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The Power of Persistence

Rev. Sarah Buteux October 20, 2019 Luke 18:1-8 ProperYear C 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 just aren’t the sort of [...]

By |2019-10-20T14:25:20-04:00October 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

Sermon: Through the Fire

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir                                           August 18, 2019 (Click play below to hear the sermon)   Luke 12:49-56 49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 He also said to [...]

By |2019-08-19T16:07:23-04:00August 19th, 2019|Sermons|0 Comments

Broken and Poured Out

Rev. Laura Dalton Broken and Poured Out Matthew 26:17-30 I’m going a little bit rogue today and stepping away from the lectionary passages in favor of revisiting these familiar words from the readings often associated with Holy Week. As you will have observed, this is a communion Sunday, when together, we will be remembering these words and actions of Jesus and his disciples as they shared in their final Passover meal together in Jerusalem. As I began to contemplate this passage as well as the celebration of communion, the theme that kept reverberating through my mind was that of brokenness: not just the brokenness of the bread, as is part of the communion ritual, but the brokenness we all experience to some degree or another. All throughout this past week, on my early morning walks, I’ve been listening to podcasts [...]

By |2019-07-15T15:06:38-04:00July 15th, 2019|Sermons, Uncategorized, Worship|0 Comments

Let Your Life Be Your Witness

Rev. Sarah Buteux                  June 23, 2019 Luke 8:26-39, Proper 7 Year C “O God, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, you who are our rock and our redeemer. Amen” Friends, I’m pretty good with my words. (That’s probably how I got this job). But when it comes to the meditations of my heart, I gotta tell you that they are not always as acceptable as they should be, especially when it comes to social media.   I don’t know about you - and forgive me if what I am about to say shocks you or lowers your opinion of me - but I find that scrolling through instagram or facebook often leads me to think less than charitable thoughts about other [...]

By |2019-06-26T14:29:20-04:00June 26th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

No Time Like The Present

by Rev. Sarah Buteux June 2, 2019 Acts 1:1-11, Ascension, Year C Alright my friends, I want to begin this morning by having you think back to a time in your life when you felt like you were left out on your own - not just left to your own devices- but really out there all on your own… a time when you had no choice but to pick yourself up and stand on your own two feet.  Maybe it was stepping on to the bus your first day of kindergarten or into the lunch room on the first day of middle school. Maybe it was after the death of a parent or the finality of a divorce. Maybe it was your first day as the boss or your last day at the company, the time you pulled up stakes [...]

By |2019-06-02T14:27:46-04:00June 2nd, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Preemptive Peace

Rev. Sarah Buteux May 26, 2019 Easter 6, Year C John 14:23-29 https://www.facebook.com/firstchurches/videos/584603421948264/ There has been a lot of talk about endings this past week, and not because people have been breathlessly anticipating Jesus’ words of farewell in our reading this morning. No, all the talking, tweeting, writing, and hand wringing has been about the end of what? HBO’s Game of Thrones.  People have been pondering, arguing, and debating not just the finale but the whole final season: was it too rushed? did it make any sense? was it satisfying? Over a million fans are so disappointed in the ending that they have signed a petition to re-film the entire last season. The anger, disappoint and outright hate from critics and fans alike has been quite stunning, and, in my mind, a little disingenuous. Because honestly, I don’t think [...]

By |2019-05-30T16:33:02-04:00May 26th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments