This Week’s Links

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Internet1Tuesday 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; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy this edition of the links.

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
If you are preaching this week, please spend some time with the Sermon Brainwave, “Special Edition- Responding to Charlottesville.” Thank you to friends, mentors, and professors Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis, Rev. Dr. Matt Skinner, and Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson for the the help and conversation this week.

If you are thinking about preaching, and would like some stewardship inspiration, particularly for how we steward our roles and justice, here are some preaching on stewardship nuggets for this week.

Last week I had the privilege of attending and participating in the first ever ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering. I went with my wife, both of us rostered ministers in the church- Allison a pastor, and me a deacon. In thinking about this gathering and preparing for it, I greatly appreciated this post by Sister Becky Swanson about, “Why I am going to the Rostered Ministers Gathering.”

Speaking of the Rostered Ministers Gathering, Rev. Joelle Colville Hanson shared pictures and stories from the gathering on Storify. Check it out! I am also planning on sharing some stories and learning from the gathering on this blog, later this week.

Friend and pastor Todd Buegler wrote about “Why the ELCA Youth Gathering is Worth the Cost.” Will you be going to the gathering next year?

ELCA World Hunger has released their 2017 Advent Study. Check it out! It looks like it will be great, and could be useful for Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, or weekly gatherings of some other kind. Even though it’s only August, now is the perfect time to plan for Advent.

Millennials
Jeremy Chandler at Thin Difference wrote about, “The Primary Reason Millennials Quit (and what organizations should do about it).” According to Jeremy, it’s mentoring, or a lack thereof. Within this, Jeremy highlights at least 3 ways infuse mentoring within organizational culture. The ways include: develop systems that support it; help older employees realize they have something valuable to contribute; and encourage Millennials to fail. Check out this post, not just for its content for Millennials, but for good reminders for leadership and the workplace as well.

Neighbor Love
In an article that saddens but does not surprise me, Julie Zauzmer writes that, “Christians are more than twice as likely to blame a person’s poverty on lack of effort.” Maybe this is a result of the old “Protestant work ethic?” But even so, the fact that Christians are more likely to blame someone, instead of meeting them where they are at, accompanying them, and pointing out and working to confront the injustices in society that create poverty, means we have a lot of work to do to change hearts and minds in our own churches and congregations. It’s an interesting and important read, so please check it out.

I thought about limiting the links this week to posts and articles speaking out against the evils or racism and white supremacy. I decided not to limit it. But as you might expect, there have been a number of important posts and links about this in the last few days. Here are some of the ones that I have seen and sat with:

Dahlia Lithwick writes, “They Will Not Replace Us: white supremacists can march on my hometown, but they can’t win.”

Over this past weekend, Rev. Dr. Yolanda Denson Byers asked and preached, “What are You Doing Here?” Please read this sermon. Be moved to action by it!

Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber wrote about, “The On-Going Storm; Christian Roots of white supremacy in America.”

In advance of the protests and violence in Charlottesville, the ELCA issued this “Prayer for Charlottesville rally.”

Pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz confronts the evil and calls it what it is, in, “Yes, This is Racism.”

In a related post, I shared my own thoughts in renouncing the forces of evil- especially white supremacy and racism, in, “I renounce…

I also preached this past weekend, and in case you would like to see what I felt called to share, here’s my manuscript entitled, “Take Heart, it is I, Do not be Afraid.”

Stewardship
As part of an on-going series of posts related to Beyond the Offering Plate, friend Adam Copeland shares this post and reflection by Kathleen A. Cahalan about stewardship and vocation, asking, “Can the Church Steward Work?

If you are preaching this week, here are some stewardship thoughts from both the revised common and narrative lectionaries to hopefully help with your discernment and preparation.

Miscellaneous
In news that excites this “West Wing” fan, NBC apparently would like to revive a number of its hit shows from the past couple of decades. What do you think?

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That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. 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 

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