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So far Sarah Buteux has created 104 blog entries.

The Baptism of Jesus

Rev. Sarah Buteux January 7, 2018 “The Baptism of Jesus" Epiphany 1, Year B Mark 1:4-11. Acts 19:1-7 How many of you woke up January 1st resolved to in some way be better, slimmer, smarter, healthier, calmer, or just eat more kale? And how many of are still going strong? Excellent. Researchers tell us that for the first 7 days of the new year people are pretty good about keeping their New Year’s Resolutions. I fear I must warn you though that tomorrow, well, tomorrow is not looking good. According to David DeSteno, professor of psychology at Northeastern University, “By Jan. 8, some 25 percent of resolutions (will) have fallen by the wayside. And by the time the year ends, fewer than 10 percent (will be) fully kept.” Which is shockingly low when you think about the billions and billions [...]

By | 2018-01-07T14:59:07+00:00 January 7th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

“The Peace that Waits”

by Rev. Sarah Buteux December 10, 2017 Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 Advent 2 B I’m going to share something very personal with you this morning because I have the sense that there is something well nigh universal in my experience. I am normally a very positive, energetic, and productive person and we are now deep in a season of the year when I need to be operating on all cylinders. But I hit a wall the week before Thanksgiving, and then I started to sink down deep, into one of the worst depressions I’ve experienced in a long time. One of those states where you can’t begin to imagine the rough places ever being made plain or the valleys being lifted up because the mountains are so high you can’t tell if there’s any sun behind them at [...]

By | 2017-12-10T19:45:08+00:00 December 10th, 2017|Sermons, Worship|2 Comments

“Revelation: A Choose Your Own Adventure Book, by John Patmos”

The Rev. Sarah Buteux November 5, 2017 All Saints, Year A   Do you remember choose your own adventure books; those books where you’d find yourself, say, on an archaeological expedition in Egypt? By the end of chapter 1 you could either turn to page 17 if you thought the adventure was too dangerous or turn to page 35 if you wanted to follow the fearless leader of the expedition deeper into the tomb of the Pharaoh? Do you remember these? Of course it was always worth a peek at page 17 to confirm that choice would end the story within two more paragraphs; two paragraphs where you found your way back to Kansas on the first flight and ended up at your great Auntie Em’s kitchen table eating sweet potato pie, or something like that. I may be getting [...]

By | 2017-11-05T20:08:22+00:00 November 5th, 2017|Sermons, Uncategorized, Worship|0 Comments

To Blame or to Build?

The Rev. Sarah Buteux Preached at Common Ground on October 5, 2017 To Blame or to Build? Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”   Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”  He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s [...]

By | 2017-10-06T10:05:45+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Common Ground, Sermons, Uncategorized|0 Comments

“A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Change”

Rev. Sarah Buteux October 1, 2017 Matthew 21:23-32 Proper 21, Year A   I was invited to a banquet recently, and I really didn’t want to go. My sister Christin was being inducted into the Rockland County Softball Hall of Fame on a Friday night at the Doubletree Motel in Mahwah, N.J.. Yeah. Would you want to go to that? I did not want to go to that. I am not particularly fond of sports and motels in general, or of Mahwah in particular. Nor was I eager to give up precious sabbath time with my family, $37.00 for a buffet dinner, or six hours in the car at the end of a long week. But the real reason I didn’t want to go to this banquet was because it had been 6 weeks since I’d talked to my sister, [...]

By | 2017-10-01T20:12:04+00:00 October 1st, 2017|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Feeling Powerless? Call the Midwives

The Rev. Sarah Buteux August 27, 2017 Exodus 1:8 - 2:10 Proper 16 A There was a story I loved as a kid. It was the story of how a group of people in Denmark confounded the Nazis during WWII. During the occupation, when the order came down that Jewish citizens would be required to wear a yellow star of David, the Danish people thwarted the order by all electing to wear yellow stars so their Jewish neighbors could not be easily singled out. Anyone else remember hearing that story as a kid? The way I heard it, it was the mayor of a small town who went door to door under cover of darkness whispering the plan of resistance to his neighbors. No one knew who would go along with the idea, but when morning came, every townsperson stepped [...]

By | 2017-08-29T10:57:22+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Sermons, Worship|1 Comment

Margin for Error, Margin for Love

The Rev. Sarah Buteux August 20, 2017 Matthew 15:10-28 Proper 15, Year A We’ve seen a lot of ugliness this past week: racist, anti-semitic, angry, fear mongering words and actions replayed over and over again on our televisions, our Facebook pages, our Twitter feeds. Images of torches, flags, and faces twisted with hate. We’ve been bombarded with feeble justifications, false equivalencies, and outright lies from the very highest office in our country right on down: words that have served to embolden the wicked, slander the good, confuse the well-intentioned, and divide our country even further. People are shocked. They are saddened. They are angry and afraid. “I thought we were over this…” I’ve heard people say, “done with this…I never expected to see this…not here… not now…not again…not ever.” We’ve seen a lot of ugliness this week both here and [...]

By | 2017-08-22T15:51:42+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Hidden Blessings

The Rev. Sarah Buteux July 2, 2017 Matthew 10:40-42 Before worship began last Sunday a man came to the door of the church on crutches needing help. Ernie welcomed him in and made him comfortable before he set off to find me and let me know we had a guest. As soon as I heard, I went up, offered him a cup of cold water - (because that’s just what you do, I swear I hadn’t read ahead in the lectionary) and I sat down for a few minutes to hear his story. This is not an unusual occurrence here at First Churches. We are a downtown church, after all, and I’m thankful to say that church still means something to people, especially when they’re down and out. Whether or not they are religious, people seem to feel a little [...]

By | 2017-07-05T13:18:41+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rebels with a Cause

by the Rev. Sarah Buteux June 25, 2017 Matthew 10:24-39 Sometimes I just want the Bible to be easy. It’s summer after all. We’ve all worked very hard this past year and - I don’t care how old you are - it has not been an easy year. But now, schools out. Our van is packed. My family is ready to head up to our cabin in Maine as soon as church is over and I’ve spent a respectable amount of time at coffee hour. It’s hot. And frankly, I just don’t want to have to think very hard …about anything …for like 2 months. So when I checked the lectionary this week, I was really hoping for a few nice words from Jesus, maybe some encouraging words; a healing story perhaps or something about the need to take it [...]

By | 2017-06-28T16:03:19+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Coming Into One’s Own in the Family of God

Rev. Sarah Buteux June 4, 2017 Confirmation Sunday Acts 2:1- 21   “Coming into one’s own.” Have you ever heard that expression before? It’s kind of what we’re doing today, right? Today is the day you affirm the faith you have been raised in as your own. But it’s kind of a strange phrase and a strange concept, when you think about it. Strange: this idea that you can actually ever reach a stage in life where you know yourself to have become your full self, your best self; this idea that you can come to a place where you know you have reached your full potential and are solid and secure in who you are, what you do, all you know. Can any of you out there remember the moment when you finally came into your own? Have any [...]

By | 2017-06-04T13:09:18+00:00 June 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments