Earlier this week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) released a 19-page “consultation paper on future directions of the ELCA,” entitled, “Called Forward Together in Christ for the sake of the world.”
According to the title page, “This directions paper shares the key messages harvested through conversations across the ELCA. We invite you to comment on the directions and priorities that have emerged.” If you have not yet seen the paper, please read it here.
After reading the paper, and then going back through it a couple more times, I am very happy with this. I believe it is a great step in the process of conversation, discernment, and decision making as we are church together, continuing to discern and articulate who we are, who we are becoming and “why we do what we do.”
Instead of some just quick immediate reactions, I want to walk through the paper with what stands out to me.
Opening of the Paper- Purpose, Mission, and Perspective
In her opening letter to the paper, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton notes that, “There is broad consensus about the church we want to become, but in some of the areas that are highly important we do not have a clear or effective strategy.” I think this is an important recognition, which you can see if active in a congregational, synodical, or churchwide capacity. To help address this, there is an open invitation for feedback, shared discernment, and conversation within the paper.
The release of this paper signifies the end of the first of three stages in 2016 of “Conversations across the church about the future.” Now the church is entering the next stage of “Consultation on directions and priorities that emerged through these conversations,” which will then lead to the third stage of “Reaching decisions about where the ELCA is heading and to what it will give importance” (page 1).
I am particularity inspired and excited to see the repeated questions raised about the importance of connection, collaboration, and clarity. For example, “How can the ELCA maintain strong congregational participation and ownership and become more connected as one church?” (2) “How can we be clearer, better focused and more effective in the way we tell the good news and embody God’s love for the world?” (3)
There is a stated understanding that “While God’s mission is clear, as people of God, we must constantly discern how to express and carry out that mission in a faithful, relevant and compelling way in today’s world” (3). What that looks like will be dependent on context, skills, passions, needs, etc.
Growth, Membership, and Data
There was an interesting discussion about the commitment to growing membership, and I found myself writing in the margin in this section that these data points illustrate why it’s critical for rostered leaders to cultivate stories and be story tellers themselves. On a more personal level, for me this is yet another reason why I believe my wife Allison has been called to be a pastor in this church in this unique time and space, and why in part that I believe I have been called to ministry as well.
There was also important discussion about diversity, interdependence, generations, age, and mutuality.
Within the section sharing “Key Messages From Across the Church,” big points of identity and what it means to be a distinctively Lutheran church were articulated (8-9). I particularly appreciated the insight about collaboration and relationship I read in the statement, “As church together, through formal and informal relationships and networks, we can achieve things on a scale that would otherwise not be possible” (9).
“God’s Work. Our Hands” and the idea of a Relational Church
I found myself underlining much of the section explaining that “We are a relational church.” Perhaps that is a product of me serving as a mission developer this year? Whatever the reason I love the way that this section begins, “We are a faith community, some would say a movement…” (9) I also am glad that the importance of ecumenism was named and explained, as well as the importance of engaging in dialogue and collaboration across faiths and other parts of civil society, government, and business for “the sake of justice, reconciliation and peace in the world” (9).
It seems that from the conversations and listening process, the tagline, “God’s work. Our hands” was affirmed, and hoped to bed retained and broadened in use (10). I was also glad to read within the section, “A Christ-centered thriving church,” there has been a “call for the ELCA to be a more public church,” which is something I have written about much before on this blog over the past few years and months (11).
Theologically, I greatly appreciate the emphasis given to both sacraments (baptism and communion) and their relationship and connection to the Word (12), as well as the great importance for leaders and leadership development. I loved the majority of this section, especially the wide view of the importance of education and formation at all levels (13). I agree that continued leadership development, education, and life-long learning are imperative to being a leader in general, and especially in a world that is changing so rapidly.
Key lines that caught my eye included recognition that,
“This church needs leaders who are passionate about Christ, spiritually grounded, theologically fluent, ecumenically committed and growing in their capacities to lead in a complex world” (13).
“Leaders for tomorrow will need a more mixed education- with a strong theological and vocational orientation and knowledge and skills relevant to different contexts. The rapidly changing world requires church leaders who are compassionate, adaptable, courageous, committed evangelists with strong relationship and communication skills and cross-cultural competence. Future leaders must be able to explain theologically and practically who we are as a Lutheran church and why we do what we do” (13).
There it is again, one of my favorite phrases, “why we do what we do,” which is offered a few different times in these 19 pages.
Different Expressions of Ministry
There was a good acknowledgement of social ministry and the joyful response of service that are part of the church (13-14). However, I honestly would have expected more conversation here given the large umbrella of Lutheran social organizations that there are that most members and congregations are not even aware of.
There was also a helpful discussion about “Youth and young adults,” though I did sense a bit more fear here than in other sections, which I think reflects the average feeling within congregations who are dealing with big questions related to “life, death, resurrection,” and the present and future. I guess that tone shouldn’t be surprising to me, but it does leave me hoping for more intentional multi-generational and cross-generational work, because that will be critical for both being a “now and not yet” church (14).
The stewardship leader and organizational behavior management student in me was excited to read the “Church structures and relationships” and “Stewardship of resources” sections, but honestly I didn’t learn anything really new here. That probably has more to do with my current roles and reading interests than anything else. If this is an area of ministry or leadership that is new to you, then it probably would be a very helpful summary (15-16).
Tensions and Next Steps
The theological nerd in me appreciated the paradox and tension acknowledgment towards the end of the paper where it is written, “Lutherans are comfortable living with ambiguity and uncertainty. This is a strength when it comes to being church in an increasingly complex world” (16). I was equally appreciative to read at the end of this section that, “The Future Directions Table was keen to see that living with tension does not become an excuse for not making hard decisions,” thus, even though there is tension, that cannot prevent action and forward movement, or paralyze us to act (17).
Perhaps a central question to this whole paper is, “How do we get the right balance between the autonomy, interdependence and being church together?” (17)
Priorities are proposed (17) and thoughts about implementing them are shared (18).
If I had to pick one element that caught my eye towards the end was the desire and importance of having “more gatherings and networks that bring people together for spiritual discernment, future planning, problem solving, and learning exchange” (18). Of course, I did underline much of this section.
I am still digesting my thoughts on this document. But my first reaction is that I am encouraged. I am grateful and appreciative for the team and table members doing this work (19), and look forward to being part of the conversation and work of the church together in thinking and acting on this in the year(s) ahead.
In an upcoming blog post I will start offering some answers to the questions I highlighted above. For now, I invite you to also read and sit with this paper.
What do you hear? What do you wonder? How are we called forward together in Christ for the sake of the world?
This entry was posted in Appreciative Inquiry, Change, Church, Conflict, Cross Sector Collaboration, Family, Leadership, Missional Church, Neighbor Love, Social Media, Stewardship, Theology, Vocation, Worship and tagged accompaniment, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Called Forward Together in Christ, change, church, collaboration, Connective Leadership, Discernment, Dr. Jean Lipman-Blumen, ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, leadership, ministry, missional church, mutuality, neighbor love, questions, sacraments, stewardship, vision, We are Church, why we do what we do, worship.
There’s been a great deal of discussion over the past couple of years online, in teaching, leading, and writing, about the the distinction between a “Yes, and” and a “Yes, but,” culture and approach. This morning it hit me, that I feel called to serve a “Yes, and” Church, and not a “Yes, but” Church.
I believe I am part of a “Yes, and” church as a whole. However, I also believe that the “Yes, but” is a more common tendency and reaction within the system that is the church and congregations within it. I have heard a lot of “Yes, but” lately, for example in the congregation I serve. I don’t blame anyone for this, but at the same time, it tells me how far we have to go to really get to a day when the church gets out of it’s own way to do and proclaim the promises and work of God.
The church I know and love is a “Yes, and” church. It is a church where the Good News of the Gospel is proclaimed, but that Good News is not left there for each individual to solely make meaning of it alone. It is then connected and responded to in the world and larger community. The gospel is not something static, but living. It is a challenging Good News, full of promise but also challenging and prophetic calls. Too often I fear, Lutheran congregations end up on this spectrum on one side or another, when in reality, I would hope it is a “both, and.”
The gospel as I understand it, is highly political. By this I mean, Jesus Christ was proclaiming promises, but also challenging the systems and statuses that got in the way of abundant life. Where there was division or barriers, Jesus always seemingly appeared on the “other” side, or perhaps more accurately on the side of the “other.” Because of this, when I hear congregations and leaders say, “we aren’t an issues church,” I really hear that “we are a church that isn’t actively engaged in the world.”
On the other hand, when a congregation is seemingly always engaged with every single issue, it more than likely could miss the deeper meaning of its existence, and why it feels uniquely called to be engaged in the world, responding to the perceived issues and challenges. If the church is so focused on the doing, it might miss the chance to make the connection to the deeper Gospel call which leads to the response of doing.
Within the context of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the denomination that I am a part of), I believe this is why the Social Statements that are compiled by the church are so important. They reflect deep thinking and discernment, and are meant to ponder the meaning of the Gospel in light of today’s contexts and challenges. They are hardly perfect. I think everyone would agree that they take too long to write and approve, but they are also an honest effort for the church to spur thinking, and to proclaim the Good News in response to the brokenness of systems, the prevalence of barriers, and all those who might say, “but.”
I want to be a part of a church that can talk like it did last week about “The Good Samaritan,” and how Jesus comes near in the unexpected, and between the unexpected.
I want to be a church that this weekend can talk about Martha and Mary, and how perhaps it’s not so much of a dichotomy that Jesus is explaining between their different approaches, and perhaps, more of a spectrum.
And I want to be a part of church that after talking and proclaiming, actively acts on those messages in the local and larger community.
This might mean a number of things- walking in solidarity in a pride march, joining a peaceful but powerful Black Lives Matter march or protest, sharing cookies and appreciative notes with the local police office, collecting and then distributing food to the hungry…
All of this is important. None of it is possible though when a church says that it is “not an issues” church. When that claim is made, I deeply believe that the congregation sacrifices its ability to be a prophetic voice and presence. It sacrifices its ability to be a “church in the public square.”
I want to be a “Yes, and” church. I want to be a part of that in my Word & Service capacities, and feel called to that. My wife wants to be a part of that in the Word & Sacraments capacity, and feels called to that.
Perhaps it sounds as if I am offering another “yes, but” perspective. So let me try to put this another way.
I want to be a part of a church that says, “You are a beloved Child of God. You are enough. And though grace you have been saved through Christ.” That’s Good News. It’s a pure gift, not dependent upon us at all.
I want to also be a part of a church that then asks (like Mary Oliver), “In response to this Good News, what will you do with your one wild and precious life? What stories and experiences will you have? And where will God show up? Where might God be leading you and calling you?” And then, after thinking about that individually (like Frederick Buechner) ask, “In response to this Good News of Abundant Life, how are we called and sent together out into the world, meeting its great needs?”
I want to be a part of a church where vocation is something embraced. Where identity grounded in the promises, creativity, and flowing waters of baptism is proclaimed weekly. Where identity across time and space, is connected to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ through communion, and the promise that “Christ is for you.” Where the people within the congregation understand themselves to be: a Child of God, a Steward of God’s Love, a Disciple, a Christian, (in my case… a Lutheran), and someone who is uniquely created and loved just for who they are, and also someone who is entrusted with unique questions, ideas, stories, and gifts. And these are holy things not to be shunned, but embraced.
I want to be a “yes, and” church, where someone of faith who feels a deep passion to respond to it in some way in the world, is affirmed and supported, not questioned and doubted.
Will there be times where people will come up short, of course. We are people. We are sinners. We inevitability will sin and come up short. But I suspect, more times than not, if we really create a church where dreaming and passion are central, that the work of the Holy Spirit will really be set loose in ways we cannot yet even imagine.
What might a “Yes, and” Church look like to you?
This entry was posted in Change, Church, Conflict, Daily Life, Family, Leadership, Millennials, Missional Church, Neighbor Love, Stewardship, Theology, Vocation, Worship and tagged baptism, Calling, change, church, communion, culture, design, ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Good Samaritan, imagination, innovation, leadership, Martha and Mary, ministry, missional church, Social Statements, systems, vocation, Yes, Yes and, Yes but.
26 mins ·
A young black man, Philando Castile, has died in our community after being shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. His family grieves, friends are outraged, co-workers are stunned and news of the deaths of black men that we too often hear about in other communities has become our local news. Whether you are joining the Black Lives Matter movement in a public vigil, explaining this news to your children, or coming to terms with the fact that such violent deaths happen in our cities, we all have work to do to build a community of justice and safety for all, especially persons of color. I invite prayers in our congregations this Sunday – prayers for Philando Castile, for his family and friends, for the officers involved, and for the work of repentance and reconciliation that is needed in our country. ~ Bishop Patricia Lull
All morning I have wanted to write. This was basically my neighborhood for five years. I have written blog posts and sermons explaining why we must proclaim that Black Lives Matter. There is much work to be done for reconciliation and repentance. I grieve for Philando Castile’s family and friends.
I am also mad and sick to my stomach this morning, because I know that if I was pulled over, and I reached for my driver’s license and registration I would not have had a gun pointed at me (let alone fired).
We are called in our baptisms to name and respond to injustice, working for justice and peace in all the world. We are called as congregations to be a place of truth telling, of sharing the Good News with a hurting world, but also actively engaging the news and challenges of the world and not ignoring them in preaching, teaching, prayer, service, and presence.
For those congregations following the Revised Common Lectionary, this week’s gospel lesson is that of the Good Samaritan. What might Jesus say through this parable about the need and importance of reconciliation, repentance, and community?
This entry was posted in Change, Church, Conflict, Daily Life, Family, Missional Church, Neighbor Love, Stewardship, Theology, Vocation, Worship and tagged #BlackLivesMatter, baptism, baptismal identity, Bishop Patricia Lull, Black Lives Matter, change, church, community, conflict, daily life, Falcon Heights, family, Good Samaritan, lament, ministry, Minnesota, missional church, neighbor love, Philando Castile, reconciliation, Repentance, Saint Paul, Saint Paul Area Synod, St. Anthony Park, theology, vocation, worship.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.
This is most certainly true. Though it does not mean that we cannot strive to be better- To grow and work for peace, justice, equality, and fellowship. There is much to be done. Yet sometimes we are most captive to the sin of thinking “We can’t do anything to change it.” “We can’t do anything to make it better.” Our acquiescence is a grave sin indeed.
We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have sinned when speaking words of hate against our brothers and sisters, God’s children just like each and everyone of us as individuals. We have sinned when not defending our brothers and sisters against others who use hate, bigotry, and ignorance to divide and exclude. We have sinned when we have refused time, and time again, to advocate for our LGBTQA sisters and brothers and join together as One Body of Christ. We have sinned when we have refused time, and time again, in seeing gun tragedy after tragedy to stand up, have conversations, and work for common sense gun control. We have sinned when we have refused to name the reality of gun violence, prejudice of all kinds, racism, sexism, and ageism in worship. How long O Lord, will we give into the sin of acquiescence?
We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
For every ill thought about each other- for different beliefs, political persuasions, sexual orientations, faith understandings, ethnic and cultural identity, Lord forgive us. Forgive us for every moment where we fail to remember that we are all Your Children, created in Your Image. When we do not show love to our neighbor, we do not show love to you.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie eleison: Lord, have mercy. Christe eleison: Christ, have mercy. Kyrie eleison: Lord, have mercy.
Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.
Forgive us for the times when we think there is nothing we can do. Forgive us for the many times where we throw our hands in the air. Give us faith and good courage to act, as you are leading and calling us to do. May we love our neighbors as ourselves through all of our words and deeds. May we comfort the mourning, grieving, and hurting. May we have eyes to see, hearts to feel, hands to hold, ears to hear and listen, minds to think, and souls courageous enough to act and change. Guide us in your ways, Merciful God, and never let us give in to the temptation to think that violent days like today are inevitable and there is nothing we can do about it.
Note: The sentences italicized above are the text for one of the more common texts for confession in worship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The non-italicized portions are my thoughts today based on the hate crime and terrorism directed at the LGBTQA community in Orlando, Florida. If this is a useful liturgy for you, you have my permission to share and use this with your worshiping community.
Image Credit: Pray for Orlando
This entry was posted in Change, Church, Conflict, Daily Life, Family, Leadership, Missional Church, Neighbor Love, Theology, Vocation, Worship and tagged change, church, confession, conflict, daily life, family, forgiveness, leadership, LGBT, LGBTQA, ministry, missional church, neighbor love, Orlando, Orlando Shooting, Pray for Orlando, theology, vocation, worship.
Nearly every week on Tuesdays I share some of what I have seen, read, and found thought provoking over the past week. This week’s edition actually covers the past two weeks, as I was unable to put the links together a week ago. To help make sense of all of these links, I have grouped them by the following categories: Church and Ministry Thought & Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership Thought & Practice; Millennials; Neighbor Love; Social Media & Blogging; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I hope that you enjoy these links!
Church and Ministry Thought & Practice
If you are writing a sermon or preparing for worship for this coming weekend, the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, I have a few links for you to consider. Check out, “Your Faith Has Saved You,” a reflection from friend and professor Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis, as well as the “Sermon Brainwave” podcast around this weekend’s themes and readings with Karoline as well as other friends and professors Rev. Dr.’s Rolf Jacobson and Matt Skinner. Also spend some time with Bishop Michael Rinehart’s thoughts on “Pentecost 4C.” If you are following the narrative lectionary check out this great “Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10,” by friend and professor Dr. Lois Malcolm.
Friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Terri Elton shared wonderful news about the “Global Young Reformers Living Reformation Cohort Application.” Applications are due by July 1st, and I highly encourage you to check this out, especially if you are a younger adult in ministry or curious about the church.
Ron Judd wrote what I think perhaps was the most interesting article related to the church in the past week detailing about Pastor Beth Purdum, in “A Wing and a Prayer: Island-hopping pastor preaches in the San Juans.” If you are curious about unique multi-site ministries, especially one that is in the beauty of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, definitely check out this article.
In the Vancouver, Washington area there has been sad news lately, as a “Fire heavily damages Hazel Dell church,” which was now it seems only the first of a handful of church arsons in the area.
Friend, pastor, and blogger Joe Smith wrote with warning, “How to Let People Know, ‘It’s All About Us,” offering instead the following advice, “Try telling stories about your community. Stories invite people to imagine the observer in that place. Don’t tell people it’s a welcoming and friendly church (lots of churches say that); let the stories speak for themselves.” Check out the whole post for more, as well as Joe’s thoughts on, “Is Faith Worth the Investment? Our Neighbors and Relationships.”
Are you feeling called to a new leadership opportunity in ministry? If so, perhaps the Holy Spirit may be leading you to North Texas-North Louisiana, where there is an opening for a “Bishop Associate for Leader Formation and Congregational Care.” This position will report to friend and newly elected bishop Rev. Erik Gronberg.
My wife Allison shared this post from February by Rachel Johnson who wrote that, “This May All Go to S…: An Open Letter to Millennial Church Leaders.”
Hopefully it does not all go that way, and rather the church has a hopeful future. The ELCA is considering such questions in an initiative, “Called Forward Together in Christ,” inviting people to consider, contemplate, and respond to the question, “What does the future of the ELCA look like to you?”
Living Lutheran also continued it’s series about who are Lutherans and what it means to be a Lutheran by sharing a Lutheran celebrity from the Pacific Northwest’s response, “I’m a Lutheran: Rick Steves,” yes Rick Steves is an ELCA Lutheran who worships in a congregation just north of Seattle.
Friend Hannah Heinzekehr shared news in The Mennonite that Pastor Isaac Villegas has been “reaffirmed by congregation after conference suspends credentials.”
Church and Social Media (#ChSocM) shared transcripts of their recent conversations which centered on, “What Would Jesus Design: Graphics-a-go-go,” as moderated by Beth Felice; and “Zooming in on Video and Social Media,” as moderated by Jason Chesnut.
For those of you involved in congregations and nonprofits I encourage you to check out this post from stewardship director Adam Copeland who announced about a “FREE Crowdfunding Guide for Congregations and Nonprofits.”
In an interesting economic and social sector case study, Paul Davidson pondered, “Is Seattle company’s $70,000 minimum wage working?”
With news from my alma mater of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), David Kroman writes that NPR Radio Station, “KPLU reaches its massive fundraising goal,” and university president Thomas Krise shared his “hearty congratulations” as well.
Social leadership theorist Julian Stodd reflected about “Socially Dynamic Traits: Ideation, Aggregation and Dissemination,” “The Socially Dynamic Organization: Connected, Adapted, Fluid,” and shared, “An Architecture for Learning Technology.”
Leadership Thought & Practice
Dan Rockwell shared a number of great leadership perspectives over the past couple of weeks. These included: “The Top 10 Rules for Talking Like a Leader“; “The Three Competencies of Effective Leaders“; and “How to Forget Like a Leader.”
Tanveer Naseer highlighted “7 Ways Leaders Can Empower Their Employees to Succeed,” as well as, “10 Principles for Developing Strategic Leaders,” in a guest piece by Jessica Leitch, David Lancefield, and Mark Dawson. The 10 principles highlighted include: distribute responsibly; be honest and open about information; create multiple paths for raising and testing ideas; make it safe to fail; provide access to other strategists; develop opportunities for experienced-based learning; hire for transformation; bring your whole self to work; find time to reflect; and recognize leadership development as an ongoing practice.
Lolly Daskal asked and shared, “Want to Be a Great Leader? Ask Yourself These Questions Weekly.”
Thin Difference shared a guest post by Caroline Schmidt who outlined, “5 Signs You Need a Career Change.” Signs to consider include: work no longer challenges you; you feel tired all the time; your confidence is diminished; you aren’t engaged with your passions; and your talent could be used elsewhere.
Eric Torrence shared some good thoughts for Millennials and leaders in writing about, “The Good Kind of Overwhelmed,” over at Thin Difference. Also at Thin Difference, Jeremy Chandler shared, “John Maxwell’s Greatest Piece of Advice for Young Leaders.”
Jeannie Walters outlined, “3 Ways to Update Customer Experience for Millennials“- flexibility, empowerment, and validation.
Allison shared this report from Christopher Rugaber who wrote, “Goodbye, empty nest: Millennials staying longer with parents.”
Meta Herrick Carlson vulnerably and powerfully shared about the danger, fear, and challenges for victims of rape and sexual assault, writing and calling us all to “just listen.”
Friend, blogger, and artist Vonda Drees shared a number of beautiful posts over the past couple of weeks. These posts included: “faith w-rest-ling“; “joyous inseparable unity“; “a blessing of loveliness“; “you are worthy“; “grace connections“; “beloved and chosen“; “kindness ripples“; “miraculous love“; “reaping joy“; “power and mystery“; “marked forever“; and “awake.”
My sister Tamara Siburg shared this important article by Amanda Leventhal, who writes that, “We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High Functioning’ Depression.”
Late last week Muhammad Ali passed away. As so many people shared their thoughts and memories, some were more harmful, problematic, and actually wrong than others. Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to sportscaster Bob Costas whose take was along those lines, and “typifies the ongoing dialogue around racism in this country,” in writing, “Bob Costas to Muhammad Ali- ‘Well Actually…”
Friend Adam Copeland shared this interesting look by Samuel Freedman at a “North Dakota Mosque a Symbol of Muslims’ Long Ties in America.”
John Pavlovitz shared some thoughts about “If You Believe Donald Trump Deserves to Be President,” as well as a response “To Brock Turner’s Father, from Another Father.”
Friend, pastor, and blogger Frank Johnson shared three different sermons on his blog over the past couple of weeks which are part of the narrative lectionary’s summer focus on the book of Job. These sermons included, “Job: Sitting with the questions,” based on Job 1; “The rings of grief: Job and Eliphaz,” based on Job 4:1-9; and “I know that my Redeemer lives!,” based on Job 14:7-15 and Job 19:23-27.
Social Media & Blogging
Friend and stewardship director Adam Copeland shared a couple great reads, including “No More Mugs: Seeking Relational Rewards,” by Abigail Miller, and “It’s About Time,” by friend and Ecumenical Stewardship Center CEO, Marcia Shetler.
Friend and blogger Julia Nelson shared a couple cups of her weekly dose of “Tuesday Tea Time,” last week sharing tea with birthday inspired thoughts, and this week with some thoughts about new art and summer.
Congratulations are in order to my mother-in-law Jakki Parks who recently won an award for her beautiful art. Also, Jakki is now on Twitter, so if you would like to follow her art and thoughts there, please do and welcome her to Twitter.
Friend and professor Dr. Lynn Hunnicutt has set off on her cross-country journey. Follow along on her blog as she bikes from coast to coast. To learn more, read about her “bike brain-trust,” as well as about her anticipation in “Tomorrow.” On Day 1 they started at the coast and then it was off; Day 2 brought a favorable tail-wind and a brief stop at a childhood church; Day 3 brought beautiful vistas and a very warm Sunday (nearly 100 degrees actually); and Day 4 brought another tail wind as well as a glimpse at the remains of the oil train derailment along the gorge from last week. Check out the blog to journey with Lynn and her friends cross country over the next couple of months.
From my alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, President Thomas Krise shared some thoughts about “Service, Learning & Community Building: A Q&A about Student Civic Engagement,” and a recent sermon from interim pastor John Rosenberg taking up the question that has been debated for decades, “Is PLU Lutheran enough?”
If you are a baseball fan or just a fan of dreams, you need to experience Vin Scully’s recitation of James Earl Jones’ “Field of Dreams” speech!
David Parker Brown shares about his interesting adventure on a plane run for Copper River Salmon in Alaska.
In a story you have to read to believe, read about this smart dog who was injured and walked “into an emergency room for help.”
That concludes this edition of the links. I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, if you have particular questions or topics for me to think about on the blog, please share them. Also, if there are things you would like to see included in the links, please let me know that too. Thank you for reading and being a part of the conversation! Blessings on your week. -TS
This entry was posted in Change, Church, Conflict, Cross Sector Collaboration, Daily Life, Family, Leadership, Millennials, Missional Church, Neighbor Love, Nonprofits, Social Media, Social Sector, Stewardship, Theology, Vocation, Worship and tagged #ChSocM, Allison Siburg, blogging, change, church, conflict, Cross-Sector Collaboration, digital native, dogs, ELCA, graduation, leadership, millennials, ministry, missional church, Muhammad Ali, neighbor love, PLU, politics, president, Rick Steves, San Juan Islands, social media, social sector, stewardship, theology, Timothy Siburg, Vin Scully, vocation, Vonda Drees, worship.