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So far Sarah Buteux has created 101 blog entries.

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

Is There Safe Space at the Open Table?

At Thursday Night's Common Ground we began with these words of welcome: Good evening everyone and welcome to Common Ground. Tonight, as we cook and eat and pray and sing together we hope to make some thing holy together. We hope to make church together, which connects beautifully to our theme for this evening, because the truth is that church has always been something we have made together. Christianity has always been a work in progress. Contrary to popular institutional opinion, there was no blueprint handed down to a chosen few the day Jesus ascended into heaven. There was no instruction booklet left behind with all the rules and creeds and rituals and traditions of our faith laid out for all time. What was given, what was handed down to us, were stories…stories of hope and healing, stories of peace [...]

By | 2017-05-05T10:34:34+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Common Ground, Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Change We Must Believe In

Rev. Sarah Buteux April 23, 2017 Change We Must Believe In John 20:19-23 In our church we listen for a still speaking God, a God whose voice, I believe, came through strongly when Chief Seattle spoke the words on the cover of your bulletin: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Let us pray: O God, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, you who are our rock and our redeemer. amen. I was looking for a birthday card for Todd the other day and came across one with big bold letters that read: “Happy Birthday: Life doesn’t get any better than this!” OK, [...]

By | 2017-04-24T11:41:41+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments