This Week’s Links

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

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing for worship or a sermon for this coming weekend, I have a few helpful resources for you. First, for those following the revised common lectionary, check out reflections on “Pentecost 9B” from Bishop Michael Rinehart. In thinking about this weekend’s gospel text from the Gospel of John chapter 6, check out these reflections from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis on the “Bread of the Preaching Life.” Also, for those of you following the revised common lectionary check out these reflections on “Pentecost 9B” from Rev. Dr. David Lose.

For those of you following the narrative lectionary (like me currently), check out this “Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 3:1-17,” from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker.

Christina Embree shared some “Confessions of a Family Ministry Blogger (and Real Life Mom).” Christina also wrote and asked, “Watch and Learn: Church, What are we Teaching Our Kids?

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston wrote about “What Lasts After Church.”

This week worship and music leaders from the ELCA are “gathering under the theme ‘Called to be a Living Voice‘” in Atlanta for the ELCA’s Worship Jubilee.

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared a list of what he believes are the “Best 15 Books About Being a Pastor.” What books might you add to the list?

Jenny Heipp wrote in The Millennial Journal that, “Black Churches are Burning, the Faith Community Must Act.”

My Facebook and Twitter feeds this past week were dominated by pictures, stories and news from the ELCA National Youth Gathering. I was overjoyed to see that the hashtag for the time of worship, gathering and service, #RiseUpELCA, was even trending for part of the weekend.

The following are some of the great posts and articles that I read and saw and that I want to share with you:  Francis Donnelly at The Detroit News wrote that the “Lutheran event brings 30K to city for Youth Gathering,” and Niraj Warikoo from the Detroit Free Press wrote that “30,000 Lutherans blanket Detroit to volunteer, worship.” Deadline Detroit shared this article by Alan Stamm explaining, “Why Downtown Detroit ‘Looks Like a Skittles Factory Exploded,'” as well as that “Detroiters Embrace Visiting Lutheran Teens for ‘Your Good Work for Our Area.” I especially enjoyed Alan Stamm’s list of “5 Things We Learn About Lutherans from Their Youth Event,” including that: they’re unpretentious, they take social issues head-on, they’re not shy about pushback, they’re humble, and they tolerate news site slips; I think Lutherans will be happy with those take-away’s, I know I am.

ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)
ELCA Youth Gathering (from ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page)

Others, especially friends shared their reflections and blogs during and after the gathering. Among these, Augsburg Fortress CEO Beth Lewis wrote and shared, “Living Vicariously with #RiseUpELCA” and “Living Vicariously with #RiseUpELCA, part 2.” Bishop Michael Rinehart shared on his blog about the “2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit,” as did Pastor Andrew in “#RiseupELCA National Youth Gathering Day One.”

For congregations and leaders welcoming their youth back from the gathering this week, Pastor Joe McGarry wrote and shared, “Connect with Youth After the Gathering- 8 things you can do to connect to the church after the National Youth Gathering.”

At the end of the ELCA Youth Gathering the news was shared that the next one in 2018 will be held in Houston, Texas. With this exciting news Bishop Michael Rinehart provided this warm and excited welcome.

News broke yesterday that distinguished church historian and academic Rev. Owen Chadwick has passed away.

In news from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Lilly Fowler writes that an “Outspoken pastor (has been) ousted from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, the pastor who was ousted shared some reflections and an update on his blog writing, “Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat, “Vacationing From or With Social Media,” which was moderated last week by Jason Chesnut.

Beth Lewis wrote and shared about, “Mobile Devices & Worship: It’s not if, but when and how!” Definitely check this out and see what you think.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Exciting news came last week about how the “Every Child Achieves Act (is) a big win for arts education.”

Anne Loehr shared an important look at the future (and perhaps even current) workforce in writing and sharing about, “A National Survey of the Freelance Workforce: America, Meet Your Future Workforce.”

Tom Murphy at The Humanosphere shared some “News in the Humanosphere: Countries strike a deal at Financing for Development conference.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared, “Follow the Money: real stories of how open data can change lives.”

Julian Stodd wrote and shared, “Tall Tales in the Woods: Tempo of Storytelling.”

With thoughts to ponder about leadership and cross-sector collaboration, Dick Meyer wrote, “Mr. President, on behalf of an ungrateful nation, thank you.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Brian Dodd shared a list of “17 Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Ant Man the Movie.” 

Stefanie asked, “How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Dan Rockwell shared a few great leadership posts. Among these were a list of “12 Ways to Quickly Energize Your Environment,” as well as a reflection to “Find Better Answers- Ask Better Questions,” and “10 Words of Advice for Advice Givers.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth shared leadership and vocational reflections in “Leadership and Flying.”

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Marlene Chism who wrote that, “Leadership Is About Alignment.” Tanveer also wrote and asked, “Are You Creating Purpose Through Your Leadership?

Steve Keating asked, “Do Your People Know How to Succeed?

