Once More Into Nineveh

Epiphany 3, Year B       Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 4 Two weeks ago, I bought these amazing triple chocolate cupcakes at Trader Joes…for the kids. You know, because I don’t eat stuff like that. I mean, I might have a little bite every now and then but, rarely, will I eat a whole cupcake.  Don’t get me wrong, I love good food and I really enjoy eating, nor am I better, healthier, or more disciplined then anyone else, I’m just not a compulsive eater. I’ve read about people who are and I have some understanding of why, but my wiring tends to run the opposite direction. Until now.  There was just something about the events of January 6th that pushed me over an edge I didn’t even know was there. I went to the pantry and saw the cupcakes [...]

By |2021-01-24T12:27:32-05:00January 24th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|0 Comments

Come and See

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir January 17, 2021 John 1:43-51   "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Hearing Nathaniel's ugly question brings a flash of red to my cheeks.  This story is supposed to be inspiring about Jesus calling his first disciples, declaring the wonders they will see, like Jacob's ladder where angels ascend and descend, connecting heaven and earth. I'll get there, but I can't step over Nathaniel's small-minded question.   I'm sensitive to expressions of prejudice right now.  Some of this is personal.  Can any good come from Nazareth isn't far from; can any good come from Boone, Iowa, my hometown.  When I came to seminary in Boston, my classmates were bemused there was such a place.  Did Daniel Boone actually live there?  (No, his son Nathaniel founded the town.). I think I flew over Iowa once. [...]

By |2021-01-15T09:33:32-05:00January 17th, 2021|Sermons|0 Comments

No Way Out But Through

    No Way Out But Through by the Rev. Sarah Buteux Mark 1:4-13, Baptism of Jesus, Year B   “If you’re going through Hell, keep going” - Winston Churchill    I’ve been looking at Airbnb’s recently.  Airbnb’s and real estate ads on Zillow.  Not because I have any serious plans to travel or relocate, though after the events of Wednesday I may expand my search to Canada. Just kidding. It’s ok. I’m not going anywhere. Because I can’t! I’ve simply been imagining alternate lives outside of this one: lives where I walk on different paths, read by different fires, maybe go out to eat at an actual restaurant.  I love my life and the walls I call home, but I’m feeling tired of them all the same. I’m an introvert and a homebody by nature, but something in even me [...]

By |2021-01-10T09:34:11-05:00January 10th, 2021|Sermons|0 Comments

A Lighthouse to Guide Us Home

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir John 1:9-18 January 3, 2021 "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world." We’ve had wonderful celestial lights in this solstice season of long nights and short days.  I was awakened by the big full moon, glowing yellow and orange as it sets in the morning sky.  The planets in our solar system aligned for the first time in 800 years.  It recalls the magi's story as a bright star aligned to guide them toward a newborn king. We look up at the heavenly lights in wonder, searching for astrological signs from the gods which will tell us who we are and what will happen next.  We see constellations, stories, patterns, comets and speculate what it all means.  The starry heavens provide more profound stability beyond our anxious days.  Mariners found the [...]

By |2020-12-31T16:09:51-05:00January 1st, 2021|Sermons|0 Comments

The Power of What You Are Not

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir John 1:6-8, 19-28 December 13, 2020 I know many of you ready to get to the main event of Christmas 12 days from now.  Some people put up Christmas lights the day after Halloween.  We went to get our tree on the first Saturday of December because we noticed several Jewish families in the neighborhood were decorating ahead of us. Our supplier was running out of good trees because everyone was early. This year we don't know how a pandemic Christmas will be.  We might be masked up, Zoomed in, or quarantined at the last minute.  I hear some people relieved of the big holiday gathering burdens, and others are deeply saddened and grieving.   I'm OK with Christmas, but Advent is a sacred season that fits me.  I like quietly lighting candles. I prefer [...]

