Thursday, April 28, 2011

Be Afraid: The Great San Francisco Sleep-In

Dear people who think it's a liability risk to have a sleep-in event:

Thank you! The fact that you think it is unsafe for people to sleep on the streets, even when it is supervised, well organized, rehearsed with the police and led by leaders who have gone on street retreats for years - means you have the ability to understand how much more vulnerable it feels for 100's of thousands of people (and particularly the young adults) to sleep on the streets every night of the year.

Part of the reason that I'll be sleeping on the streets on May 14th as a part of the Great San Francisco Sleep-In and part of the reason I'm encouraging others to join me is not so we can feel comfortable - but so that you and others can worry about us and be moved enough to respond to homelessness. I imagine you will be inclined to do more than if we slept in our beds that night.

How would our country change if we truly understood the part we are playing in the homelessness of our brothers and sisters? How would our country change if we thought every person who slept on the streets was a liability risk and we decided to no longer stand for it?

Whenever I sleep on the streets people care and worry about me, in a way that they do not worry about the others who sleep on the streets each night. If enough of us sleep on the streets on May 14th, we can get the whole country worried about those sleeping on the streets. Join me in person, or virtually (I'll be blogging about this night on the streets). Even if you're busy, don't forget to worry about it - for the purpose of inspiring you to give money, speak out and make change!

You can also read my blogged experiences of some of my past street retreats.

Thanks again for being uncomfortable. Please never get used to me sleeping on the streets. Let's get un-numb to the poverty and homelessness in our country.

Blessings to you all whether you'll sleep in a bed or on cardboard tonight.

Pastor Megan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Living Lutheran Post: World Malaria Day


The last time I visited my mother’s farm in Minnesota, I remember her laughing hysterically as we carried in the groceries, luggage and items we had just bought in town.

My mother and I were inching our way from the car to the front door, each trying to balance about 10 grocery bags in addition to rolling suitcases, when my mother turned and said, “We come from a long line of German women who refuse to take more than one trip from the car.”

We laughed for a long time wondering why we thought we needed to do everything all at once.

Read the rest of the blog post here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gaga Mass & Vanguard Tour

I'm excited to announce that the Lady Gaga Mass will be traveling to select locations along with the Vanguard Traveling Exhibit and Speaking Tour. With the Vanguard Talk at 7pm (featuring Joey Plaster Oral History Chair at the GLBT Historical Society and Mia Tu Mutch trans youth activist) and the Gaga Mass, arranged by Pastor Megan Rohrer (Executive Director of Welcome and co-pastor of the Community of Travelers) at 8 pm. The Gaga Mass offering will raise money for local LGBTQ youth ministries and shelters in the area of our tour.

We'll be adding tour dates, times and locations to this site soon. Start getting excited!

Washington DC - May 22, 2011: HRC Clergy Call
New York - May 27-30, 2011
  • 7 pm: Saturday, May 28: Vanguard Talk at Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan
  • 8 pm: Saturday, May 28: Lady Gaga Mass Fundraiser to benefit Trinity Place (shelter for homeless LGBTQA youth) at Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan
  • 11 am: Sunday, May 29: Pastor Megan Rohrer preaching at Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan
Los Angeles - June 10-11, 2011
Portland - June 18-19, 2011
San Francisco - June 23, 2011: GLBT Historical Society Museum
Chicago - January 5-8, 2012: American Historical Association Annual Meeting

Copyright permission for the Lady Gaga Mass obtained through PERFORMmusic License#6400
Mad love to the Gaga!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Forgiveness Letters

On April 16th, I'm coordinating the first of six SF Refresh events. SF Refresh will provide free whole body care activities in community gardens throughout San Francisco. A number of art projects, created by Melissa Lareau and Ilyse Magy, will appear at The Free Farm, Hayes Valley Farm and the Growing Home Community Garden throughout the day (see the calendar of events). These projects are designed to beautify the garden/farm spaces, inspire wellness and to help us work towards more loving, peaceful, green lives and communities.

The We Forgive You Papers, is a project that I'm particularly excited about. On April 16th we'll be transforming the letters into pots for seedlings that will then be planted into the earth and will eventually compost into the soil. Check out the call for letters to learn how to participate even if you can't make it in person.

Here is my forgiveness letter:

Maya Angelou said, "you do what you can, until you know better."

I forgive myself for not knowing better sooner. I let go of the sense that I ought to have done more in situations where it was perfectly normal to just be a kid, to be afraid or to simply be human. I cherish the fact that I now have a voice and life that is strong enough to not only protect myself, but to speak out for others - particularly those thought to be the most vulnerable.

I forgive the angry men and women in my life who have created a sense in me that chaos is manageable and that I must carry more than is mine to carry. I understand now the systems of violence and generations of baggage that you are carrying. I do my best to not take yours on as my own and forgive myself when I walk the rutted roads of my ancestors that lead only to fear and shame.

I release myself from the useless debates in my brain that think: humility is opposed to achieving my dreams; trivial actions and speech are correlated to the amount of love I experience from the world and loved ones; about what life would be like without my disabilities; and the ways in which I stumbled the past.

I resolve to do what I can, until I know better.

I forgive you and I am forgiven.

Megan Rohrer
San Francisco, CA