As I say in the introduction to this episode, I have two goals in this ongoing series on peacebuilding. The first goal is to enable you to become aware of the extent of people active in peace work and peacebuilding efforts and to learn how each person draws resources from her or his faith or worldview perspective to do her or his peace work. The second goal is to provide for you practical resources for peace work and peacebuilding in your own life.
You may have noticed a change in my terminology. Formerly, I was using ‘peacemaking,’ because that is the term used by Glen Stassen in his book, Just Peacemaking, and Irfan Omar and Michael Duffey in their book, which inspired this series, Peacemaking and the Challenge of Violence in World Religions. However, I like the distinctions Rabbi Amy Eilberg makes in her book, From Enemy to Friend. She describes ‘peacekeeping’ as that which militaries do to prevent further violence in a situation, ‘peacemaking’ as the negotiation process diplomats or mediators do with larger groups or nations, and ‘peacebuilding’ as what ordinary people do in the course of their daily lives. Since my focus in this series is on what we can do, I am changing my term.
Although I didn’t know this at the time of recording, this episode is the first of a two-part interview. In this episode and the next, I focus on resources from my Baptist heritage.
My guest is Ken Sehested.
Ken is the editor/author of the online journal, prayer&politiks. Once upon a time he played football at Baylor University, back when few outside Texas had heard of the place (and its sports teams were the ragamuffins of their conference). And a traveling teenage youth evangelist. No longer a teenager, he is still an evangelist, though his understanding of what it means to follow Jesus has changed considerably.
Ken’s closest brush with jobs people understand were as a typesetter and, later, as a stonemason. Being picky about your work means creating your own, as a full-time mendicant with Seeds magazine (1978) when it became a monthly magazine focusing on food security and world hunger concerns; then as the founding director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (1984); as founding co-pastor of Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, NC (2001); and now as the electronic ink slinger of this site.
An award-winning activist and author, Ken’s greater honor came when a four year-old granddaughter memorized and recited his favorite Mary Oliver poem as a Father’s Day gift. His most recent books are Peace Primer II: Quotes from Jewish, Christian and Islamic Scripture & Tradition (published by the Baptist Peace Fellowship) and two collections of litanies, prayers and poems, In the Land of the Living and In the Land of the Willing (Wipf & Stock).
The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.