This Week’s Links

Internet1It’s Tuesday.  That means that its time to share some of what I have read, found interesting and thought-provoking over the past week.  This week’s categories include:  Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these and entrust them to you now.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

Pastor Keith Anderson shared, “Doctor Who as a model for digitally integrated ministry?” Within this vein he sees that Doctor Who shares “three crucial marks of ministry leadership in digital age.” They are:  networked, relational, and incarnational.  Give this a read.

The Public Religion Research Institute shared survey results about “A Shifting Landscape:  A Decade of Change in American Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues.”  There are a lot of implications for the church and ministry in this I think. Do you?

In response to last week’s veto of the now infamous Arizona bill, a number of prominent evangelical leaders publicly applauded and shared their support and approval of the veto.

Friend and adviser Dr. Terri Elton shared this post “Goal:  Transformational Leadership,” on her blog.  Check it out.

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared an interview/conversation on her blog today with Dr. Monica Coleman.  There is a lot of great stuff in there, especially related to congregations, communities, and depression.

Chuck Bomar wrote, “Cloudy with a Chance of Connections.” Bomar shares 5 values that he believes need to be ingrained in the culture of churches:  the value of family; the value of responsibility; the value of others; the value of quality; and the value of difference. These values he believes will help build connections across generations and perspectives. Check them out and see what you think.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

I saw this post last week on the Lutheran World Relief blog, and knew I had to share it.  It’s about how a relief operation can also be a time to train workers about quality and accountability.  There are insights here for leadership, non-profits, the social sector, ministry, etc.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Lee Colan shared four questions to bring your company’s values to life.  The questions are:  1) What do our team values mean to you? 2) How do these values make you feel? 3) What specific behaviors do you think best demonstrate these values? 4) What could you do differently to better reflect these values in your work?

Karin Hurt wrote, “Why Leaders Must Say What They Mean.”  This sums up my own thoughts on authenticity in leadership.  This is such a great and helpful post for leadership, that I hope you check it out.

If you are a student, practitioner, or fan of leadership and leadership thought and theory, check out this information on the 2014 Conference put on by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.  This year’s theme for the 24th annual international conference which will be in Atlanta in September is “Connect. Educate. Inspire.”

Here is some good advice and helpful tips about “Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategy.”

Paul T. Hogan shared, “Developing Leaders by Stepping Aside.” What do you think?

Mark Miller shared a reflection in his series “Big Questions Leaders Ask,” about the question “Where are we today?” How would you define your sense of reality? And like Mark asks, “how do you stay grounded in reality?” What do you think?

In the vein of leadership, check out the Association of Leadership Programs.

Neighbor Love

If you haven’t heard this story yet, it made the news over the past week about a would-be Olympics reporter and a potential human trafficking ring.

Rachel Held Evans wrote what I think is an important and helpful series of reflections which I encourage you to read entitled, “Walking the Second Mile:  Jesus, Discrimination, and ‘Religious Freedom.'”

Bishop Carcano, of the United Methodist Church, issued a call to Methodist bishops in Africa, “Raise your voices against hatred and violence.”

In what doesn’t seem to be surprising to me, a survey has found that “One-Third of millennials who left their religion did it because of their anti-gay policies.”

If you like a little satire and humor to provide perspective on current events, check out this response to “proposed gay discrimination laws.”

A statue entitled "Homeless Jesus."
A statue entitled “Homeless Jesus.”

Believe Out Loud shared a list of “10 Black Religious Leaders Advancing LGBTQ Justice.” 

How is this for an article title, “‘Homeless Jesus’ has no place in our neighborhood“? Think about that!  Read this letter and the comments in response.  The letter I believe shows just how important it is for us to love our neighbors, and for the church to speak out and meet the needs of the world.

David Kamphuis shared, “The Lutheran difference.” In his eyes, this is an “honesty about suffering.”  What do you think?

RJ Grunewald shared, “Theology for Everyday Life.” He offers three important reminders: 1) we are all theologians; 2) good theology makes God the hero; and 3) good theology matters on Monday morning. Give it a read.

Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite makes the links for the second week in a row with her post, “Putin’s ‘Holy Russia’ Goes to War.” The piece is an important reflection on the connection of national identity and religion.

Nicholas Kristof wrote, “The Compassion Gap.” This is an important read about the love of our neighbor.


Friend and Classy Frugalist Grace Duddy shared some thoughts and reflection about saving for pleasure. Give it a read.

Grace also provided a list and description of “Finance Apps for 2014.”  This is a helpful resource for all, as we are ever more on the go and always connected.


Stephanie Vozza shared I think very helpfully, “Personal Mission Statements of 5 Famous CEOs (and why you should write one too).” Give this some thought for yourself.

Friend and Pastor Aaron Fuller shares some honest and wonderful thoughts and wrestling about vocation, bi-vocation, and ministry.  Check it out!

Elliot Johnson also shared some wonderful vocation related insights on education and his own life.  If you like hearing and reading about other’s vocations, stories and experiences give this a read.


Ash cross on one's forehead, the symbol that is placed there on Ash Wednesday.
Ash cross on one’s forehead, the reminder and symbol that is placed there on one’s head, on Ash Wednesday.

This post is probably far too late for any use this year, but in case you are very last minute in preparation of tomorrow, here are some ideas and reflection about “Curating Ash Wednesday” from Eric Herron.


If you like to travel, and like me, have a goal of being able to say you have been to all 50 states in the United States, check out this list of what you “must do in each U.S. state.” What do you think of the list?

In the vein of traveling, if you have an interest in visiting or sight-seeing around the Pacific Northwest, check out the start of a series of posts about Day Trips from Seattle.

Friend J.W. Wartick shared, “Sigmund Freud, Totemism, and the origin of religion.” It’s an interesting read which I think you will enjoy, especially if you are interested in larger religious study thought and/or philosophy.

Friend Justin Heinzekehr shared on his blog, “Literature for Everyday Situations.”  Don’t you agree that Inferno is the perfectly appropriate read for a long commute?

Alice Herz-Sommer, just recently passed away at the age of 110. She was taken by the Nazis at age 40, but obviously outlived them, and offered some incredible insights and thoughts which you should check out.


That will wrap us this week’s edition of the links. As always, if there are particular types of stories or articles that you would like me to include, please let me know. Please let me know also if there are particular topics, ideas, or questions that you would like for me to wrestle with here in my own posts on the blog.  Until the next time, blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits:  1) The Links; 2) Homeless Jesus; and 3) Ash Wednesday ashes.

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