This Week’s Links

Internet1Each week on Tuesdays I share some of what I have seen, read, and found 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 and Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope that you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

If you are preparing for worship or writing a sermon for this weekend, like me, I have a number of links for you. If you’re following the revised common lectionary check out this post from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis about how the “Resurrection is Promise,” based on John 17:20-26. If you will be observing the Ascension of Our Lord on Sunday, check out the Sermon Brainwave with friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner. Also, check out Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts on the “Ascension of Our Lord.”

If you’re following the narrative lectionary Dr. Shively Smith shared this “Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 51-57.” Friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker shared their thoughts in the “I Love to Tell the Story” Podcast about “Death Swallowed in Life.”

Speaking of the narrative lectionary, have you been wondering about what it is? Daniel Maurer sat down with Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson as they answered the question, “What is the Narrative Lectionary, anyway?

Heather Hahn wrote that, “To Reach ‘Nones,’ Try Experimental Churches.”

Sad news came over the weekend from New York where the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava was heavily damaged by a fire.

With preaching in mind, Margaret Marcuson shared some thoughts on “How to preach sermons your people will love.” Also on the topic of preaching, my wife Allison and friend and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared this list of “10 Things Pastors Should Learn from TED Talks,” compiled by Brandon Hilgemann.

Also on the subject of preaching, friend and pastor Rachel Wrenn wrote and shared about “How to Preach to Mikey (and his parents).”

From my role as mission developer at Messiah Lutheran Church, I shared my latest post about “The Advocate, Holy Spirit, and Me.” Messiah was also recently profiled for its Lenten journey with “Walk for Water,” by the ELCA World Hunger blog in “Walking for Water.”

Are you in Western Washington state? If so, what are you doing on Saturday May 14th or 21st? Come and join me at the Southwestern Washington Synod Educational Gatherings in Olympia or Silverdale.

Bishop Michael Rinehart shared a list of “Twenty-Seven Non-Anxious Leadership Sound Bites for Anxious Churches.

My friends at LEAD shared some reflections about making “A Decision to be a Learning Congregation.”

My wife and a current pastoral intern Allison Siburg, continued her blogging journey through thinking and learning about church administration by writing about “Newcomers and New Questions.” She continued her work in writing about “Connections,” and the new perspectives and changes that come through the creation and presence of connections.

Allison also shared this article about a fellow pastoral intern who is keeping busy during her internship year in Billings, Montana as reported by Susan Olp.

Thinking about changes and the church, friend and Ph.D. student Tim Snyder wrote about changes and transitions in the ELCA, in “Here between Easter and Pentecost.”

From the United Methodist Church, Kathy Gilbert reports about how “15 United Methodist clergy, candidates come out as gay.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared a transcript of its weekly Twitter chat last week which was all about, “Planning for Late Spring and Summer.” The chat was moderated by Regina Heater.

Norma Cook Everist wrote about her spouse in “Burton Everist Chosen for Award and 50th Anniversary of Ordination.”

Living Lutheran shared a quick look at how one congregation honored “Prince with his own words.”

G. Jeffrey MacDonald shares news about how “Andover Newton to partner with Yale, shutter Mass. campus.” In reading the article, I am not so sure “partnership” is the right word. What do you think?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

In exciting news, it was announced last week that “Friends of 88.5 FM (made) a formal bid to Purchase KPLU from Pacific Lutheran University.”

The “Cranky Flier,” shared a two part interview with Alaska Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) about Alaska’s recent merger with Virgin America. Check out the interesting interview with background on how the merger happened and the thought that went into it, as well as the potential impact of the merger particularly in California.

Blogger and social leadership theorist Julian Stodd shared some, “Provocative Writing for a Better World: (in) #WorkingOutLoud on an Experiment for the Social Age,” as well as some pondering about community in “Community Graffiti,” and “A Sketch,” about learning in the Social Age.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Brian Dodd highlighted “12 Things You Need to Know about Finding a Great Leader.”

Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership insights over the past week. These included thoughts about being “Over-led and Under-managed,” and a list of “7 Ways to be a Dealer in Hope.”

"Just Make a Mark," by Vonda Drees.
“Just Make a Mark,” by Vonda Drees.

On this blog I reflected about what I see is “The Importance of ‘Bounce’ in Leadership.”

Anne Loehr explained about “Why Attracting and Retaining Diverse Talent is a Strategic Priority.”

Tine Thygesen wrote about “The Very First Things A New Leader Needs to Know.” Tine points to five elements, listing and explaining them as: it’s the mental game that’s the hardest; you’re no longer a player, you’re the coach; focus means saying ‘no’; candid honesty solves problems before they arise; and be humble.

Daniel Stewart shared some leadership insights about “How to Find Engaging Work You’re Great At.”

Shirley Lamb shared about “The Key to Becoming a Data Driven Organization.”

