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Be Ye Perfect!?

Rev. Sarah Buteux Epiphany 7, Year A  Matthew 5:21-48 To view sermon click here O.K. time for a little spiritual inventory. In your program this morning you will find one of those little tests like the ones you find in magazines or on buzz feed to help you determine whether or not you’re a good manager, or friend, or kisser. Only I based this one on Matthew 5, to help you determine whether or not you’re a good Christian.  You all know how these things work. So let’s run down the list and see how we do. Circle 1. if you think the statement is true all of the time, 2. most of the time, 3. some of the time, and 4. if it’s not true at all. 1 always 2 most of the time 3 some of the time  [...]

By |2020-02-16T17:05:36-05:00February 16th, 2020|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Choose Wisely

Rev. Sarah Buteux   February 3, 2020 Epiphany 6, Year A   Deut. 30:15-20  Mat. 5:1-12   I think I can honestly say that there was a point in my life when I had parenting all figured out. I really understood the importance of discipline and consistency, obedience and tough love.  I shook my head at all the other parents out there who would count to three, not get their way, and then count to three all over again. I chuckled at the bribes and shuddered at some of the threats I overheard at the grocery store, in the parking lot, on the playground.  And I’d think to myself: come on people, it’s not that complicated. Seriously, it’s all about follow through. If you say you’re going to take the toy away when you get to three, then just take the [...]

By |2020-02-04T13:30:42-05:00February 4th, 2020|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

What Are You Looking For?

What Are You Looking For? John 1:29-42                                                                                       January 19, 2019   What are you looking for?  This is one of the best questions ever.  It is also hard to answer.  At a job interview you may be asked,” What are you looking for in a new job?”  Don’t say more money.  That will kill your interview.  You have to say, “I’m looking for a chance to use my skills to make a difference in a great organization.”   If you are single and you go to Match.com, you are asked what you are looking for in a romantic partner.  I’m so glad I don’t have to figure out an answer.  You can’t just say you want to meet someone who is attractive, kind and fun.  You have come up with stuff like, “I like pina coladas, getting caught in the [...]

By |2020-01-28T09:53:25-05:00January 28th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Good News People

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Matthew 4:12-23   I preach on this text every four or five years, and each time it gets harder.  Since I began preaching in 1989, the national demographics have moved away from us, as more people adopt “none of the above” as their faith.  I regularly hear people being dismissive of religion.  In a recent op-ed in the Gazette about New Years’ resolutions, the author said, “nobody talk to me about their religion.”  A neighbor recently posted on Facebook that it is essential to end tax exempt status for churches, and churches should never talk about politics.  I was surprised because the person was a frequent renter here are First Churches, and had invited me to speak at a political rally for health care.   One big issue our strategic team wrestles with is how [...]

By |2020-01-28T09:41:54-05:00January 28th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Imperfect Witnesses

Rev. Sarah Buteux January 5, 2020 John 1:1-18 Second Sunday after Christmas/Epiphany Year A It is words that brought this world into being and sometimes I fear it is words which will bring it to an end.  “Let there be light,” said God, and there was light. God said - just said - “Let the waters bring forth living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth… and let the land bring forth living creatures…and (with those words) it was so.” Playing off that great mystery, John begins his gospel with a tribute to the Word personified, claiming that the Word made flesh - the one called Jesus - “was in the beginning with God. All things - the sun, the moon, the stars, all the creepy things and the crawly things and the cuddly things (like baby Yoda) - [...]

By |2020-01-05T13:59:02-05:00January 5th, 2020|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

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