SDI Encounters

EP096 - Catching Up With John Mabry - Creative Work and Interfaith Exploration

January 11, 2021

John Mabry is beloved in the SDI Community. He’s been with SDI for over 20 years in a number of ways. He is the former editor and a longtime contributor to Presence Journal – our quarterly magazine on spiritual direction and companionship. He does…so many things. He’s a spiritual director, he’s a prolific author, having written dozens of books on spirituality and mysticism, (I counted 23 books just on spirituality on his website!), but he also writes fantasy and science fiction novels. He is a UCC pastor – at two different churches, AND he makes music with two bands, and is working on a solo album. How in the world does he find time for all of this? In this podcast episode, Part 1 of our conversation, we catch up on all the things John is up to, his teaching practice at the Chaplaincy Institute, why Interfaith exploration and openness is an important part of the spiritual journey, and how the heck he finds time for all his creative endeavors.

John Mabry is a United Church of Christ pastor, currently serving Grace North Church in Berkeley and Our Redeemer Lutheran in Oakland. He teaches world religions and spiritual direction at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley. He sings for two progressive rock bands, Mind Furniture and Metaphor, and also writes songs for liturgy and worship. He is based out of Oakland, California, and you can learn more about him at


Support for this episode comes from SDI Renaissance 2021 Virtual Conference, offering an unparalleled lineup of workshopsinstitutes and premium workshops and keynotes. Sister Joan, Father Richard, Roshi Joan and our other speakers and workshop presenters will all focus on spiritual companionship. Such an amazing array of wisdom teachers - all addressing our beloved calling - may never be available in one conference again. 

And now, because our conference is 100-percent online, you can enjoy the entire experience without the risk of COVID-19 infection and with considerable savings. That's means significantly lower tuition and no travel or hotel costs.

In addition, every participant will have access to recordings of all plenary sessions - and the vast majority of 40 workshops - as educational resources for 3 months after the end of the conference. (Imagine being able to relax as you enjoy the conference, knowing that if you miss a session you can always catch up later. Imagine having all these wisdom teachers accessible on video for multiple weeks so you can review what you've learned, discern and go deeper.)

Click here to learn more and register today.


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