The Worst Thing is Not the Last Thing

The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem – James Tissot     The Worst Thing is Not the Last Thing Rev. Sarah Buteux April 14, 2019 Palm Sunday, Year C Luke 19:28-48 “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Five and a half weeks ago, we began Lent by reciting these words as the ashes of burnt palms were imposed on our foreheads.  Well, most of us did. Or, maybe it was just some of us.  I didn’t take attendance and I’m not going to ask for a show of hands to see who was actually there, because you and I all know that there aren’t a whole lot of people who come out for Ash Wednesday anymore. It is why we’ve taken to bringing the ashes out onto main street and offering them to people “on [...]

By |2019-04-14T18:15:51-04:00April 14th, 2019|Sermons, Uncategorized, Worship|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

Window Celebration

The sanctuary of First Churches has been enriched by the spectrum of light streaming through the newly restored Rose Window and the Louis Comfort Tiffany “Stream of Life” window. The restoration of these two windows was financed by the awarding of a generous grant from the Northampton Community Preservation Committee. Funding for the restoration of the Tiffany window was made possible through the sponsorship of the Northampton Betty Allen Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. This has been an exciting event for First Churches. The community’s willingness to support this project has made the restoration possible. Please join us on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:00 am as we celebrate the reinstallation of these two windows. Reception to follow the program. R.S.V.P. appreciated (but not required) 584-9392 or admin@firstchurches.org Sincerely, Peg Whitham, Sue Stone, Marcia Kennick Window Celebration [...]

By |2018-03-08T11:01:51-04:00March 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 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 |2017-11-05T20:08:22-04:00November 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 |2017-10-06T10:05:45-04:00October 6th, 2017|Common Ground, Sermons, Uncategorized|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 |2017-07-05T13:18:41-04:00July 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|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 |2017-06-04T13:09:18-04:00June 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Northampton Pride Parade Defies Rain, Marches On

Article printed in Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 8, 2017. By Morgan Hughes NORTHAMPTON — Despite the threat of rain, an estimated 30,000 people were out on the streets for the 36th annual Northampton Pride Parade, which kicked off at noon Saturday. Tens of thousands of cheerful and colorfully decorated people lined up around Main and Bridge streets to celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ community. “My moms are gay and I support other people who are gay,” said Maya Lieberman Bachman, 14, enjoying an unobstructed view from the bed of a pickup truck in front of TD Bank on Main Street before the parade. “I like being here for the fun of it, and being able to support people.” With a “Born This Way” flag hung behind their lawn chairs as they cheered and waved, Maya, her friend Jane Techu, [...]

By |2017-05-10T12:14:29-04:00May 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love God

This daily devotional was written by teens in Massachusetts to help us love throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love God. April 11   https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RJMaRWsi9Kk What benefits have you found from working with a team versus working alone? How does it feel knowing you can count on your teammates? Even when you may think you are alone, you always have the ultimate teammate. God always has your back. "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

By |2017-03-08T10:12:39-04:00April 11th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning to Love Our Families

This daily devotional was written by teens from all over Massachusetts, to help us love better throughout Lent. This week we focus on learning to love our Families. March 20 “ First, be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 24 Here is a list of easy activities that you can do with your family during Lent that do not require electronics, and engage your spirit, mind and body! Going for a walk together Bike ride Change competitive games to cooperative games (ex: Instead of having your own money in Monopoly, share the wealth) Play the game Sorry, and each time you leave Start, meditate on an instance that needs apology until you get to Home. Color Tag (When the tagger is getting close, you can be “safe” by touching the ground [...]

By |2017-03-08T09:09:24-04:00March 20th, 2017|Lenten Devotionals, Uncategorized|0 Comments