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So far Todd Weir has created 230 blog entries.

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

All the Small Things

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Luke 16:1-13                                                                          September 22, 2019 Click here to watch This is a core value: “Whoever is faithful in very little is faithful in much, and whoever is dishonest in little is dishonest in much.”  I believe the divine is seen and experienced in the small and ordinary spaces of life. The daily habits, the random acts of kindness, the quality of relationships, integrity, helping the one person in front of me.  We discover the Holy Spirit in the small decisions and practices.  As Mother Teresa put it, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  Jesus often talked about the power of small things.  Mustard seeds, the leaven in dough, the widow’s mite, all these bring forth what God desires.   But this parable also brings a [...]

By |2019-09-25T11:55:17-04:00September 25th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: Taking the Low Seat

Rev. Todd Weir September 1, 2019 Luke 14:1, 7-13        Click here to watch on Facebook If you want to understand life as it really is, do you start at the top or the bottom?  Our cultural world view is to look upward.  Emulate those at the top, who are successful.  Strive and you too may make it to the top.  In the Gospels, Jesus’s reveals that if you want to be his disciple, you start at the bottom.  You sit in the low place.  Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who mourn.   To follow Jesus is to be turned upside down and identify downward rather than upward.  As we explore our Gospel reading (Luke 14) we will see it is more than a lesson in social etiquette, or how to behave at [...]

By |2019-09-03T11:41:30-04:00September 3rd, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: Through the Fire

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir                                           August 18, 2019 (Click play below to hear the sermon)   Luke 12:49-56 49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 He also said to [...]

By |2019-08-19T16:07:23-04:00August 19th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

After Tears…Easter Joy

Sermon by Todd Weir Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 Scripture:  John 18:1-20 (Click play to listen) The earliest Easter artwork, in the 4th century of Christianity, shows two Roman soldiers keeping watch at the tomb, one is asleep and sees nothing, the other is awake and staring at the empty tomb.  I love the mystery in this artistic portrayal.  If you aren’t awake and aware, you aren’t going to notice anything. You have to be looking, be awake, seek, be fully present if you want to know anything about the Risen Christ. These early Christian icons do what great art is supposed to do, help us to see clearly, to keep our eyes open and be awake.   In our Gospel reading, Mary Magdalene is the one who is awake.  She arose before sunrise, the world still dark. The disciples went [...]

By |2019-04-22T07:35:23-04:00April 22nd, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Life Isn’t Fair!

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Luke 13:1-9 March 24, 2019   Life should be fair, but it clearly isn’t. When the Manafort verdict came out, a Brooklyn defense attorney noted that a recent client received more time in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a laundry mat. Recent news reports wealthy parents buying their children into elite schools. Fairness and justice are deeply held values. Without some degree of fairness, the moral center collapses.  And yet, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to achieve perfect fairness.   The world is a messy place and sometimes bad theology gets in the way and makes it even worse.  Jesus is addressing the doctrine of fairness run amok.  I would like to believe if I lead a good life; seeking to be ethical, give back to the [...]

By |2019-03-27T12:09:10-04:00March 27th, 2019|Sermons|1 Comment

Life Isn’t Fair!

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir March 24, 2019 Luke 13:1-9         Life should be fair, but it clearly isn’t. When the Manafort verdict came out, a Brooklyn defense attorney noted that a recent client received more time in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a laundry mat. Recent news reports wealthy parents buying their children into elite schools.   Fairness and justice are deeply held values. Without some degree of fairness, the moral center collapses.  And yet, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to achieve perfect fairness.   The world is a messy place and sometimes bad theology gets in the way and makes it even worse.  Jesus is addressing the doctrine of fairness run amok.  I would like to believe if I lead a good life; seeking to be ethical, give back [...]

By |2019-03-27T11:59:05-04:00March 27th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Moving Deeper

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir February 10, 2019 Text: Luke 5:1-11 If you were a reporter covering this story, what would be your headline? “Preacher’s Fishing Miracle Has Better Ratings Than Super Bowl.”   Or- “Local Fishermen Retire, Leave Lucrative Business to Join Cult.”  We bring our perspectives to the story.  We might ask, “Is this story true?”  Did Jesus really create a fishing miracle? How did he do it?  Preacher Fred Craddock said, “Is this true?”  is the most disrespectful question we can ask. We wonder if the writer is a fabricator, and we may miss the point.  Here is a better place to start.  What is the story trying to tell us?  What truth does it offer for our life? Let’s go with the story and see where it takes us scene by scene.  Scene One.  It is [...]

By |2019-02-11T15:48:16-04:00February 11th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “How Do I Know God is Pleased With Me?”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir January 13, 2019 Scripture:  Luke 3:15-22     (The Baptism of Jesus) (click below to listen)       “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”  How many people long to hear this blessing from the humans who brought them into the world?  “You turned out well.”  There is no equivocating in this blessing, no “buts,” nothing else to do.  Not, “I am well pleased, now if you could only get married…then we could have a grandchild.”  Or “I am well pleased, it almost makes up for those teenage years.” I am well pleased, almost as much as with your older brother.”  “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”  Period. Or better yet, exclamation point!  A little blessing goes a long ways, “Great job….You are such [...]

By |2019-01-16T15:33:02-04:00January 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments