This Week’s Links


Internet1Tuesday on the blog usually means that I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting with all of you. This week again I’m a little late, but hope to be back on schedule next week.

To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you follow the revised common lectionary and are still planning worship, or writing your sermon for this weekend, check out these thoughts from Rev. Dr. David Lose on “Pentecost 15B: What the Syrophenician Woman Teaches,” as well as from Bishop Michael Rinehart on “Pentecost 15B.”

Inspired by this week’s gospel passage, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wrote, “God Said Yes to Me.” Definitely check this out if you are preaching this weekend.

Congratulations are in order for friend Hannah Heinzekehr who has been “named director of The Mennonite, Inc.” Congrats Hannah! (I can now say about my famous friend, “I knew her win she rooted on the Cubs and Colts in Claremont.”)

LEAD shared a great new post by Ellen Drees who wrote about, “A Day in the Life of a LEAD Intern.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart pondered and shared, “What is the future of the church in Houston?

Friend, adviser, and professor Dr. Matt Skinner shared thoughts, “On Why (Some) People Don’t Give Money to Their Church.” What do you think?

The ELCA Youth Gathering (as shared by Bishop Michael Rinehart)
The ELCA Youth Gathering (as shared by Bishop Michael Rinehart)

The Lutheran shared all about the ELCA’s Youth Gathering this summer, including in this article by Erin Strybis on, “Rising up together: ELCA youth hear, share stories, of hope at Gathering.”

Friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this news and update from “The Confirmation Project.

Terri also shared a list by Sam Townsend from 2014 explaining “5 Reasons Every Teenager Should Go on a Mission Trip.”

With Pope Francis visiting the United States this month, there have been a few things written recently about Catholics in the U.S. Among these, Michael Lipka shared some, “Key findings about American Catholics,” as well as more broadly, “10 facts about religion in America.”

For all of you fans of the TV show “Parks and Rec,” friend Megan Hansen shared a post by Chris Cox listing, “10 Things the Church Could Learn from Parks and Rec.”

Are you looking for a new opportunity and have experience in children’s and/or youth ministry? If so, check out the news about how InterServe Ministries is “Looking for Associates!

A few friends shared this post from “The Fat Pastor,” explaining, “Six reasons I share Communion with kids.

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared thoughts about “Energy,” as well as a post that I hope all of you involved (or on) church staffs will spend some time with, “Rethinking Church Staffs.” Within this post Jan writes, “Imagine a church staff that looks more like a circle than a pyramid.” What would that look like? Does it exist that way in the church you serve?

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared this list of “7 Things Church Members Should Say to Guests in a Worship Service,” as compiled by Thom Rainer.

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat, which this past week centered around “Social Media Integration” and was moderated by Neal Fischer.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Bruce Wydick shared a post of particular interest for nonprofits, NGOs, ministry organizations, and international development circles. Bruce shared, “Three Things Secular Development Academics and Practitioners Can Learn from the Faith-Based Development Community…and Vice Versa.”

NWB shared, “‘Green Eggs and Strategic Plans’ and other nonprofit children’s books.”

backpackMy mother-in-law Jakki shared this timely editorial with the start of the school year in mind  from The Seattle Times about, “The power of a backpack to help children gain confidence in the new school year.”

Social theorist Julian Stodd shared some more thoughts about change and the change curve, writing about, “The Dynamic Change Model [Part 1],” and “The Dynamic Change Process [Part 2]- Framing Change.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Dan Rockwell shared a number of leadership thoughts and reflections over the past week. These included: thoughts about “Connecting with Elders and Power Brokers“; “Stepping Into an Open Field“; and “Why You Should Stop Writing Job Descriptions.”

Lolly Daskal shared what she believes are, “7 Phrases You Will Never Hear a Great Leader Say.”

Theory U
Theory U

Steve Keating wrote that, “Your Reputation Precedes You.”

I have found “Theory U” to be a very helpful book and concept, so when I saw that there was “Theory U for kids,” I had to check out this post from friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess.

