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; 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
Friend, blogger, creative genius, and pastor-in-waiting Emmy Kegler came up with this brilliant resource and liturgy
“For Thanksgiving: A Table Full of Hope” last year. If you didn’t use it then, you should definitely use it this year for Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Eve.
This coming weekend is the first one of the new church year, as we begin with the first Sunday in Advent. If you are preparing a sermon or planning worship and following the revised common lectionary, check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis’ thoughts on “Why Advent?” Also spend some time with Rev. Dr. David Lose’s thoughts about, “Advent 1C: Stand Up and Raise Your Heads!” Bishop Michael Rinehart also shares some thoughts on Advent 1C, and particularly reflects on the idea of “Hope in Chaos.”
Speaking of Lutherans, David Gibson wrote and asked, “Did Pope Francis Say Lutherans can take Communion at Catholic Mass?”
Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly Twitter chat which last week focused on “using social media to foster gratitude and Thanksgiving.”
If you are looking for an innovative nine-month collaborative experience, and particularly drawn to communities created between artists, churches, and patrons, check out this new concept of a “Cascadia Residency.”
Last week I shared some news about the sale of radio station KPLU from PLU. That story has continued to evolve over the past week. David Kroman wrote and noted that, “KPLU would have liked to save itself. It never got the chance.” In a somewhat new development, Joel Connelly revealed that, the “University president’s tribute (was) deleted from KPLU annual report before sale.” The way this story keeps coming tells me that PLU did not anticipate the problems that this decision would create and the backlash. From my end, though it might make business sense, I think it was a poor decision in terms of both legacy as well as as a community service. I view KPLU as one of PLU’s community services to the larger community, something Lutherans and Lutheran institutions have long valued and strived for providing. (Plus, I often listened to KPLU online while living in Minnesota for a “taste of home.”) I especially appreciate Cliff Mass’ explanation for “Why KPLU Must be Saved and KUOW Reformed.” (In an update, the KPLU advisory board voted unanimously yesterday to oppose the radio station’s sale, and formally sending a letter of protest.)
Leadership Thought & Practice
Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership reflections and lists over the past week, including: “7 Surprising Questions to Measure your Leadership“; “The 7 Practices of Curious Leaders“; and a list of the “7 Surprising Strategies that Elevate Leaders.”
Travis Bradberry highlighted, “6 Things Successful Leaders Do Differently.” According to Travis these things are: kind without being weak; strong without being harsh; confident without being arrogant; stay positive, but remain realistic; are role models, not preachers; and they’re willing to take a bullet for their people.
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman wrote that “We Like Leaders Who Underrate Themselves.”
Lolly Daskal unpacked, “One Rule of Leadership that can Heal the World,” to follow and live by the “golden rule.” Lolly also wrote and explained about “Listening: the Forgotten Business Tool for Amazing Success.”
Meghan Biro unpacked and highlighted “4 Ways to Make Workplace Wellness a Culture Win.” The ways Meghan notes are: provide wearable tech; create occasions; offer tangible incentives; and measure its effectiveness.
Catherine Alford shared a look at “3 Ways Millennials Have Made the World a Better Place.”
If you have not yet seen this video (and/or read his tribute), here is a powerful and very moving video that you need to see from Antoine Leiris. Antonie lost his wife Helene in the attack in Paris but he will “not give you the gift of hating you.”
Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “expanse“; “interconnectedness“; “God is a verb“; “one love“; “dare to go inside“; “a nest of silence“; and “oh, the unexpected joy.”
In light of the refugee crisis, the needs of the refugees, and the response of the world (and nations) to this need, many writers have written, reflected and responded. Bishop Michael Rinehart caused us to ponder in writing, “When I was a stranger, you welcomed me…” Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth wrote about, “All our sins on the heads of Syrian refugees.” Blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote a fitting and timely post given the start of Advent later this week, “There Was Room at the Inn.” The Houston Chronicle shared an open letter from Houston Christian leaders, “About those refugees.” Brian Schoeneman shared some “Myths vs. Facts in the Syrian Refugee Issue.”
My friend and program director for Hunger Education with ELCA World Hunger, Ryan Cumming wrote about “Lutherans and Refugees,” and highlighted the fact that this is an important conversation and work for Lutherans as it helps with: remembering who we are; seeing who we are; and becoming whom we are called to be. Check out this good post and the links included in it as well.
For a convincing video take, my Dad shared this brilliant look at refugees and our response (or lack thereof) to their need from Stephen Colbert, “No country for for anyone not already here.”
In connecting the refugee crisis more directly to the idea of fear, and a fear that keeps us from acting, Nate Pyle noted that “Fear May Cause Us to Deny Jesus.” Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland wrote and asked, “They Will Know We Are Christian by Our…Fear?” Friend and pastoral associate Stefanie Fauth-Lemke reflected, “Give me your tired, your poor…”
Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson reflected about, “The Christian moral obligation to refugees (or why I’m sick every time I open Facebook these days).” Frank also wrote about, “Work. Rest. Two commandments of equal importance,” and shared, “A litany of thanks.”
Outside of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, there has been another major neighbor love story over the past week. Protests have continued in Minnesota in response to murder, racism, potential cover-ups, and police brutality. As the autoposy has found, Jamar Clark was unarmed when shot to the head. This has led to a number of vigils including this one joined by the National NAACP president. Kayla Koterwski shared this update from the “MPD Fourth Precinct Shutdown.” Last night, five unarmed peaceful protesters were shot. Racism is real, and we’re all called to confront it. Let us all work for justice and reconciliation.
Social Media & Blogging
During November, the COMPASS blog is digging deeply into the question and meaning of why we give thanks. As part of this series, Nicole Brennan wrote that “A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart,” and Ecumenical Stewardship Center director Marcia Shetler shared some thoughts about “When It’s Hard to be Thankful.”
After Thanksgiving for many comes Black Friday, Christmas shopping, and other holiday costs and budgeting needs, as well as other experiences. In light of this, Kristi at Young Adult Money wrote, “Make the Most of Holiday Deals,” while Erin shared about “8 Things to do on Black Friday Instead of Shop.”
A couple weeks ago I had the good pleasure of being able to join a Twitter chat pondering the question, “Why Stewardship?” Andy Kort summarized what he learned and some of what was discussed in this post “#whystewardship? A good question with a lot of good answers!”
Sad news from PLU as “Hall of Fame Men’s Tennis Coach Mike Benson passed away.” Among his remarkable story is the fact that he coined the phrase, “It’s a Great Day to be a Lute!”
Friend and COMPASS advisory board member Nicole Brennan reflected about “Why Your Little Decisions Matter.”
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, I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for all of you and for being part of the conversation with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! -TS