This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have read, seen and found interesting from the past week. To help make sense of all these links I have grouped them in the following topic categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; Worship and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing a sermon or designing worship for this coming weekend and follow the revised common lectionary, check out these reflections on Easter 3B from Bishop Michael Rinehart. Also check out the ideas from Rev. Dr. David Lose in Easter 3B: Resurrection Doubts.

If you are using the Revised Common Lectionary you might also like to check out this news from friend Beth Lewis about Augsburg Fortress’ “Year B, 2015 Resources (being) on Sale.”

Kim Hunt asked and shared, “Should Your Church Care More about Justice?” As part of this she shared “6 practical steps churches can take to get more involved in justice issues.” The steps include: recycle; go fair trade/ethical; give sacrificially; volunteer as a community; create a prayer group and visit your elected representative.

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shared a timely reflections and commentary for the season of Easter. She shared some reflections about doubt in “The Courage to Ask,” and also shared that post on her own blog.

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their chat from last week on “Building Community Throughout the Easter Season.” The questions considered in the chat included, “What worked and what didn’t during Holy Week? Also, how about some self-care?”

Jeff Strickler shared about a Twin Cities in Minnesota about a church program that “offers hot soup, warm welcome.”

Are you looking for a new job opportunity? Here’s an urgent opening from the ELCA for an English Teacher in Japan. Check this out.

This post listing “5 reasons why young people are seeking old ways of doing church,” has been making the rounds the last couple of weeks. Reasons noted include: authenticity, rootedness, mystery, icons & symbolism and participation.

Sad news to share from last week as “James R. Crumley Jr., bishop of the former Lutheran Church in America” passed away, as did Rev. Beverly Conway, whom Todd Buegler remembered in “The Loss of a Friend.”

For a congregation to partner with the neighborhood, it first takes going out, meeting and listening like this.
For a congregation to partner with the neighborhood, it first takes going out, meeting and listening like this.

Karl Vaters shared some thoughts about “How Pastors and Congregations see Sundays differently- and how it changes everything.”

Christina Embree shared a couple ministry and church related posts. She reflected about “Defining ‘Success’ in Ministry,” as well as about something we have probably all heard from children, other people or possible even ourselves at times, “Church is Boring.” Check out both reflections and see what you think. How might you respond in your own context?

Joshua McElwee shared about Pope Francis and the Jubilee, writing, “Proclaiming jubilee, Francis envisions non-judging, non-condemning church.”

LEAD shared some ideas about “Sparking Collaboration between the Neighborhood and Congregation.”

In a story with insights, implications and questions for the church and ministry in the Pacific Northwest, Isolde Raftery writes, “Northwest Church Shopping: ‘It’s Kind of Like Going on a Date.'” What do you think?

Also from the Pacific Northwest, Marcie Sillman & Hannah Burn shared and asked, “What’s the Future of Religion? One Researcher Looks to Seattle for Answers.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared a couple interesting posts. First, she shared some humor but good ideas in asking, “Which Seminary Should You Attend?” Jan also asked a fair and important question that I hope all ministry leaders reflect about every once and a while, “Is Your Pastor a Tool?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Azeem Azhar shared great thoughts about innovation and change in “Think Big, Start Small, Act Fast.”

Do you find yourself working often from a coffee shop? If so, here’s some perspective about productivity you may not have considered. What do you think?

From the Pacific Northwest, Kipp Robertson writes about a “Group fighting for Seattle broadband to become a public utility.”

Over at Humanosphere, Tom Murphy wrote about how “Governments (are) looking to social progress as new development benchmark,” as well as how apparently “Aid to poor countries fell” based on the findings of a recently released report.

Friend, blogger and nonprofit communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this article by Lisa Wirthman about “How One Nonprofit is Using Data Science to Transform Lives and Communities.”

Rob Wile shared some insights and observations about climate change, and its observance in the United States. According to this, “Florida residents are more likely to recognize man-made climate change than the average American.” Does that surprise you?

Jeannie Walters asked an important question, “Is Your Mission Customer-Focused, or an Empty Promise?

Rick Wartzman, the executive director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, wrote and asked about “The future of work: Say goodbye to HR?” What do you think?

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry shared this post by Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, “Investing for the greatest return.”

Anne Loehr shared, “Three Tips for Managing Communication in a Digital Context.” The tips include: define the core message and stick to it, find the right frequency and keep listening.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Connective Leadership shared this article by Daniel Goleman about “How to Be Emotionally Intelligent.” Within this is discussion about self-awareness, self-management, empathy and relationship skills.

Steve Keating shared a couple leadership reflections in “Unconventional Wisdom,” and some thought about “Your Most Expensive Employee.”

Jeff Boss shared that a “Study Reveals 4 Leadership Trends in Dealing with Complexity.” Four principles included in this post are: how we see the problem is the problem; unleash the creative beast; forget the ‘fixed’ mindset of leadership; and take a vertical and not horizontal leap into leadership development.

Julian Stodd shared a number of posts with implications across sectors and for leadership as well. These included thoughts about “The Complexity of Equality,” “Scaffolded Social Learning in action: exploring competition” and “Disruption: Catalyst of the Social Age.”

Who is Timothy? I think that's probably a fair question.
Who is Timothy? I think that’s probably a fair question.

Julian also shared a humbling post about social leadership in asking, “Who is Timothy?” That inspired my own reflection about “Social Leadership.” What do you think about social leadership? What might it mean to be a social leader or a leader in the social age?

For a story about a real servant leader, read about the life well lived of Dr. Charles “Les” Salmon, in “Prominent doctor lived a life of compassion.”

Lolly Daskal wrote, “Wear Your Life Like a Loose Garment.” Lolly writes that, “When you wear life as a loose garment, you can…”: get to the naked truth; give the shirt off your back; walk in someone’s shoes; don’t dress others down; wear your heart on your sleeve; don’t be a stuffed shirt; take off your hat; treat people with kid’s gloves; don’t keep it in your pocket and dress your best.

Cranston Holden reminds, “Get rid of your accusatory tone.”

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Vernon Myers that “Leaders Ask Questions to Make Better Decisions.”

Dan Rockwell shared a number of great posts over the past week. These included reflections about “How Confusion Gives Way to Clarity,” “12 Ways to Deal with your Incompetent Manager,” how “Only 35% of U.S. Managers are Engaged” and “10 Phrases Incompetent Leaders Keep Saying.”

Dan also shared a post helpful for leaders and Millennials and other young leaders in “10 Ways to be a Mature Leader even if You’re Young.” Some of the ways he notes include: maintain perspective; continue striving for excellence; seek input and listen to suggestions; admit failures without making excuses; rise to service quickly and freely and commit to learning. Check out the whole post!


Jeremy Chandler shared a helpful post at Thin Difference about “The Two Best Questions Millennials Can Ask Older Leaders.” The questions that Jeremy highlighted are: What have you learned from your failure? And, who do you know that I should know? What do you think?

Also at Thin Difference, Jon Mertz shared thoughts about “A Challenge: Be a Student as Much as a Leader.” Within this Jon shares some guiding thoughts about how to be a student as much as a leader. These include learn more than you tell, learn to act better and learn to help others learn. Check out the whole post!

In one of the more depressing posts I have seen about Millennials, Anthony D’Ambrosio shared, “5 reasons we can’t handle marriage anymore.” I don’t tend to agree, but what do you think?

Broke Millennial shared some thoughts about “The Compromises Millennials Make to be Homeowners.”

Val Matta at Switch & Shift shared what I think is good advice for all leaders, but especially younger leaders like Millennials, in “The 5 People You Need to Know to Win in Business.” The people are: the role model; the career coach; the Mom; the best friend and the mentee. What do you think?

Neighbor Love

Friend, mentor and professor Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner shared this editorial from The New York Times, about “152 Innocents, Marked for Death.” How do we faithfully respond to this?

Allen Ottaro wrote that, “After Garissa Killings, Kenyan Catholics Seek Answers, Offer Solace.”

Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the date that the Nazis executed theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. With that in mind, Kristin Berkey-Abbott reflected about “Cheap grace, valued community.”

Blogger, author and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared a couple thought provoking posts. These included a recent article by him in Word and World on “The Humanity of Posts,” as well as some of his own reflections on Dietrich Bonhoeffer in “The Integrity of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: April 9th, 70 Years after his death.”

Samuel Rocha wrote and shared a “Symposium Introduction” for “Before Auschwitz- What Christian Theology Must Learn from the Rise of Nazism.”

Mike Axisa shared the neighbor love in action story of the week about how the San Diego Padres have signed a “wheelchair-using pitcher for 20th straight season” for health insurance reasons.

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared a beautiful reflection that would serve as part of her sermon this past weekend in “But Some Doubted.”

Trevin Wax asked and pondered, “Must Christianity Change Its Sexual Ethics? History may hold the key.”

Michelle Sokol shared news about Goshen Biblical Seminary in “Mennonite seminary apologizes to victims of famed theologian John Howard Yoder.”

John Fischer reflected, “Don’t let your past control your future.”

"transformation and the story" by Vonda Drees
“transformation and the story” by Vonda Drees

Friend, artist and blogger Vonda Drees shared a whole bunch of beautiful posts over the past week. These included “What did I do today for the poor and excluded?” As well as: “God keeps loving us,” “infinite, kind, beautiful,” “breakthrough,” “transformation and the story” and “shake and shine!

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared more post-Easter Sunday thoughts in “Preaching after Easter- Part 2.”

Friend, blogger, ministry leader and pastor-in-waiting Emmy Kegler shared her sermon from this past weekend at Mercy Seat Lutheran, “Stories of faith in a world that wants proof.”

