I Believe Her

by Rev. Rev. Sarah Buteux         December 22, 2019 Advent 4, Year A Matthew 1:18-25   There is this meme floating around by Carlos Rodriguez that begins, “Christmas is about believing what a woman said about her sex life.” Have any of you seen it? It’s a pretty audacious statement coming from an evangelical pastor, but it’s true. It goes on to say: Christmas is about finding safety as asylum seekers.  Christmas is about a child receiving support from the wealthy.  Christmas is about God identifying with the marginalized, not the powerful.” It’s good stuff. How many of you have seen it?  How many of you have shared it?  And how many of you, going back to that first line - “Christmas is about believing what a woman said about her sex life” - have found yourself rethinking [...]

By |2019-12-22T16:43:08-05:00December 22nd, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

It’s All Going to be O.K. …Really.

Rev. Sarah Buteux Reign of Christ, Year C Colossians 1:11-20 What if you knew it was going to be ok? All of it. Whatever it is that’s troubling you right now. What if you knew it was all going to be ok? Your parents. Your kids. Our country. The planet. Thanksgiving dinner and that weird mole on your back.  What if you knew it was all going to be ok? It would make a difference, wouldn’t it? If you knew your parent’s retirement funds were sufficient, you’d worry about them a little less.  If you knew your child was going to make it into a good college, it would be a a lot easier to stay up late helping them with calculus or allowing them to take that mental health day they keep begging for. If you knew which of [...]

By |2019-11-25T12:12:16-05:00November 25th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Tired of Living on the Edge of Apocalypse?

Sermon By Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Luke 21: 5-19                                                                          November 17, 2019 Do you ever feel tired because you been walking at the edge of the apocalypse for too long?  Every week it’s either blackouts to stifle more wildfires in California, or Venice is going the way of Atlantis.  Much of Latin America and Hong Kong have been protesting in the streets for weeks, and while I promise not to talk about impeachment hearings and what feels to me like breaching all the norms of democracy and decency; it’s in the air.  I try to do my bit. I bike and walk to work, no more plastic straws, raising money for the Hot Chocolate Run and I chair the Northampton Housing Partnership, and I hope my family is good with receiving carbon offset credits for Christmas.  But on top of [...]

By |2019-11-19T10:30:38-05:00November 19th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Rev. Sarah Buteux               November 3, 2019 To watch the sermon click here Blessed Are Those Who Mourn Luke 6:20-31 All Saints Year C Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Luke 6:21 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4   O God, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight. May they bring the comfort we long for. May they be the words we need to hear. Amen.   Barbara Parsons. Denise Karuth. Margery, Paul, Robin, Cammi,… some of these names are being read for the first time today and the pain we feel as the chime rings for them is as cold and bright as a new blade.  It is a grief so sharp, it [...]

By |2019-11-06T09:56:14-05:00November 6th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

How to Be a Good Sinner

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Luke 18:9-15 October 27, 2019 https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/509444006301264/ Let me say for the record, “I am a sinner.”  There, it’s out in the open now.  Let’s talk about this.  You may have a number of different reactions: Pastor Todd, what you done now? -or- That’s a relief! Maybe I belong here.   -or- I don’t like that word. Could you just say you are imperfect?  Mistakes were made.  Can you leave it at that?   Sin-ugh!  It even sounds like an ugly word.  On some lips it sounds like a curse- “Sinner!  Repent!”  It sounds judgmental.  It is close to the word “singe”, as in “singed by fire.”  Sin has a fire crackling in the background.   Jonathan Edwards looks over us, with his sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God,” just off stage right.   [...]

By |2019-10-28T14:14:24-04:00October 28th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

The Power of Persistence

Rev. Sarah Buteux October 20, 2019 Luke 18:1-8 Proper Year C (Click here to watch) A few weeks ago we had a half day planning retreat here at the church and Todd and I thought it would be a good idea to have us all begin by talking about where we were at spiritually.  So he led off with the question: “Where are you growing in your faith?” And the people at my table all looked a little bit stunned. And I thought, O gosh, what were we thinking. Who asks a question like that to a group of mainline protestants on a Saturday morning.  “Where are you growing in your faith?”  I think half the people in the room would have felt more comfortable talking about their net worth or using a group-on for simultaneous root canals. New Englanders [...]

By |2019-10-22T12:32:46-04:00October 20th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

What Stops Our Gratitude?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir October 13, 2019 Luke 17:11-19   -  The Parable of the 10 Lepers https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/542021496627905/ You already know how this sermon will end.  It must end extolling the virtue of gratitude.  No matter what interesting stories, or social research, or exegesis of the biblical setting or Greek word translations, the point is - gratitude is essential to faith. Gratitude is currently having a moment of popularity.  New social research proves the benefits of gratitude. Scientists performed an experiment in which they asked one group of people to write down the things that they were grateful for on a weekly basis, while the other group recorded hassles or neutral life events. The folks who kept gratitude journals exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were generally more optimistic about the [...]

By |2019-10-16T13:33:37-04:00October 16th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

All the Small Things

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Luke 16:1-13                                                                          September 22, 2019 Click here to watch This is a core value: “Whoever is faithful in very little is faithful in much, and whoever is dishonest in little is dishonest in much.”  I believe the divine is seen and experienced in the small and ordinary spaces of life. The daily habits, the random acts of kindness, the quality of relationships, integrity, helping the one person in front of me.  We discover the Holy Spirit in the small decisions and practices.  As Mother Teresa put it, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  Jesus often talked about the power of small things.  Mustard seeds, the leaven in dough, the widow’s mite, all these bring forth what God desires.   But this parable also brings a [...]

By |2019-09-25T11:55:17-04:00September 25th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

“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