This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesday 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.'”

With Pentecost being this past weekend, Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this piece from the Hufflington Post about “Pentecost 2015: History, Facts and Traditions.”

Derek Penwell shared, “Six Things Christians Should Worry about More Than the Decline of Christianity.”

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).

Friend and educational director Ryan Cumming at ELCA World Hunger shared thoughts about “Exploring: Advocacy.”

Here’s an interesting look and video from Trinity Lutheran College about “Faith Matters at Trinity.”

Kate Frentzel shared a wonderful profile about “A Place of Welcome.”

In celebration and remembrance of Oscar Romero, Vonda Drees created, "Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero… Santo de América!"
In celebration and remembrance of Oscar Romero, Vonda Drees created, “Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero… Santo de América!”

Tripp Fuller shared this great listen about “Faith Formation in a Trans-media Era” with pastor, writer and blogger Clint Schnekloth.

Clint also shared some reflections about “The Pew Forum’s Cat of Religious Uncertainty.”

Carlos Dada wrote about “The Beatification of Oscar Romero.”

Friend and communications director Trip Sullivan shared thoughts, observations and insights from experience in this story by Robert Milis about “Retiring with purpose.”

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.”

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared thoughts, observations and links in “Christianity’s Decline.” Included in this is a link to a post written by Adam Copeland.

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.

Friend Beth A. Lewis shared thoughts, stories and ideas about “Engaging in Worship at an Early Age.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of their chat from last week about “Building Online Communities.”

Blogger and Pastor Jan Edmiston shared thoughts about “Memorial Day for a Non-Military Family.”

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?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Humanosphere shared a guest post by Amy VanderZanden about “Closing the education gender gap worldwide.”

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

Karin Hurt shared the May edition of the “Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival,” with special attention given to “Energizing Leadership.”

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.”

The Connective Leadership Model
The Connective Leadership Model

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.

Speaking of Connective Leadership, definitely check out this explanation about what Connective Leadership is and “How the model and assessments can be used.”

Steve Keating shared a leadership reflection that perhaps we can relate to in some way, writing, “Somebody Ought to do Something.”

Karrie Landsverk shared a leadership development inspired post and video about “The Power In Sharing Your Lollipop Moments.”

John Boitnott explained “Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to be a ‘Servant Leader.'”

Justin Irving shared some great thoughts about the essential leadership practice of “Fostering Collaboration.”

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. 

Dan Forbes and Lead with Giants shared a guest post by David Greer asking, “What Is Holding Back You and Those You Lead?

Lolly Daskal shared that “The Act of Empowering Others Changes Lives.” I definitely agree! Do you?

Frank Glick's famous photo of an eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery
Frank Glick’s famous photo of an eagle on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetery [credit here]
Amy Gallo shared thoughts late last year about “How to Write a Resume that Stands Out.”

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?


Thin Difference shared a guest post by Alison Brattle detailing and noting “Top Trends in Leadership Development for 2015.”

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.”

Kern Carter asked and reflected, “Why is Simple so Appealing?

Neighbor Love

Columnist George Will shared about what he sees as “Capital punishment’s slow death.”

Friend, professor and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared a post written by Kate Knutson inspired in part by the “Song of Ruth,” titled, “Where you go, I will go.”

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).”

"gospel marrow" by Vonda Drees
“gospel marrow” by Vonda Drees

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.”

David Brooks shared thoughts about what I think is an intriguing concept, “Building spiritual capital.” Check this out and see what you think.

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.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared about “Climate Refugees We Have Known & Loved.”

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.”

Tom Murphy over at Humanosphere shared an important reminder that cannot be repeated enough, “Poor people are not lazy, so stop debating it.”

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.

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

Leslie Gaines-Ross shared about “What CEOs Have Learned about Social Media.” Check this out and especially spend a few minutes reflecting on the five included tips to improve social media engagement.

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some miscellaneous thoughts and links with his post, “All Things Considered- Long Weekend Edition.”

Jessica Stillman shared “10 Tricks to Write Radically Better Emails.”

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.”

Stefanie shared about “Bad College Habits Busted.”

DC at Young Adult Money shared a list of “5 Personal Finance Books on my ‘To Read’ List,” while Erin at Young Adult Money shared “5 Financial Quotes to Live By.”

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 and blogger Julia Nelson shared some vocationally related posts in her “Friday Favorites” with some great looking photos and her “Sunday Snippets.”

Parker Palmer shared reflections about “The Gift of Good Questions.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared some vocational and life reflections in “Stuff.”

Omid Safi shared reflections in “The Power of the Glance.”

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.

PLU friend Lace Smith shared reflections about PLU’s Commencement from this past weekend in “A Great Day to Be A Lute! #PLUGrads.”


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

Image Credits: The Links, “Monsenor Oscar Arnulfo Romero…Santo de America!,” Frank Glick’s photo of eagle on grave, and “gospel marrow.”

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