This Week’s Links

Internet1Tuesdays 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; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope you enjoy these links!

Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
Are you preaching this week? If so definitely check out friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis‘ thoughts in pondering, “What Is This?” And, you might also consider these stewardship thoughts and questions too.

Jessica Noonan shared some helpful reflections for ministry and neighbor love, especially if your congregation will be sending a group to the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer. Jessica wrote and shared about, “Accompaniment after Harvey.”

Friend, pastor, and blogger David Hansen wrote about how he believes every ministry needs a “Big Bang Theory.” He explains, “My proposal is that every congregation – every ministry – needs a big bang theory. Not an understanding of how they came into being, but a dream for how they might go out of existence – how they might go out with a bang.” It’s a wonderful premise for ministry, mission, and stewardship. Check out the whole post and reflect on what this theory might look like for you.

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day in mind, William Flippin Jr. told the story of a name change and rebranding of sorts in, “From Michael to Martin: Rebranding Life in the Spirit.”

faithful metrics
“Faithful Metrics by Peggy Hahn

Friend and Executive Director of LEAD, Peggy Hahn has authored what sounds like an awesome must-read, Faithful Metrics: A field guide to measuring mission without missing the momentsJoin me in being one of the early readers of the book, by pre-ordering your copy today.

The ELCA Bishops in Minnesota released a timely “Bishops Statement,” for this Epiphany season, and in light of local, national, and global events and needs.

Staying in Minnesota, Shannon Prather provided this look at how, “St. Paul night services speak to those who feel exiled from church tradition.” This article looks at Pilgrim Lutheran in St. Paul which offers “night services in Celtic, Nordic, and compline traditions.”

Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Matt Skinner shared news and an open invitation for anyone and everyone to experience the upcoming wonderful Fretheim Lecture which will be given this year by Dr. Beverly Gaventa. The lecture is titled, “We, They, and All in Paul’s Letter to the Romans,” and will be given on April 10, 2018 at 7pm at Luther Seminary, and will also be live-streamed.

Karl Vaters wrote about something that is not often talked about, but can have a profound effect on congregations and their leaders, writing about, “When People Leave: the private pain of the small church pastor.”

What are you doing on Saturday March 10th? If you are in Nebraska, I highly recommend attending the Nebraska Synod Congregational Leadership Development Day. Check out the invite for more information.

Cross-Sector Collaboration
Charlotte Hill asked, “Could one state save American Democracy?” I smiled a bit when I saw that the one state being pondered about in this was Washington. Check out the post and see why this might be true.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, President and CEO Kashkari wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “Immigration is Practically a Free Lunch for America.” Check out the column and see why.

Related to immigration, my brother Thomas Francis-Siburg, and a few other friends shared this look by Ava Benach in light of a recent controversial, and I would argue terribly short-sighted deportation by the government. Ava writes, responds, and shares about the case, “Why didn’t he just become a citizen? An immigration lawyer deconstructs a recent deportation.” This is a helpful read, especially for learning more about current immigration law and practices.

Over on the Collaboration Ministries blog, my Dad, David Siburg, shared some “Ponderings from Dave’s Desk: Managed Incremental Change,” with helpful insights for your organization, leadership, and for managing change.

Leadership Thought & Practice
Joel Garfinkle highlighted “5 Qualities of emotionally intelligent leaders.” The qualities that Joel notes include that they are: empathetic; self-aware; positive; considerate; and authentic.

Bill Chappel shared the depressing, albeit perhaps not surprising news, that the “World’s Regard for U.S. Leadership hits Record Low in Gallup Poll,” for 2017. Among those nations with the lowest opinion of the U.S. include Norway, Iceland, and Canada. What do you think of these results and findings?

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference wrote, shared, and invited in, “Better Society, Better Days: Moving from Stale Leaders to Smart Leaders.”

Neighbor Love
Friend, pastor, and blogger Andrew Dietzel pondered about, “When We Who are Blind Do Not Want Sight.” Give this a read and some thought this week.

Friend and colleague pastor Megan Morrow shared this wonderful article by Hana Muslic who wrote and shared, “‘Everybody is my brother or sister’: Former pastor Bud Christenson helps refugees, inmates.” This is ministry in action, and its a great look at some ministries that a retired Lutheran pastor has helped spur and lead.

Friend, colleague, and Bishop Brian Maas shared this look at refugees finding welcome in Nebraska, “Terrorized by ISIS, Yazidi refugees find welcoming community in Nebraska,” as reported and aired on PBS News Hour. This story helps highlight some of the important work and ministry of the serving arms of the church, especially Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Social Media & Blogging
Friend and communications strategist Carrie Gubsch shared this post by Katie Harbath pondering some “Hard Questions: Social Media and Democracy.”

For those of you who might be preaching later this week, I shared my weekly look at the revised common and narrative lectionary readings, offering some ideas and thoughts for preaching on stewardship.

Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared this good look at stewardship and younger generations from Tammy Wilkinson who wrote about, “Teaching Stewardship at a Young Age.”

Justin Kanoya shared some thoughts on life, leadership, choices, and vocation at Thin Difference in, “A Mind Shift: Moving from ‘Have to’ to ‘Get to.'”


The morning after the blizzard, with 4+ foot drifts in places.

And now for the weather. Here’s a good look at the fun blizzard that my wife Allison and I enjoyed yesterday.


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, and blessings on your week. -TS

Image Credits:The Links and Faithful Metrics

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