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. This week’s collection covers the past two weeks actually, but hopefully it makes up for the lack of links from last 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; 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, I have a number of links for you. First of all, if you are following the revised common lectionary, consider this look at “Pentecost 2C” from Bishop Michael Rinehart. Also, definitely spend some time with friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lews‘ reflection on “Back to Reality.” If you are following the narrative lectionary, definitely be sure and spend time with this “Commentary on 2 Corinthians 2:1-10,” from friend and professor Dr. Lois Malcolm.

A couple weeks ago it was reported that, “Pope Francis (is) open to ‘Study’ Women Deacons.” This is an important step.

Speaking of women in ministry, friend and pastor Mandy Brobst-Renaud shared this article from The Daily Mail, about how a “Woman priest launches range of tailored clothes for female clergy fed up of looking like ‘men in drag.'” Even if you aren’t in ministry, the article title should be intriguing enough to make you want to check it out.

My most recent offerings from my role as mission developer at Messiah Lutheran Church included thoughts about “Pentecost and the Freedom to Fail.”

Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis shared a couple recent lectionary themed posts, writing about Pentecost and “Spirit Focus,” as well as Holy Trinity Sunday in “Trinity Talk.”

Some good news was released recently from my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, as “PLU Names New University Pastor,” the Rev. Jen Rude.

Speaking of PLU, friend and bishop Richard Jaech wrote an important letter to the editor, writing, “PLU: School lives out its Lutheran roots.”

My friends at LEAD shared some great thanksgivings in “Level UP,” as well as this wonderful reflection from friend Peggy Hahn who writes that, “Remarkable means worthy of attention.”

Friend and pastor David Hansen wrote in Living Lutheran about “Media in ministry: Go social.”

The Lutherans aren’t the only mainline denomination talking about social media and digital ministry. Tim Nafziger wrote in The Mennoniteabout “Why Mennonite leaders need to stop complaining about social media.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared transcripts of their recent chats including thoughts on “Online Community Development,” as moderated by Meredith Gould, and thoughts about letting go, and “When, why, and how to step away from #chsocm projects,” as moderated by Beth Felice.

Friend and pastor Jason Lukis wrote about ministry, change, worship, and experimentation in “There is a season for everything…

The United Methodist Church recently concluded its General Conference nearby in Portland, Oregon. Out of that gathering, “United Methodist leadership recommends deferral of LGBT decisions.” Relatedly, read this address from Bishop Ough, “Call us back to be your flock together.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Eugene Fram argues that, “21st Century Nonprofit Boards Need to be Pro-Active in Strategy Development.”

Social leadership theorist and blogger Julian Stodd shared a number of great posts over the past couple of weeks. These included, “The Social Age Safari: Communities and Stories,” as well as some thoughts about, “The Limits of Hierarchy: Brittle Systems.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Steve Keating shared some thoughts about “Ethical Leadership,” as well as the importance of life long learning and to “Always be Learning.”

Brian Dodd highlighted, “15 Practices of the World’s Most Creative Leaders.” Some of these practices include: no fear of failure; recognize opportunity; vision; help others succeed; solutions; generosity; networks; good stewardship; data driven; and provide access. Check out the post for the whole list.

Morley Safer
Morley Safer

Sad news was shared last week as “Veteran ’60 Minutes’ Newsman Morley Safer” passed away.  Morley’s long career and service included important reports, numerous interviews with leaders, and a constant search for truth and the story.

Damian Corbet unpacked some of “The Characteristics of a Social CEO.”

We all are biased in our own ways. To counter this, Anne Loehr shared, “Seven Tips for Managing Unconscious Bias.” Anne also shared a list of “6 Must-See Movies Highlighting Employee Engagement.”

Dan Rockwell outlined, “Six Simple Questions Highly Successful Managers Keep Asking.” The questions he offers, include: What does success look like? Where do you fit in? What do you need- that we can provide- to succeed? How will you objectively measure performance? How will we honor improvement, progress, and achievement? And, what will we do when things go wrong?

Kaihan Krippendorff argues that, “The Future of Work? It’s All About Teams and New Skill Sets.”

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Sarah Landrum which featured, “Tips for New Managers: How to Manage Your Friends.”


Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote and shared about, “Millennials, Gallup, Football, Leadership: A Common Thread,” as well as some “Tactical To-Dos for First-Time Leaders.”

