This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesdays on the blog means that it is time to share some links to things that I have read and found interesting over the past week. To help make sense of the links, I have grouped them in 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 this edition of the links.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. To help in your worship design, friend and “Digital Pastor” David Hansen shared a “Pentecost: Call to Worship.”

If you are looking for sermon inspiration, check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis‘ Pentecost thoughts in “Spirit Work.”

David Hansen also shared a very helpful and quick overview of “Copyright Basics for Churches.” If my experience is any indication, most congregations are a little weak if not utterly terrible in this department.

Congratulations and blessings to Pastor Kristen E.M. Kuempel who was elected bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) last week.

Congratulations and blessings also go to Pastor Katherine A. Finegan who was elected bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the ELCA.

In thinking about the church in the world, and young leaders, I was overjoyed to hear news late last week that a “Record number have accepted calls to be ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission.”

Cross-Sector Collaboration

Four of the great news people from KOMO-TV in Seattle. From left to right: Steve Pool, Dan Lewis, Kathi Goertzen, and Eric Johnson.

I am a fan of the news and journalism. Maybe that makes me unpopular in this day and age of “fake news,” but I believe local news matters. I grew up watching the news, and through my travels across the country, I deeply believe the Pacific Northwest has the best journalists (or at least it did when I was growing up there) and newscasts. It gave me some joy last week to see this story from Seattle Refined, “Reunited: Dan Lewis, Steve Pool & Eric Johnson,” some of the great leaders from KOMO-TV.

Leadership Thought & Practice
Kim Sengupta wrote a piece in regards to recent news, but one I am sharing here under leadership thought and practice because I believe it illustrates some leadership principles (or ‘what not to do’). Kim wrote that, “The U.S. President went into meetings with NATO and G7 leaders to demand a better deal on global defense. He left having lost their respect.”

Rachel Johnson first wrote and shared, “This May All Go to Shi*t: An open letter to Millennial Church Leaders,” last February. It was updated earlier this year, and has been shared again pretty widely by some friends online. If you haven’t seen it, or would like to look at what new thought might be involved check it out.

Neighbor Love
The evils of racism and white terrorism reared their ugly heads last week in Portland, Oregon. Dan Rather wrote and pleaded trying to have President Trump call attention to it, and yesterday President Trump did just that by condemning the “killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant.” In the face of racism and hate, comes a message and acts of love, hope, bravery, heroism, and courage.

Brian McLaren writes that this is “A Dangerous Moment for Christianity,” in part because of certain people and leaders’ perception and use of Christianity for power or its connection with nationalism, as well as violence and violent rhetoric.

German Lopez shared the moving speech from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in the “New Orleans mayor: we can’t ignore the death, enslavement, and terror the Confederacy stood for.” If you haven’t read the speech, you need to. It matters, and it is moving. And, it is far past time for people to be speaking out against the evils that the Confederacy stood for.

Friend and pastor Brian Mundt shared a timely reflection by Martin Marty, “Memorial Day, Mayor Landrieu, and the American Future.” Please give this a read.

Pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz responds to one of the things I too have heard uttered by some, in writing, “No, White Friend- You Weren’t ‘Embarrassed’ by Barack Obama.”

In an example of being the change, and in a story that gives a little hope in response to the rise of racism in the United States, Tesalon Felicien writes that, a “Former ‘terrible racist’ apologizes, gives $2K to black Greenville church.”

Recently retired ministry leader Inez Torres Davis shared some “Closing Thoughts.”

Musician Jonathan Rundman wrote a powerful reflection on “Toxic Masculinity in Trump’s America.” Give this a read and see what you think. I am excited to see and hear Jonathan later this week as he leads the music at the Nebraska Synod Assembly.


Pentecost 1
One artist’s depiction of the meaning of Pentecost.

If you are preaching this coming Pentecost weekend, I encourage you to check out these stewardship preaching thought starters that might be helpful to spur some creativity, questions, or direction.

Friend Adam Copeland shared an interesting stewardship perspective from Jason Misselt who wrote about, “Stewarding Attention: Beyond Mindfulness & Marshmallows.” Jason followed that post up with this new post today, “Stewarding Attention (II of III): Train Stations & Cultural Leadership.”

Friends Matt and Chelsea DeBall wrote a good post over on the COMPASS blog last week, offering more of an interview or conversation as a couple about money, and particularly their unique “Money Autobiography.” What would your money autobiography look like?

Also on the COMPASS blog, Mike Little writes and invites, “Let’s talk about money.” Join the conversation with COMPASS this evening, as they will continue it with a “Live Chatled by Mike Little. During this chat, you will be invited to think about your relationship with your money, writing a money autobiography, making good financial decisions, connecting faith and finances, and more! To join or sign-up, check out:

ALDE is offering a couple upcoming webinars on congregational giving. Check out this link to find out more, especially about the webinar entitled, “11 Steps to Increase Giving in Your Church…Starting this Weekend.”

As we try to settle ourselves and make space to be, this article by Jessica Stillman and first shared with me by my wife Allison, may be particularly helpful. Jessica writes about, “How to Finally Start Meditation (when you’ve tried before and failed).”

As a 007 fan, I was very sad to hear of Roger Moore’s passing last week.

That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them, and that you are enjoying the new rhythm to the blog. If you have ideas for me, please let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading and being part of the conversation, and blessings on your week! -TS

Image Credits: The links; the KOMO Team; and Pentecost.

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