Tuesdays on the blog mean that I have the pleasure of sharing some 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; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis, reflects on this week’s readings from the revised common lectionary in “Entrustment,” a very stewardship rich observation, if you ask me. Definitely spend some time with Karoline’s thoughts if you are preaching this week. Also, to help think more about stewardship themes and questions for preaching this week, please check out my initial thoughts, questions, and ideas.
Rev. Dr. Norma Cook Everist wrote an important article that helps unpack what it means to be a “Minister of Word and Service: Deacon,” as a “Deeper Understandings” look in this month’s Living Lutheran. As one who is a consecrated Deacon of the church, and who often faces the question, “What is Deacon?,” I’m going to start pointing to this article. Please check it out.
In this time of thanksgiving and gratitude, my friends at LEAD are asking, “Who are the Faith Givers in Your Life?” Ponder this question and a few others, and join in support of the work and ministry made possible through LEAD.
Amanda White at The Lutheran Center, at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, shared reflections, insights, reactions, and responses to the Lutheran Center’s experience commemorating the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, in, “Re-Posting the Theses…”
Friend, mentor, and professor Dr. Terri Elton shared a conversation with editor Sarah Stanton and co-author Rabbi Hayim Herring on the “One Year Anniversary,” of the release of their book, Leading Congregations and Nonprofits in a Connected World: Platforms, People, and Purpose. If you haven’t read the book yet, please do so. If need be, add it to your Christmas List! Check out the conversation and see what has surprised them since the book came out, and what new discoveries and questions they have had since it was released and in the conversations with those who have read it.
Leadership Thought & Practice
Molly Page reflected on “The Consequences of Hearing No.” Molly’s observations include: hearing no puts a period at the end of the sentence; hearing no offers an opportunity for feedback; and hearing no is motivating. Check out Molly’s thoughts at Thin Difference, and ponder what this might mean for your leadership.
Bishop Brian Maas, Bishop of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (and my boss), along with Dr. MaryAnne Stevens and Rev. Timothy McNeil wrote and responded to threats to protected status, arguing from their faith and leadership offices, “Don’t end protected status.” Please read this. It’s important, and it speaks to the complexity and realities that perhaps are not being understood in our conversations, news, and media.
Bishop Maas also shared this beautiful and powerful prayer for Veterans’ Day by ELCA Church Council member and Veteran, Reid Christopherson. To all of you who are Veterans, thank you for your service.
Pastor and blogger Meta Herrick Carlson shared an important post and reflection about men, masculinity, and toxic masculinity in, “Cain.” Given current news, this is both a timely and important post well worth some time and contemplation.
Last week, many areas in the United States held local elections. One result in particular that gave me hope came from Virginia, where, “Virginia elected its first openly transgender state lawmaker.” This gives me hope for a number of reasons, chief among them is that even in the midst of rises in hate, we are still moving forward as a country to build equality and justice regardless of differences of perspectives, faith, identity, and orientation. Daniel Marans has the story.
In preparation for Advent, pastor and writer Tuhina Verma Rasche shares about a new theme and hashtag for a digital discipline, in “I’m telling you to #ShutTheHellUp.” Check out the post, and see if this might be a meaningful part of your Advent discipline this year.
Rev. Joelle Coville-Hanson shared a must read report from Iona Craig on the neighbor love issues and humanitarian crisis happening in Yemen in, “‘Only God can save us’: Yemeni children starve as aid is held at border.”
Are you preaching this weekend? If so, I have some stewardship ideas and questions to ponder as you reflect and prepare to preach or lead worship.
The Compass: Navigating Faith & Finances Blog is sharing reflections on “Hymns and Hopes for the Holidays” during November and December this year. Friend and Executive Director/CEO of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, Marcia Shetler get’s the series started with the hymn, “Praise to God, Immortal Praise.”
This past weekend I had the honor to be with the good people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska. While with them, I shared a message on, “God’s Economic Delivery System- Open Handed, Generous, & For Us.”
Speaking of stewardship preaching, friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared a helpful reflection from Rev. Karl Travis, “Cash Got Your Tongue? Why do pastors wince at money-talk?”
One thing that I have learned through living, studying, and working in at least four different states now is that transitions are constant in life. Friend Hannah Heinzekehr takes this on in reflecting about “The Consistency of Transitions,” at The Mennonite.
Speaking of transitions, Hannah shared some big news in a story by Gordon Houser, as she will be the new Communications Program Director for the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Congratulations Hannah, and blessings on your transitions!
Friend Elle Dowd shared this article by Katherine Schafler about, “How to Change Your Life in One Second Flat,” by pondering four critical questions: “Do you see me? Do you care that I’m here? Am I enough for you, or do you need me to be better in some way? Can I tell that I’m special to you by the way that you look at me?” This article takes on the important topics of self-reflection, presence, and connection. Check it out.
In sad news, last week one of my favorite sportswriters, former Tacoma News Tribune columnist Larry LaRue, passed away. Dale Phelps shares some perspectives.
Also in sad news, one of the most famous (if not the most famous) alumni from my high school, Astronaut Richard Gordon passed away last week as well.
This week’s beauty comes from photographer and pilot Jeffrey Milstein who shared 17 amazing aerial looks of “America from Above.” Definitely check these out!
In another post related to planes, Cole Cosgrove shares a story about how the “CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies.”
As you know I’m an avid sports fan, especially of Pacific Northwest sports teams. I am still bummed that the Washington Huskies football team lost to Stanford last Friday night. To that end, Jon Wilner asked, “Did the Pac-12 schedule itself out of the College Football Playoff?” Fair question. What do you think?
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