Articles, Essays & Sermons

Storm coming

How to tell the truth about climate collapse without counseling despair

by Ken Sehested
23 September 2019

Stirred by correspondence with three friends, and punctuated by two historic events, the past week has been a whirlwind of emotions.

My good friend Greg is the smartest person I personally know when it comes to understanding the complex web of factors behind impending environmental collapse. He also has a keen moral vision. A high school math teacher, his convictions are rooted in personal integrity. He’s taken part in dozens of environmental direct actions, including several stays in jail, for acts of civil disobedience. Read more ›

In praise of Ordinary Days

A meditation on Ordinary Time on the church's liturgical calendar

by Ken Sehested

“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars.”
—William Blake

§  §  § Read more ›

We don’t have anything if we don’t have stories

Preface to 11 July 2019 special edition of Signs of the Times devoted to brief stories

by Ken Sehested

"If you want to change people's obedience then you must change their imagination."
—philosopher Paul Ricoeur

By the time I finished my cum laude undergraduate work and with distinction seminary degree, my analytical powers were sharply honed. I was capable of researching, selecting, and presenting large troves of factual material; which I immediately put to work as an advocate for justice, peace, and human rights shaped by a passionate theological ethos. Read more ›

Eastertide

The outing of the church

by Ken Sehested

       Some years ago, writing in the days leading up to Easter, I realized important though tragic anniversaries arrived in the days immediately following that Sunday.

        “Even before our resurrection flowers have wilted, we will be confronted again with the presence of evil. Since Easter falls early in the calendar this year, in the coming resurrection week we will be forced to remember the enduring power of death. In 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian, was executed by the Nazis two days after Easter Sunday. This next Thursday, April 4, we will remember the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. right here in Memphis.” —continue reading “Open Letter to My Daughter: Easter morning, with the stench of death still in the air

Right: "Holy Spirit Coming," painting by He Qi.
Read more ›

Find a trailhead to the ministry of reconciliation

What should the Christchurch massacre prompt from us?

by Ken Sehested

        What can you do to abate the harm caused by the mass murders in New Zealand mosques? Not much, in the scheme of things.

        Which is not to say there’s nothing at all to do.

        For us in the US (and people around the world), we must use that tragedy as a mirror to examine how we are complicit with similar threats close to home. If the grief we experience over deadly news a half-world away is to be more than vaporous sentiment, fading with each text alert from our phones, there must be a contextualizing in our own location. Read more ›