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 number of helpful resources. If you are following the revised common lectionary, Bishop Michael Rinehart shared about “Pentecost 25B- (and focused on) Hannah’s Prayer.” Rev. Dr. David Lose wrote and focused on, “Pentecost 25B: Pretenders to the Throne.” Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis focused on the appointed gospel passage of Mark 13:1-8, in “Storied Stones.”

If you are following the narrative lectionary, Dr. Michael Chan provides this “Commentary on Hosea 11:1-9.

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared some missional thoughts and ponderings in, “Rethinking Concerts. Rethinking Church.”

The Lutheran World Federation shares about the “LWF General Secretary keynote presentation on global perspectives on the Reformation.”

My friends at LEAD have put together some absolutely beautiful (and free) “Advent Resources for Your Home and Congregation.” Check them out!

"we heal in community" by Vonda Drees
“we heal in community” by Vonda Drees

LEAD also shared a post by Pastor Rich Nelson explaining about “the need for nature-based faith formation for children.”

Pastor and blogger Eric Worringer shared this post from Tom Gjelten noting that a “Poll Finds Americans, especially Millennials, moving away from Religion.”

The Pew Research Center recently released findings that suggest that the “U.S. Public is Becoming Less Religious.” Take a look at their findings.

Related to this, friend, adviser, and professor Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner shared this look from Douglas Laycock at “Secularization in the U.S.: Overblown or Underestimated?

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth reflected about “Living and Managing without Reference to God.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger David Hansen moderated last week’s Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) Twitter chat focused on “Social Media and Thanksgiving.”

Blogger and pastor Jan Edmiston shared some light on transitional ministry in taking up the question, “How Many of Our Congregations are in Transition?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller wrote about, “Revisiting ‘Bi-vocational’ Ministry.”

Aaron also shared this look from Allen T. Stanton on “Community Engagement and the rural church.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd asked and shared, “The Future of Learning? It’s Here.” Julian also shared some thoughts on “Foundations” as well.

Nonprofit Tech for Good shared, “A Fundraising Success Checklist for Nonprofits.”

Daniel Newman noted what he believes will be “The Top 10 Marketing Trends that will define 2016.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Steve Keating shared some leadership thoughts about “Leading with Care,” as well as some thoughts about why “It’s Never Too Late,” to start planning.

Lolly Daskal shared, “8 Success Lessons Richard Branson didn’t learn in Business School.”

Tanveer Naseer shared a guest post by Amy Brann considering, “5 Behaviors Successful Brain-Aware Leaders Practice,” including: illuminate contribution; connect; build confidence; give control; and celebrate.

Daniel T. Stephens shared, “3 Leadership Lessons from my 3 year old.”

In the spirit of more leadership lessons, Patrick Ambron shared about, “6 Leadership Lessons I Learned in Conversation with Barbara Corcoran.”

Dan Rockwell shared some thoughts from “The CEO of Ace Hardware on Leadership.”

Tess Horan wrote and reasoned that, “Collaboration is a Buzzword. What you want is a Shared Language.” Check out the post and see why.

Skip Prichard shared a look at “7 Practices of Authenticity.”

Dan Forbes shared some good thoughts on “How Life Really Works,” especially in moving from point A to point B.


Jon Mertz asked and highlighted about, “How Can You Open Doors for Millennials?” Three ways Jon notes for connecting with Millennials include: open opportunities; be open and clear; and open purpose, inside and out. Jon also wrote at Thin Difference about “How to Flow from College to the Workplace.”

Also over at Thin Difference, Jeremy Chandler wrote about, “Breaking Down the (Communication) Barriers between Generations,” and Thin Difference featured a guest post by Andrew Howe on “Living in the Digital Era: Pros and Cons.”

Kristi at Young Adult Money shared a list of “20 Easy Ways Millennials Can Practice Minimalism.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, blogger, and pastor Diane Roth shared, “Holding on Loosely- a sermon on generosity for All Saints Day,” based on John 11 and Psalm 24. Diane also wrote about, “The Song You are Teaching Me.”

Rev. Tiffany Chaney shared “Living Lutheran: My Story,” remarks that she shared at the New England Synod Lay School of Ministry event.

Friend, blogger, pastor, Navy chaplain, and Veteran, Aaron Fuller shared about “Remembering Veterans’ Day: An Old Story.” Thank you Aaron and all Veterans for your service.

Allison on the beach
Allison on the beach

My wife Allison shared her sermon from this past weekend, “A sermon on being seen,” based on Mark 12:38-44. Within this, Allison asked and preached, “What are you hoping for? What do you dare to hope for? Do you hope that every returning veteran is loved and cared for? Do you hope that every child in a one mile radius of this church has everything they need to learn? Do you hope that young people discover God’s unique call for them, as they’re supported as college and seminary interns, and residential pastors? Just like God is not done bringing life from that old tree stump in the forest, God is not done holding your hopefulness. The steam from that tree stump continues to rise and refuses to hide. Admits all the signs of death in the forest, it continues to rise and be seen over, and over again. A widow passes by the central treasury and puts in her two coins. An invisible woman puts in all she has. And yet Jesus sees her.” Go and read the whole sermon.

Zack Hunt shared some thoughts about, “The Suspended Praying Football Coach: A Perspective You Probably Haven’t Considered.” What do you think?

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this week’s neighbor love in action story about, “A determined barber (who) helped a boy with autism through his first proper haircut.”

Jim Wallis wrote and promised, “Dear Speaker Ryan: We’re keeping our promise on Immigration Reform.”

Catherine Humikowski shared an important and powerful commentary on “Our terrifying children’s epidemic: Gun violence.”

Friend, pastoral associate, and blogger Stefanie Fauth shared her sermon based on 1 Kings 18:20-39, “Hey, Ba’al!

Sarah Carson wrote and asked, “What is your story?

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included the: “no-matter-what-ness of grace“; “we heal in community” (pictured above); “fullness unfolding“; “a journey of truth“; “from first touch to last breath“;  “outpouring Trinity“; and “awe and law.”

Pastor and blogger Keith Anderson shared about “Emoji Theology with our confirmation class.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend based on the Narrative Lectionary focus text of 1 Kings 18:20-39, “A Perfectly Rational Story.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared some neighbor love type thoughts about “Augustine, On Christian Doctrine.”

Social Media & Blogging

Frank Geric shared, “5 Keys to Building a Great Content Map and Editorial Calendar.”

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


Susie Allen notes news from a recent study that found apparently that, “Religious upbringing is associated with less altruism.” Michael Hausam adds that according to that study, “Christian and Muslim Children are surprisingly less willing to share than this group.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth pondered about what might be, “Another Word for Stewardship.” She writes, wonders, and invites us all into the conversation by pondering, “Maybe we need a different word, one that somehow brings to our imagination all of the things we can do together, when we pool the resources that God has entrusted us with.  Maybe we need a different word, a word that brings to our imaginations the mission of God and all of the resources that God has given us, so that we can share it.  Maybe we need a different word, a word that makes us excited for the feast that we will share and the songs that we will sing, and the gifts that we will open — gifts that we have given to one another. Maybe we need another word, but what would it be?”

Margaret Marcuson shares a post from Kevin Lee which notes that a, “New study shows active churchgoers want e-giving options.”

Erin at Young Adult Money unpacked a list of “7 Ways Stress Can Mess With Your Finances,” as well as “6 Ways to Simplify Holiday Shopping.”


Justin Irving shared some thoughts from “David Brooks on Vocation and Making Commitments.”


Eric Hand shared interesting geologic news about how “Deep Magma Chambers (have been discovered) below Mt. St. Helens.”

Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg shared news about how the Mariners’ “Offseason Begins Unexpectedly.” Tim also shared that the “2016 Hall of Fame Ballot has been Announced.”

Sports columnist Bill Plaschke shared that, “Listening to Keith Jackson’s rhapsodic voice is still quite a treat.” I miss hearing Keith’s college football announcing and ability to tell a story each week.

Are you tired of turning your clocks back every year? Maddie Stone is, and I’m with her. I would rather have lighter evenings, than sun a bit earlier in the morning. Wouldn’t you?


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 and “we heal in community.”

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