By |2020-12-19T11:42:13-05:00December 13th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

How to Survive the Apocalypse

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Mark 13 November 29, 2020 When Jeanne came home from the grocery store with a flat of white beans, a case of wine, and candles, she joked, “I’m prepared for the apocalypse!”   In general, when we hear about people building bomb shelters, stockpiling canned food, guns, and ammunition, we think they are paranoid.  Some days we think they may just be right.  I Googled “how to survive the apocalypse” and found an article in the Economist titled “I Will Survive.”    It introduced the new term “preppers,” people who actively prepare for a civilization cataclysm, whether COVID, a meteor, or North Korea sending a nuclear missile.  Preppers have websites, monthly meetings and dedicate their time and treasure to being prepared.  James Wesley Rawles, a premier prepper blogger, says his readers include fundamentalist Christians (please note 40 [...]

By |2020-12-19T12:03:35-05:00November 29th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Where Do You See God?

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Matthew 25:31-46 November 22, 2020 When you heard the scripture this morning, perhaps you thought, "I know where the pastor is heading this morning.  The church is voting on a proposal to host a winter shelter, so he's bringing out the biblical heavy artillery." Actually, I didn't select the passage.  That role belongs to the Revised Common Lectionary, first published in 1974.  For 30 years, I have preached from the weekly texts chosen to take us through most of the Bible in three years.  There are weeks where the scripture perplexes me, and I feel like a fly bouncing on a window looking for a way out.  Other weeks the scripture is so perfect for the moment; the sermon almost writes itself.  You might think that is the case this week, that the passage is [...]

By |2020-12-22T13:20:24-05:00November 22nd, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

Strange and Wonderful Blessings

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Matthew 5:1-12 November 1, 2020 (All Saints’) The pandemic has complicated the standard greeting, "How are you?" I can't say, "I'm great!" I don't readily admit if I'm not doing well. "Fine, thanks," sounds like a total evasion. I've opted for "Hanging in there…" which is generally accurate.  On days I don't know how to answer, I can run down a list of possible emoticons on Facebook and post one as my status.  Fortunately, there are so many options – sad, grateful, stressed, crazy, blissful, amused, dazed.  It annoys me that Facebook will only allow me to post one emotion at a time because that is seldom my reality.  Why do they have a relationship status of "it's complicated," but not one for my emotional status? At the top of the list is "feeling blessed." [...]

By |2020-12-20T15:23:54-05:00November 1st, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

You Are Not Far from the Kingdom

  Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Mark 12 October 24, 2020   The Great Commandment to love God and neighbor is central to my spirituality.  The affirmation of both inward spirituality and outward compassion and justice grounds me.  My soul is inspired by contemplatives like Thomas Merton, St. Benedict and St. Theresa of Avila; as well as Social Gospel preachers ranging from Martin Luther King, Jr., abolitionists like the Harriet Beecher Stowe and her family of clergy, to Rev. William Barber today.  It may seem quiet contemplates and noisy activists are polar opposites, but this is what moves my soul, and I think this is true for Jesus too.  I won’t give either side up, especially in a week like this.   As we near two short weeks till an election that feels like it has been going on [...]

By |2020-10-28T11:56:11-04:00October 28th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments

A Step Ahead of Our Thirst

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Exodus 17: 1-7 September 27, 2020 Reading about Moses inspires me.  He is a bold advocate for justice, speaks truth to power as he confronts Pharaoh.  He gets into “good trouble” many times, as he navigates multiple threats. Pharaoh’s armies, hunger, thirst and the flagging faith of the people he leads.  Throughout everything Moses continually deepens his relationship with God.  He is propelled by an inner vision, which makes him a great leader.  He adapts and keeps people together.  Any pastor or congregation is well served to study Moses. Watch full service here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-vhvmLcgwU The standard view of Exodus is that Moses guided the quarrelsome people single-handed through trials and tribulation.  The literary style emphasizes Moses’s faith over against the peoples’ lack of faith.  He is the one who saw the burning bush, who performs [...]

By |2020-10-28T11:38:43-04:00September 27th, 2020|Sermons|0 Comments
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