Elizabeth Rawlings shared important and powerful reflections and questions about “Nonviolence and rape.” She closes with the following thoughts and questions that I repeat now, “I would never, ever tell someone to accept rape. I don’t know how to tell someone to actively resist rape in a nonviolent way. I would fight with my last breath to keep myself or someone I love from being raped. I would accept beating, I would accept many things being done to me in the name of nonviolence. But not rape. How do we rectify this? How do we speak of nonviolence in cases of sexual violence? Is there a nonviolent option? Or do we accept violence as a necessary response in this world? Is nonviolence always the answer? Anyone?” What do you think?

John Pavlovitz wrote and shared about, “Why I’m Tired of Talking about the LGBT Community… and Why I Won’t Stop.”

Eric Worringer made it into the Boston Globe writing that the “Holy Week message (is) lost if we don’t take note of our own sin.”

Social Media & Blogging

Carrie, Allison and Me in my office at church
Carrie, Allison and Me in my office at church

Friend, blogger and nonprofit communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared a few great posts with me. First, she shared “12 tactics that will boost your Facebook reach,” written by Courtney Seiter. If you use Facebook regularly, definitely check out these tips.

Carrie also shared this helpful reflection from Evan LePage about “The 3 Stages of Building Social Media Community,” as well as Chris Ip’s thoughts about “Why digital media and identity issues are a match.” Check out all of these great links and resources.

Michael Hyatt shared ideas about “How to Blog if You Don’t Have Time.” Michael highlights seven strategies in this that have worked for him, maybe they’ll be useful for you?

Over at Switch & Shift, Peter Symonds shared about “How to Use Social Media in the Post-Modern Marketing Movement.”

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links with his weekly offering of “Really Recommended Posts.”

TK is back publishing on her blog, “Questioning Society with the Return of Chapter TK.”


Young Adult Money asked, “Do you know what actually affects your credit score?” Young Adult Money also shared a couple posts by Erin on “The Value in Spring Cleaning and Decluttering,” as well as “7 Actions You Can Take to Pay Off Your Debt.”

Eva at Teens Got Cents shared, “Achieve Lending- Make the most of student loans.”

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner shared, “6 Ways I Saved Money on College Costs,” as well as a reminder that the “Tax Filing Deadline is April 15th!

Allison and I at the Grand Canyon
Allison and I at the Grand Canyon, one of America’s famous National Parks and public lands.

During April each year we observe Earth Day. With this in mind, the COMPASS blog is providing space for reflections this month about environmental stewardship and creation care. To begin the series I shared this introductory post on “Earth Day, Creation Care & Stewardship.”

In a move that is quite contrary to creation care and environmental stewardship, the United States congress has threatened to sell off public lands or allow private control. If you are concerned about this like I am, please join me in telling Congress  that “America’s public lands are not for sale.” For more on this story, check out this piece by Will Rogers, “Our Land, Up for Grabs.”

In another example of environmental stewardship, check out the One Million Ways campaign from Christian Aid.

Friend, blogger and “Classy Frugalist,” Grace Duddy Pomroy shared a guest post and conversation by Cia Osterhouse on “How to Earn Additional Income.”

Stefanie at the Broke and Beautiful Life asked a deep question worth reflection, “Can privileged children become broke adults?” What do you think?


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her vocationally rich installments of “Friday Favorites” and “Sunday Snippits.”

Jamie, “the very Worst Missionary,” shared “Giving Life to Life-Giving Work.”

Friends Katie and Will shared some updates first about rugby in “Scrum! Ruck! Maul!” And also, “Happy Easter, Mephibosheth gets to eat!

Belle Beth Cooper shared some great ideas for personal growth and reflection in “Growth through reflection: The ultimate guide to writing monthly reviews.”

Friend, blogger and photographer Jessica Young shared about “a little reading in the new year.”

Justin Irving shared, “Let Your Life Speak- How to Understand Your Vocational Call.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared an interesting post with kind of a sadly humorous question for a title, “But How Will It Look On My Resume?


Justin Rimbo and Clay Schmit wrote and reflected, “Moving beyond worship wars: We have capacity to make worship come alive in fresh ways.”

If you like choral music, check out John Rutter on “The Importance of Choir.”


If you like visiting National Parks like I do, check out this news about a new app in, “App Alert: Explore National Parks with Your Own Private Tour Guide.”

In celebration of the baseball season finally being underway, here’s a shoutout to all the Cubs fans out there, and how Garrison Keillor thinks they might be who they are because they are a Lutheran team. What do you think?


That will conclude this week’s links. I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, if there are questions or ideas that you would like me to think about on the blog, please let me know. Also, if there are types of things you would like to see included in future editions of the links, please let me know that too. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation! Blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The Links and “transformation and the story.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s