Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Holy Spirit disruptions: Care not cure

Lynne Baab • Saturday October 23 2021

Holy Spirit disruptions: Care not cure

“Care is being with, crying out with, suffering with, feeling with. Care is compassion. It is claiming the truth that the other person is my brother or sister, human, mortal, vulnerable, like I am. . . . Often we are not able to cure, but we are always able to care.” —Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

I have experienced two Holy Spirit disruptions related to Henri Nouwen’s idea that we can always care, even when we can’t cure. The first disruption happened slowly, over my midlife years, as I began to become aware of my deeply rooted desire to fix things –...

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Chinese New Year: A Case Study for Shifts in Christian Caring

Lynne Baab • Wednesday February 6 2019

Chinese New Year: A Case Study for Shifts in Christian Caring

Perhaps you’ve met someone of Chinese descent or someone from China. If so, you’ll know that Chinese New Year is a really big cultural celebration, sort of like Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years rolled into one big, long holiday with lots of food and family time. The date changes each year based on the lunar calendar, and this year Chinese New Year is February 5.

A friend of mine who lived in China told me that the holiday lasts two weeks, with the first four to five days being an intense time of visiting with family and friends. Traditionally, the preparation for...

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Providing Christian care: The importance of spiritual practices

Lynne Baab • Friday August 24 2018

Providing Christian care: The importance of spiritual practices

I am having a conversation at coffee hour with a woman who is struggling in her job. As she talks about her discouragement, I say, “Can I say a quick prayer for you?”

She says yes, and right there amid the people chatting over coffee, I put my hand on her shoulder and pray for God’s guidance, strength and mercy for her.

Pastoral care that is uniquely Christian must have a component of prayer. Sometimes we can pray aloud for the person we are caring for as I did at coffee hour that day. Other times, the prayer is silent within us, because...

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Providing Christian Care in Our Time: Skills for Pastoral Care

Lynne Baab • Friday August 17 2018

Providing Christian Care in Our Time: Skills for Pastoral Care

Stress is ramping up. I use the term “new/old” to describe the stress people today deal with. “Old” sources of stress include all sorts of stressors that have always been around, such as illness, grief, unemployment, and family discord. New sources of stress include political polarization, the tyranny of smart phones, and the rising cost of housing and education. Understanding the new/old sources of stress that people face today is a key skill for pastoral care.

In my previous post, I wrote about trends in pastoral care, and in the post before that, I introduced the idea that our understanding of Christian pastoral...

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New: Yes, Jesus Told Us to Pray in Secret. But He Also Prayed with His Friends.

Lynne Baab • Saturday October 9 2021

By Lynne M. Baab. Originally published in Christianity Today, July 8, 2021

Listening for God: The Joy of Spiritual Practices

Lynne Baab • Sunday August 9 2020

Originally published in Horizons: The Magazine of Presbyterian Women. May/June 2019, 11-14.

AWARD WINNER - To be a Neighbour Must Include Listening

Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016

This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...