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Sermon: Through the Fire

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

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 [...]

Enough Already: Reflections on Mary and Martha

By |2019-07-28T20:42:33-04:00July 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Rev. Sarah Buteux July 21, 2019 Proper 11, Year C.        Luke 10:38-42 What to wear?  It’s the quintessential question of summer. Not simply because we need to navigate our way from the blistering heat of the out doors to the artic tundras of our offices and grocery stores on a daily basis, but because summer brings on a rash of social engagements - everything from your neighbor’s pool party to the company picnic - and you don’t want to overdress for the one any more than you want to under dress for the other. Am I right? But perhaps no event of the season brings on as much sartorial angst as the outdoor wedding.  High heels and lawns, extreme humidity and wool suits, heat waves and thunderstorms - I don’t care if you’re male or female, picking [...]

The Role of Evangelism and the Progressive Church

By |2019-07-20T09:24:26-04:00July 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|

by Rev. Sarah Buteux preached at Common Ground Luke 10:1-12 A few Sunday’s ago Julie and Mary took me to Iconica Social Club for brunch. Have you been to Iconic yet? Imagine if Harry Potter and a unicorn had a steampunk baby.  It’s got that sort fo vibe and teh menu is to die for. They have those Japanese shuffle pancakes, amazing juices, lotus root salad?! It was awesome. So the following Sunday, when new friends moved to town, I took them to Iconica. Why? Because it was wonderful and I wanted to share the goodness of Iconic with them. Evangelism is a loaded word, but all it really means is “sharing the good news.”  It was a Greek word (evangelion) that the Romans used. Whenever the emperor wanted to send a message out to the people, it was called [...]

O Lord, Have Mercy On Me: Reflections on Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan.

By |2019-07-15T15:18:56-04:00July 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Rev. Sarah Buteux July 14, 20019 Mary Luti wrote a brilliant little daily devotional for the UCC a few weeks ago called “Guests among Guests.” Did any of you read it?  The Still Speaking Devotionals are little mediations the UCC puts out via e-mail, and in this one she challenged Christians to re-think our role in the church.  You may have noticed that in churches like ours, we go out of our way to extend an extravagant welcome to all, and one of the most striking places that is evident is our emphasis on open communion.  On the first Sunday of every month we welcome all people -be they friends, members, believers, or seekers - to break bread and share the cup at our table because Jesus welcomed everyone at his table.  All of which sounds good, except for the [...]

Broken and Poured Out

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

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 [...]

Let Your Life Be Your Witness

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

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 [...]

No Time Like The Present

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

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 [...]

Preemptive Peace

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

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 [...]

Hope of Heaven

By |2019-05-19T19:07:17-04:00May 19th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux               May 19, 2019 Revelation 21 Easter 5, Year C Yesterday we said goodbye to a saint of the church. We commended the spirit of our sister Denise Karuth to God. And it was beautiful. And it was hard.  This morning we’ve welcomed a tiny new saint into our midst. We’ve welcomed Sam, a miracle in more ways than one. A little fellow we’ve been praying for since before he was born.   Today our hearts are a little bit broken and our hearts are overfull. So it may come as no surprise to you that life and death and the meaning of it all are very much on my mind this morning.  I’m also, like many of you, still processing the loss of Rachel Held Evans who died two weeks [...]

Because We Are Here

By |2019-05-05T19:28:57-04:00May 5th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

By the Rev. Laura Dalton 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Stewardship Sunday I want to thank Pastor Sarah, MJ and all of you for welcoming me in this role while Pastor Todd is on sabbatical. My gratitude for this opportunity runs very deep and I am looking forward to what the coming months will bring.   So, the first thing that Sarah asked me to do was to preach on this day, when our theme is stewardship. At the conclusion of the worship service this morning, while our kind neighbors and friends from St. John’s prepare for coffee hour, members of First Churches will have the opportunity to see our proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. It’s a spreadsheet with breakdowns of categories, projected expenses, and bottom lines. On the surface at least, we’ll be having a meeting and looking at [...]