Resurrection Matters

By |2021-04-19T07:36:19-04:00April 19th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

by the Rev. Sarah Buteux Easter 3, Year B Luke 24:36b-48 What would you do if the authorities were out to get to you?  What would you do if the very people whose job it was to protect and serve you, treated you like you had target on your back?  Would you fight or take flight?  I’ll give you a moment to think about it….  I don’t know about you because we are still apart, but my first instinct would be flight. I’m terrified of pain and I’m too young to die, so I’d run if I could and I’d hide.  Had I lived back in Jesus’ day, I doubt I would have had the courage to accompany the other women to the tomb. I probably would have hung back and hid out with the disciples. I certainly wouldn’t have [...]

Seeing and Believing

By |2021-04-11T11:49:07-04:00April 11th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

  Easter 2 B, John 20:19-31 by the Rev. Sarah Buteux My parents didn’t believe in training wheels. In all fairness, I’m not sure anyone’s parents did back in the early 80’s. It was a lawless time when hair was big, seatbelts were optional, and smoking happened in “sections.”  So when I learned to ride a bike, my Dad just ran alongside me until I found my balance… and then I was off.  We lived on a quiet street - a circle in fact - so once I got going I just kept going. My parents waved as I went around and around and around and then finally grew tired and went inside.  That was all well and good until I realized that although I had learned how to ride a bike, I hadn’t yet learned how to stop one. [...]

When Is An Ending Not an End?

By |2021-04-13T16:52:33-04:00April 4th, 2021|Sermons|

Rev. Todd Weir Preached on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021 Scripture:  Mark 16:1-8   “When is an ending not the end?  When a dead man rises from the tomb-and when a Gospel ends in the middle of a sentence.”   A great story is only as good as the ending.  I like stories where the plot twists surprise me.  The surprise can’t be too out of the blue, like aliens suddenly appear unless aliens are there from the beginning.  The big twist needs foreshadowing.  I also like movies where the main characters overcome an obstacle and have to grow and find something inside they didn’t know they had.  Most action movies with great car chase scenes and lots of shooting fail.  What was the point of “Fast and Furious 5”?  Do Vin Deisel or Bruce Willis ever learn anything about themselves?  I want an ending like the “Lord of [...]

The Great Pause

By |2021-03-30T08:13:25-04:00March 30th, 2021|Sermons|

  By the Rev. Sarah Buteux March, 28, 2021 Palm Sunday, Year B Mark 11:1-11   Palm Sunday is a Sunday when we make a little more noise than usual. In imitation of what happened on that day in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, Christians around the world stand up and sing “Hosannah!” We march up and down the aisles of our churches waving palms. Heck, in our church, we march up and down the streets. And it’s fun. And it’s silly. And I miss it.   I love meeting up with St. John’s and Edwards in Pulaski Park. I love seeing people, especially the kids, running around from priest to pastor in an effort to collect a different kind of palm from each church. I love watching people watch us as we try to walk, wave our palms, and sing “All Glory [...]

“Turning Tables Till the World Turns”

By |2021-03-08T13:33:59-05:00March 8th, 2021|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Lent 3, Year B John 2:13-21 “Father forgive me for the times I desired a seat at a table you would've flipped.”  - Juliany Gonzalez Nieves   Friends, this is the point in our service where I ask you to pray with me before I begin to preach. And more often then not, I pray the words of the Psalmist: “O God, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our rock and our redeemer” (19:14).  I cling to those words most Sundays, because the last thing I want to do is get this wrong. But I don’t feel like I can pray those words today because I already know I’m going to get this wrong.  I don’t trust that the words of my mouth or the mediations [...]

Lent in The Not So Lonesome Valley

By |2021-02-26T10:11:45-05:00February 26th, 2021|Uncategorized|

    Rev. Sarah Buteux Preached on February 21, 2020, Lent 1 Year B , Mark 1:9-15   And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.  He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan;  and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. - Mark 1:12-13   A week and a half into lockdown, way, way back in March of 2020, I asked Heather to open our worship by singing:  Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley. (You know the words) He had to walk it by himself,  O nobody else could walk it for him,  he had to walk it by himself. We must walk this lonesome valley; We have to walk it by ourselves… You must go and stand your trial,  you must stand it by yourself Oh, nobody else can stand it for [...]

What Good Can You Do

By |2021-02-07T14:42:12-05:00February 7th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Epiphany 5, Year B Mark 1:29-39 “The secret is not to allow the fact that you can’t do everything  to keep you from doing something.  Something, then rest. Something then rest.” -Glennon Doyle One of the hardest lessons you learn in ministry is that you can’t do it all. I say ministry, but I’m sure the same goes for teachers and caregivers, doctors and nurses, activists and civil servants, social workers and police officers.  Come to think of it, I’m sure all parents feel this way, especially when it comes to caring for their children and most children feel this way when it comes time to care for their parents.  So maybe what I should say is that one of the hardest lessons you learn in life, is that no one can do it all.  You just can’t.  You can’t [...]

Julia Khan’s Ecclesiastical Council

By |2021-02-05T13:00:45-05:00February 7th, 2021|Uncategorized|

The Hampshire Association Southern New England Conference United Church of Christ Ecclesiastical Council for Julia Khan First Churches of Northampton, MA February 7, 2021   Agenda Call to Order                                                                         Rev. Ton Whiteside, Moderator Roll Call of Churches                                                           Judy Stone, Scribe Welcome                                                                       [...]

Once More Into Nineveh

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

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 [...]

Come and See

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

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. [...]

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