Thin Difference also shared a guest post by Kern Carter who wrote and pondered about, “What’s Next for Millennials? Leading the Next Generation.”

Neighbor Love

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared his sermon for Pentecost Sunday, “Gifts & the One Thing.

"Burn Through Us," by Vonda Drees.
“Burn Through Us,” by Vonda Drees.

Friend and blogger Ryan Cumming, educational director at ELCA World Hunger, shared an important look at, “Hunger and Poverty by the Numbers.”

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past couple of weeks. These posts included: “the next supper“; “keep praying“; “still shining“; “time lost track of me“; “shine on!“; “burn through us“; “tag! you’re it!“; “one-ing“; and “when the veil lifts.”

Friend, blogger, and pastoral associate Stefanie Fauth wrote, “Be Bold, you Lutheran…

Friend, pastor, and blogger Emmy Kegler shared her Pentecost Sunday sermon entitled, “On smog, the Spirit, and storytelling.”

Rev. Dr. Will Willimon shared a recent op-ed he wrote entitled, “Why Christians and politics should mix.”

I was moved to tears last week in reading this story from Nina Bernstein about, “Unearthing the Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves.” We have to do better than this. People, no matter who they are, deserve better than this. Thank you to friend and pastor Eric Worringer for sharing this post in my news feed.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared a recent sermon based on 1 Corinthians 12 about, “Standards, shame, and being special: Why it’s easier to believe in God than to trust that God believes in you.”

Every once and awhile I stumble on what for me is a new blog or new blogger which captivates, inspires, and causes me to think deeply. It just so happens that the newest blogger that I have found like this happens to be a hometown and home congregation friend and fellow Lute, Emily Shane. I had the privilege of getting to watch Emily grow up and I am definitely quite proud of her. Two recent posts which I really appreciated were, “My Favorite Exam Week Bible Verses,” and a very fitting neighbor love themed reflection about, “Tiny Interactions, Giant Impacts.”

Friend and communications director Trip Sullivan shared this great message from high school seniors at his congregation, “Be Known… And Know Others.”


Catherine at Young Adult Money shared timely advice for recent graduates with this “Personal Finance Checklist for Recent Grads.” Her checklist includes the good advice to: congratulate yourself; evaluate your debt: find out how much you have; evaluate your debt: consider repayment options; evaluate your bank accounts; start tracking income and expenses; tame your expenses; evaluate insurance needs; find a full-time job; build an emergency fund; start contributing to a retirement account; and figure out your goals.

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared some thoughts about “Crowdfunding Your Congregation.”

Erin at Young Adult Money also highlighted “7 Hidden Moving Expenses,” particularly important to keep in mind if you will be relocating later this summer or year like Allison and me.


Friend and professor Dr. Ron Byrnes shared about “What Endurance Athletics Has Taught” him.

Heidi Oran at Thin Difference pondered about, “What Happens When Silence is Golden?

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared her weekly dose of vocational and life reflections with her “Tuesday Tea Time.” If you have a couple minutes to spend over tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or your favorite work break beverage, spend part of that time with Julia’s blog each Tuesday.

President Thomas Krise, president of Pacific Lutheran University shared some “Reflections on a challenging and interesting year.”

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Lynn Hunnicutt updated us on her upcoming cross-country bike trip, pondering about, “What to take?


Friend and blogger Tim Chalberg updated baseball fans everywhere on his latest “Projected Standings.” I’m most excited for the way the American League West looks. Go Mariners!

Speaking of sports, one of my favorite announcers of all time, Verne Lundquist recently reflected on his Lifetime Achievement Emmy.

Last week one of my favorite TV shows, NCIS ended its 13th season by sending off the character Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, who has been a lead actor on the show since its pilot aired as part of the series JAG. CBS shared this interesting look at, “11 Things You Didn’t Know about the NCIS Season 13 Finale (and DiNozzo’s Farewell).”

In one of the more persuasive and frightening opinions I have read lately, Robert Kagan wrote that, “This is how fascism comes to America.”

If that piece sobered you like me, maybe this will at least give you a little hope, as Jeff Daniels recently reprised his role as “Will McAvoy from The Newsroom to talk Trump, Clinton.”


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; Morley Safer; and burn through us.” 


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