Staff and Board

Patricia Benson, Administrator –

Patricia joined the House of Prayer Staff in December of 2016.


Matthew Cobb, Director –

After a sabbatical in India, Matt and his wife Erica will be moved to Minnesota fromWamego, Kansas, where he has served since 2008 as part-time rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in addition to work in pastoral care in a long-term care and retirement community. Matt has had a daily meditation practice for 25 years.

Matt holds a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union at University of California, Berkeley; a Master of Divinity Degree in Social Theory from the Seminary of the Southwest; and a Master of Arts in Ignatian Spirituality and Directed Retreats from Creighton University.

Matt has served in a variety of capacities, from campus ministry to spiritual care and chaplaincy in hospital settings. More recently, he also has worked as a consultant. Erica has recently retired from a 24-year career as a BSN, RN, and has more recently worked as a local reporter. Matt and Erica have two grown children, Ian (22) and Emily Claire (20).


Ward Bauman, Past Director and Elder 

The Rev. Ward Bauman, became the director of the House of Prayer in 2002 and retired in December 2016. Prior to this he served as a parish priest in the San Francisco bay area of California. During that time he developed an organization for interfaith dialogue as well as a spiritual life center for prayer and renewal. His history took him to the Middle East where he lived, worked and traveled, living in Iran for four and a half years. Returning to the U.S., he spent seven years in California’s Napa Valley helping to run a retreat center. All of these things have brought him to this present work where he brings together his passion for working with people in pursuit of a more profound spiritual life. He is the author of Sacred Food for Soulful Living, a cookbook of recipes from the House of Prayer kitchen, and translator with Lynn Bauman and Cynthia Bourgeault of The Luminous Gospels: Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Philip. To purchase Ward’s books, click here.



*Indicates Executive Committee Member

*The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior (Chair)
Bishop, Episcopal Church of Minnesota

*Mary Darnall (1st Vice Chair)

*The Rev. Ward J. Bauman (Director)

*Michael Lilja (Treasurer)

Patricia Blakely

Sherie Bosak

Nelson Coffey

Rev. Joan Delamater

Jeanne Furst

Rev. Jeff Hansen

Paul Jasmer, OSB

Jeannie Kenevan

Dianne Pizey

Kathy Wiant


Advisory Counsel

Carole Baker

Tom Darnall

Barry P. Fernald

Bonnie Sherman

Bussho Lahn

Updated 11/25/2016