Sermons

//Sermons

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+00:00October 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+00:00September 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+00:00September 17th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Was Jesus Biased?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 9, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 7:24-30 Listen here: I can’t believe this is what Jesus said!  Here is a woman in distress, who needs healing for her daughter, who is apparently demon-possessed.  (Aren’t you in sympathy with her already?)  Jesus helps people like this throughout Mark’s Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus, ten lepers, a centurion’s daughter.  He heals a man with a withered hand, on the Sabbath no less. This should be a simple miracle in a long line of stories adding to Jesus’s luster.  Instead, Jesus says he has to feed the children first, and he doesn’t throw the children’s bread to the dogs.  Really Jesus?  You are going to leave her on the outside of your circle of care?  Let’s be clear-this is an insult.  There is not one single positive [...]

By |2018-09-10T09:10:47+00:00September 10th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Grace Upon Grace

 September 2, 2018 Proper 17, Year B Mark 7:1-23 I have a story to share with you this morning, with the permission of the author, whose name is Amy.  Amy and I were part of a cohort of pastors who gathered down in Washington D.C. this past week for a 4 day intensive training called the “Foundations of Christian Leadership.”  As part of our work together we each had to share a story from our ministerial context and when Amy began, I thought I had a pretty good sense of where her story was going.  Amy is a lay person with a call to work amongst the poor, people experiencing homelessness, and people in prison. She is a big hearted, whip smart, no-nonsense kind of woman who began her work by joining “the homeless ministry” team at her church.  Every [...]

By |2018-09-02T14:16:26+00:00September 2nd, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

The Words of Eternal Life

August 26, 2018 Proper 16, Year B John 6:56-69 “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I love being a preacher on Sunday mornings. I love this connection I feel with you right now. I love that I get to bring you a word from God…a word that will hopefully comfort and challenge you, delight and amaze you, and maybe - if the Spirit wills - even draw you a little bit closer to God and help you become a little bit more of who God is calling you to be.  Preaching, for me, has always felt like a gift and a privilege. I love being a preacher on Sunday morning.  I feel like Tom Brady at the Super Bowl or YoYo Ma at Carnegie Hall. When I’m up here in front of you [...]

By |2018-09-02T14:12:16+00:00September 2nd, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

In The Flesh

Proper 15, Year B     John 6:51-58   If you had a friend who went to a retreat, a revival, maybe even a house of worship and came back telling you that the speaker had said: “I am the living bread come down from heaven. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life” “my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” “…whoever eats me will live because of me.” “Whoever eats this bread will live forever…” If your friend heard someone say all that, would you let them go back to that retreat, that revival, that house of worship? Would you go with them? Would you stay for coffee hour? No! Because gross, right? And yet it was Jesus himself who said:  “Very truly, I tell you,  unless you eat the flesh [...]

By |2018-08-19T20:46:22+00:00August 19th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

“This is My Body”

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir August 5, 2018 Scripture text: Mark 14:12-26  Click play above to hear the sermon. Have you ever been in a situation when you were discouraged to participate in communion, or unworthy, or simply not allowed or welcome at the table?  It shouldn’t be so hard to share in a sacred meal together, without all the worry of who is in or out, how we serve, what we serve.   Let us break bread together.  Sharing bread and cup is the central act of community in the Christian faith.  The word “communion” contains all but the last two letters of the word “community” and all of the word “union.”  The Latin word communiomeans “mutual participation.”  When we share bread and cup, we don’t do it alone.  To think, “I’m going to have a little [...]

By |2018-08-07T12:55:29+00:00August 7th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

Does Baptism Make You More Than Wet?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir September 27, 2018 Scripture:  Mark 1:9-12   What happened at your baptism?  If you were an adult, was there a feeling of warmth in your heart, a special sense of God’s presence, or did you just get uncomfortably wet and couldn’t wait for some dry clothes?  If you were baptized as an infant, it’s unlikely you remember anything, so how does your baptism matter to you?  Does something happen beyond your conscious awareness in baptism?  Does the Holy Spirit literally descend and be present at the sacramental moment, entering you, infusing you with love and wisdom, doing some kind of mystical work?  Or is the sacrament a symbolic act, where we as a community affirm that you belong, and we love you on God’s behalf.   I was baptized at age 14, on Easter Sunday [...]

By |2018-08-08T11:56:00+00:00August 1st, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments

How Can Repentance Be Good News?

What if Vital in Religion:  Part III How Repentance Can be Good News Preached by Rev. Todd Weir July 15, 2018 (click the play button to listen) A tourist rang the church doorbell, who was an antique Bible salesman, who also loved Jonathan Edwards.  I lead them to the meeting house for a tour, but what he really wanted was stand in the pulpit and shout “Repent!” Once is fine.  Twice is awkward.  The third time is disturbing.  He was enjoying this too much.  He explained to his wife how people would gather down front, “Right here!” and they would groan for their sins.  I thought of explaining this is the fifth meeting house and that was the third, which burned down, but that might be unkind.  Besides he was committed to the story and likely to keep telling [...]

By |2018-07-24T13:54:54+00:00July 24th, 2018|Sermons|0 Comments