This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday means its time for the weekly installment on this blog of the links. I share and entrust some of what I have read or seen in the past week with you for your reading and thought-provoking pleasure. This week’s categories are:  Church & Ministry Thought and Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought and Practice; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship; and Miscellaneous. Enjoy!

Church & Ministry Thought and Practice

Apparently my post about Christmas Carols and hymns in worship shares sentiments and thoughts felt among many others.  Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana offered a whole series of posts on this over the past few years on her blog. I especially love her “Reasons to Sing Christmas Carols during Advent.”  Relatedly, I was also pleased to hear yesterday that Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis will be incorporating Christmas Carols into Advent worship this year for precisely some of the reasons I outlined in my post last week.

Last week came news that the Vatican had found and revealed frescoes of Priscilla that some believe show that there were early women priests. Perhaps this will help support the case for equity in worship and church leadership further regardless of gender?  We’ll see how the future unfolds.

Rev. Dr. Martin Marty
Rev. Dr. Martin Marty

Speaking of woman priests, the Church of England approved proposals for women bishops last week.

Martin Marty shares some very helpful perspective on how religious groups can find it difficult to use faith instruments to make political points.  He shares a particular story about recent events in Peoria, Illinois.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

The Harvard Business Review shared something I think very profound yesterday.  They offered a tip about “The Bonus Employees Really Want.”  Apparently more and more employees want the ability to be able to have a more altruistic and/or positive social impact.  What do you think?  Personally, I obviously resonate with you, but I also find it hopeful- a sign of hope in our society and its sectors moving forward into the future but also in working in the here and now.

Leadership Thought and Practice

Richard Branson shares some thoughts about lessons on leadership from Nelson Mandela. Take a look.

Susan Mazza offers a helpful perspective that “Leading can be silent.” As she writes, “Your silence can speak volumes about who you are and what matters to you.”

Tanveer Naseer offers something I find very helpful.  His post “Making Feedback a Gift For Your Employees,” is an important read.  He writes that, “Feedback should be encouraging and supportive; feedback should clarify roles and purpose within the organization; Your feedback should make your employees hungry to achieve more.”  What kind of feedback helps you grow?  What kind of feedback do you offer that hopefully helps others grow?

Organizations every once and awhile have to figure out their next CEO.  Gretchen Gavett asks, “Is Your Next Great CEO a Management Consultant?”

Daniel Goleman writes an extensive article on “The Focused Leader.”

The Economist offers a good reminder and reflection on how “Management thinkers disagree on how to manage complexity.”

Neighbor Love

Rachel Held Evans‘ blog shared a post by Tim Krueger about “Lament for the Philippines.”  It’s an honest and moving reflection.  It’s also a good reminder of our neighbors, their needs, and our call to love and serve them and meet them where they are at.

Friend of this blogger Rev. Ruth Marston offers a wonderful reflection and response to recent strife and decisions within the United Methodist Church.

The Erasmus blog on the website for The Economist offers an important reflection on the relationship and implications of religious difference and war.

Robert Reich has been making waves lately in commenting on America’s growing inequality gaps.  Here is one example.

If you haven’t seen this yet, take a look at this interactive map of Africa. It might give you a new understanding of the world.

Here’s an example of showing neighbor love to/for those of a different faith on an international and global scale.

Here is a good reflection on the importance of human touch, especially in showing love and respect to your neighbor/stranger.

Social Media & Blogging

Belle Beth Cooper provides “10 Surprising Social Media Statistics that will make you rethink your social strategy.” If you haven’t seen this yet, please take a look at it.


Friend of this blogger and this blog, Grace Duddy is back with some very helpful stewardship reflections. She provides, “Frugal Fitness for the Holidays.”  If you are like me, the extra food we sometimes seem to consume around Thanksgiving through Advent and Christmas and New Year’s, often takes a toll on your diet and workout routine.  Grace provides some ideas and tips to afford to try and stay fit while also having fun.

moneysignRachel Marie Stone shares some ideas about how to live lightly and consume less. She suggests to “start by going through what you already have,” “before you buy new, ask around,” and “keep a list,” among other things.

Carey Nieuwhof shares “7 Fresh Ways for Every Church Leader to Think About Money.”  I entrust these good reminders to you.


Oumou Dicko, the President’s Office Assistant at Lutheran World Relief, shared her thoughts on why she’s grateful for her vocation.  This is beautiful, and I could only hope that other people would feel the ability to reflect and explain about their vocations.  How would you describe your vocations? Are you grateful for them? Or, would you like to make a change or feel led to make a change?

I believe part of one’s on-going discernment of their vocations is an ability to wrestle with uncertainty.  If we always had certainty, I think we would become bored. Though I know all of us would prefer a little more certainty at times.  Daniela Tempesta writes about “The Grand Delusion of Certainty.”  What do you think?  She argues that one of the keys to a meaningful life is a “willingness to fail.”  I would tend to agree with her. Would you?


Lucinda S. Holmes shares, “How to Offer Worship for Those Within Your Reach.” Her reflections are very much grounded in a sense of mission, and thus I share them with you for your thoughts.

I shared this on Twitter on Sunday, but I wanted to share it with you in case you didn’t see that Tweet. Here are 10 “worshipish” songs that are done in new ways or by unexpected musicians.

-thanksgiving-clipart-8With Thanksgiving in two days, many congregations may be having worship tomorrow evening or Thursday morning. Friend of this blogger and blog, Dr. Terri Elton shares a few thoughts about this.


Being true to the word “miscelleanous” these following links have really nothing to do with this blog or its particular themes. I share these because they might be interesting for you anyway.

First, if you love to travel you might want to check out these ideas on how to do so by cruise for a huge discount. (Ignore all of the obvious commercialism at this site though.)

Second, Alex Wain shared “15 Breathtaking Images of Cities Viewed From High Above.” These are gorgeous pictures that will help brighten your day, and perhaps even give you a little bug to travel more. See especially the pictures of Rio de Janeiro and Seattle.

Finally, I have confessed before on this blog that I am a sports fan originally from the Pacific Northwest.  One of the most prolific of reporters and experts on football is John Clayton.  There was a nice story on him, his work, life, and I would add vocation in the Tacoma News Tribune yesterday.  Check it out, its a good read about passion, hard work, and a desire and emphasis to always get the news right.


That will end the links for this week.  I hope you enjoyed them and found some that are stimulating for thought and reflection.  If there are other types of stories/articles that you would like me to share, please just let me know as always.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Blessings!- TS

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