Dan Forbes shared a look at “The Best of Lead with Giants” for May 2016, highlighting a number of great leadership lessons and perspectives.

Justin Irving reflected about “Purpose in Leadership and Meaning-Based Living.”

Back in March, Chris Gadek shared some great thoughts about “How to Hack Brand Awareness and Unlock Revenue Growth.”

Achim Nowak pondered about, “How Can You Learn to Plug In and Plug Out of Work?” What do you think?

Over at Thin Difference, Scott Savage wrote about “The One Job You Cannot Delegate to Anyone Else,” which he explains is basically knowing yourself and finding giving time for “life-giving practices.” Also at Thin Difference, Eric Torrence wrote about his, “Love/Hate Relationship with Repetition.”


Dan Rockwell explained about “How to Hold Millennials Accountable in 7 Steps.” The steps that Dan outlines are: stop inviting excuses; don’t have the same conversation two or three times; give second chances; evaluate commitment; double check for clarity; ask the power question; and create consequences with them.

Neighbor Love

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for this past weekend based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, “A sermon about love when everything’s falling apart.”

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon wrote and shared, “Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, part 4.”

"A Journal Tribute to Prince," by Vonda Drees
“A Journal Tribute to Prince,” by Vonda Drees

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past week. These included: “a ladder of grace“; “contemplative, creative journaling“; “a journal tribute to Prince“; “just make a mark“; “Jesus redefinies“; “nature’s pattern for life“; and “contemplation.”

Friend and pastor Lori Cornell shared this post by Siri Liv Myhrom, “To Be Yourself Completely: The Collective Grief of Losing Prince.”

Friend and professor Dr. Matt Skinner shared about a newly released “Guide (which) helps Minnesota Christians and Muslims be good neighbors.”

I stumbled on this post from February over the past week listing “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” The regrets that we can all learn from and approach life differently because of them, are: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me; I wish I didn’t work so hard; I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings; I wish I’d stay in touch with my friends; and I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Friend, blogger, and pastor Emmy Kegler shared, “Just four sentences: a sermon on Lydia.”

Candice Czubernat wrote about, “Harm & Healing; the church & the LGBTQ Community.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared his sermon based on 1 Corinthians 15, “The last enemy is death: What Harry Potter taught me about being Christian.”

Blogger and pastor Clint Schnekloth reflected about, “Ableism as Trinitarian Heresy- How assuming Jesus was a healthy white guy breaks theology,” and a deeply complex question of gender, identity, and faith in asking, “Was Jesus Intersex?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth wrote about “Communion,” as well as about “An Early Pentecost.”

John Pavlovitz wrote and shared, “I’m Boycotting Fear.”

My wife Allison shared this beautiful post and invitation by another blogger to “Walk the Labyrinth with Me.”

Social Media & Blogging

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

Friend, professor, and blogger Dr. Ron Byrnes shared some links in a look at “What I’ve Been Reading.”

I also want to say a warm welcome to the blogging world to hometown friend Heidi Stephens with her new blog, “Bainbridge Boheme.”


Catherine at Young Adult Money shared “5 Tips for Sticking to a Budget.” Catherine’s tips include: find your motivation; know how much money is in your budget; use cash; be realistic about your budget; and plan ahead.

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland reflected about, “Crowdfunding as Holy Listening & Holy Anger.” Adam also shared Ryan Baer’s, “The Top 10 Mistakes I’ve Made with Money in Ministry – Part 2.”


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her weekly dose of “Tuesday Tea Time,” full of life and vocational reflections, as well as some observations and thoughts out of a retreat she attended last week.

Friend and professor Dr. Lynn Hunnicutt shared some about her “Anticipation…” of the cross country bike road to come.

The other day I shared some vocational reflections related to life and ministry in response to a question about “Why I Stayed,” in ministry and church work, that is.

My friend and college roommate Tyler Scott shared a couple life and vocational reflections over the past week in the journey toward marriage and merging lives together. Tyler wrote about, “The best laid wedding plans,” as well as a realization that many of us know, “Yeah, weeds are pretty much the worst.”

Friend and professor Dr. Marit Trelstad shared some updates from her and her family’s journey and sabbatical experiences in: “The Agony and Ecstasy of Madrid“; “Holy Toledo“; and “Granada = Alhambra + Flamenco.”


The Mariners are winning, and I am hopeful. Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg shared his weekly updated projected standings. I am hoping that his projections are running low on the Mariners, and that they far surpass them. What do you think after the first month of the season?

Daniel Ross shared this cool look at “Prince casually owning Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ in rehearsal.”

If you like sports and appreciate North Dakota you will love this story from Philadelphia sports writer Josh Paunil who shared a story of his recent visit to North Dakota in an “Eagles Wake-Up Call: Live from Bismarck.”

And for good measure, I hope you saw this video of Allison Janney reviving her role of C.J. Cregg last week in the West Wing.


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; “Just Make a Mark“; and “A Journal Tribute to Prince.”

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