Lisa Quast wrote and shared about, “Ending Gender Bias: Why Richard Branson says everyone should take meeting notes, not just women.”

Seth Godin shared an interesting post in “Scientific Management 2.0.

Over at Lead with Giants, Dan Forbes shared a guest post by Viv Hudson who wrote, “Don’t Put Your Leader In A Box.”

Ted Coine wrote that, “This Trumps Strategy. You Need More of This.”

Here’s a question for you, “Can a Leader Be a Saint?Jon Mertz at Thin Difference considers this interesting leadership question.

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Philip Murphy which explained about how “Adaptability (is) the most valued leadership skill.”


Molly Page shared about Amy Lust over at Thin Difference in writing about, “Finding Success in Option B.”

Anne Loehr shared thoughts about “How Digital Natives Will Shape the Future of Work.”

Over at Young Adult Money, Kristi shared “3 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Dividend Stocks.”

Neighbor Love

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes unpacked and shared about, “Understanding Trumpism.” Ron also wrote about Marshawn Lynch, a fitting person to write about with the football season starting in the next week, in reflecting about the “Freedom Not to Speak.”‘

Louis Jacobson unpacked a recent claim by Nicholas Kristof who shared that, “More Americans (have been) killed by guns since 1968 than in all U.S. wars.” That’s a very troubling fact which creates great room for pause (and change) I think and hope.

"building bridges" by Vonda Drees
“building bridges” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “we claim Jesus!“; “building bridges“; “You are loved, worthy, enough.“; “God will make a way…“; “story = lifeline“; “crossing over“; and “faith’s return.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some reflections in, “My First Funeral.”

This comic by Steve Sack entitled, “Risks,” may get your attention and make you think, because it certainly did for me.

Friend and blogger Ian McConnell shared a post by my brother Thomas, “I Claim…We Claim,” as well as thoughts about why “Place Matters, or, why you might not ‘get’ that some deaths demand protest.”

Blogger and pastor Lura Groen shared thoughts “On why all deaths need vigil, and some need protest.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend which pondered, “Are Traditions Serving Us Well?

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared and explained, “Why I am marching with #BlackLivesMatter tomorrow.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth shared, “Workers within the criminal justice system cry out.”

Friend and pastor Rachel Schwenke shared, “4 Rules for Making Friends of Color in College,” over at The Salt Collective.

Kayla Koterwski wrote about, “Black Lives Matter and the Resistance of White Progressives.”

Friend, pastor, and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud shared a post that you must read, “Christ in our Midst: Does My Hair Look Okay?” Within this Mandy writes, “Standing on the corner outside our church, this woman – who had never been to our church before – had the courage to ask a complete stranger, ‘Will you come to church with me?’ She never came back to our church, and I have become convinced that, on that day, Christ worshipped in our midst.” Now go and read the whole thing.


Kristi at Young Adult Money shared about “Careers that Offer Student Loan Forgiveness.”

Over on the COMPASS blog, we’re pondering this month about “How do you talk about faith and finances?” We’re especially thinking about how Millennials have this conversation and are engaged in it as well. Please check it out and join the conversation.

Simone Joyaux wrote and shared in Nonprofit Quarterly in writing about, “Values in Your Organization and What They Have to Do with Raising Money: Part 1.”


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a wonderful return of her weekly installation and community of  “Tuesday Tea Time!

Friend, pastor, and blogger Erik Gronberg shared great reflections on life, ministry, leadership and vocation in, “A Decade.” Happy Anniversary on your ordination last week Erik!


If you are, or know of someone, flying back to college for the fall, check out these “Back to school” packing tips from Alaska Airlines.

Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg shared some thoughts on the big Mariners’ news from the past week about, “Zduriencik (being) Gone.”


That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. The plan is that next week they will return to their regularly scheduled frequency, but we’ll see how it goes. As always, if you have particular questions or topics for me to think about on the blog, please share them. Also, if there are things you would like to see included in 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; ELCA Youth Gathering; Backpack; Theory U; and “building bridges.”

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