Tuesday on the blog means that I get to share some of what I have found thought provoking and worth a read over the past week with all of you. To help make sense of all these links, I have grouped them into the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
In preparation for Holy Trinity Sunday this coming weekend, check out these thoughts from Rev. Dr. David Lose in “Trinity B: Three-in-One Plus One!” Also check out this post about the “Trinity” from Bishop Michael Rinehart.
Friend, adviser and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner was selected to give this year’s Commencement Address for Luther Seminary’s Commencement. This was a very well deserved honor. You can read his commencement address here.
Speaking of commencement addresses, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush shared one he gave at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School arguing that, “It’s A Great Time to be Graduating from a Mainline, Progressive, Christian, Divinity School.”
For a refreshing perspective on the church and being part of it from a young adult, check out this great piece by Kayla Koterwski entitled, “A grammatical moment: Young adult’s synod assembly experience results in passion for church.” Speaking of Kayla, she maintains a wonderful and thought provoking website and blog which I encourage you to check out called “Human Ponderings.” Her most recent post was a reflection about “Jesus the ‘Not Pure.'”
Out of the United Methodist Church, Heather Hahn shared that the “Church body seeks greater openness on human sexuality.”
Friend and pastor Brian Mundt shared this post by Alvin Ward with a number of maps detailing “The Second-Largest Religion in Each State.”
David Gibson shared very sad news last week about how “Author Phyllis Tickle faces death just as she enjoyed life: ‘The dying is my next career.'”
In another very sad story, it was announced that Pastor John Hogenson, senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis has an inoperable brain tumor.
In an article with great ministry and stewardship implications and insights, Adam J. Copeland wrote and shared, “A broader appeal: How crowdfunding inspires creative ministry.”
I feel great hope and assurance for leadership in the church in reading this story by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni about “10 under 40: These adults are leading the church & changing the world.” Included among this great list are friends, collaborators and colleagues in ministry Joe Davis, Rob Saler, Rozella White and Rachel Wrenn (who I went to both undergrad and seminary with).
Kate Frentzel shared a wonderful profile about “A Place of Welcome.”
Carlos Dada wrote about “The Beatification of Oscar Romero.”
Tom Ehrich wrote about, “5 Ways Churches Inflicted Pain on Themselves.” The 5 ways that Tom highlights: we stopped trying; we stopped giving; we turned inward; we fixated on Sunday morning; and we trashed our reputation. These are all valid observations as far as I can tell. Now the question is, how do we admit this and then live into the new day knowing that God is ever present, and that everything is being made new? (Hint check out some of the links I included above that give me great hope and assurance.)
Rev. Erik Parker wrote and shared, “Everybody Panic!- Why We Are All Wrong about Church Decline.”
Elizabeth Rawlings wrote, “A new kind of attractional ministry (or: the church has done this to itself).”
John Pavlovitz shared “5 Ways Churches and their Leaders can Love Single People Well.” The ways he expands on are: stop treating singleness as an illness or temporary setback; pursue truly multigenerational ministry; recognize the great diversity of singleness; teach ‘community’ as much as ‘family’ from the pulpit; and really see and hear single people.
I shared some reflections, ideas and wondering about “Openness to Imagination and the Church.”
The Millennial shared some thoughts and an article by Daniel DiLeo about “Papal Authority and Climate Change,” as well as important observations from Robert Christian that “Churches Aren’t M.I.A., But Haven’t Done Enough for the Poor.” Check out both of these posts.
LEAD shared a great question and invitation asking, “Are you satisfied with your congregation’s Faith Formation Ministry? Are you registered for the Best Practices in Faith Formation Seminar on August 15, 2015?” Well, are you?
Anne Loehr shared an interesting post with implications on the new state of the economy of remote, project and freelance/contract employees in “A National Survey of the Freelance Workforce: America, Meet Your Future Workforce.”
In a paper that I found interesting, if not a little unsettling though unsurprising, Bruce Bartlett shared insights about “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.”
Julian Stodd shared a number of posts with implications for leadership, organizations and communities. Julian wrote, “From Aspiration to Culture: the erosion of values,” he shared some other ideas in “Microcosm,” and reflections about the “Layers of Storytelling.” Spend some time with all of these posts and see what you think.
Leadership Thought & Practice
Marcella Bremer shared thoughts about “Positive Leadership Toward Reinventing Organizations.”
Dan Rockwell shared a number of posts that caught my eye. Dan shared, “7 Ways to Become a Respected Leader,” “The Answer is Who,” and “Three Steps to Great Leadership,” including: give yourself wholeheartedly to service; pour into yourself so you can pour into others; and stop doing leadership, be a leader. Dan also shared about “Stink Bugs and Flowers,” and “7 Ways to Embolden the Timid.”
