This Week’s Links

Internet1Nearly every week on Tuesdays I share some of what I have seen, read, and found thought provoking over the past week. This week’s edition actually covers the past two weeks, as I was unable to put the links together a week ago. 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

If you are writing a sermon or preparing for worship for this coming weekend, the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, I have a few links for you to consider. Check out, “Your Faith Has Saved You,” a reflection from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis, as well as the “Sermon Brainwave” podcast around this weekend’s themes and readings with Karoline as well as other friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson and Matt Skinner. Also spend some time with Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts on “Pentecost 4C.” If you are following the narrative lectionary check out this great “Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10,” by friend and professor Dr. Lois Malcolm.

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared wonderful news about the “Global Young Reformers Living Reformation Cohort Application.” Applications are due by July 1st, and I highly encourage you to check this out, especially if you are a younger adult in ministry or curious about the church.

Terri also wrote that, “Anyone, and everyone, can lead!” Check out the post to see why and how.

Are you a young adult and looking for a wonderful growing experience for the fall 2016-spring 2017? If so, Lutheran Volunteer Corps still has 12 open positions! Check out this link and apply.

Ron Judd wrote what I think perhaps was the most interesting article related to the church in the past week detailing about Pastor Beth Purdum, in “A Wing and a Prayer: Island-hopping pastor preaches in the San Juans.” If you are curious about unique multi-site ministries, especially one that is in the beauty of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, definitely check out this article.

My most recent post from my role as mission developer at Messiah Lutheran Church explained and asked, “I’m Excited! Are You Excited?

In the Vancouver, Washington area there has been sad news lately, as a “Fire heavily damages Hazel Dell church,” which was now it seems only the first of a handful of church arsons in the area.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Joe Smith wrote with warning, “How to Let People Know, ‘It’s All About Us,” offering instead the following advice, “Try telling stories about your community. Stories invite people to imagine the observer in that place. Don’t tell people it’s a welcoming and friendly church (lots of churches say that); let the stories speak for themselves.” Check out the whole post for more, as well as Joe’s thoughts on, “Is Faith Worth the Investment? Our Neighbors and Relationships.”

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth reflected about, “Suspecting the Church.”

My friends at LEAD shared a couple new posts including, “Responding with Compassion,” and “Young Leaders are Hope,” with friends Rozella White and pastor David Hansen.

Are you feeling called to a new leadership opportunity in ministry? If so, perhaps the Holy Spirit may be leading you to North Texas-North Louisiana, where there is an opening for a “Bishop Associate for Leader Formation and Congregational Care.” This position will report to friend and newly elected bishop Rev. Erik Gronberg.

Friend, blogger, and pastor Diane Roth reflected about feelings related to being “Unprepared,” as well as about “Listening Between the Lines.”

My wife Allison shared this post from February by Rachel Johnson who wrote that, “This May All Go to S…: An Open Letter to Millennial Church Leaders.”

Hopefully it does not all go that way, and rather the church has a hopeful future. The ELCA is considering such questions in an initiative, “Called Forward Together in Christ,” inviting people to consider, contemplate, and respond to the question, “What does the future of the ELCA look like to you?”

Rick Steves
Rick Steves

Living Lutheran shared news that “ELCA Reformation grants (have been) awarded.”

Living Lutheran also continued it’s series about who are Lutherans and what it means to be a Lutheran by sharing a Lutheran celebrity from the Pacific Northwest’s response, “I’m a Lutheran: Rick Steves,” yes Rick Steves is an ELCA Lutheran who worships in a congregation just north of Seattle.

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared news in The Mennonite that Pastor Isaac Villegas has been “reaffirmed by congregation after conference suspends credentials.”

Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared transcripts of their recent conversations which centered on, “What Would Jesus Design: Graphics-a-go-go,” as moderated by Beth Felice; and “Zooming in on Video and Social Media,” as moderated by Jason Chesnut.

For those of you involved in congregations and nonprofits I encourage you to check out this post from stewardship director Adam Copeland who announced about a “FREE Crowdfunding Guide for Congregations and Nonprofits.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Friend and professor Dr. Mary Hess shared a great video with her uncle Ted Celeste in, “Learning Civility in Politics.”

In an interesting economic and social sector case study, Paul Davidson pondered, “Is Seattle company’s $70,000 minimum wage working?

With news from my alma mater of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), David Kroman writes that NPR Radio Station, “KPLU reaches its massive fundraising goal,” and university president Thomas Krise shared his “hearty congratulations” as well.

Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd reflected about “Socially Dynamic Traits: Ideation, Aggregation and Dissemination,” “The Socially Dynamic Organization: Connected, Adapted, Fluid,” and shared, “An Architecture for Learning Technology.”

Leadership Thought & Practice

Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership perspectives over the past couple of weeks. These included: “The Top 10 Rules for Talking Like a Leader“; “The Three Competencies of Effective Leaders“; and “How to Forget Like a Leader.”

digital nativeAnne Loehr pondered, “Is ‘Digital Native’ Code for Ageism?” What do you think?

Tanveer Naseer highlighted “7 Ways Leaders Can Empower Their Employees to Succeed,” as well as, “10 Principles for Developing Strategic Leaders,” in a guest piece by Jessica Leitch, David Lancefield, and Mark Dawson. The 10 principles highlighted include: distribute responsibly; be honest and open about information; create multiple paths for raising and testing ideas; make it safe to fail; provide access to other strategists; develop opportunities for experienced-based learning; hire for transformation; bring your whole self to work; find time to reflect; and recognize leadership development as an ongoing practice.

Lolly Daskal asked and shared, “Want to Be a Great Leader? Ask Yourself These Questions Weekly.

Seth Godin shared some good reflections about “Transitions,” which are a reality of life and leadership, as well as some thoughts, “On knowing it can be done.”

