This Week’s Links

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Here are some links to things that I have found thought-provoking this week.

Tuesday means that it is time to share some links to things that I have found thought provoking. To help navigate the different themes, 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 you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice

For those of you preparing to preach this coming weekend or designing worship using the revised common lectionary, check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis‘ reflection, “Just Justice,” as well as this “Commentary on Luke 18:1-8” by Rev. Dr. David Lose, and this “Commentary on Genesis 32:22-31,” by friend and professor Rev. Dr. Terence Fretheim. For some other food for thought give the “Sermon Brainwave” podcast a listen to with friends and professors Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis, and Matt Skinner.

If you are preaching or designing worship following the narrative lectionary, spend some time with this “Commentary on 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10,” by Professor Sara Koenig.

Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared “Five Observations from Visiting Congregations.” Observations Hannah makes regarding those congregations that have welcomed guests well, include: information about worship is easily accessible; having helpful greeters/ushers; having optional introductions; providing activities for kids; and coffee and conversation are readily available. How might these observations connect with your experience and/or ministry context?

Friend and colleague Lisa Kramme shared an invitation to join an upcoming Practice Discipleship Webinar focused on “Wondering in Prayer.” It’s scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 13th from 1-2pm CDT. Sign up for the hour session, not just because it’s free, but because it would be a great resource for your ministry.

For those of you in the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA, be sure and plan on attending the next “Bishop’s Convocation for Rostered Leaders” in January as Bishop Guy Erwin from the Southwest California Synod will be the speaker.

If you, like me, are in Nebraska, be sure and join me at the upcoming Discipleship Days in the Nebraska Synod. This week we’ll be gathering in Wakefield and Scribner. After a break for the Fall Theological Conference next week, then we’ll be out west in Scottsbluff and North Platte, and then in early November in Auburn and Omaha.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Diane Roth shared some ministry reflections on “Why Read the Bible,” and “Effective Ministry.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Friend Rozella White wrote a great reflection for LEAD about “A Move from Head to Heart: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence.” This is a good read for anyone in leadership, and given the framework of the LEAD blog, it is particularly useful for those in leadership in church and ministry settings.

Seattle: An Architecture of Innovation via Julian Stodd
Seattle: An Architecture of Innovation via Julian Stodd

Friend Ben Tully shared this great “Open Letter to President Obama” last month advocating for experiences abroad- studying and experiencing different contexts and cultures.

Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd shared some “Words about Learning: Generosity,” as well as a post that caught my eye because it is in part about Seattle, “Seattle: An Architecture of Innovation.” Check out both posts and see what you think.

Leadership Thought & Practice

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference shared some thoughts and ideas about “A New Era of Corporate Social Leader Activism.”

Jeremy Chandler shared, “5 Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned from 5 Jobs in 5 Years.”

Steve Keating wrote and explained that, “Change is Not Optional.” I appreciate Steve’s points particularly that, “organizations can’t innovate, only people can.” And, “if you’re a leader and you’re not providing your people an environment where taking thoughtful risk is encouraged and occasional failure is risk free then your people will fight the change needed to succeed tomorrow.”

Tanveer Naseer pondered an important question, “Is Your Leadership Based on Influence or Authority?

Dan Rockwell wrote about, “How to Turn Cautious Teammates into Visionary Thinkers.” Dan also shared what he sees as, “One Essential to Becoming a Better Leader,” and a list of “7 Do’s and Don’ts for getting the most from the Smartest People in the Building.”

Millennials

Friend and pastor Brian Mundt shared this reflection by Karl Vaters about, “Why Millennials Won’t Build the Kind of Churches their Parents Built.”

Neighbor Love

"Loved Into Being," by Vonda Drees.
“Loved Into Being,” by Vonda Drees.

Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past few weeks. These have included: “I Wonder…“; “creative per mission“; “wild grace“; and “loved into being.” Check out these beautiful posts and all the rest that appear daily on Vonda’s blog.

Over at the LEAD blog, friend and pastor David Hansen asked, “Who is My Neighbor?

Pastor and blogger Clint Schnekloth wrote and shared, “So you’re resettling refugees!? How can I help?

Friend, pastor, and blogger Aaron Fuller shared a recent “Homily on the Importance of Remembering,” based on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Friend, pastor, and blogger Chris Michaelis shared a recent sermon written with Hurricane Matthew in mind in, “Hurricane Winds of Change.”

In light of recent events, particularly the release of a video of presidential candidate Donald Trump and his comments that detail sexual assault, pastor and blogger Meta Herrick Carlson shared some important reflections about rape culture in thinking about “bodies.”

Pastor and blogger Nancy Kraft shared some timely reflections about, “Presidential candidates, politics, preaching, and Jesus.”

Friend Adam Copeland shared some good thoughts about the meaning and experience of “Condolence in a Digital Age.”

Stewardship

A week and a half ago I preached a stewardship sermon based on Luke 17:5-10, “Faith, Abundant Life, and Living Simply.”

The COMPASS blog spent September digging into reflections on debt and debt management. As part of that series, I wrote and shared thoughts about a, “New Engine, New Tires & Luke – Faith in the face of debt.”

Enough.
Enough.

October’s theme on the COMPASS blog is “Enough.” With that in mind, friend Marcia Shetler wrote, “Enough Already!

Marcia also shared, “Finding Your Enough: Some Practical Suggestions.” The suggestions she highlights include: reduce your consumption by setting tangible goals; use something up before buying something new; plan low-cost entertainment that enriches; and more.

Friend and pastor Todd Buegler shared a recent stewardship sermon on, “Our Need to Give.”

Vocation

Friend, mentor, and professor Dr. Terri Elton pondered, “What does it take to bless future generations?” Good question. Check out her thoughts about vocation, life, leadership, and generations in, “Passing on Blessings.”

Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared some more vocational thoughts in her weekly installment of “Tuesday Tea Time.”

Miscellaneous

In exciting news, the PLU Christmas Concert from last year, “A Christmas Invitation,” is now available to be purchased on DVD. Check it out, and be sure and order your copy!

——————————————————————————

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 the rest of your week. -TS

Image Credits:  The Links; Seattle: An Architecture of Innovation; “Loved into Being“; and “Enough.”

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