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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

Don’t Lose Heart

  By Rev. Sarah Buteux November 18, 2018 Mark 13:1-8 Proper 28, Year B   Last Wednesday I attended a gathering at Congregation B’nai Israel. It was called “After Pittsburgh: Uniting Against Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy.”   Part vigil for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the two black patrons of Kroger’s in Kentucky, and the two women at a yoga studio in Florida, and part call to action in the wake of so much violence and hatred - the event itself was a little all over the place.  It was organized by two of our local Rabbis in conjunction with members of the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center. So throughout the evening we bounced between lamentation and rousing political speech, between prayers offered by various people of faith and the pleas of secular people who are [...]

By |2018-11-18T18:26:02-04:00November 18th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

“Your Two Cents” Sermon for November 11

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Mark 12:38-44  (The Widow's Mite) (Click below to listen) You have likely heard the phrase, “Here’s my two cents.”   Some dictionaries say the usage began with the cost to send a letter, the “two penny” post.  Others say it comes from poker, where you place a two penny ante to play the round.  Both usages imply, “I’ve paid my price to have an opinion, whether you want to hear it or not.”  Another possibility is the 16thcentury English phrase “a penny for your thoughts.”  If you got a long answer, the reply was “I guess that was two pennies worth.”  Of course, the oldest possible usage comes from our scripture text about the widow giving her last two pennies.  Sometimes “my two cents” means, “These are my humble thoughts.”  It may not [...]

By |2018-11-12T13:55:50-04:00November 12th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Heaven is a Place on Earth

Rev. Sarah Buteux     October 21, 2018 Mark 10:35-45     Proper 24, Year B Heaven is a Place on Earth How many of you here try to exercise regularly?  Good for you. Well tell me this: do you exercise because you love it or because it’s good for you?  Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you do it because you love it, just love it: the endorphins, the rush? Yeah…you people are a little weird.  And how many of you do it because it’s good for you? Now I know some of you are probably thinking this shouldn’t be an either/or but a both/and sort of question, so for those of you who do it for love, ask yourself this: would you still do it if it turned out that exercise had absolutely [...]

By |2018-10-25T12:48:49-04:00October 25th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

To Judge or Not to Judge

by Rev. Sarah Buteux Mark 9:38-50, Proper 21, Year B There is a saying in ministry that you should preach from your scars, not your wounds. But my scars feel more and more like scabs these days. And the news of the day picks away at me the same way it picks at you. I am as hurt and angry and disillusioned and confused as the rest of you. I am human too. But I’m here anyway, and you’re here, and God is here to help us do our best to make meaning out of the mess. So before I begin would you please pray for me and with me. O God, be with us now, speak to us now, comfort us now, and help us to be a comfort to one another. Help us to see what you need [...]

By |2018-10-01T09:22:05-04:00October 1st, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

The Last Shall Be First

The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Service is the path to greatness. Welcome children, and people who are the most vulnerable and powerless.  It all makes you wonder what kind of hippie commune Jesus was raised in.  Do you really believe the last should be first, or do you just hope the last don’t suffer too much?  Do we want the first to be last, or just knocked down a bit when they get arrogant?  What if you might be first?  What if you end up last? When I was in college, we hosted a fund raiser for world hunger. Oxfam America created an ingenious educational moment.  Everyone pays $10 to participate in the dinner. As more than 100 of us came into the cafeteria, we were randomly assigned to specific seats.  The vast majority of us were [...]

By |2018-09-26T09:46:32-04:00September 26th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Jesus in Three Hymns

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 16, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 8:28-37                 Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  It’s a question of utmost importance, but also elusive.  We are trying to understand an historical person, reading ancient texts, translated from a different language, and sorting through sedimentary layers of previous generation of thought and belief.  I enjoy reading great biographers who seek to encapsulate Jefferson, or Lincoln, or Jonathan Edwards.  But  viewpoints change over time.  Who was the real Richard Nixon?  The diplomat who opened China, the founder of the Environmental Protection agency, the megla-maniac who saw himself above the law, who kept an enemies list?  Who was the real Bill Clinton, man from hope, Slick Willie, a gifted orator who could relate to our human struggles, or serial sexual-abuser?  [...]

By |2018-09-17T16:28:12-04:00September 17th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments