No Way Out But Through

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

    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 [...]

A Lighthouse to Guide Us Home

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

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 [...]

The Power of What You Are Not

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

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 [...]

Back to the Beginning

By |2020-12-06T09:59:24-05:00December 6th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Rev. Sarah Buteux December 6, 2020 Back to the Beginning Advent 2, Year B Peace Mark 1:1-8 Anyone who writes - stories, poems, sermons, thank you notes - can tell you that the hardest part of writing is getting started.  Beginnings are hard because there’s no one way or right way to begin.  Starting a new job or a new year, settling into a new house or bringing home a new baby (as if there’s any other kind of baby), falling in love with a new person, finding our way in a new city…the newness of it all can be exhilarating, but it can also be terrifying.  There is just so much possibility - possibility for good, yes, but also the possibility that we might mess it all up, lose our way, falter, or even fail.  There may be no one [...]

How to Survive the Apocalypse

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

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 [...]

Where Do You See God?

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

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 [...]

Strange and Wonderful Blessings

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

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." [...]

You Are Not Far from the Kingdom

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

  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 [...]

A Step Ahead of Our Thirst

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

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: 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 [...]

Doom-Scrolling in the Wilderness

By |2020-09-21T14:44:21-04:00September 21st, 2020|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Exodus 16 “Doom-scrolling” is now on the new word watchlist for the Marriam-Webster dictionary.  It means “the tendency to continue to surf or scroll {online} through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing.”  Welcome to a typical Thursday while I read the news and write my pastoral prayers.  Should I start with the scenes of Oregon amid Dante’s Inferno?  Or the Twitter video of anti-mask protestors chanting at Target, proclaiming their freedom as COVID spreaders?  Should I read about another Hurricane, the barking-mad rantings of talk show hosts or even government officials, or forced hysterectomies of detainees by ICE doctors. How can I tell if I’m a doom-scroller or just well informed? Click here to watch Sunday's Service    As I contemplated the people complaining against Moses, I felt a [...]

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