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“Slaves No Longer:” Philemon, Onesimus, and a New Kind of Kin-dom”

The Rev. Sarah Buteux      September 8, 2019  Luke 14:25-33, Philemon 1 Proper 18 Year C Everyone says, this love will change you.  Well, I ask, isn’t that what loves supposed to do.  - The Weepies   Friends, our first reading this morning is all about the cost of discipleship. Jesus doesn’t just come into the world to save the world, he comes to change it, disrupt, and upend it.  He comes to give sight to the blind, set the captives free, and provide the poor with the good things they need by emptying the rich of those things they don’t really need at all.  And Jesus knows that as happy as that will make people on the outside and underside of the empire, it is going to greatly upset those in positions of privilege and power. Which is [...]

By |2019-09-09T10:21:09-04:00September 9th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|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

Broken and Poured Out

Rev. Laura Dalton Broken and Poured Out Matthew 26:17-30 I’m going a little bit rogue today and stepping away from the lectionary passages in favor of revisiting these familiar words from the readings often associated with Holy Week. As you will have observed, this is a communion Sunday, when together, we will be remembering these words and actions of Jesus and his disciples as they shared in their final Passover meal together in Jerusalem. As I began to contemplate this passage as well as the celebration of communion, the theme that kept reverberating through my mind was that of brokenness: not just the brokenness of the bread, as is part of the communion ritual, but the brokenness we all experience to some degree or another. All throughout this past week, on my early morning walks, I’ve been listening to podcasts [...]

By |2019-07-15T15:06:38-04:00July 15th, 2019|Sermons, Uncategorized, Worship|0 Comments

Let Your Life Be Your Witness

Rev. Sarah Buteux                  June 23, 2019 Luke 8:26-39, Proper 7 Year C “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” Friends, I’m pretty good with my words. (That’s probably how I got this job). But when it comes to the meditations of my heart, I gotta tell you that they are not always as acceptable as they should be, especially when it comes to social media.   I don’t know about you - and forgive me if what I am about to say shocks you or lowers your opinion of me - but I find that scrolling through instagram or facebook often leads me to think less than charitable thoughts about other [...]

By |2019-06-26T14:29:20-04:00June 26th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

No Time Like The Present

by Rev. Sarah Buteux June 2, 2019 Acts 1:1-11, Ascension, Year C Alright my friends, I want to begin this morning by having you think back to a time in your life when you felt like you were left out on your own - not just left to your own devices- but really out there all on your own… a time when you had no choice but to pick yourself up and stand on your own two feet.  Maybe it was stepping on to the bus your first day of kindergarten or into the lunch room on the first day of middle school. Maybe it was after the death of a parent or the finality of a divorce. Maybe it was your first day as the boss or your last day at the company, the time you pulled up stakes [...]

By |2019-06-02T14:27:46-04:00June 2nd, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Preemptive Peace

Rev. Sarah Buteux May 26, 2019 Easter 6, Year C John 14:23-29 https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/584603421948264/ There has been a lot of talk about endings this past week, and not because people have been breathlessly anticipating Jesus’ words of farewell in our reading this morning. No, all the talking, tweeting, writing, and hand wringing has been about the end of what? HBO’s Game of Thrones.  People have been pondering, arguing, and debating not just the finale but the whole final season: was it too rushed? did it make any sense? was it satisfying? Over a million fans are so disappointed in the ending that they have signed a petition to re-film the entire last season. The anger, disappoint and outright hate from critics and fans alike has been quite stunning, and, in my mind, a little disingenuous. Because honestly, I don’t think [...]

By |2019-05-30T16:33:02-04:00May 26th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Hope of Heaven

Rev. Sarah Buteux               May 19, 2019 Revelation 21 Easter 5, Year C Yesterday we said goodbye to a saint of the church. We commended the spirit of our sister Denise Karuth to God. And it was beautiful. And it was hard.  This morning we’ve welcomed a tiny new saint into our midst. We’ve welcomed Sam, a miracle in more ways than one. A little fellow we’ve been praying for since before he was born.   Today our hearts are a little bit broken and our hearts are overfull. So it may come as no surprise to you that life and death and the meaning of it all are very much on my mind this morning.  I’m also, like many of you, still processing the loss of Rachel Held Evans who died two weeks [...]

By |2019-05-19T19:07:17-04:00May 19th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Because We Are Here

By the Rev. Laura Dalton 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Stewardship Sunday I want to thank Pastor Sarah, MJ and all of you for welcoming me in this role while Pastor Todd is on sabbatical. My gratitude for this opportunity runs very deep and I am looking forward to what the coming months will bring.   So, the first thing that Sarah asked me to do was to preach on this day, when our theme is stewardship. At the conclusion of the worship service this morning, while our kind neighbors and friends from St. John’s prepare for coffee hour, members of First Churches will have the opportunity to see our proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. It’s a spreadsheet with breakdowns of categories, projected expenses, and bottom lines. On the surface at least, we’ll be having a meeting and looking at [...]

By |2019-05-05T19:28:57-04:00May 5th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Thomas, the Questioning Believer

By Rev. Sarah Buteux April 28, 2019 Confirmation Sunday, Easter 2 Year C John 20:19-31 Today is a big day. Chloe, Maja, and Rowan are going to stand up here in approximately 9 minutes to be confirmed. And I imagine you three are all feeling a little nervous? Maybe even still wondering if getting confirmed is such a good idea?  And that’s ok. We get it. Confirmation is all about affirming your belief in a faith that was chosen for you before you were even born. It’s the day when you stand up in front of your family and friends and the whole church community and claim this faith as your own.  And, as if that wasn’t enough pressure, we went out and rented a whole second congregation just to make this day feel even more momentous.   Today is the [...]

By |2019-05-05T17:06:35-04:00May 5th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments