Not Far from the Kingdom

By |2021-11-01T12:27:49-04:00November 1st, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Photo by Florian Marschoun October 31, 2021 Proper 26, Year B Mark 12:28-34 To watch this morning's service, click here After church this past Sunday, as I was saying my goodbyes to visitors and friends, a man came up the steps to speak with me. To protect his privacy, we’ll call him Stan.  I’ve seen Stan around the church here and there. He’s currently unhoused and has a bed at the Grove Street shelter, but he still comes down town to check on his friends, especially some of the more vulnerable people who are living on the streets. He’s a gentle soul with a loving spirit, and I’ve seen more than one weary person out front lean into him for a hug and a word of encouragement. Stan shared a little about some of the health struggles [...]

Can God Cure Ableism?

By |2021-10-25T08:46:44-04:00October 24th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux October 24, 2021 Proper 25, Year B Mark 10:46-52 To view this morning's service click here.I don’t need or want a show of hands this morning, but how many of you have ever used the word “blind,” to describe a date or pointed out the “blindspot” in a persons’ thinking? Have you ever lamented that your argument “fell on deaf ears,” or described something hopelessly uncool as “lame?” Who, here, has come home after a “crazy” day at the office or declared a situation to be “totally insane,” claimed that you were “paralyzed” with fear or “crippled” by anxiety? Or caught yourself saying something like, “let’s all walk over,” only to realize that at least one of you would be rolling. Or said, “Please rise,” knowing full well that there are people present who simply can’t? I [...]

A Ransom for Many

By |2021-10-17T21:02:31-04:00October 17th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux October 17, 2021 Mark 10:35-45 To view todays' service click here Has anyone here ever heard of beer and hymns…wait for it…as a thing you do together? Cause it’s a thing.  I doubt it’s been happening much lately thanks to Covid, but you’d be amazed how many different types of people will turn out to sing old hymns and drink fresh beer just for fun.  One YouTuber describes Beer and Hymns as “like a karaoke all-skate of songs that are nostalgic and meaningful, whether you love them because of their history or your present beliefs.”1 Back in the day when I used to go to progressive Christian conferences, there would almost always be a Beer and Hymns night where hordes of ex-evangelicals and mainliners would gather to sing all the hymns we don’t sing so much anymore [...]

Access: the Way to Jesus

By |2021-10-12T11:43:13-04:00October 12th, 2021|Uncategorized|

by Rev. Joanne Graves Sunday October 10, 2021 Mark 2:1-12 Today’s scripture lesson will be shared in a storytelling format which has its roots in Jewish midrash. I will be sharing the nuances of these passages from a first-person point of view. These perspectives are within the text, but sometimes are not so obvious. The process of storytelling enables the interpreter to bring out unexpected or overlooked details in the story. Sometimes, the story is not even what you thought it to be. “The Story Another day is done. Well, I survived with the help of my friends: James, Peter, Obed, Isaiah, and Mary. They have carried me. Made my dinner. Doctored the sores on my back and bottom. Changed my clothes. Washed me everywhere. Helped me eat. Made up a fresh bed. Laundered my clothes. Changed my diapers. They’ve [...]

Put People First

By |2021-10-03T19:59:19-04:00October 3rd, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Mark 10:2-16 Proper 22, Year B To view today's service click here. The sermon begins around the 9 minute mark. My favorite moment in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis, is when Susan and Lucy ask Mr. and Mrs. Beaver to describe Aslan (Lewis's representation of Jesus). They ask if he is a man and Mr. Beaver replies. "Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion-- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh!" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone [...]

Hellfire and Millstones: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

By |2021-09-26T14:22:08-04:00September 26th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux September 26, 2021 Proper year B Mark 9:39-50 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our rock and our redeemer. Amen Roughly two hundred and eighty years ago, Jonathan Edwards preached not just his most famous sermon, but perhaps the most famous sermon ever heard on American soil. Which was? “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Yes, and it’s striking that most of you know that.  I mean, can anyone recall the title of last week’s sermon? Or the sermon from two weeks ago? Or the title of any sermon you’ve heard here over the last 9 years? Me either. And I chose the title for a bunch of them. But we all know about that sermon, whether we’ve read it or not, [...]

John L. O’Meally’s Memorial Service

By |2021-09-21T09:52:01-04:00September 21st, 2021|News|

The O’Meally family sends heartfelt thanks to all who joined us for John O’Meally’s September 17th memorial service whether in-person or via livestream, and who’ve shared their love, support and words of comfort during this difficult time. MEMORIAL SERVICE Click here to view a video recording of the memorial service, held on Friday September 17th, 2021, here at First Churches. SHARE YOUR STORIES The memories you’ve shared about your time with our family’s patriarch have touched our hearts. We’ve created an online Memory Board where we can all share words, pictures & remembrances of John. Click here to add to the Memory Board, and feel free to share this link with others.   COOLEY DICKINSON VA & HOSPICE Please consider a gift of support to this organization, which helped both Dorothy & Larry transition with comfort & dignity: https://www.cooleydickinson.org/programs…/vna-hospice/ CONTACT Please contact the [...]

Game Changer

By |2021-09-12T19:54:56-04:00September 12th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux September 12, 2021 Mark 8:27-38 Proper 19, Year B To watch today's service, click here. (the sermon begins at the 12 minute mark) Would you hire Jesus to pastor our church?  Take a moment and think about it. Like, really think about it. Would you hire Jesus to pastor our church? I know how much you all love this church. I know a little less about how much you all love Jesus, because that’s personal, and I’m not about to get up in anybody’s business. But given the fact that you’re here I’m assuming you love Jesus on some level. Right? Right? Let me see those jazz hands.Yeah. We love our church and we love Jesus.  But after what you just heard, do you love him so much that you’d put him in charge around here?  With [...]

A Hopeful Word Spoken Out of Place

By |2021-09-06T09:59:42-04:00September 6th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Rev. Todd Weir Isaiah 35: 1-10                                                                                    September 5, 2021   The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;   Somewhere around 2008, Isaiah 35 became my favorite bible verse.  Hope did not come easy for me at that time.  I was still working through a divorce that felt more like a war of attrition after three years.  I lived with a colostomy bag on my stomach and waited for a fifth surgery in 18 months.  I had moved in with Jeanne, which was more accurately a crash landing.  We were trying to blend families with teenagers, and my job at a shelter involved dealing with drug relapses and people on a hard road to recovery.  I decided it was time to write, so I started a blog on the weekly scriptures from working [...]

Wash Your Hands. Protect Your Heart.

By |2021-08-29T13:31:52-04:00August 29th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux                                                   August 29, 2021 Mark 7:1-23 Proper 17, Year B Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile,  since it enters, not the heart but the stomach - Mark 7:18 To watch today's service click here.   Last week on Substack, Nadia Bolz-Weber came out with an essay on circuit breakers that really spoke to me, (which is saying something since I barely understand what a circuit breaker is or does or whatever). But listen in, because I think this will really speak to you too: I used to live, (she writes,) in a very old apartment building with super sketchy electrical wiring. Were I to audaciously [...]

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