Rose, who lived in Washington, D.C. for 35 years, lives in Oak View, Calif. She has been on Sojourners staff since 1986.
For more than 35 years, Rose has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine and ministry. She is author of Bending the Arch: Poems (2019), Drawn By God: A History of the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries from 1967 to 1991 (with Janet Gottschalk, 2012), and Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American Neighborhood.
In the course of a 35 plus-year career in faith-based activism, advocacy journalism, and pastoral leadership, Rose has proven to be a skilled organizer, exceptional writer, visionary pastoral leader, and innovative teacher of biblical literacy.
With Sojourners, Rose has worked as an organizer on peace and environmental issues, internship program director, liturgist, community pastor, poetry editor, and, currently, as a Senior Editor of Sojourners magazine, where she writes a regular column on spirituality and justice. She is responsible for the Living the Word section, poetry, Bible studies, and interviews – and oversees the production of study guides, discussion guides, and the online bible study Preaching the Word. She is also a religion reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a Huffington Post commentator. Her work has appeared in National Catholic Reporter, Publishers Weekly, Religion News Service, Radical Grace-Oneing, The Merton Seasonal, U.S. Catholic, and elsewhere.
Rose has a veteran history in social justice activism, including: organizing inter-religious witness against the Keystone XL pipeline; educating and training groups in nonviolence; leading retreats in spirituality and justice; writing on topics as diverse as the “Spiritual Vision of Van Gogh, O'Keeffe, and Warhol,” the war in the Balkans, interviews with black activists Vincent Harding and Yvonne Delk, the Love Canal's Lois Gibbs, and Mexican archbishop Ruiz, cultural commentary on the Catholic church and the peace movement, reviews of movies, books, and music.
A founding member of a small creative writing group, Rose Berger has taught writing and poetry workshops for children and adults. She’s completed her MFA in poetry through the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. Her poetry has been published in Sojourners, The Other Side, Radix and D.C. Poets Against the War.
Rose grew up in the Central Valley of California, located in the rich flood plains of the Sacramento and American rivers. Raised in radical Catholic communities heavily influenced by Franciscans and the Catholic Worker movement, she served for nine years on the pastoral team for Sojourners Community Church; five as its co-pastor. She directed Sojourners internship program from 1990-1999. She is currently senior editor and poetry editor for Sojourners magazine.
She has traveled throughout the United States, and also in Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosova, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and El Salvador visiting primarily with faith communities working for peace in situations of conflict.
Rose’s articles include:
- Pursuing the Secret of Joy: What is joy when it's not promiscuously tied to happiness, Hallmark, or hedonism?
- Nonviolence in Najaf?: Will we recognize an Islamic peace movement when we see it?
- A Presidential Option for the Poor? :Venezuela's Hugo Chavez stirs up fierce criticism - and hope.
- Of Love's Risen Body: The poetry of Denise Levertov, 1923-1997
- Glimpses of God Outside the Temple: The spiritual vision of Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, and Andy Warhol.
- Damnation Will Not Be Televised: Almost everything I know about hell I learned from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer
She lives in Oak View, Calif., in the Ventura River watershed on traditional Chumash lands.
Posts By This Author
Accessorize the Reformation
Here's the perfect gift for the hard-to-shop-for Lutheran in your life, or for that matter any friendly neighborhood church reformer.
A Jihad on AIDS
In June, the African Religious Leaders Assembly on Children and HIV/AIDS met in Nairobi at the request of the Hope for African Children Initiative and the World Conference of Religions and Peace.
Death Shall Have No Dominion
Nurit Elhanan and her husband, Rami, both 52, are campaigning for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. What's remarkable about their peace campaign?
Fun With Facts
Twelve of the world's top 20 megacities are in Asia and the Pacific. Tokyo, with more than 26 million people, is currently the world's largest city.
Walk This Way
The Nonviolent Peaceforce is putting soldiers in the field.
Striving to be 'Number Zero'
At Wimbledon in 2002, tennis great Serena Williams was asked how it felt to be number one in the world.
The world now has purple M&Ms, but hold your applause for the little chocolates until the West African cocoa fields are rid of child slavery.
Who Occupies the Occupied Territories?
The Glasgow University Media Group decided to research how much about the Middle East conflict students learned from watching TV. This is what they found.
Bread Not Bombs
International relief organizations in Kabul are employing 3,500 women bakers to ensure that more than a quarter of a million Afghan school children are fed during the school year.
Changing the Way Britain Does Business
The Archbishop of Canterbury, in his annual New Years speech last year, warned that his grandson would "discover a world of shocking inequality..."
First he took off his hat and coat; then his sweater and shirt.
