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Christ Church COVID-19 Response

March 13th, 2020 by Stephen Bauman

Dear Christ Church community, In conversation with staff and the lay executive team, I have come to the difficult conclusion that Christ Church will suspend all physical worship and ancillary activities through the end of the month. We do this as an expression of solidarity with the wider city community to mitigate the rapid spread… Read More

Keeping Faith With What?

October 25th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is a reserved for me the crown of righteousness…” That was St. Paul (or a disciple writing in his name) addressing his mentee, Timothy, from prison, maybe in Rome. This passage has often been read… Read More

Good News, Bad News

April 27th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

First the good… *May 8th marks a milestone in the Christ Church lifecycle. That evening at our Annual Outreach Benefit we will recognize the first graduates of our program in Washington Heights for mothers with children 0-3 years-of-age, our initial intervention for breaking the cycle of generational poverty in a neighborhood. Nido de Esperanza (Nest… Read More

On success and failure…

April 12th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Palm/Passion Sunday presents a complicated problem, and it just might be more of a problem for New Yorkers than residents in other parts of the country. That’s because New York City is brimming with strivers of every sort, in every field of endeavor. It attracts the adventurous and dreamers and high achievers, and all of… Read More

Pruning miracle…

April 5th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

With the arrival of spring and the advent of Easter, a favorite memory came to mind… When four years old, my son, Luke, loved to imitate me as I worked in the yard. He observed how I toiled over establishing a bed of roses and other flowering plants and trees. Among my various tools, he… Read More

Small-scale matters…

March 29th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

I went to bed irritated the other night and I woke up with the same irritation. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say this irritation is chronic and unavoidable, or so it would seem. I’m not certain what to do about the cause, and I don’t like the helplessness this engenders.… Read More


March 22nd, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

It’s a recurring theme in this blog, but the American church in all its permutations is facing very strong headwinds. Even as the United Methodist Church anticipates fracture, the trends do not favor institutional religion. As reported in The Christian Post, according the General Social Survey, persons of “no religion” (otherwise known as the “nones”) now… Read More

Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman’s letter regarding the UMC Special General Council

February 27th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Dear members and friends of the Christ Church community, Today’s media blaze headlines announced that on Tuesday the United Methodist Church voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages. Personally, this news hits like a punch to the gut. I am deeply grieved by this development and profoundly sorry for… Read More

Homeward Bound

February 22nd, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

I received a telephone call from a stranger in search of a minister. She was the caretaker of an elderly gentleman whose age was something north of 90 years, although I was told the precise number was not known. Just a week prior he had recovered from a very serious illness the doctors were certain… Read More

Optimism vs. Hope

February 15th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Carol had been beaten down by several terrible tragedies. The first shocker: her daughter had drowned in the backyard pool while celebrating her third birthday with friends. Then, during the subsequent counseling, her husband fell in love with the therapist whose professional boundaries were swamped by passion. Divorce ensued. Two years later I sat with Carol in… Read More