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So far Todd Weir has created 185 blog entries.

Charlottesville and Sunday Worship

This weekend's news of the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville once again brought the nation's conflicts and news cycle into our Sunday.  It is always challenging to decide which events to preach about, because the current turmoil brings us a new topic every week.  Each week I try to balance the experience of worship, the integrity of the liturgical season, and the fast-breaking reality of events that impact us.  I chose to say a few words after the sermon; and you can read my  remarks, plus the pastoral prayer; graciously shared by seminarian Lauren Grubaugh.  (She was in Charlottesville and wrote an especially powerful prayer.)  Today I have begun the process of arranging Anti-Racism training for our congregation this Fall through the Massachusetts UCC Conference. Pastor Todd   "I need to add a few words about the storm of bigotry and [...]

By | 2017-08-14T13:39:15+00:00 August 14th, 2017|News, Worship|1 Comment

Sermon: “Into the Storm”

Sermon preached on August 13, 2017 Text:  Matthew 13:22-33 For Pastor Todd's comments on the Charlottesville rally and pastoral prayer from Sunday, click here. As miracles go, walking on water is ostentatious.  Remember Herod’s song in Jesus Christ Superstar, “Turn my water into wine, walk across my swimming pool.”  Notice Herod did not say, fill the poor with good things, and cure the sick.  Those are very practical, compassionate demonstrations of the nature of God.  When we say, “He thinks he walks on water,” we mean the person is arrogant.  So, I’m not wild about this miracle at first glance.   Let’s start at the beginning and give the text its due.  Listen closely to the first line,   “Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the [...]

By | 2017-08-14T14:06:21+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “Everything We Need”

Sermon preached by Rev. Todd Weir August 6, 2017 Scripture: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Any busy, overwhelmed pastor and congregation can relate to this scripture passage.  Like many pastors - after the Lenten study series, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the crowds and the energy output, Jesus tries to take a mini-vacation.  He rents a boat, I imagine it was a little sailboat.  Jesus spent a lot of time with fisherman boating around the Sea of Galilee, so he probably knew port from starboard.  He gets out into the water, the wind fills his sails, and he starts to relax and ponder.   If Jesus was a modern-day pastor, he might have already consulted his ministry coach by phone call to define what issues he needs to discern.  Based on Matthew 13, he has 3 big issues.  Number one, he [...]

By | 2017-08-08T12:23:12+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: Who Plants Mustard?

I have preached on this passage many times and I realized this week that I have often missed the real point.  This is a great passage to run out to the Indian grocer, buy some mustard seed for the children’s sermon, and talk about what a wondrous plant comes from humble beginnings.  Therefore, if the Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny mustard seed, we can have hope when we feel our efforts are unremarkable compared to the world’s need, and trust that God is going to do great things from our small plantings, and spread the Kingdom among us.  Don’t be afraid to start small in life, because God always has a bigger plan.  Small is beautiful! That is not a bad sermon to preach.  I do believe that God can often be found in the small things and [...]

By | 2017-07-31T16:43:05+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: Jesus Knows His Weeds

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir July 23, 2107 Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43 I learned more about weeds than I ever wanted to know growing up in Iowa.  I walked the soybean fields pulling weeds as my summer job from age 13.  A wise farmer taught me that all weeds were not the same and could not be destroyed in the same way.  A cockle burr had shallow but widespread roots and had to be pulled to get all the roots.  If you hacked it off at the ground level, it would be back in a week.  A milkweed had a very long tap root that could not be pulled out.  If you did try to pull it, three separate sprouts would be back.  Milkweeds had to be hacked off and would die as the sap ran out.  If you didn’t [...]

By | 2017-07-24T13:17:58+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: Gardening is Harder than it Looks

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir July 16, 2017 Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 My favorite part of gardening is putting seeds in the ground.  Planting is the time of possibility, dreaming of a bountiful harvest.  Winter is gone, warmer days beckon, and little green shoots are everywhere.  I’m the same way about most projects, I love the brainstorming, creative work, collaborative envisioning, but I always struggle to get through the last 20 percent.  So I relate to the parable of sower.  I envision the happy farmer, scattering seeds, then checking every morning to see if something is peaking above the ground.  If that is all there was to farming, I would have stayed in Iowa.  But Jesus is a realist.  The birds are going to eat some of your seeds, rocky soil does not produce, just ask all my Village Hill [...]

By | 2017-07-18T11:48:51+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Sermons|1 Comment

Sermon: “Crossing the Tumult”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir July 9, 2017 Psalm 46   Its summer time, and we hope for a more relaxed pace.  We try to get a little vacation, whether in Maine or the Cape or even just a good stay-cation.  Some of you may even venture to Niagara Falls.  How many have been there, maybe taken a ride on the Maid of the Mist, with your raincoat on, to get near the powerful torrents.  The Falls became a huge destination in the summer of 1859, when a circus tight rope walker named Charles Blondin crossed the Falls on June 30, 1859.  Not content with braving the thundering torrents, Blondin upped the ante with increasingly theatrical performances.  He crossed the tightrope in a sack, then he did it backwards, the next day blindfolded, he rode a bike across the Falls, [...]

By | 2017-07-10T12:28:04+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “From the Many, One”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir  May 28, 2017 Scripture:  John 17:1-11  Click here to listen on Youtube!   In our Gospel reading, Jesus has been preaching a long time, from chapters 13 to 16, fully 15% of his life story from John’s perspective.   Perhaps the disciples sighed with relief when he starts the pastoral prayer.  Like many pastoral prayers, it is a summary of what went before; a hope that the sermon might actually be taken seriously.  How do you know as a preacher?  You hope and pray that your words are relevant and inspiring and something sticks.  This is your cheat sheet to sermon listening, in case your mind wanders a bit.  We pray about the one thing that really matters, so no one misses the point.   What is the point Jesus wants the disciples to get?  God’s [...]

By | 2017-05-29T15:10:04+00:00 May 29th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

“Take a Breath”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir May 21, 2017 John 14:15-21 I don’t like notification noises on my phone.  I don’t need a train whistle with every email, or a “ka-ching” sound when someone messages me on Facebook.  I just set my phone of vibrate, and have ringtones for close family.  But this week was different.  Somehow, my “news” notifications were turned on, and my phone blew up every day.  Which raises an important question; What is the appropriate notification ring tone for news that the President has fired the FBI Director who was investigating him?  I have a tone called “update,” I think that works.  If I really were more techie I would download a song for news alerts.  When the NY Times sends out an alert, my phone could play something from the 70s like, “Stop, Hey, what’s that [...]

By | 2017-05-22T14:37:43+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments

Where Are You Going, Jesus?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Sunday, May 14, 2017 John 14:1-14 I get a lot of questions around the times of death.  “What is heaven really like?  What will I look like?  Can I look down and see what my still living loved ones are doing?  Will I see my spouse?  Will I see my ex-wife?  Can I choose not to see certain people in heaven? Will I be worthy?”  There are so many questions we may have about death.   Clearly the disciples have questions too.  In this part of John’s Gospel, they are at the Last Supper.  Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, and then tells them the incomprehensible news that he will be betrayed and die by morning.  Here come the questions.  Suddenly the story is moving from religious ceremony to more like a town hall meeting.  Several [...]

By | 2017-05-15T11:49:03+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Sermons|0 Comments