continues, consider making a donation to Mockingbird today. Thanks for reading, and we wish you the happiest of new years.

Consuming 2018: Favorite Music, TV, Movies, Humor, Books, and Media

Consuming 2018: Favorite Music, TV, Movies, Humor, Books, and Media

Time for our annual round up of favorites, which now includes TV too. As always, these are predominantly personal picks, albeit with an eye toward Mocking-resonance. Click here to read last year’s list. Deep breath: Music Favorite Discoveries Josh White. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what to expect at the conferences we […]