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Bob Tiede shared a guest post by Henna Inam featuring, “Three Questions Authentic Leaders Ask.” The questions to ask or ponder are: Who are you being right now? What’s happening around you? And, which parts of you will serve the greatest good in this moment?

My mother-in-law shared this article written by Gary Hamel detailing “The 15 Diseases of Leadership, According to Pope Francis.”

Julian Stodd wrote about “The Leadership We Need.”

Molly Page at Thin Difference shared about Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo in “Lead Inside the Box.”


Jon Mertz at Thin Difference asked, “Can You Wait Nine Years?” Thought is given to having a big mission, big preparation, big work, big faith and big community.

Jean Case shared thoughts about “Millennials And the Power of Influence.”

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto wrote and shared, “All the Charlestons: We Press On for Justice.”

For the good news story of the week of neighbor love in action read, “Teen Tweets Homeless Man’s Hand-Written Resume to Help Him Land Work.”

"A Fuller Flock" by Vonda Drees
“A Fuller Flock” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “lighten up, fear“; “holy camo“; “reflecting on the life and witness of Sandra Bland“; “a fuller flock“; “at the foot of the cross“; “serve from the soul“; and “love and beauty.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Diane Roth wrote “Human Being.”

Kayla Koterwski wrote and shared, “Here I Stand, I Cannot Do Otherwise- God Help Us, Amen.”

Friend, pastor and blogger Aaron Fuller wrote honestly and openly wrestling with their terrible tragedy and hate that was unleashed in Chattanooga last week in “Violence & Hatred: When Prayer Isn’t Enough.” Within this Aaron writes, “we can longer pick and choose when we decide to speak out when violence and hatred drop on our doorstep.” I agree. Aaron also wrote and shared, “Taking Stock of the Week: Grace in the midst of Violence, Hatred, Anger and ‘Disney Church.'” (Aaron, I think you and I should plan on attending the next youth gathering together since we both have never attended one and see what it is like in person.)

Rachel Held Evans wrote that, “For the sake of the gospel, drop the persecution complex.”

Friend, pastor and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud wrote and shared about “The Compassion of Desperation.”

My wife Allison preached this past weekend on Proverbs 8, and shared her sermon and reflections about how “Wisdom takes her stand.” Within this Allison writes, “Wisdom ‘takes her stand’ – at the crossroads, beside the gates of town, the gates of the city. Maybe she’s inviting us to see the crossroads at which we stand, within us. What does it feel like at that crossroad?You’re at one. I know you are. I’m at my own too. What does it feel like to stand there? Know that you stand at the same place as Wisdom.” Go and read the whole sermon. It’s fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because I am married to Allison.

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared, “A Lutheran Pastor Reads the Pope’s Encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home, Part II.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this neighbor love story about how President “Obama Commutes Sentences for 46 Drug Offenders.”

Jorge Ramos wrote, “Enough with the myths, insults and nonsense.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared this great video about “Catholic social teaching.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Friend, blogger and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes also shared some great links with his “Weekend Reading.”


If you or your congregation is planning a stewardship campaign, have you considered how you might use digital and social media? Check out these ideas from Betsy Schwarzentraub and the Ecumenical Stewardship Center about “Going Digital With Your Stewardship Campaign.”

COMPASS continued its July series reflecting on gift giving in the spirit of “Christmas in July” with a post about Planned Giving and Millennials by Nicole Brennan.

Also as part of that theme on the COMPASS blog, I shared some reflections about “Why I Give.” In sharing my thoughts I wonder, why do you give?

Friend and “Classy Frugalist” Grace Duddy Pomroy, shares thoughts about student loans, finances and life in “Handling the Unexpected.”

Derrick Carpenter shared about “The Science Behind Gratitude (and how it can change your life).”


Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared thoughts and reflections about “How to Age.”

Friends Will and Katie continued their adventures by taking time at Iona Abbey in Scotland. Will shared some wonderful reflections which I hope you check out in “The Clamor of Silence.”

My friend Megan and her group Lemolo shared exciting news and schedule of their “National Summer Tour.” Check out the schedule and plan to come and enjoy their music. (I am bummed that I will be missing their Minneapolis concert by a matter of a few days because of moving, but hope to hear the group back in the Pacific Northwest.)


Family at Disney Land
Family at Disneyland- Happy Birthday Disneyland!

If you like flying, especially on themed planes, check out this story about “Flying on EVA Air’s Hello Kitty 777-300ER,” by David Parker Brown.

Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg provided a couple more updates on the Seattle Mariners. First, Tim wrote sadly for Mariners fans like me (and him) that a “Forgettable First Half Suggests Forgettable Second Half.” Tim also shared that, “Peterson’s Struggles point to organizational blindspot.”

This past week Disneyland celebrated its 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Disneyland!


That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! As always, if you have questions or topics for the blog, please let me know. Also, if you have things to include 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; Pope Francis; and “a fuller flock.”

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