Getting Rid of the Rigs
Tapping the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil—which Congress forestalled—would hardly make a dent in the 8-million-barrel-a-day foreign oil addiction of the United States.
Down on Double Deuces
The Christian Coalition of Georgia, along with Peace State Methodist and Baptist churches, are in a pitched battle to close down the state's video poker machines.
A Script of Her Own
New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams is turning Hollywood inside out by challenging the film industry's harmful depictions of women and girls...
Catholic Scandal, Ecumenical Solution
While much recent media hype has focused on the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal, relatively little attention has been given to the high rate of sexual misconduct in the rest of American Christendom. This truly is a crisis that crosses all borders.
For example, research by Richard Blackmon at Fuller Theological Seminary shows that 12 percent of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38 percent acknowledged other inappropriate sexualized contact. In a 1990 study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 percent of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior by a colleague or pastor; 17 percent of laywomen said that their own pastors had sexually harassed them.
Obviously, this is not just a Catholic problem. And solutions must be broader and deeper than those carried out by Catholic cardinals. The whole church has a responsibility to offer decisive leadership in the area of sexual misconduct—whether it is child abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment.
Recently, churches have shown unprecedented unity on issues of poverty and welfare reform. Now it is necessary to call for a broad-based ecumenical council addressing the issue of sexual misconduct in the church. Its goal would be transparency and openness in developing stringent, forward-looking guidelines, consistent with denominational distinctions, for preventing and addressing sexual misconduct within Christian churches and church-related institutions. Such a council could include not only denominational representatives but also a majority presence from external organizations such as child protection agencies, law enforcement, psychiatric services, victims' agencies, and legal and legislative representatives.
Here are answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions about traveling on the Jesus Road.
1. Who else will be going with us?
Well, some guy from the IRS signed up. A couple of machinists (one's even non-union). There are some middle-aged women who knew how to buy low and sell high, kicking in a little cash for the trip. A girl in the sex trade business who might bring a couple of her friends who are exotic dancers. A few 20-something anarchists who want to yank the hinge pin out of the whole damn Pax America project. A soccer mom. One guy who identifies himself as a "pretty much reformed" sex offender. A Gulf war vet. A minister or two who will hook up after their evening church meetings are done. We'll most likely pick up more folks as we go along.
2. What do I need to bring?
It's pretty much a come-as-you-are arrangement. Good walking shoes. Maybe a water bottle. We're not sure how far we're going so it's best to pack light. We can get what we need along the way.
3. What will we talk about?
What things make you happy. Who you love. Who you hate. Why cities are so tall. What to do when so many people come to the picnic that you run out of food. How to be a good person. What to do when your friends leave you high and dry. How to fight for what's right without using your fists. Who God is. How to deal with a bad boss. How to tell the difference between a phony bill of goods and the genuine article. How to mourn. How to get rid of money so it doesn't weigh you down. How to pray. How to forgive. Why people are poor. How to die. How to live.
Fun With Facts
One average American uses 17 gallons of water daily in the shower. South African women together walk the equivalent of a round trip to the moon 16 times a day to get water.
A Toast to Freedom
Fierce Legion of Friends: A History of Human Rights Campaigns and Campaigners by Linda Rabben
The Fragmentation of the Church and Its Unity in Peacemaking, edited by Jeffrey Gros and John D. Rempel
Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking by Arthur G. Gish
Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance by Beverly Bell
There are basically three kinds of power: domination, collaboration, and satyagraha (truth force). Domination is political power that proceeds from the barrel of a gun. Collaboration promotes "united we stand, divided we fall." Truth force, or spiritual power, preaches "the truth will set you free." All three kinds of power make up the shifting riverbed of the history of social movements and campaigns.
Linda Rabben's Fierce Legion of Friends tracks the strategies of modern social campaigns, an interest that started with her work for Amnesty International in Brazil. Reading through case histories, she discovered the rich and often tragic stories of people who crusaded for freedom in every generation.
Who were the lesser-known people who pushed forward the British, American, and Brazilian anti-slavery movements? How did the famous ceramicist Josiah Wedgwood come to develop a line of Jubilee pottery to fund the abolitionist cause? What prompted lawyer Wendell Phillips to link slave rights with workers' rights? Who marched in support of Chicago's Haymarket prisoners? How did Mark Twain end up fighting against forced labor in the Belgian Congo? Rabben takes the reader through an extraordinary living history honoring organizers, letter writers, and petition signers who collaborated to transform societies for the better.
Artists Welcome Here
Worshippers at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, in Glasgow, Scotland, are now sharing pews with Scotland's most avant-garde artists.