Steve Keating wrote and reminded that, “Leading Doesn’t Make You a Better Person.”

Dan Forbes wrote, “Commit to Win,” on the Lead with Giants blog. Also at Lead with Giants, Cynthia Bazin shared a great selection of leadership thoughts in “The Best of Lead with Giants – June 2016.”

Thin Difference shared a guest post by Caroline Schmidt who outlined, “5 Signs You Need a Career Change.” Signs to consider include: work no longer challenges you; you feel tired all the time; your confidence is diminished; you aren’t engaged with your passions; and your talent could be used elsewhere.

Also over at Thin Difference, Molly Page shared some good “Thoughts on Being Present and Staying Centered,” and Daniel Weinzveg explained about “The Six Types of Engagement.”


Eric Torrence shared some good thoughts for Millennials and leaders in writing about, “The Good Kind of Overwhelmed,” over at Thin Difference. Also at Thin Difference, Jeremy Chandler shared, “John Maxwell’s Greatest Piece of Advice for Young Leaders.”

Jeannie Walters outlined, “3 Ways to Update Customer Experience for Millennials“- flexibility, empowerment, and validation.

Friend Tim Schuster shares this article by Farhad Manjoo who wrote that, “Corporate America Chases the Mythical Millennial.”

Allison shared this report from Christopher Rugaber who wrote, “Goodbye, empty nest: Millennials staying longer with parents.”

Neighbor Love

My wife (and a current pastoral intern) Allison Siburg, shared her recent sermon based on Luke 7:1-10, “Speak the word.”

Meta Herrick Carlson vulnerably and powerfully shared about the danger, fear, and challenges for victims of rape and sexual assault, writing and calling us all to “just listen.”

"Faith W-rest-ling," by Vonda Drees.
“Faith W-rest-ling,” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past couple of weeks. These posts included: “faith w-rest-ling“; “joyous inseparable unity“; “a blessing of loveliness“; “you are worthy“; “grace connections“; “beloved and chosen“; “kindness ripples“; “miraculous love“; “reaping joy“; “power and mystery“; “marked forever“; and “awake.”

Jennifer Butler wrote about, “The Rise of the Religious Left: Why the old ‘moral majority’ is crumbling.”

My sister Tamara Siburg shared this important article by Amanda Leventhal, who writes that, “We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High Functioning’ Depression.”

Late last week Muhammad Ali passed away. As so many people shared their thoughts and memories, some were more harmful, problematic, and actually wrong than others. Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to sportscaster Bob Costas whose take was along those lines, and “typifies the ongoing dialogue around racism in this country,” in writing, “Bob Costas to Muhammad Ali- ‘Well Actually…

Friend Adam Copeland shared this interesting look by Samuel Freedman at a “North Dakota Mosque a Symbol of Muslims’ Long Ties in America.”

John Pavlovitz shared some thoughts about “If You Believe Donald Trump Deserves to Be President,” as well as a response “To Brock Turner’s Father, from Another Father.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared three different sermons on his blog over the past couple of weeks which are part of the narrative lectionary’s summer focus on the book of Job. These sermons included, “Job: Sitting with the questions,” based on Job 1; “The rings of grief: Job and Eliphaz,” based on Job 4:1-9; and “I know that my Redeemer lives!,” based on Job 14:7-15 and Job 19:23-27.

Friend, and director of planning and engagement for ELCA World Hunger, Mikka McCracken, reflected in, “The Spirit Intercedes.”

Social Media & Blogging

Friend and blogger J.W. Wartick shared his version of the links with his “Really Recommended Posts,” both for last week and this week.


In my final post for the COMPASS blog while serving on staff at the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, I shared, “A Word to all Recent and soon to be Graduates.”

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared a couple great reads, including “No More Mugs: Seeking Relational Rewards,” by Abigail Miller, and “It’s About Time,” by friend and Ecumenical Stewardship Center CEO, Marcia Shetler.


Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a couple cups of her weekly dose of “Tuesday Tea Time,” last week sharing tea with birthday inspired thoughts, and this week with some thoughts about new art and summer.

"Beloved and Chosen," by Vonda Drees.
“Beloved and Chosen,” by Vonda Drees.

Congratulations are in order to my mother-in-law Jakki Parks who recently won an award for her beautiful art. Also, Jakki is now on Twitter, so if you would like to follow her art and thoughts there, please do and welcome her to Twitter.

Friend and professor Dr. Lynn Hunnicutt has set off on her cross-country journey. Follow along on her blog as she bikes from coast to coast. To learn more, read about her “bike brain-trust,” as well as about her anticipation in “Tomorrow.” On Day 1 they started at the coast and then it was off; Day 2 brought a favorable tail-wind and a brief stop at a childhood church; Day 3 brought beautiful vistas and a very warm Sunday (nearly 100 degrees actually); and Day 4 brought another tail wind as well as a glimpse at the remains of the oil train derailment along the gorge from last week. Check out the blog to journey with Lynn and her friends cross country over the next couple of months.

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared some thoughts and reflection about “Graduating and Remembering.”

From my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, President Thomas Krise shared some thoughts about “Service, Learning & Community Building: A Q&A about Student Civic Engagement,” and a recent sermon from interim pastor John Rosenberg taking up the question that has been debated for decades, “Is PLU Lutheran enough?


If you are a baseball fan or just a fan of dreams, you need to experience Vin Scully’s recitation of James Earl Jones’ “Field of Dreams” speech!

David Parker Brown shares about his interesting adventure on a plane run for Copper River Salmon in Alaska.

In a story you have to read to believe, read about this smart dog who was injured and walked “into an emergency room for help.”


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; Rick Steves; Digital Native; “faith w-rest-ling“; and “beloved and chosen.”

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