David was a terrific source of encouragement and counsel as my husband and I planned our wedding. Although we all came from different spiritual traditions, David understood our desire for religious meaning in our ceremony. He deftly guided us through the process of planning not only a rich ceremony but also discerning what was important to us in our new life together. In addition to providing pre-marital counseling and guidance, David also officiated at our wedding, and he has become a terrific friend and spiritual mentor. David understands the unique needs of LGBTQ persons on a spiritual journey, and I recommend him highly.
Todd B., Philadelphia
As a guest in my Western Religions class at San José State University, David's presentation sparked one of the best discussions of the semester, along theological, abstract, personal, and political lines. This is a Rabbi who knows how to hear everybody. His approach to spirituality never circumscribes the pathways that others need to explore. His probing honesty through the continuities and discontinuities in his own life journey yield both focus and compassion in how he listens. He embodies the queer playfulness and eclecticism of such ancestors as Harry Hay. Seek him out, if you are seeking.
Professor of Religious Studies & Women's Studies
San Jose State University
When David offered to work with me for spiritual counseling I was conflicted. I have complicated feelings about God and organized religion, but at the same time a profound need for spirit, connection and faith. I decided to take the risk and am so glad I did. His ability to embrace and hear any/all feelings and thoughts, combined with compassion and insight, make him effective and incredibly comfortable to talk with. He was able to ask me some intensely thought-provoking questions and discuss deep, sometimes emotional issues while infusing our conversations with joy, lightness and humor. He brings his whole heart to every conversation and offers a very special opportunity for learning and personal growth.
I have seen David for counseling for a while now, and each time I have been deeply impressed by his care, gentleness, and remarkable presence. He is really and totally present to me in our sessions. It also matters to me a great deal how David integrates the “spiritual” and the “physical” in his thinking. I have gained a new appreciation of just how sacred my own body and gay identity are – to me and to others – because of David’s work. It’s not too much at all to say that I have a better relationship with both because of David’s presence.
San Francisco, CA
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer has been an important part of our families’ spiritual life for a very long time. He met with us frequently during the year before our son’s Bar Mitzvah to help all of us prepare and get the most out of the experience. In fact, that passage was life-changing for all of us. He also married us a week after gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts. His involvement with our wedding plans, frequent meetings prior to the wedding, and beautifully kind words during that magical ceremony, further strengthened our trust, faith and connection with him. When my mother was dying, he sat with her and prayed and sang and comforted her like no one else could. He then sat with us and comforted us in a different, but equally critical way. I will never forget how he literally dropped everything during those difficult weeks and made himself available to us whenever and however we needed. We’ll also never forget the time and thought and energy he put into creating a personal and memorable memorial service tailored to what our family needed at the time. Whether it’s been a major life passage, a personal spiritual crisis, or just working through a difficult situation, he has always been calm, loving, and wise.
David Bauer is a gifted spiritual guide. He’s one of the smartest people I know, and also wise, deeply empathetic, steady, courageous. Over the years I’ve seen him make a difference in the lives of a great diversity of people – teens, old folks and those in between. He understands how to listen, how to ask good questions, how to offer support and hope.
Merle Feld, Author and Teacher
David was the first Rabbi (indeed, the first Jewish person!) to earn the Certificate of Sexuality and Religion at Pacific School of Religion. I admire David so much for engaging with an academic course of study outside his own religious tradition and integrating his own faith with the material while showing profound respect for the other faiths of his colleagues. David brings an amazing breadth as well as depth of knowledge from the arts, religion, literature, and a well-traveled life to his work. He pushes the usual boundaries of religion and sexuality into a truly pioneering position, and for the sake of human and planetary thriving. This guy is good.
The Rev. Jay E. Johnson, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Theology and Culture
Coordinator, the Certificate of Sexuality and Religion
Pacific School of Religion