This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesdays 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; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; and Vocation. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Are you preaching or preparing for worship this week? If so, I highly encourage you to spend some time with friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis‘ thoughts on “Loyalties” this week. I especially appreciate how she writes that, “God’s sovereignty is not a choice but a truth. It is not a question of loyalty, but a statement of reality.” Also, spend some time with Rev. Dr. David Lose’s thoughts for this week in, “Pentecost 20: Image, Likeness, and Identity.” Also, if looking for some stewardship preaching ideas for this week, I humbly offer these as well.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shared a pastoral message and reminder with the church recently that, “Christ is Walking with Us.”

Looking for a helpful resource for a spiritual inventory? Check out this from Traci Smith which my wife Allison first shared with me.

Allison also shared this response to any concerns someone might have in your context about children in worship, as Christina Embree takes on the supposed, “Distraction During Worship.”

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, I highly encourage you to join friend, mentor, and professor Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend at the 2017 Fall Bishop’s Convocation for Rostered Ministers in the Northwest Washington Synod this Thursday at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Everett, Washington where my uncle Pastor David Parks serves as pastor.

Looking for fun resources for your ministry or congregational context for faith formation or children, youth, and family ministry? Check out the possibilities with a Sparkhouse Family Book Fair.

Cross-Sector Collaboration
My brother Thomas Francis-Siburg recently wrote for Collaboration Ministries about how, “Collaboration Achieves Success.”

Also at Collaboration Ministries, my dad Dave shares some thoughts on Ubuntu and its relationship to economics, behavioral science, and synergy.

Our neighbors in Puerto Rico need a better response from the United States government and FEMA post Hurricane Maria. That much is obvious. Lt. General Jeffrey Buchanan, the Department of Defense’s primary military liaison with FEMA said as much in a recent report by Jenny Marder PBS Newshour who said that the damage is “the worst he’s every seen.” In a related post, Philip Bump from The Washington Post wrote and shared, “FEMA buried updates on Puerto Rico. Here they are.

Speaking of a better response, another area in need of collaboration is health care. With news that President Trump’s administration denied requests to help fix the Iowa ACA market, it’s clear that this administration’s actions around healthcare are just to create chaos and destruction, and not to serve or help those in need of healthcare access. This is not leadership nor collaboration. Jeff Stein shares similar news from Nevada where Nevada’s GOP governor says the ACA sabotage “is going to hurt everybody.”

Friend and professor Karen Travis writes that the, “Trump health care order is a slippery fix.” Or, perhaps as she writes later, “As we’ve heard before from this president: ‘Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.’”

Veteran journalist and reporter Dan Rather writes that, “Injustice Shaped America’s Birth. Unity Must Shape It’s Future.” Give this a read and see what you think.

Leadership Thought & Practice
If you find yourself in Tacoma, Washington this evening, I highly encourage you to attend the “13th Annual Benson Lecture in Business & Economic History,” which will be “A Conversation with Brad Tilden, chairman and CEO of Alaska Air group.” 

In an example of a lack of leadership in action, Matthew Yglesias writes regarding President Trump’s administration’s response to Puerto Rico, that “Leaders need information; our leaders prefer cocooning.” What do you think?

In a post not quite about Millennials, but related, Maya James takes up “The Xennial Generation: Stuck in the Middle,” sharing thoughts on the subject with Thin Difference.

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote recently about Millennials, community, society, leadership, and more, writing that, “We Can Do Better.” See why Jon thinks this, and please join the effort to do better. I especially appreciate Jon’s conclusion, “We need good conversations. We need to read completely and deeply. We need to think more openly, diversely, and profoundly. We need more deep-rooted belly laughs and joyful guffaws. We need more tangible and positive progress forward. We need all of this and more. We can do better.”

Neighbor Love
Angela Denker reflected about, “Why I’m always wearing T-shirts: comfort and discomfort in a post-Vegas America.”

Angela also wrote, “Silent No More: How women & people of color are changing U.S. sports and Christianity.”

In a somewhat related post, Peter Marty writes that, “The military doesn’t own the American flag.” As Marty puts it, “The controversy over athletes kneeling during the national anthem reveals America’s unholy trinity of patriotism, militarism, and sports.” Check out the whole piece and see what you think.

ELCA Advocacy has renewed the call to protect Dreamers without harming vulnerable migrants.

My wife Allison re-shared a powerful post from about four years ago which seems as timely as ever, “The Immigrant Apostles’ Creed,” which was shared by leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Speaking of the Presbyterian Church (USA), a PCUSA peacemaker and “International Peacemaker was uninvited to new high schools,” locally in Nebraska because of misunderstandings and conflict related to Israel and Palestine.

Seminarian Adam Dowd shared a recent powerful sermon entitled, “Victory over Violence,” based in part on current events in the United States, and the lectionary readings for last weekend including, “The Parable of the Wicked Tenants.”

In light of natural disasters and needs, my friends at LEAD have shared an invitation to be part of “leaders helping leaders,” and to “Join the Courageous Community Now.”

Anna North asked an important question, “Why are we still fighting about a medication millions of Americans take every day?” Birth control saves lives, unfortunately, it continues to be harder to access putting lives at risk. This is a major neighbor love concern.

Jennifer Thomas wrote about, “FOMO: The feeling of missing out and stewardship.”

Are you preaching this week? If so, I have some stewardship thoughts to get you started both for preaching from the revised common and narrative lectionaries.

Speaking of stewardship preaching, Adam Copeland shared this piece from the Luther Seminary archives on “Preaching Stewardship: Confessions of a Convert,” by David Lose.

Last week I had the joy of being with the great people of First Lutheran in Blair, Nebraska. I preached about how, “Our God is a God of Love- whom we love and follow through our stewardship.” Even though I had half a voice because of a cold, they also made the sermon available over YouTube, so feel free to enjoy this if you like listening to or watching stewardship preaching too.

Friend and colleague Terri Endres shared this article with me by Andrew Nelson about, “International stewardship speakers examine faith practices of Millennials.”

Merle Brockhoff detailed, “The Stewardship Letter I Want to Write.”

Friend Adam Copeland takes on ideas of stewardship and technology in writing about, “Stewarding Your iPhone.”

Matt Driscoll wrote about a new and exciting debt forgiveness program possible through my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University in, “A PLU education, the ability to chase a noble career and help paying off loans? Yes please.”

Kim Ode shared this great look at sports reporter Michele Tafoya, in “Minnesota’s Michele Tafoya: a sports reporter in a man’s world.”


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

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