Articles, Essays & Sermons

Dr. King didn't do everything

Recollecting the Spirit's work through, not to, the man and the movement unfolding still

Ken Sehested

      We miss the significance of the Civil Rights Movement if we attribute everything to Dr. King. In fact, if one studies the record carefully, it is amazing to note that most of the major Civil Rights Movement campaigns were actually initiated by others. And King was initially resistant to many of the projects in which he became involved.

      The Montgomery Bus Boycott is a good case in point. It was Rosa Parks, a seamstress, who ignited that episode.

      It was E.D. Nixon, a railroad porter, who accomplished much of the initial strategy to make Rosa Parks’ case a legal test. And when the group of prominent African American ministers gathered to discuss what to do, it was Nixon (an “ordinary” layperson) who shamed them into having the courage to go public with the plan. Read more ›

Thirty-five interesting facts about Cuba and its US relations

To commemorate US President Barack Obama’s stunning announcement on 17 December 2014 of executive action reestablishing formal diplomatic relations with Cuba, here are a few facts that might surprise.

by Ken Sehested

1. The worlds’ smallest hummingbird and smallest frog are found in Cuba.

2. Christmas did not become an official holiday in Cuba until 1997.

3. Cuba sent more medical professionals to combat the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa than any other country. Read more ›

My Sling is That of David

US-Cuba Relations as an emerging agenda

This unpublished paper was drafted in 1992 in preparation for the Baptist Peace Fellowship board of directors’ consideration of several projects related to US-Cuba relations. Though dated, this material nevertheless provides useful background information related to the topic, including the thaw in church-state relations in Cuba.

by Ken Sehested
 

During a recent flight I took out the airline magazine to look at the map. Just before returning it to the seat pocket, something on the map jumped out at me. My eyes had wandered down through the Caribbean, especially the strong of Lesser Antilles islands, many of whose names serve as Columbian memorials to so many saints. (Who were those guys?) And there were the larger islands: Puerto Rico, the world’s oldest colony. (It’s still under U.S. “protectorate” status.) There’s Hispaniola, cohabited by the Dominican Republic and Haiti (site of the first successful African slave revolt and much in the news of late); the Bahamas; and . . . Read more ›

The Baptist Impulse: COEBAC

Notes toward a renewal of Baptist identity

On the 40th anniversary of the founding of La Coordinacion Obrero Estudiantil Bautista de Cuba (COEBAC, Coordination of Baptist Students and Workers in Cuba)
10-11 October 2014, Iglesia Bautista Enmanuel, Ciego de Avila, Cuba

 

by Ken Sehested

People of faith are continuously in the process of asking and deciding “what time is it?” and “who are my people?” When I ask, “what time is it?”  I’m not asking you to look at your watch. I’m not asking you to check your calendar. Rather, I’m asking “what is the Spirit doing in our day, in this place and in this season?” How we live and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel always hinges on this question.  And every age, every generation, every specific location must renew its response to this question. Read more ›