News, views, notes, and quotes

Signs of the Times  •  10 October 2017 •  No. 139

Processional.Grace,” early American melody, performed by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus the day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Above: Centuries old juniper tree in the Canary Islands, molded by trade wind. Photo by Eckhard Pecher. Read more ›

She was not

Judges 19: The Bible’s most vividly brutal story and why we must read and remember it

Ken Sehested
Circle of Mercy Congregation
19 September 2005
Text: Judges 19:1-30

      There have been two special occasions in my life when I have become agonizingly aware of the special fear women feel over the threat of sexual assault.

      The first happened when Nancy and I were counting the days before our wedding. Every couple weeks she came in from where she went to school in New Jersey to meet me in a chaplain’s office in New York City. We were doing a series of premarital counseling sessions. Read more ›

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Signs of the Times  •  3 October 2017 •  No. 138

Processional.Never Turning Back,” Street Choir Festival at Jubilee Square in Leicester, made up of 30 choirs across the UK.

Above: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas. Photo by Terry Tyson.
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Go out in joy

A litany for worship adapted from St. Francis' "Canticle of the Sun" and related Scripture texts

by Ken Sehested

What is it you wish to know, oh mortal one?

Do you think you must ascend to the highest heaven or descend to the deepest pit?

Do you not know that Wisdom has pitched a tent in your midst? Read more ›

Remembering the Future: Bright with Eden’s dawn

A World Communion Sunday sermon

Ken Sehested,
Text: Hebrews 2:5-12 (The Message)

      The main title of this sermon, “remembering the future,” is a nonsensical notion. How can you remember the future since it hasn’t happened yet? Maybe if you love science fiction, or if you’re a fan of the actor Michael J. Fox, you can imagine going “back to the future.” But remembering the future?

      How silly is that, in a grown-up world? Read more ›

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Signs of the Times  •  13 September 2017 •  No. 136

Above: Satellite image from NASA's Earth Observatory of (l-r) Hurricanes Katia, Irma, and Jose

Processional. “She's a rounder I can tell you that  / She can sing 'em all night, too  / She'll raise hell about the sleep she lost  / But even cowgirls get the blues.” —Emmylou Harris, “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Read more ›

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Signs of the Times  •  6 September 2017 •  No. 135

Special issue
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Above: Display of backpacks left by migrants attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, displayed at the Parson School of Design. The backpacks were exhibited in the show “State of Exception/Estado de Excepción.” Photo by Richard Barnes
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Tired of Being Mean

A response to the "Nashville Statement"

by Nancy Hastings Sehested

It was the last night of Vacation Bible School at the Sweet Fellowship Baptist Church. All week our five year olds rehearsed the story of Pharaoh and Moses to dramatize for their parents. All four boys wanted to be mean ‘ole Pharaoh.

With the church pews filled with family, the performance commenced. Our wee Pharaoh sat on his throne holding his plastic sword. Then little Moses walked up to him with his shepherd’s crook and said, “Pharaoh, stop hurting my people. Let my people go.”

Our Pharaoh wielded his sword in the air and said, “Never, never, never!” Read more ›

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Signs of the Times  •  29 August 2017 •  No. 134

Processional.The Flood Blues,” Louis Armstrong & Hot Seven Band featuring Bertha “Chippie” Hill.

Above: Rescue boats fill a flooded street as people are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise on Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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