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The year for something different…

January 11th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Was it birth or death, great sorrow or great joy that filled the hospital room? It was surely at least all of those things. That Robert would soon die was a fact. That his father was recently reborn was another. This pastoral encounter happened early in my ministry. Robert had been diagnosed with AIDS long… Read More

Real love… a parable…

January 4th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Several decades ago I was involved in a musical comedy production at my children’s school. I played the male romantic lead, which required me to kiss the ingenue with some passionate intensity. This prompted an interesting conversation with my kids, who were then six and eight years old. More than once they witnessed me practicing… Read More

Resolutions…

December 28th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

Among the popular New Year’s resolutions that are proffered every January by well-meaning persons are those pertaining to work. These run the gamut from desiring a different job, spending more time at home, or being more competent. Although these intentions most often are rarely implemented, they do point to a very important series of considerations.… Read More

Advent with the Psalms – Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman

December 25th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

Psalm 96:11-12 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult. Joy—unmitigated gift! We can’t conjure it or manufacture it or fake it. When it comes to… Read More

Finding God

December 21st, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

Listening to an NPR podcast about a growing movement for “gift-less Christmas” (releasing the consumerist addiction to focus attention on more humane, compassionate and loving opportunities), one mother reported this: she was consumed with providing for her children “a perfect Christmas.” By that she meant the whole megillah—gifts, decorations, parties, whatnot and hoo-ha. A very… Read More

Advent with the Psalms – Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman

December 15th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

Psalm 80:4 Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved. Distraction is the great 21st century spiritual adversity. We are bedazzled by sensory overload, addicted to chronic interface with ephemera masquerading as Important! Consequential! Friend! Liked! Must have! Intentional habits of the heart necessary for the up-building… Read More

A very short Christmas primer, New York City style…

December 14th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

I turned the corner on Fifth Avenue from Fifty-eighth Street when I heard the woman scream, “Donald!” A man several yards in front of me stopped and turned around. The woman yelled, “Don’t you dare walk away from me!” and took several long, angry strides to catch up. When she got within range of steaming… Read More

Thank you, Mister President

December 7th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

As recounted by Sarah Kaufman in a recent Washington Post article, President George H.W. Bush was a prolific writer of thank you notes. Nothing was too small or too large to warrant a warm response from the President. “To the Marine who dropped his rifle in a parade at the Marine Barracks, in front of… Read More

Advent with the Psalms – Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman

December 2nd, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

Psalm 25:4-5 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.  Spiritual maturity begins with humility. I cannot learn to walk in God’s path without willingly relinquishing the reins on… Read More

Night and Day

December 1st, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

For many Americans nurtured within a religious tradition, December is the month of lights. Much is made of the lighting of candles and the imagery of light generally as our days shorten relentlessly, for at the heart of authentic religious practice is the experience of enlightenment, of coming to see the truth that has formerly… Read More