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

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Are you preaching this week? If so, check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis’ thoughts on preaching and the Reformation in “Freedom and Obligation.” Also, I have some ideas for thinking about preaching on stewardship this upcoming Reformation weekend.

Speaking of the Reformation, this year is special in that it is the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. To commemorate this, there are two amazing worship services that will be happening in the next week in the Nebraska Synod. The first, is Sunday October 29th at St. John’s Parish on the Creighton University campus in Omaha, and will be a joint-synod worship service between the Nebraska and Western Iowa Synods. The second, is Monday October 30th at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln. For more on these events and to participate in person or online, check out the article here.

If you are a rostered minister in the Nebraska Synod, I hope to see you TheoCon 2017 next week in Lincoln.

To have kids and children in worship is a sign of life. To have gripes and complaints about it, is shortsighted at best, and individualistic consumerism at its worst. Christina Embree takes this topic on yet again, and wonders if we should change our expectations, writing and sharing, “Frustrated about Kids in Church? Something’s Gotta Change.” Thanks to Allison for sharing this with me first.

Relatedly, Justice and Peace Consulting shared these “Rules for children in the worship service.” They’re quite good, and you might even laugh. What do you think?

My home congregation, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo, Washington was in the news this past week for hosting its 105th Lutefisk dinner, a long tradition in “Little Norway.” Nick Twietmeyer reported and shared the story.

Do have a Thanksgiving worship in your context? If so, this “Thanksgiving Liturgy of Gratitude, Prayer, Song, and Feast,” from Carl Gregg may be helpful. Thanks to Allison for sharing this with me first.

Cross-Sector Collaboration
My dad pondered a bit about organizations and incremental and transformational change over on the Collaboration Ministries blog that you should spend some time on, especially if thinking about leadership, organizations, and change.

Leadership Thought & Practice
President George W. Bush responded to some of the societal, political, and leadership challenges of our current time last week rather powerfully. Eric Dolan wrote and shared an article including a video entitled, “Bush just delivered a stunning 16-minute repudiation of Trumpism- without ever mentioning his name.” Relatedly, Arlette Saenz wrote and shared that, “Bush blasts bigotry and white supremacy, says US politics ‘vulnerable’ to ‘outright fabrication.'”

Linda O’Neill reflected on “The Power of Intention,” at Thin Difference offering ways to harness it and make the most of it for life and leadership.

Molly Page shared important perspectives about vocation, life, and leadership in sharing about “The Consequences of Saying No to the Wrong Work,” over at Thin Difference.

Lolly Daskal recently wrote a leadership piece which brought a smile to my face as a morning person on, “Why Being a Morning Person Will Make You Better at Your Job (and life).

Neighbor Love
Rev. Dr. Rafael Malpica Padilla shared an important “Reflection in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria.” Definitely give this a read, especially if wondering about what it looks like in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean after Hurricane Maria.

Former Ambassador, and current President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, Daniel Speckhard wrote and reflected about how, “Puerto Rico shows how much of the world fares when disaster strikes.”

Tara Isabella Burton compiled thoughts and responses from and in, “10 faith leaders on ‘thoughts and prayers’ – and action – after tragedy.” It’s a timely look after Las Vegas, and other conflicts, violence, and tragedy. Among the faith leaders included were Lutheran pastors Kelly France from Bethlehem Lutheran in Minneapolis, and Elizabeth Rawlings from Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Perhaps the biggest neighbor love discussion over the past week has been the rise in the #MeToo. With that in mind, I have read quite a few posts that have struck me over the past week, which include a number of the following:

#MeToo – reflections and responses, perhaps the biggest news in neighbor love in the past week

Elizabeth McBride at Women of the ELCA compiled and shared, “#MeToo: A litany for speaking out or not.”

Seminarian Elle Dowd wrote a powerful and personal piece that has been shared widely this past week, entitled, “Jesus and Black Lace Lingerie.” I was struck especially by her observation that, “The more I heal though, the more I realize that my sexuality and spirituality are made of the same substance. They are an integral part of what makes me who I am.”  Elle’s post was inspired in part by the #metoo. Please spend some time with this.

My friend Emily Shane also shared and reflected personally and powerfully about her “Hesistance in Declaring ‘Me Too.'”

Pastor and writer Angela Denker wrote and shared, “As a mother of sons … my take on #MeToo.”

Changing it up a bit, Michael Gerson wrote that, “The religious right carries its golden calf into Steve Bannon’s battles.”

This past weekend I had the joy to be with the good people of Christ Lutheran Church in Louisville, Nebraska. While with them, I preached on stewardship and this past weekend’s tricky question Jesus faced about taxes.

Good words to guide our stewardship and neighbor love, as seen on a whiteboard at Christ Lutheran Church in Louisville, Nebraska.

Speaking of preaching, how might you preach on the Reformation and stewardship? I am not sure how I would, but I have some starting thoughts, questions, and ideas that might be worth some consideration.

More broadly, Adam Copeland shared a look from Alex Benson at Craig Satterlee’s book, Preaching and StewardshipCheck out Alex’s take-away’s, and then check out the book for yourself.

John Withum over at the COMPASS blog wrote about, “Reorienting Spiritual Practices for Financial Planning.”

A number of friends (who happen to be pastors) including Allison, Siri Erickson, and Dan Poffenberger have shared this article from the Harvard Business Review this past week by John Coleman that is all about vocation, “You Don’t Find Your Purpose – You Build It.” John responds to what he believes are three misperceptions within this. And I appreciate his conclusion, “We should be looking to endow everything we do with purpose, to allow for the multiple sources of meaning that will naturally develop in our lives, and to be comfortable with those changing over time. Unpacking what we mean by ‘purpose’ can allow us to better understand its presence and role in our lives.” Check out the whole article.


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; and #METOO.

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