Tuesdays on the blog mean that I get to share links to things that I have found interesting and thought provoking over the previous week with all of you. To help make sense of all that I have read, I have grouped these links by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Are you preaching or planning worship this week? If so, I highly encourage you to spend some time with friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis’ thoughts based on the revised common lectionary gospel text for this week, “True Authority.” Also, if you are looking for a little stewardship inspiration for preaching on either the texts from the revised common or narrative lectionaries, check out these stewardship ideas for preaching this week.
For those of you in ministry or academia, you might want to check out the Fortress Press, “Fall Academic Sale.”
Last week I came across this sermon from Bishop Munib Younan, “On the Occasion of Adrianne Gray’s consecration as a deacon.” It’s a beautiful and powerful explanation of what a deacon is, and the concept of “Word & Service” ministry. Check it out and see what you think. Thank you to Rev. Carrie Smith for sharing.
Friend Vonda Drees shared a look at some images, questions, and ideas in preparation for Advent 2017, that she is pondering in relation to work with our other friends at LEAD. (Check out the feature image of today’s edition of the links, or the picture below to see some of Vonda’s beautiful artwork).
How is this for collaboration? The former site of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) in Berkeley, California has been sold to Zaytuna College, in essence ensuring that “faith-based education will continue on that Berkeley hilltop.”
My brother Thomas Siburg shared some “Local Wisdom in Community Planning,” over at the Collaboration Ministries blog. Check it out!
In need of cross-sector collaboration is Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Given all that has been in the news lately, you may have missed this, but Puerto Rico needs our help! Check out this look from Alan Taylor titled, “Disconnected by Disaster- Photos from a Battered Puerto Rico,” in The Atlantic.
Leadership Thought & Practice
Jon Mertz offered a great look at “Design Thinking for the Greater Good,” helping explain what design thinking is, and then having a conversation with Randy Salzman, one of the authors of the book, Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector. This sounds like a must read, both for leadership implications but also for thinking within and across societal sectors.
Lolly Daskal recently offered a look at “6 Emotional-Intelligence Job Skills Everyone Will Need in the Next Few Years.” The skills she highlights include: knowing yourself; building relationships; active listening; expressing empathy; giving feedback; and managing stress.
Lolly also wrote about people skills in “The One Set of Skills Every Leader Needs (but many lack).”
Justin Kanoya at Thin Difference shared some life and leadership reflections and inspiration in sharing some “Lessons from the Eclipse.”
My Dad wrote and shared his second blogpost for Collaboration Ministries this past week, thinking about context change and effective context-sensitive leadership.
Michael Kelly shared this awesome look at ministry and faith in action in writing about how in Nebraska, “Lutheran Family Services marks 125 years of helping ‘the poor, the rich, the lost and the lonely,'” and embodying and living out what it really means to love your neighbor as yourself. Special thanks to my wife Allison and friends and colleagues pastors Juliet Hampton and Megan Morrow for sharing this post with me first.
In light of the continued health care debates in the United States, President & CEO of Lutheran Services in America, Charlotte Haberaecker wrote and shared this letter to the United States senate.
In discouraging news, news broke last week that President Trump’s administration reportedly rejected a report on refugees that looked at the “positive impacts of refugees on the US.” We are called to love our neighbor, and to care for the orphan and stranger (and refugee).
Speaking of President Trump, he also made the news this week with the offensive and out of touch way that he talked about football players and those exercising their first ammendment rights in the wake of bigotry and racism. Because of this, the NFL had to respond and did.
At the heart of some of this criticism is the act of kneeling during the national anthem. Rev. Angela Denker reflected on this in a post that was picked up by The Washington Post, writing about “Colin Kaepernick and the powerful, religious act of kneeling.” Angela writes powerfully in this, and asks questions that have been sitting with me for days. Some of these questions include: “Is it possible that we don’t want to see his Christian faith because Kaepernick doesn’t look like the white, all-American, handsome Texas quarterback that white America believes is all that’s great about football and America? Is it possible you don’t like him because he makes you wonder about your own faith, your own church, your own God? Does God not judge America for its original sin of racism? Does God question the deaths of so many young black men? Does God not believe that Black Lives Matter?” Check out the whole post and spend some time reflecting in its depth and importance.
If you are preaching this week, I hope you might check out these starting ideas for preaching on stewardship this week, with thoughts and nuggets based on both the revised common and narrative lectionaries.
This past weekend I was invited to preach at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilber, Nebraska. As they follow the narrative lectionary, I preached on stewardship and Jacob’s Dream, in which “God Comes, Promises & Invites Us.”
Friend Kari Plog updated on the progress at my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, as “Faculty members approach difficult budget cuts in a ‘very PLU way,’ with care and inquiry.”
In thinking about vocations and daily life, Lolly Daskal unpacked “10 Bad Habits That Are Actually Good For You.” The habits she highlights include: procrastination; boredom; saying no; doing less; tuning out; losing your temper; daydreaming; messiness; fidgeting; and sleeping late. What do you think of these habits and Lolly’s rationale?
That will conclude this week’s edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them! If you have any ideas for future editions, or types of articles or links you would like to see, please let me know. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation. Blessings on your week! -TS
Image Credits: The Links; Hurricane Maria aftermath; and Advent 2017.