Song of The Day — Answer To Prayer

Answer To Prayer from my album Stranger Named Peace.
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Answer To Prayer

Giving when we ask
Is the way God has chosen
To answer to when we pray

Opening when we knock
Is the way God has chosen
To answer to when we pray

Finding when we seek
Is the way God has chosen
To answer to when we pray

Is there anyone who
Asking, seeking or knocking
Has not found a way

Is there anyone who
Asking, seeking or knocking
Has not found a way


Song of The Day — Let Justice Roll Down

Based on the words of Amos the prophet, from my album A Stranger Named Peace.

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Stephen C. Rose Kindle Books

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The Boston Car Wars (1987) (Panflick Novellas) (Kindle Edition)
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The Manhattan Bully Wars (1947) (Panflick Novellas) (Kindle Edition)
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Church Renewal

The One Minute Christian (Church Renewal) (Kindle Edition)
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Beyond Creed: From Religion to Spirituality (Theology) (Kindle Edition)
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The Grass Roots Church — A Manifesto for Protestant Renewal (Church Renewal) (Kindle Edition) by Stephen C. Rose (Author) SOURCE

Biblical Meditations (Church Renewal) (Kindle Edition)
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Winning The War Within — Collected Sonnets by Stephen C. Rose (Sonnets) by Stephen C. Rose (Kindle Edition – Oct 12, 2008) – Kindle Book SOURCE

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TRADITIONAL HISTORY OF TUSAYAN (Pattern Language) (Kindle Edition)
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RUINS AND INHABITED VILLAGES OF CIBOLA (Pattern Language) (Kindle Edition)
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Some Personal Easter Reflections 2008

Mike Huckabee’s full reaction to Barack Obama’s Tuesday Speech, courtesy of Andrew Sullivan. Huckabee wins my Easter Decency Award.

He said:

“We’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names; being told you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie; you have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant; you can’t sit out there with everyone else, there’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office; here’s where you sit on the bus .. . And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder, and resentment, and you have to just say, “I probably would, too. I probably would, too. And in fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.”

I’m one of those people who grew up in privilege. My childhood was a succession of encounters with Black persons. There was Ophelia from Harlem who cleaned our apartment. There were Clemmie and Ermadine. Students at Tuskeegee who came up for the summers and “took care of us” in the country. There was Viola. There was Patsy, Ophelia’s daughter, who baby sat. I remember talking into the night.

Trinity School and Trinity-Pawling where I went for a year, had no Black students. There was a Carl Marazzi and a Dick Steinborn and a Bob Lenzner and a Dicky Paul and a Bill Rewalt, but no Black student. It was the ’40s.

When I got to Exeter, my closest neighbor was Black. This was 1951. His name is Bob Storey. He is retired now. A lawyer from Cleveland who has a second home in Paris. Bob’s wife sits on the board of a geriatric hospital at Western Reserve which was originally established by a Benjamin Rose in the 19th Century. He was a successful Englishman who returned to England after making a fortune. Childless, his estate was given to support white women in straitened circumstances. The permutations of philanthropy.

At Exeter, Mike McCrary had records of Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Woodie Guthrie, Pete Seeger. I had come to the awareness that Andrew Sullivan apparently came to. His blog says “no party or clique”. My remark then, and since, was that I had access to cliques. In, but not of.

There were cynics and responsible sorts at Exeter. I shuttled between and among. I had no religion. Racism was not a word I had ever heard.

When I was 17, I drove down to Virginia to Farmville, a bastion of segregation not far from Richmond. I ferreted out information on the problem. I am not sure why. I was interested I guess.

At Williams, there were some Black students, a handful. I never knew them. I did not get into a fraternity. Then I did.

In my sophomore year I was strongly alienated from the college and beginning for the first time to apply myself to studies. I ended up gravitating toward the interests of my roommates Phil McKean and Don Morse — Christian student stuff. I went farther. I ended up becoming consciously Christian. I ended up working at a place called Camp Rabbit Hollow in Winchester, NH.

There I met Beth Turner. She was from Chicago. She was Black. She wrote me a note that said she was falling in love with me. We got together. She was engaged. I had never felt freer than I did during that period. Something had happened to me in relation to my Christian faith, before coming to the camp. A liberating communion.

Everything that happened while I was at Rabbit Hollow was like floating on a different plane. Beth was a student at Grinnell.

The person behind the camp was the Rev. James Robinson — one of the great Americans of the 20th century.

When I got back to Williams, Beth and I corresponded. I am sure we skirted around the issue of continuing our relationship. But I felt I was too young to get married and I knew she was marriage-bound. We would remain friends, with little real communication, until her death.

The same year, it was now 1958, my fraternity refused to consider a West Indian. I protested. The head of the fraternity, now a history Professor at the college, told me if I felt that way I should leave. So I did. When I resigned it set off a small movement and was eventually part of the history of the abolition of fraternities at Williams.

I moved in with Bill Coffin who was the college chaplain. Some fraternity guys shot out the front window of the house. Coffin jokingly said, If you want Rose, he lives in the back.

Quite alienated from any thought of going into business or law, I ended up choosing to go to theological school and ended up at Union Theological Seminary in New York. I did not like it academically. It reminded me of a high school that I had never attended. My main contact with Black persons was with kids. There was Boyd Canton at Rabbit Hollow. My all time favorite. And kids from the children’s ward at the N. Y. State Psychiatric Institute where I worked as an attendant.

When I finished Union, I was married. We had our first child, Diana. John Collins urged me to join the Student Interracial Ministry. I did.

We went to Nashville and I was the assistant minister at the First Baptist Church (now Capitol Hill).

The minister was Kelly Miller Smith. Kelly was also head of the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference. I spent the summer working at the church and picketing H.G. Hill with folk like John Lewis, Diane Nash and others who became luminaries of the civil rights movement. Joe Carter from Brooklyn and I integrated the Holiday Inn after sitting in the restaurant for an hour or so.

Our best friend besides Kelly and Alice and Will Campbell and his family. was C. T. Vivian who used to come around and we would talk deep into the night. Jim Lawson would come in from Memphis to teach us nonviolence.

I mention this only to express my own surprise — the term racist never emerged all this time.

Back in Chicago, I worked and got to know folk like Dick Gregory and Jim Flagg. With Renewal Magazine, which I founded and edited, I did what I could to support the civil rights movement.

In 1966 I spent the better part of a year in Geneva at the World Council of Churches where I did work on international development and what people now call liberation theology. Down the hall was my friend Beth Kipligat who has played a major role in church and government in Kenya.

I suppose my shell of naivete — I would prefer to call it something else but I have no word for it (Beth’s word when she wrote her note was “color blind”) — was broken when Oscar McCloud, a Black colleague from seminary and later the Presbyterian Church, suggested that we call a session at a Consultation on Church Union meeting in Atlanta in 1968.

At our rump meeting, I proposed reparations as a means of inducing Protestant denominations to get rid of their assets and unite and also to support Black development. I was summarily told by the next speaker, Mance Jackson, that I should not be stating an agenda for Blacks. I have a holographic mind and that was all it took to show me the future.

We had entered a time of ideological hardening in which the notion of beloved community that had been at least considered in Nashville was replaced by Black Power and a ton of posturing all around. When I asked Oscar what had happened, he brushed it off.

Well, I had my agenda and I followed it, even as — a week later — Jim Forman announced and championed the Black Manifesto which turned the reparations issue to a direct confrontation with churches. Ironically the only major contribution to the Black Economic Development Conference came from the Massachusetts UCC under the direction of Avery Post. I was asked to help him facilitate the gift.

Incredible, when I look back. Incredible too that Union Theological Seminary managed to hold a recent meeting on reparations with nothing on the program to suggest this chapter in American church history had ever occurred.

After 1969, we were deep into an era of posturing and rhetoric and balkanization. I watched people like Michael Novak and Richard Neuhaus sidle ever more to the right. I watched the Democratic Party learn to feed at a common trough with the Republicans.

The friendships I made with Blacks were with artists like Ron Fair, a novelist, and — for a brief and significant time — with science fiction author Samuel R. (Chip) Delany — and singer Bev Rolher. A few islands of normality in the balkanized wasteland of our common broken dreams. I became a house husband and wrote more books.

Yes, I had cried before my family when Martin was shot. And after corresponding with Bob Kennedy to urge him to run in 1966, and discussing it with him by mail from Geneva, the only communication I got in 1968 was a telegram inviting me to his funeral. I did not go.

I did not go to the March on Washington. Or Woodstock for that matter. I have never been into such “history”.

I need not continue. Suffice to say that now the gates have reopened.

The problem Barack addressed on Tuesday is still with us.

When I was in Boston in the 90s I was a member of Charles Stith’s Methodist Church — predominately Black. I could not even induce Jim Crawford, the minister at Old South Church, a Union Seminary classmate, to get his congregation to join ours around the reflecting pool after church some Sunday to sing Jacob’s Ladder.

That is how bad things were and are.

Beth died too young.

She had become a foreign service officer after mothering some wonderful kids, marrying, divorcing and then marrying an Ethiopian American who died, leaving her a widow in the 80s.

I saw her then, at a time when I was divorced. She was about to enter the Foreign Service. I was earning a bit writing for a family friend. We might have gotten together again but I think she did not want to deal with the disruption of her life that would have occurred. And I have no idea what would have happened.

When I learned of her death, I tried to find and contact her kids. I finally did find one online and sent an email. There was no reply. I have no idea if it ever got to its destination.

Oddly, there is nothing more important to me than the sense of unity of people. And I do mean unity of Black and white. I do not see my life as a poster life for anything. I have been fortunate to have run across Jim Robinson, John School Merchant and Emmet Turner — and Beth and Don Benedict and Garry Oniki and Ken Vallis.

Finally everyone I regard as noble and good blends together. My snobby mother may have had a point when she solved the race problem with the flourishing notion that we would eventually all breed ourselves gray.

Life goes on. I will be 72 in May.

I think Barack should appoint Huckabee our Ambassador to the Court of St. James — or maybe France.

I hope Beth is somewhere watching. She is from Barack’s neighborhood and so too is my Jewish atheist wife who is the most saintly person I know.

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I Was In Lincoln Park in 1968 & I’m Here Now

About | Popular |Superdelegates | Predictions | Polls | Game

Here’s a short — slightly revised — note I posted today on the Obama Blog. For what it’s worth, as they say.

I was in Lincoln Park in 1968 when Daley’s police broke up an impromptu worship service where I gave a brief talk. I was 32 at the time and a younger guy came forward and started railing at my relatively peaceful statements. A woman well over thirty stepped into the circle and addressed him — Why don’t you kill us now?

Now all the people who were there are MUCH older or no longer with us. But what has changed? We managed to get Richard Nixon as we would not vote for Humphrey after Gene McCarthy was licked at the convention.


Politics became a win-win situation as Republicans and Democrats fed at the same lobbying trough in DC.

We are now paying the price of a politics that has filled our jails to overflowing, created a mortgage bubble that can drain everyone of their “wealth” and earned an international reputation that is execrable. In this sense Jeremiah Wright was more correct than he knew.

But I know also, from my own days at Union Theological Seminary and my familiarity with many things related to American churches and politics, that that Wright’s “g-d damn” statement will not be properly seen as a prophetic denunciation, but as a simple and mindless curse. And that that will sit with the populace — just as the swiftboat and willie horton stuff did. We are in many respects a know-nothing people.

The only antidote is, as Barack says, to get past it. If we get past it we win. If not our time is not yet. It is our effort and our present character that will tell.

Finally in the matter of crossovers — there are three reasons Republicans cross over and we would need more precise polling to know which is the main one. 1. To help Hillary be the nominee and beat her in the general election. 2. To help Hillary be the nominee and then work for an “unbeatable” Clinton-Obama ticket and 3. to support Barack.

Our biggest allies are the math, Barack’s steadiness and the actual strength, scope and positive character and unity of our movement.

And oddly enough, despite the best efforts of Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch and all the others who wish to make a mountain out of a molehill, skewering Jeremiah Writght as a hater on the basis of selected excerpts from talks and sermons, the Obama campaign moves along. Superdelegates coming aboard. Delegates being added from California and Iowa. And ever more desperate efforts by the Clinton campaign to maintain their position as part of the wealthy establishment that want her to be President. The Obama forces know this is a battle and the battle is being waged with open eyes and with a degree of understanding and purpose that should make any who are undecided think about the Obama alternative.

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About Stephen C. Rose Home

Huffington Post Page | My Books | Bonhoeffer’s Ghost | The Way of Abba

>This is a personal blog which offers hopefully prescient information and insight based on analysis of past and present happenings. Predictive themes include the end of oil, the need for a centrist politics, the collapse of the “mainline” church, the prospects for religious enterprises and, most pertinently, the question of human settlements — their shape and scope.

As of Nov. 6, 2008, I completed an almost daily concentration on the Obama campaign. Now I am in a holding pattern of sorts. Part of me tends toward a return to a UN relationship and I am making some effort in that direction. If that is not in the cards, I will decide a direction, which could include what I am doing now — following and hopefully anticipating issues related to the unfolding real work to which the campaign pointed.

I am also engaged in an effort to transfer many texts I have written or found (public domain) into Kindle Books. I believe the future of paper is limited and that digital readers like Kindle will become standard.

About Me I’m a 72 year old born and raised New Yorker living on the island where I was born. I have always made my living writing, thinking and composing. I believe music is among the most profound therapies. I believe in self-analysia based on some principles of Assagioli’s psychosynthesis. I practice guidance and goal-setting. More.

I see the Web as the environment for the completion of this phase of history — which is essentially the proliferation of discourse that Foucault anticipated and described. Sometimes it is tendentious, sometimes obscene, sometimes disconnected, but it all has to come out. As Jesus suggested, there is nothing that will not eventually be revealed.

Let me close this by simply suggesting my viewpoint on the themes I care about:

Sustainable human settlements: We are at the end of the oil-car dominance of the economy and have the opportunity to design and create new human settlements that do not depend on oil or the car.

Religion: We are at the end of religion. The Web environment will hopefully engender a spirituality that is based on nonidolatry, tolerance, democracy and helpfulness.

Politics: The Obama phenomenon is simply the massive urge for a triumph of reason and common sense in politics. For democracy to work there must be consensus. Obama has been a consensus creator. We need to move into an era of global reason and progress. The US will lead to the extent that it creates an economy that is post-oil and post-car. Green collar creation of integral human settlements where most everything you need to live (schools, first aid, shops, pueblo dwellings, recreation, etc.) is within walking distance. Where High tech meets Christopher Alexander’s pattern language.

Violence: Life is a spectrum between Jaws of Hell and the apprehension of Heaven. To ignore either is to be most naive. Jaws of Hell are principalities and powers that have a completely human origin and deleterious human results. The jaws of hell open whenever power is corrupted, all the way from the top to the dregs of the world. Responsibility relates to where one stands in this spectrum. We need more and more to see that the heavenly is attainable because the vision of its attainment is part of the spectrum of consciousness of each individual.

Homicide: The worst crime one can commit is to deny the fundamental freedom and dignity of any individual to make decisions that affect that individual’s destiny. Social and individual injustice relates precisely to the degree of freedom or necessity that exists for any person or group. In essence this mandates a politics which cherishes human rights and rejects any thinking that would abridge the right of any individual to say no.


Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded Renewal Magazine in Chicago, served The Christian Century and Christianity Crisis magazines. Covered civil rights in Oxford, Birmingham and Selma. Interviewed Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X. My book The Grass Roots Church had impact on the ecumenical movement. Have authored some 15 books, been a house-husband and father of three wonderful (grown) children. I have written published music choral and popular. Most recently I served in UN agencies including UNICEF in NYC and edited CHOICES which was the flagship magazine of UNDP. This solo blog seeks to revive the better elements of the 1960s and warns against the dangers that can rise during times of intense change. In terms of readership and potential influence, it reaches beyond any book or article circulation I’ve ever had.

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“Abba’s Way” states: Unprecedented would be Jesus stating today what he was, and is, about.
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