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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

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

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

Lost Without You

  By Rev. Sarah Buteux Luke 15:1-10 Lent 4, Year  C In my reading this week, I came across the story of Jon Tyson, a mega church pastor, who left his church in Florida and moved to NYC to start a new kind of church with a close group of friends.  I’ve read a lot of stories like this one, and at first it followed all the familiar beats.  Jon and his friends gave up the lives they’d known back in Florida. They banded together and started their church in somebody’s living room. They quickly outgrew that space and started meeting in the back room of a downtown bar, and when that became too small, they made the big leap.  They rented a theater uptown, launched a web site, printed flyers, rehearsed the band, and lo and behold, [...]

By |2019-03-31T19:07:34-04:00March 31st, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments