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Is My I-Phone the Devil? Some Thoughts on Technology, Temptation, and Jesus’ Sojourn in the Wilderness

Rev. Sarah Buteux March 10, 2019 Lent 1, Year C Luke 4:1-13,   Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. Forty days.  Forty days out in the wilderness with nothing to do…without anything to eat…with no one to talk to.  When’s the last time you found yourself with nothing to do, without anything to eat, with no one to talk to?  It’s almost impossible to imagine, isn’t it?  I’m not saying that we’re never bored, hungry, or lonely. Boredom, hunger, and loneliness are part and parcel of the human condition. They dog us at every step.  But do any of us ever allow ourselves to truly feel those things anymore? Or do we pick up our [...]

By |2019-03-10T14:15:22-04:00March 10th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|1 Comment

Shame vs. Guilt: a sermon for Lent

Rev. Sarah Buteux Preached at Common Ground on March 7, 2019 Psalm 51   There is a song by Kelley McRae where she sings:  Break us by the power of your grace O Lord, won’t break us, by the power of your grace  Break us Remake us Don’t let the sorrow take us Oh Break us, by the power of your grace  I love this song, and in my own spiritual walk, there are times when I need to hear those words, when that is my prayer…break me God, break me down, break me open, break in and break up the lies and the patterns and the habits that are hurting me and the those around me.  Break me, O God and then re-make me into someone whose life is pleasing to you. Re-make me into someone who is living [...]

By |2019-03-10T14:05:19-04:00March 10th, 2019|Common Ground, Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Mixed Blessing

By Rev. Sarah Buteux February17, 2018 Epiphany 6, Year C Luke 6:17-26 Before we begin, there is a confession I need to make.  In the interest of full disclosure, there is something you need to know before I even pretend I can help interpret this morning’s scripture reading, and it is this:.  I am blessed…like seriously blessed…and apparently not in a good way.  You need to know that I ate breakfast this morning - two eggs with cheese, washed down with my favorite tea, all of which I cooked in my beautiful new kitchen while laughing with my precious daughter. In this very moment, standing here in front of you I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I am rich, I am full, and I am happy.  I love my family. I love my house. I love my church. I [...]

By |2019-02-21T11:26:08-04:00February 21st, 2019|Sermons, Worship|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

Miracles on the Margins

by Rev. Sarah Buteux John 2:1-11 (Painting above by Morgan Weistling)   I’ve got two words for you this morning: Pecha kucha.  Has anyone here ever experienced a pecha kucha?  Does anyone here know what a pecha kucha is? Isn’t that a south American herb that can be steeped into a hot beverage?  No, that’s Yerbe Matte?  Is it a pre-Columbian Inca site in Peru?  No, you’re thinking of Machu Pichu.  Is it a little yellow Japanese monster?  Nope, I’m pretty sure that’s Pokemon, but hey now we’re getting close, because Pecha Kucha is a Japanese concept.  Pecha Kucha, which is actually the Japanese word for chit-chat, is a method someone devised to re-invigorate the good old power-point presentation we all don’t love so much.  When someone presents a pecha kucha, they can’t read slowly through bullet points as they [...]

By |2019-02-05T08:33:21-04:00February 5th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

I Wonder as I Wander

Rev. Sarah Buteux January 6, 2019 Matthew 2:1-12   Epiphany 1, Year C  Do you all know what “go to gifts” are? If you’re the one who buys gifts in your household, you probably do. Not to be confused with “safety gifts,” which are the completely generic gifts you keep stashed away in case of emergencies - like uncle Phil showing up unannounced for Christmas dinner -  “Go to gifts,” are kind of like the hacks of the gift giving world.  They’re the gifts that take the stress out of gift giving during major life events because they are so perfectly suited to the occasion. Popular “go to gifts” are things like a copy of Dr. Suess’, “All the Places You’ll Go,” for the recent graduate or pots and pans for newly weds, a plant for the couple who just bought [...]

By |2019-01-07T13:58:06-04:00January 7th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Sermon: Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir December 23, 2018 Scripture:  Luke 1:39-57 (Click to listen) When you think of Mary the Mother of Jesus, what is the first word that comes to your mind.  I’ll bet that many of you the word was “virgin.”  As Protestants we do not speak much of Mary, we feel awkward with all this blessed virgin language and she can seem lost to us in the mythology of the perpetual virgin who has given birth.   For some this is essential article of faith, proving that Christ is truly the Son of God. For others, it sounds absurd and archaic, or even a patriarchal plot to keep women subservient.   Episcopal preacher Barbara Brown Taylor said, how we talk about the Virgin Birth limits our understanding of Mary role and importance. Taylor writes, “Mary is the perpetual [...]

By |2018-12-24T09:47:13-04:00December 24th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Sermon: “With Joy, Draw Water”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir December 16, 2018 Scripture:     Isaiah 12 :2-6   Today we lit the candle of joy, and in this season, we do many things to attempt creating joy.  We decorate our homes and bring greenery inside, while outside the trees are bare and dormant.  We light candles to push back the darkness that settles in before our evening commute. Fires burn to ward off the cold.  Carolers sing in the streets, Christmas music everywhere, joy to the world.  Gifts are given and received, charities are supported.  In busy stores, profits are made, savings depleted.  Oh well, joy to the world.  From Holiday Stroll, the Hot Chocolate Run and First Night, it is a month of celebration that cushions us against the beginning of winter, the darkest time of the year.  Without this enormous effort to [...]

By |2018-12-18T16:30:15-04:00December 18th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Where Christ is Found

The Rev. Sarah Buteux Luke 3: 1-6 Advent 2, Year C Some people are peacemakers and some people are homemakers. There are taste makers, king makers, rain makers, and matchmakers. But I, my friends, am a list maker, and proud of it.  Anyone else here a list maker? How many of you have a list on you right now? Lists are the primary tool that enables me to function in this world. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done, so much so that if I do something that wasn’t on the list, I add it to the list after the fact just to be sure. That doesn’t make sense does it? Not even grammatically. But that’s what I do. I typically have multiple lists running on my phone at any given time: laundry lists, grocery lists, short lists, [...]

By |2018-12-09T18:48:41-04:00December 9th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Sermon: Where is Your Kingdom?

Rev. Todd Weir Reign of Christ Sunday, November 25, 2018 Scripture: John 18:33-33 Click on play to listen. What does Jesus mean when he says his Kingdom is not of this world?  He makes a number of these cryptic statements.  “Be in the world, but not of the world.”  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s.” Some have interpreted this text to mean we should stay away from political life, which is fraught with vanity, ego, desire for power; perhaps even believing that the political realm is unredeemable and evil.  Just focus on living a good life so you can get to heaven.  In medieval times, religious vocation was monastic, withdrawn from the world, which was left to Kings and Lords.  Many Mennonites do not vote or run for office as an article of [...]

By |2018-12-18T19:10:03-04:00November 25th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments