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So far Todd Weir has created 238 blog entries.

Some Parades Aren’t Meant to Be – A Sheltered Palm Sunday

April 5, 2020 – Palm Sunday Click Here to watch Video Rev. Todd Weir Matthew 21:1-17   I love a good parade – always have.  As a child my mother loaded me in a red wagon and took me to the humongous parades at Iowa State University.  Students put all their Springtime yearnings and creativity into the floats.  It was Spring 1968, and I remember marching bands and one group of hippies, all wearing overalls and playing “This Land is Your Land” by blowing on Coke bottles.  The PRIDE March in Northampton is my favorite parade, with its rainbow of joy, and celebration that love is love.  Parades celebrate who we are.  They can also be a protest against what is unjust, and a hope for a better future.  It is heart-breaking when it rains on our parade, or worse, [...]

By |2020-04-06T14:02:31-04:00April 6th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Can Our Dry Bones Live?

Click here to watch video Rev. Todd Weir Ezekiel 37:1-14                                                                       March 29, 2020   Can you still remember what you gave up for Lent?  We have given up a lot in the past few weeks – handshakes, warm embraces, shopping, haircuts and a cup of coffee with a friend.  Worse, things have been taken away from us – Sunday gatherings, security, health, 3 million jobs.  In the midst of adapting and worrying and flattening the curve, I have forgotten what I pledged to do for Lent.  Yet I feel like I am living Lent more deeply, facing the vulnerability and uncertainty of our human condition.  Lent feels unavoidable.   A pastor on a Facebook forum raised the issue if Easter could be moved back a few weeks till we gather again.  I’m sympathetic. Virtual Easter will be weird.   But something [...]

By |2020-04-01T09:46:14-04:00March 30th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Faith in a Time of Fear – Click on the photo to watch video

Rev. Todd Weir Exodus 17:1-7                                                                         March 15, 2019   I was taken aback when I walked into the conference room at my first church.  The faded institutional yellow paint was peeling.  A beat up wooden table was surrounded by metal folding chairs.  A decades old stretcher in the corner on battered wooden poles, and the army green canvas was brittle and frayed.  At a council meeting I asked why the stretcher was there.  “Oh, that is an important church artifact.  During the flu epidemic of 1918, the church chapel was used as a hospital.  We have kept this stretcher ever since to remember.”  That’s great.  But why is it behind the door?  If it is important, why not mount it on the wall of the chapel and put up a plaque to remember?”   This suggestion was met with awkward [...]

By |2020-03-18T11:13:39-04:00March 15th, 2020|Sermons|1 Comment

What Are You Looking For?

What Are You Looking For? John 1:29-42                                                                                       January 19, 2019   What are you looking for?  This is one of the best questions ever.  It is also hard to answer.  At a job interview you may be asked,” What are you looking for in a new job?”  Don’t say more money.  That will kill your interview.  You have to say, “I’m looking for a chance to use my skills to make a difference in a great organization.”   If you are single and you go to Match.com, you are asked what you are looking for in a romantic partner.  I’m so glad I don’t have to figure out an answer.  You can’t just say you want to meet someone who is attractive, kind and fun.  You have come up with stuff like, “I like pina coladas, getting caught in the [...]

By |2020-01-28T09:53:25-05:00January 28th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Good News People

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Matthew 4:12-23   I preach on this text every four or five years, and each time it gets harder.  Since I began preaching in 1989, the national demographics have moved away from us, as more people adopt “none of the above” as their faith.  I regularly hear people being dismissive of religion.  In a recent op-ed in the Gazette about New Years’ resolutions, the author said, “nobody talk to me about their religion.”  A neighbor recently posted on Facebook that it is essential to end tax exempt status for churches, and churches should never talk about politics.  I was surprised because the person was a frequent renter here are First Churches, and had invited me to speak at a political rally for health care.   One big issue our strategic team wrestles with is how [...]

By |2020-01-28T09:41:54-05:00January 28th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Tired of Living on the Edge of Apocalypse?

Sermon By Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Luke 21: 5-19                                                                          November 17, 2019 Do you ever feel tired because you been walking at the edge of the apocalypse for too long?  Every week it’s either blackouts to stifle more wildfires in California, or Venice is going the way of Atlantis.  Much of Latin America and Hong Kong have been protesting in the streets for weeks, and while I promise not to talk about impeachment hearings and what feels to me like breaching all the norms of democracy and decency; it’s in the air.  I try to do my bit. I bike and walk to work, no more plastic straws, raising money for the Hot Chocolate Run and I chair the Northampton Housing Partnership, and I hope my family is good with receiving carbon offset credits for Christmas.  But on top of [...]

By |2019-11-19T10:30:38-05:00November 19th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

How to Be a Good Sinner

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Luke 18:9-15 October 27, 2019 https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/509444006301264/ Let me say for the record, “I am a sinner.”  There, it’s out in the open now.  Let’s talk about this.  You may have a number of different reactions: Pastor Todd, what you done now? -or- That’s a relief! Maybe I belong here.   -or- I don’t like that word. Could you just say you are imperfect?  Mistakes were made.  Can you leave it at that?   Sin-ugh!  It even sounds like an ugly word.  On some lips it sounds like a curse- “Sinner!  Repent!”  It sounds judgmental.  It is close to the word “singe”, as in “singed by fire.”  Sin has a fire crackling in the background.   Jonathan Edwards looks over us, with his sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God,” just off stage right.   [...]

By |2019-10-28T14:14:24-04:00October 28th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

What Stops Our Gratitude?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir October 13, 2019 Luke 17:11-19   -  The Parable of the 10 Lepers https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/542021496627905/ You already know how this sermon will end.  It must end extolling the virtue of gratitude.  No matter what interesting stories, or social research, or exegesis of the biblical setting or Greek word translations, the point is - gratitude is essential to faith. Gratitude is currently having a moment of popularity.  New social research proves the benefits of gratitude. Scientists performed an experiment in which they asked one group of people to write down the things that they were grateful for on a weekly basis, while the other group recorded hassles or neutral life events. The folks who kept gratitude journals exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were generally more optimistic about the [...]

By |2019-10-16T13:33:37-04:00October 16th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Notes from All-Church Planning Retreat – September 29

Growing Together at First Churches As another busy Fall unfolds, it is helpful to pull back and see the big picture, so we can clarify our mission and actions for the coming year.  About 25 people gathered Saturday, September 28 to join together in this work. By the end of our time together we had identified a need for 3 new teams: Stewardship Team – This team will 1) work to create a spirit of generosity and giving in the life of the church, 2) keep the congregation informed about our mission and budget. 3) Work with the congregation to cultivate a healthy culture around money. Vision and Strategic Planning Team – This team will explore ways to expand our capacity for ministry, including developing stronger financial, human and spiritual resources to carry out our work. Welcome Team – Develop [...]

By |2019-10-10T16:55:26-04:00October 10th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments