Peacebuilding 3 Ken Sehested Part 2 PGE 32

During my interview with Ken Sehested in the previous episode, and especially as I reflected on the interview immediately afterwards, I felt there was more that need to be discussed and it shouldn’t wait until a date several months in the future as I initially planned. So, I contacted Ken and he graciously agreed to a follow-up interview. This episode, therefore, is Part 2.

What I have understood more deeply form my conversation with Ken is that peace work should be, must be, is, fundamentally, in its essence and defining character, concrete and practical. It is realized in real life and daily situations. While peace theory is vital and essential to providing understanding, grounding, vision, and a framework, the theory is only as valuable as its ability to create real difference in negotiating differences, resolving conflicts, changing attitudes and behaviors, and enabling people to live together productively, positively, harmoniously, and in community, without violence and abuse.

Even though we discussed it some in the previous interview, this episode will focus on the transition Ken made from being the Director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America to being co-pastor of the congregation, Circle of Mercy.

As you will hear Ken explain, disarming the nations is rooted in and linked to the disarming of the hearts of individuals and that effective change begins and occurs through mobilized organization on a local level. This gives local congregations and other local groups powerful opportunities to make real difference.

We conclude our discussion talking about Ken’s most recent transition, that of his focus on writing though his website, prayer&politiks.

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