John Bergen


What have we learned from talking about trauma, healing, and wholeness?   Recently updated !

Well, this blog post is a bit late. Maybe, like healing, it happened when the time was right and not based on any schedule. Anyway… Adult Sunday School is sort of a strange critter at GMC. Downstairs, around the fake fireplace, lounging on an odd collection of couches and chairs, an even odder collection of […]


Why Are We Talking About Healing During Easter?

The Saturday before Palm Sunday, I went up to SCI-Graterford, the state prison in Montgomery County, to visit a friend. He’s currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He has been in prison since he was sixteen years old, he is 47 right now.   On this sunny Saturday morning, in the […]


Leon Sullivan: Using the Power We Have

During Black History Month, the Race & Privilege Committee invites you to reflect on how Spirit and Scripture have come alive in black history in our city. Each week, we will hear a short story of an important black leader in Philadelphia history, and how their life connects to the Scripture passages for that day. […]


Reportback from John’s Time in Standing Roc

Dear church, I am writing this from a coffee shop in Chicago. I am so grateful for each one of you, for your prayers sent to me and to the water protectors in Standing Rock, and I apologize not having better communication while I was there (it seems that my phone likes the cold even […]


Finding Faith in Each Other

Earlier this week, Amy and I went to see a presentation at the Germantown Jewish Centre by the organization Roots, which promotes dialogue and understanding between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank. Normally, I dislike these sort of organizations and don’t go to their events. When someone like Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger stands up […]


It’s Not About You / You Are Enough

A few weeks ago, several of our church members joined a thousand-person march against police violence, raising their voices in solidarity and anger and grief. After the march, I asked some of them if they could write a short piece about their experience in the march for our blog. The next week, I was arrested […]


For Those Unsure If They Can Mourn

Earlier this week, I called L, an organizer friend, to talk about our plans for the Democratic National Convention. I asked her how her summer was going. “Relentless,” she said. “It’s been relentless.” In the silence after L said that, I knew without asking exactly what she was talking about. We have been stumbling from […]