Tuesday 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; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy this edition of the links.
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
If you are preaching this week on the revised common lectionary gospel text of Matthew 10:40-42, I encourage you to check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis‘ thoughts on the text on “Welcome.” And if you are looking for some stewardship preaching ideas on the revised common lectionary or narrative lectionary, I humbly offer my stewardship preaching tidbits for this week.
Friend and fellow church innovator Peggy Hahn and my friends at LEAD asked a great question last week, “What is your God-narrative?” Among the insights that really caught my eye was this, “No household or faith community has a single story that communicates who God is in their life together, only a dominant story that is primary for existence. That narrative either builds up or tears down a person’s capacity to cope with the hard things in life. It can reduce our capacity or expand our resiliency.” Check out the thoughts and resources from LEAD regarding this and related questions which are at the heart of Christian leadership.
As was shared last week, Twin Cities Pastor Christopher Nelson passed away on Sunday June 18th. Chris’ obituary was published in Star Tribune. Also last week, a much more detailed story was shared in the Star Tribune by Kim Ode looking at Chris’ life and ministry. Angela Davis also shared a video version of the “Life Story: Christopher Nelson,” which aired on WCCO in the Twin Cities. Chris’ funeral was also recorded and can be watched through Vimeo here in case you missed it.
Bread for the World ran the numbers and found that “Every Church Needs to Raise $714,000 more a year to offset budget cuts” which have been proposed by President Trump’s administration. Check out the analysis here. The next time I hear someone say that all of our social needs can be met by the church, I am pointing to this. It’s just not financially or economically possible the way our economy is set up. Social needs require the collaboration of ministry and faith based congregations and groups, other nonprofits, public entities and government, and private groups too. In other words, to respond to these societal needs requires great cross-sector collaboration.
Speaking of need for cross-sector collaboration, friend, colleague and pastor Megan Morrow shared this article by Nicholas Bergin who writes in the Lincoln Journal Star that “There’s a real digital divide in rural Nebraska.”
In thinking about divides, particularly between rural and urban or suburban, there is also one between those who stay in their hometowns and those who move. David Brancaccio takes on this divide in writing about, “America’s great divide: Those who stayed in their hometowns and those who left.”
Claire E. Sterk wrote and shared an important piece last week about “A National Imperative: A Deep Summer’s Breath.” Claire is the President at Emory University in Atlanta, and this piece could have been placed under any number of headings in the links this week. I think Claire makes an important recognition in writing that, “Our national discord weighs on all of us but none more than the fresh, young minds of our nation.” Give this a read and see what you think.
Leadership Thought & Practice
My wife Allison shared this quick look and slideshow from Entrepreneur featuring, “The Best Career Advice from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and other Billionaire College Dropouts.”
Have you ever wondered, “Why Peter Drucker’s Writing Still Feels so Relevant?” Hermann Simon explains. Even though this article was written last fall, it’s a great read that I want to share with all of you this week.
Constance Grady writes that, “Millennials are the public library system’s biggest customers.”
Friend and pastor Kent Shane, as well as friend Francisco Herrera shared this important piece from friend and my Grandma Siburg’s current pastor, Nate Sutton, who wrote from the perspective of a white Lutheran pastor in the face of racism and the work of justice, writing, “Leaving Them in Their Tombs.” (By the way, check out Nate’s Twitter bio, I absolutely love it!)
Friend, blogger, and pastor Emmy Kegler shared a visual representation of her sermon for Pride Weekend this past Sunday. Check out its beauty, and then listen to the sermon here.
In light of the horrible proposal being proposed and debated in the United States Senate, ELCA Advocacy invites our participation to “Tell Congress: 23 million without healthcare is unacceptable!” I agree, and have submitted in writing and comments via voicemail to my senators. Have you shared your insights and concerns?
Relatedly, friend Carrie Gubsch shared this letter from Helen Prejean arguing in The Advocate that, “A pro-life Congress should fund healthcare.”
Friend, professor, and mentor Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend shared this piece in The New York Times considering, “The Democrats’ Religion Problem.”
A new book that caught my eye related to neighbor love and environmental stewardship, though I have not read it yet, is Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice. I like the book’s reported premise that “love of God and neighbor in this time of climate change requires us to honor creation and establish justice for our human family, for future generations, and for all creation.” I think I will check out the book. What do you think?
Social Media & Blogging
Friend, pastor, and blogger Joe Smith shared some good social media reflections mixed in with another shared passion of ours, baseball. Joe wrote about, “Shoulder Conversation, Baseball, and Social Media.”
It was a joy to be invited to preach at Emmanuel Lutheran in Tekamah this past weekend by my friend Pastor Tyler Gubsch. Based on Matthew 10 and Romans 6, my sermon attempted to think about why, “Life as a Disciple, is Life as a Steward- a joyful one, but not always easy!”
If you are preaching this week, yesterday I offered my look ahead at this week’s reading with some possible stewardship nuggets for preaching this week.
Friend Adam Copeland shared the second of a two-part series from friend and mentor Chick Lane on “Stewardship Ministry with Retired People.” Today, Chick shares five possible strategies, which he outlines and expands on as follows: invite us into a new area of ministry; talk to us about percentage giving; invite us to give from accumulated assets; encourage us to consider electronic giving; and invite us to make a legacy gift. (If you missed part 1, here it is.)
Collaboration Ministries continued sharing highlights and journal entries from my parents’ trip to Namibia, with the most recent post being, “Day 6- Nhoma Camp Bushmen Village- Part One.” Join the journey with them on their blog.
Fifty years ago the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) rowing team did an amazing thing- they rowed from Lake Union in Seattle to Tacoma. The team recently gathered and had a reunion to relive the experience. Mike Ferreri from KOMO TV in Seattle shared the story here, and the story was also shared by Craig Hill in The News Tribune, as Craig wrote, “They gave back ‘The Boys in the Boat’ shell. Then they rowed from Seattle to Tacoma.” Check out this amazing story about vocation and fellow Lutes.
If you are into geology, volcanoes, and/or eruptions, you might enjoy this story that Allison shared this past week with me about how “Unseen Photos of Mount St. Helens Eruption (were) Uncovered from (a) Forgotten Camera.” Thanks to George Dvorksy for sharing the story.
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;