This Week’s Links

Internet1Each 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; 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

For those of you preparing for worship, or writing a sermon for this coming weekend, I have a few resources for you. If you are following the revised common lectionary, check out this reflection by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis based on the gospel reading from Mark 12:38-44, “Whole Life Living.” Bishop Michael Rinehart also shares some resources regarding Pentecost 24B, with special focus on stewardship and legacy.

If you are following the narrative lectionary, Vanessa Lovelace provides this focus text “Commentary on 1 Kings 18:20-39.”

Inspired by the Reformation, friend and professor Dr. Dan Peterson shared, “9.5 Theses Against the Church in America Today.” What do you think about these?

Adelle Banks shares news about the recent installation of new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopalian Church who urged, “Episcopalians to join (the) ‘Jesus movement.'”

Last week on this blog I reflected back on my learning and observations from “Social Media Sunday.” Did you and your faith community participate? If so, what did you learn and observe?

Speaking of social media and ministry, pastor, blogger, and author Keith Anderson shared about, “Youth and Social Media: Lessons from a 15 Passenger Van.”

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess also shared this piece by Keith Anderson asking, “Can the World Wide Web put Humpty Dumpty Denominations Back Together Again?” Good question.

Christina Embree shared a good luck about children and their faith questions in, “And When They Ask…

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth shared and listed, “9 Ways to Save the Church (Really!).” The ways Clint points to are: go be with people; don’t patronize people; literally give the faith away; have more babies; become less but also more clerical; become less but also more theological; social justice; swim in the river; and joy in the spirit. What do you think of this list?

Clint also asked, “Why are Lutherans so bad at evangelism?” Why do you think?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Social Leadership theorist Julian Stodd pondered about “Change: To Own or to Allocate?” Julian also provided “An introduction to Scaffolded Social Learning.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Pandora's Box
Pandora’s Box

Dan Rockwell shared a number of leadership reflections including thoughts about: “The 4 Powers of Respect and How to Earn Them“; “10 Ways to Seize Leadership’s Greatest Opportunity“; as well as some thoughts about why “Rethinkers are Stinkers.”

Justin Irving continued sharing more life and leadership lessons inspired by youth sports this week with “10 Life Lessons from Youth Sports (Part 3).”

Anne Loehr explains that “Opening Pandora’s Box of Emotions is Actually Good for Work.” What do you think about that?

Cynthia Bazin and Dan Forbes shared a sampling of a number of great leadership reads for this month in “The Best of Lead with Giants- November 2015.”

Steve Keating asked, “Are You an Added Value?

Thin Difference shared a guest post by Sebastian Boyer unpacking, “3 Leadership Qualities Every Project Manager Must Obtain.”


J.T. O’Donnell invited and asked each of you to “Guess What Millennials Value More Than Health Insurance?” What would your guess be? Check out the article and see how close your guess was to being right.

A few Millennials over at Salon summed up many Millennials’ (like myself) frustration about the broken system of politics in the United States in explaining, “Here’s why we’re committing civil disobedience: Millennials can no longer be silent about our broken system.” Amen.

Neighbor Love

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared and wrote about, “Pragmatism, Utility and Beauty.” I’m struck by the sense of awe, imagination, and wonder in this as Terri ponders, “What if I gave us – busy leadership, students, parents, friends, family members, employees – space, even an hour of class to be creative? What if we spent time dwelling in a text (Acts 2:38-47) and let our imaginations go…perhaps sketching with colored pencils or painting on canvas or assembling a mobile or writing a parable.” Check out the whole post and the included video too.

Friend, blogger, and seminarian Kristen Lee shared some great thoughts “On Interdependency,” with implications for how we show love to our neighbors, and how we function in community and even as churches and faith communities.

"it can change" by Vonda Drees
“it can change” by Vonda Drees

Candice Czubernat importantly and powerfully wrote about being “Queer and Christian.”

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “inspiriting vision“; “it can change“; “solidaridad inmensurable“;  “light and embrace“; and “Glory!

If you are looking for an interesting (and sobering) read on the church in Iraq, Keith Perkins shares about how, “‘The vicar of Baghdad’ explains what happened when he invited Isis to dinner.”

As All Saints Sunday was this past weekend, I have a number of friends who have shared their wonderful words and messages which I want to share with all of you:

Friend, blogger, and pastor Frank Johnson shared his All Saints sermon based on the Narrative Lectionary’s focus text of 1 Kings 12, “Age, Divisions, and All the Saints.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor Aaron Fuller also shared his sermon for All Saints’ Sunday based on the Narrative Lectionary’s focus text  titled, “Jerk Kings & Accidental Saints.” Aaron also shared his “Weekend Word,” focused on “Beginnings & Benedictions.”

Friend, blogger, and pastoral associate Stefanie Fauth-Lemke also shared her “All Saints Sunday Sermon” based on the revised common lectionary’s text of John 11:32-44.

And, friend, blogger, pastor, and Ph.D. student Mandy Brobst-Renaud shared her message also based on the John 11 text, “God’s Homecoming.”

Friend, pastor, and mission developer Melissa Melnick shared some good reflections on “Community Organizing as Gospel.”

Social Media & Blogging

Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes wrote and shared, “I Give Up: Electronic Etiquette is a Lost Cause.” Do you agree?

Russell Goldsmith shared a new podcast focused on “Using Social Media in Public Services.”

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


Over on the COMPASS blog I pondered the question of “Why be Frugal?” as part of the October focus on enjoying a “Frugal Fall.”

During November, the COMPASS blog will be thinking about giving thanks, Thanksgiving, and particularly why we give thanks. To get the series started, Beryl Jantzi shared ideas for “Cultivating a grateful and generous spirit.” Check out the post and join the conversation.


My Uncle Jeff (who also happens to be a pastor) shared this news that being part of a choir may be the best way to make new friends as an adult. I think this is probably music to the ears of many a choir director.

I shared some “Tuesday Tea Time” over on my friend Julia’s blog, filling in for her, and shared some thoughts and dreaming about travels, adventures, and even honeymoons. Where do you dream about traveling to?

Are you, like me, always looking for ways to be and work smarter? Friend, blogger, and communications director Carrie Gubsch shared this list of “5 Scientific Ways to Make Yourself Smarter” as compiled by Geoffrey James.


My sister Tamara (among others) has often accused me of being a “clean freak.” Well, because of this she shared this list of “42 Seriously Useful Tips Every Clean Freak Needs to Know.” Great stuff here which I will have to try soon.


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

Image Credits: The Links; “Pandora’s Box“; and “it can change.”

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