Each week on the blog I get to share some of what I have seen, read, and found interesting and thought provoking over the past week. To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; 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 a sermon or for worship this coming weekend, I have some links for you. If you are following the revised common lectionary, Rev. Dr. David Lose wrote and shared, “Pentecost 20B: Curing Our Heartsickness.” Also, friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis dug into the gospel writing about, “The Thing You Lack.”
If you are following the narrative lectionary, Patricia Tull shares a, “Commentary on Deuteronomy 5:1-21, 6:4-9,” which is this coming weekend’s focus text. Also be sure and check out friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller’s look at this weekend’s text, “Deuteronomy and Talking about Law.”
Rob O’Lynn wrote and shared over at the Seminarium blog about, “Tracking Social Media Footprints in the Online Class.”
Friend, blogger, and stewardship center director Adam Copeland wrote about, “The Bible in One Hand, Beer in the Other: How t Make Oktoberfest Holy.”
Karl Vaters unpacked, “11 Ways to Be the Church for Those Who Don’t Go To Church.” The ways he notes includes: pray for them; build relationships with no strings attached; play the long game; live with integrity; talk about life, not just about your church; stop connecting faith to politics and denominations; be more joyful, less mean; live a life of scandalous generosity; be authentic, even if it means being different; be available; and make fewer statements, have more conversations. What do you think of this list?
If you are looking for a new role or challenge, and are willing to call the Pacific Northwest home, First Lutheran Church of Kennewick, Washington is looking for a new director of “Child, Youth, and Family Ministries.”
Mark Sandlin reflected about, “Saving God: The Liberation of an Institutionalized God.”
FTE shared a great podcast, unpacking and asking, “The cultural and religious landscape is changing. Social issues continue to inhibit justice for all of God’s people. Millennial leaders committed to making an impact in their communities are exploring new ways to live out their faith beyond the walls of the church. So, what does this mean for the future of our church and its leadership? And, what is our role and responsibility in shaping the future?”
Leadership Thought & Practice
Friend, mentor, and blogger Terri Elton shared a look at “The Power of Habits,” asking a great question, “What is you could focus on one thing that would transform the patterns of your leadership?” How would you answer that. Check out this post and be sure to follow along with the work that Terri and Dawn Trautman are doing together.
Jory Mackay reflected about, “The hidden power of ‘I don’t know’: How to work through creative blocks with Beginner’s Mind.”
I was excited to see news that one of my favorite professors from the Drucker School, Professor Jenny Darroch would be leading panels at a prestigious marketing conference this week.
Michael Housman and Dylan Minor’s research led to this great question, “Hire a Superstar or Dump a Toxic Worker?”
The gender gap that exists in society is a travesty. Anne Loehr offers an important look at it, helpfully writing, “Use Knowledge to Identify the Salary Gap between the Genders.”
Ted Bauer shared some thoughts on “How to use transparency to actually get ideas from people.”
Chelsea Krost shared a post by Brian Hart highlighting, “3 Ways Millennials Can Frame Youth and Inexperience as a Professional Advantage.”
Friend and pastor Kent Shane shared this post by Christian Chiakulas, arguing that, “Churches Could Fill their Pews with Millennials if they just did this.” Check this post out and see what you think. The popularity of that post led to this follow-up, “Christianity Needs a Progressive Revolution.”
Last week the State of Georgia executed Kelly Gissendaner, despite the pleas of a large swath of the global faith community.
Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These have included: “breath of life“; “why non-dual thinking?“; “Who are you, O God? And who am I?“; “called to our own edges…“; and “generous in love.”
Last week there was yet another mass shooting in a school, this time a community college. In light of this there have been a number of posts that have been shared which I have found moving, convicting, and hopefully an impetus for wide-reaching changes. President Obama came out and said that Congress has failed the country on guns, but I think even more accurately said, “Our Thoughts and Prayers are Not Enough.” I wholeheartedly agree with this, and said as much here on the blog last week. Sean Illing also took up this point, writing, “Enough about your ‘thoughts and prayers’: Gun violence isn’t about God- it’s about our shameful refusal to act.” Amen.
Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared a “Paragraph to Ponder- the normalization of gun violence in the U.S.”
Blogger and pastor John Pavlovitz wrote about, “Why gun lovers don’t get to grieve another massacre with me.”
In light of this tragedy, the question has been raised (again) about how other countries handle guns differently than the United States. The Economist took up this question graphically back in August as well. Katie Leach-Kemon took up this question as well at Humanosphere, “Visualizing gun deaths: Comparing the U.S. to rest of the world.”
Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth responded to the social media meme from last week, “We Don’t Have a Gun Problem. We have a Sin Problem,” reflecting about “A Sin Problem.” Within this thoughtful post Diane writes, “My fear is that somehow saying this will seem like enough, that someone will say, “we have a sin problem” and “let’s pray about it”, without realizing that the next step, after praying about it, might be to listen, really listen to what God wants us to do about it. The next step is to repent, to change our mind, to change our ways, to change ANYTHING.”
Much has also been made (again) about the second amendment. Last year, former Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens wrote about, “The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment.”
I’m grateful that my friend and communications director, Trip Sullivan, shared this post from last year by Mark Mason explaining, “How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings,” as well as for this pastoral letter from the Conference of Bishops written in 2013 and shared by Bishop Michael Rinehart. I was also moved to see this piece, “Dear Roseburg, From Sandy Hook Moms.”
Switching gears now, friend and pastor Jamie Brandt Brieske introduced me to a powerful blogger, Amy Christie, who has been sharing her “family’s story of a difficult diagnosis.” Amy shared about, “The Last Year,” as well as part 1, part 2, and part 3 unpacking the diagnosis of type 1 Diabetes of one her children.
On this blog, I shared the sermon that I gave this past weekend based on Mark 12:28-34, “Questions, Question, and More Questions.”
Social Media & Blogging
Over on the COMPASS blog, I kicked off the October series which is looking and thinking about ways to have a “Frugal Fall.” This month’s series will offer special attention to Millennials but be useful to all generations. Some of the questions that we will be thinking about this month, include: “What do you enjoy about the fall? How do you live frugally this time of year? What stories, tips, and examples can you share with others about how to live frugally and faithfully during the fall?”
Friends Katie and Will wrote and shared, “Here’s To Trusting God…” as they begin their new chapter in Montana.
James Stewart wrote that, “College Rankings Fail to Measure the Influence of the Institution.” To rectify this, he explains about what he calls the “Brookings-Common Sense ranking,” which prioritize “value added” components as a measure of influence. I am particularly excited to share that my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) was ranked #10 in these rankings. Check this out and see what you think!
In other news related to PLU, Sandy Dunham shares about friend and professor, “Dr. Gregory Youtz: A Front-Row Seat (almost literally) to the Chinese President’s Tacoma visit.”
Conor Hughes recently detailed about friend Jodie Rottle, writing about, “Jodie Rottle and the Human Detained.”
Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg summed up the baseball season for the Seattle Mariners writing simply, “Season Done.” Tim also shared his thoughts on the hire of the team’s new General Manager, “Jerry Dipoto.”
That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. 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