My friends at the Connective Leadership Institute shared a playlist of 12 talks about “How to be a great leader.” Check out these TED Talks, and perhaps listen to them while sitting stuck in traffic, or in your office while in the need of some ideas or inspiration.
Friend Lace Smith shared, “His Majesty King Harald V of Norway’s Commencement Speech at Pacific Lutheran University.” Check out this great speech given at PLU’s commencement and see what you think. You can read more about the King’s visit in this article written by Rob Carson for The Tacoma News Tribune.
As yesterday was Memorial Day, here are a couple posts that were written and shared with that in mind. First of all, here are some “Memorial Day Reflections” that I shared last year. Also, Jon Tevlin shared about this now famous picture taken of an eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota in this “Memorial Day look back: Eagle photo touches hearts.”
Also, as Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer, Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared a great idea both for your own leadership but also learning and appreciation of history, nature in more, in writing, “Go to a National Park This Summer!” I’m planning on it. Are you?
David Van Rooy shared, “12 Interview Questions You Should Always Ask Millennials,” noting that “There are now more Millennials than any other generation in the workforce. Use these interview questions to hire the best of them.”
Eugene Fram asked, shared and started an interesting discussion in writing, “Nonprofit Boards Prepare- The Millennial Workforce is Coming.”
Also with Millennials and the workforce in mind, Chris Komisarjevsky wrote and shared, “The Corporate Wake-Up Call: Millennials Are Now in Charge.”
John Pavlovitz shared a couple neighbor love related type posts including thoughts about “When Mean, Scared, Scary People Have Stolen My Jesus,” and “Waking Up on Memorial Day.” John also shared, “Some Lessons all Christians can learn from the Duggar Family situation,” as well as thoughts about “Why Religious Hypocrisy is Unavoidable (and why it’s unacceptable).”
Friend Dr. Deanna Thompson shared this post by her daughter Linnea which was featured on Caryn Riswold’s blog, “At the Intersections: #BlackLivesMatter Vigils & the (white) Privilege of Growing Up.”
Friend, artist and blogger Vonda Drees shared a number of absolutely gorgeous and beautiful posts over the past week. These included some reflection in pondering “What did I avoid today?” Inspired by the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Vonda shared ___ posts, “ojos que han llorado…eyes that have cried,” “voz de los sin voz~ voice of the voiceless,” “Seamos dignos~ Let us be worthy,” and “Monsenor Oscar Arnulfo Romero…Santo de America!” Vonda also shared, “stoke our hearts,” “gospel marrow,” and “wholly kind.”
Blogger and pastor Lura Groen shared and wrote, “The God who made me Queer also taught me Black Lives Matter.”
Friend, pastor and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon from this past weekend for Pentecost based on Romans 8:18-38, “Take a chance! Spiritual advice to the Spirit-starved church.”
Christina Embree shared some great reflections in response to, “Here’s What Wrong…” something many leaders hear as the start of statements, stories, accusations, complaints and worries.” Christina also shared, “Four Simple Questions Your Family Should Ask.”
Social Media & Blogging
I came across this great post by Belle Beth Cooper about “How to Find Your Best Time to Tweet: The 4 Most Accurate Methods.” Included is this depiction of the best time during the day to Tweet, found on this timeline and graph.
Jessica Malnik shared a helpful list of “33 Social Media Groups and Chats You Should Know About.”
I was inspired by these three videos and stories from the Southwestern Washington Synod about congregations, faith communities and leaders engaged in deep listening and doing ministry in new ways in “My Offering at Work.”
Michelle at Making Sense of Cents shared “Memorial Day and Some Summer Spending Statistics,” as well as “What Hopping Around Countries Taught Me About Money.”
In a post that’s just as relevant as a year ago, friend and Director of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, Marcia Shetler wrote, “Congratulations- and Condolences? Graduates and Student Debt.”
Friend and pastor Brian Mundt shared this resource to “Improve Your Vocabulary with the ‘Wheel of Feelings.'”
Friends Katie and Will continued their adventures and experiences abroad, and updated us on their blog over the past week about how things are going now in Cameroon. They wrote and shared: fruit inspired posts like “A Mango a Day…“and “I’m Going BANANAS!!!!“; interesting advice and observations like “Don’t Poop in the Churchyard… and other things Americans take for granted…“; and other observations in “Crickets in the Shower- and Other Bits of Life.”
As a morning person I appreciate this post from Leo Babauta with ideas about “Creating a Lovely Morning.”
Friend Dr. Deanna Thompson shared a happy life update in “A Hopeful Start to Summer.”
Have you ever heard about a “Life Audit?” If not, or if you are intrigued, check out this post by Ximena Vengoechea.
That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always, if you have things to include in future editions of the links, please let me know. Also, if you have topics, ideas or questions for me to dig into as the focus of a blog post (or two or three) please let me know that too. Until next time, thank you for reading and being part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS