This Week’s Links

Internet1Happy Tuesday! 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 that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

I have a few links for those of you preparing for worship or writing a sermon for this coming weekend, Transfiguration Sunday. If you are following the revised common lectionary, check out this post about “Transfiguration C” from Bishop Michael Rinehart. Rev. Dr. David Lose also shared his thoughts writing, “Transfiguration C: Worship Transfigured.” Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis digs into the Transfiguration story as well writing about, “No Ordinary Mountaintop.”

If you are following the narrative lectionary, check out this “Commentary on Mark 8:27-9:8,” from Pastor Raquel Lettsome.

Carey Nieuwhof shared “10 predictions about the future Church and shifting attendance patterns.”

On this blog last week I shared about “The Problem with Bejeweled Butts.” It might not be what you expect.

I also shared my latest post as part of my role as mission developer at Messiah Lutheran’s campus in North County, where I wrote about “Big Things…

The theme logo for this year's Extravaganza
The theme logo for this year’s Extravaganza

Later this week I will be joining with hundreds of other leaders from ELCA congregations, especially those who focus in youth ministry, at the 2016 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza. If you are going to be there, I hope that we’ll be able to touch base in person, and perhaps even see you at the workshops that I will be helping lead. To make the most out of the Extravaganza, make sure you check out “The App for #Ext16.”

Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen provided a helpful response to an article published last week, writing about “The Death and Resurrection of the Liberal Church: A Response to Chris Hedges.”

In what continues to be big news from last week, Angus MacKinnon writes that, “500 years after reformation, Pope knocks on Lutherans’ door.” This story was echoed by the press release provided by the ELCA.

I’m excited to share that my alma mater Pacific Lutheran University made this list of the “Best Christian Colleges and Universities” according to College Choice.

Carl Hoover shared this nice profile about the St. Olaf Choir’s current tour in writing, “A religious chord: St. Olaf Choir plans no secular music on winter tour through Waco.”

Speaking of Lutheran colleges, Megan Brandsrud shared this look in The Lutheran at a “Class on the Current,” and how “Augsburg College leads nation’s first semester on Mississippi River.”

Sad news came from Concordia College as it will “cut 9 majors to balance budget; and job cuts are possible.”

My friend Julia Nelson and my wife Allison both shared this look and explanation of “The #1 Reason Why College Students Leave the Church Could Surprise You,” according to Kara Powell.

Allison also shared this post by Molly Beck Dean at The Institute for Youth Ministry who unpacked the challenges of change in writing that “Transition Sucks.”

If you are looking for a way to help in response to the toxic water in Flint, Michigan, Salem Lutheran Church invites you to help in their effort to provide free and clean drinking water to the entire community.

Michelle DeRusha wrote about, “Why I’m Not Cool with my 96% White Church.”

Friend, blogger, and pastor Eric Worringer shared thoughts about “What an *Actual* Conversation on Race is like in the ELCA.”

Late last week President Obama announced his intent to appoint Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rachel Held Evans, and Rev. Adam Hamilton to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Adelle Banks provided a bit more detail on this as shared by Ministry Matters.

For those of you looking ahead to Ash Wednesday next week (and Holy Week next month), check out this post with faith formation ideas for the whole family from Elizabeth Rees featuring, “Creative Ideas for Children’s Ash Wednesday and Holy Week Services.”

Brandon Horst wrote and shared about, “Taking Sunday into the Week: Creating Great Digital Content for Young Families (with Templates).”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly chat from last week as moderated by Amy Rork, which focused on “Storytelling and Storytellers- Not just story telling, but story sharing!

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Exciting news came last week as “The Save KPLU Campaign reached $1 Million.” That means that $6 Million more needs to be earned.

Sujan Patel wrote about, “The Disneyland Effect: How to Plan a Successful Conference.”

Julian Stodd shed some “Spotlight on the Social Age: Authenticity.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Friend, blogger, and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this article by Jessica Leber which took up the question, “Can Treating Low-Wage Workers Well Become The Hot New Business Strategy?

Ed Pierce wrote importantly, “Don’t Overlook the Well-Rounded Employee.”

Barbara Hauser shares thoughts about “How Leaders Can Actually Lead Planning.”

Jesse Lyn Stoner explained and shared about, “Why Most Change Efforts Fail and 7 Guidelines to Ensure Your Team Succeeds.” Jesse’s “7 Guidelines to Successfully Navigate the Human Factor,” are that: the purpose and need for the change must be clear and compelling; show the whole picture; involve your team and all key stakeholders deeply and early on; senior leaders must demonstrate their commitment; the approach to the change effort needs to be consistent with the desired ends; integrate the change work with real work; and over communicate.

On this blog I shared some thoughts about the importance of “Affirmation in Leadership.”

Cornell Thomas takes up the question and discussion of “Followers vs. Leaders.”

Cynthia Bazin and Dan Forbes shared “The Best of Lead with Giants” for February 2016.

Tanveer Naseer provided ideas for “How to Successfully Achieve Your Goals This Year.”

rulebreakers job search guideLiz Ryan unpacked, “Five Rules Every Job-Seeker Needs to Break.” The rules she points to are: the rule that says you have to sound like a robot or a zombie in your resume; the rule that says you must apply for a job online and then wait for a reply, possibly forever; the rule that says you must share your salary details; the rule that says you must beg and grovel to get a job; and the rule that says employers are mighty and job-seekers are dogmeat.

Justin Irving wrote about “Leading Emotional Culture in Organizations.”

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference writes convincingly, “Always, Always Entangle Purpose with Life Work.”


I found this great report from this past fall by the Siebert Foundation which focused on “Engaging Millennials in Ministry.”

Neighbor Love

My friend Peggy Hahn at LEAD writes that, “‘Hope’ in this neighborhood sounds like ‘Throw me something!‘”

"A Soul in Wonder" by Vonda Drees.
“A Soul in Wonder” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These posts included: “a treasure close at hand“; “spirals in the mist“; “a soul in wonder“; “the golden thread“; “curiosity over a pretzel“; “practice can be messy“; and “to walk in another’s path.”

Ishaan Tharoor shares about a recent report which found that “The ‘politics of fear’ is hurting human rights around the world.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared about a recent “Snow Day at the Pre-School,” and also reflected about “The Rest of the Story.”

In light of recent news and the water injustice in Flint, Jim Wallis writes that, “Race is in the Air We Breathe and the Water We Drink: The Moral Failure in Flint.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon for this past weekend based on Mark 6:1-29, “Pastors, preachers, prophets: Why you might be some of those and what it means for your life.”

Rachel Held Evans shared some thoughts about “Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels.”

Friend, professor, and blogger Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis wrote that “Love Never Ends.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Tim Peterson wrote that, “Facebook Owns Social Login Scene, But Google’s Creeping Up.”


Friend, stewardship director, and blogger Adam Copeland wrote and shared some thoughts “On, ‘The Gospel of Wealth.'”

Erin at Young Adult Money unpacked, “7 Ways to Put Financial Stress to Rest.” The ways Erin highlights are: start tracking your spending; figure out a spending plan; establish an emergency fund; become a conscious consumer; get clear on your financial goals; form a support system; and educate yourself.

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner shared, “3 Reasons You Need a Buffer in Your Checking Account.”

Over at the COMPASS blog my wife Allison and I shared “One More Resolution- To Share More Openly & Often about Money and Giving.”


Friend and “sister” Megan Leibold shared an update from her adventures in Europe in “Salzburg and London.”

PLU President Thomas Krise shared an update about “J-Term@Sea.”

Gretchen Anthony wrote and shared about, “That Cousin Chuck, So Full of Surprises,” a story featuring a few friends from the past congregation I served (especially Annie Romstad) at Woodlake Lutheran Church in Richfield, Minnesota.

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared some vocational updates from the life of a perpetual student in writing, “2015: The Year’s Best Books, My Reading, Blogs, and More.”


If you live in the United States and are wondering who you might be closest too in view points and perspectives among presidential candidates, check out this quiz and see what you think.


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. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation! Blessings on your week-TS

Image Credits:  The Links;  Extravaganza ThemeThe Rule-Breaker’s Job Search Guide“; and “a soul in wonder.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s