Once a young woman asked Rose Berger, out of the blue, to baptize her. I watched as right then and there, Rose summoned sacramental power and beauty pouring water and speaking holy poetry. So, when Rose publishes a book of poetry, I pay attention and call upon all of you to heed her cry. -Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Bending the Arch, By Rose Marie Berger
RD: It is a heavily annotated poem, can you talk about the relationship between the poetry and the history and information in the back?
RMB: It’s a good question. I just finished reading Micheal O’Siadhail’s The Five Quintets, a 350-page poem examining the Modern era with no endnotes or explanations. It’s a stunning, ground-breaking work. But it requires a lot of work by the reader. Bending the Arch requires a lot from the reader also, but I wanted to lower the bar a little. Make it a little easier and more accessible. There are themes in Bending the Arch that I want readers to explore more on their own. My hope is that the endnotes will encourage readers to dig into the suppressed historical narratives in their own families and regions. Continue reading
By Rose Berger, preached at St. Stephen’s & The Incarnation Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
June 25, 2017
Jeremiah 20:7-13, Psalm 69: 8-11, (12-17), 18-20, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39
[Piscataway people on whose land this church stands. Bishop Budde, Pastor Sam, Rev. Linda. The Beloved Community that gathers at St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation.]
The prophet Jeremiah was asked to carry out one of the most difficult tasks ever assigned to any servant of God.
During the last years of the kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah was to prophesy to King and Congress that because of their sin their fragile nation would be subsumed by the Babylonian Empire and they would all forcibly removed to the capital city of Babylon. Continue reading
By Rose Berger
January 10, 2017, Sojourners Chapel
Leviticus 19:15-18; Matthew 5:38-48; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
Thank you to Karen and the Chapel Committee for inviting me.
Usually when I preach I like to do a deep dive into scripture that unlocks scripture’s liberating power on us here at Sojourners.
But today we’ll take a different direction. I was asked to speak specifically about the conference I attended in Rome last year on Nonviolence and Just Peace. Continue reading
By Rose Marie Berger, Heidi Thompson. Re-posted from sojo.net.
LANCASTER, Penn. — More than 500 people gathered in a hot and dusty Pennsylvania cornfield yesterday afternoon to join the Catholic sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the dedication of a new outdoor chapel, built on land about to be seized from them by a corporate developer planning to build a natural gas pipeline.
The chapel is an outdoor arbor built by a local craftsman, Jon Telesco, and contains an altar surrounded by wooden benches. (The tradition of building “booths” in the wilderness to mark prophetic presence has a long history in biblical tradition, including the “brush arbors” used by enslaved African Americans for worship.) The sisters dedicated the sacred space on Sunday by reading from their community’s land ethic adopted in 2005. Continue reading
By Rose Marie Berger. Reposted from Sojo.net
Even during a constitutional crisis and a white nationalist assault on the executive branch of federal government, the kids still need to get to school, bills must be paid, homework done, groceries bought, clothes washed, church attended.
In addition to your regular job, you are now a full-time grassroots organizer and obstructionist, showing up for protests and rallies. You’re also trying to implement a full-time legislative strategy, calling representatives, signing petitions, encouraging others to do the same. And for some, your full-time government job or journalism job or advocacy job now requires a renewed understanding of the ethics of public service, while also developing strategies to implement or refuse unclear and possibly illegal directives.
How do you keep from flaming out? Continue reading
U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 7, 1995. Kneeling first row (left to right): Jim Wallis, Henri Nouwen, Eugene F. Rivers III, Graylan Hagler, Rose Marie Berger.
By Rose Marie Berger
If we could split ourselves
like a crack in the cement
(children’s names written when wet
a heart a flower a handprint)
like that mystical bread
(calloused hands holding up hunger
and night sweats and the one we once loved)
then we would say in our first voice: Law
and Order out of Chaos
we would listen and obey
teach our children hands up, look both ways
(pack them bubble-wrap safe
for shipping from this world to the next) Continue reading
re-posted from http://rosemarieberger.com/
1. Call on Jesus when all else fails. Call on Him when all else succeeds (except that never happens).
2. Don’t be afraid to be afraid or appalled to be appalled. How do you think the trees feel these days, or the whales, or, for that matter, most humans?
3. Keep your soul to yourself. Soul is a possession worth paying for, they’re growing rarer. Learn from monks, they have secrets worth knowing. Continue reading