Sermons

//Sermons

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+00:00December 9th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|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+00:00November 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+00:00November 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+00:00October 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+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