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Posts Tagged ‘FaithMatters’


January 18th, 2019 by Stephen Bauman

Mary Oliver died yesterday. A poet of consummate grace and depth, I returned often to her work as an aid in my own meditation and spiritual devotion. She had a special capacity for interweaving her questing faith with keen observation of the natural world. She spoke simply, but truly, and in this way aroused deep spiritual… Read More

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


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

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

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

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

A righteous prayer…

November 9th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

You might be interested to know that both Tracy Abrams, first African American woman candidate for Governor of Georgia, as well as Jeff Sessions, recently fired Attorney General, identify as United Methodists—as do Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush. Our denomination lifts a big tent. Your favorite search engine will reveal that the Methodist movement… Read More

Going frogging…

October 26th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

When I was a young boy, I would scour a stream’s edge hunting for frogs. The fun was all in the catching. Once in hand, the frog lost its appeal, so I would grant its freedom and search for yet another willing to give a good chase. Timmy had other ideas. When Timmy caught frogs,… Read More