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Sermon: “How Do I Know God is Pleased With Me?”

By |2019-01-16T15:33:02-04:00January 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir January 13, 2019 Scripture:  Luke 3:15-22     (The Baptism of Jesus) (click below to listen)       “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”  How many people long to hear this blessing from the humans who brought them into the world?  “You turned out well.”  There is no equivocating in this blessing, no “buts,” nothing else to do.  Not, “I am well pleased, now if you could only get married…then we could have a grandchild.”  Or “I am well pleased, it almost makes up for those teenage years.” I am well pleased, almost as much as with your older brother.”  “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”  Period. Or better yet, exclamation point!  A little blessing goes a long ways, “Great job….You are such [...]

I Wonder as I Wander

By |2019-01-07T13:58:06-04:00January 7th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux January 6, 2019 Matthew 2:1-12   Epiphany 1, Year C  Do you all know what “go to gifts” are? If you’re the one who buys gifts in your household, you probably do. Not to be confused with “safety gifts,” which are the completely generic gifts you keep stashed away in case of emergencies - like uncle Phil showing up unannounced for Christmas dinner -  “Go to gifts,” are kind of like the hacks of the gift giving world.  They’re the gifts that take the stress out of gift giving during major life events because they are so perfectly suited to the occasion. Popular “go to gifts” are things like a copy of Dr. Suess’, “All the Places You’ll Go,” for the recent graduate or pots and pans for newly weds, a plant for the couple who just bought [...]

Sermon: Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

By |2018-12-24T09:47:13-04:00December 24th, 2018|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir December 23, 2018 Scripture:  Luke 1:39-57 (Click to listen) When you think of Mary the Mother of Jesus, what is the first word that comes to your mind.  I’ll bet that many of you the word was “virgin.”  As Protestants we do not speak much of Mary, we feel awkward with all this blessed virgin language and she can seem lost to us in the mythology of the perpetual virgin who has given birth.   For some this is essential article of faith, proving that Christ is truly the Son of God. For others, it sounds absurd and archaic, or even a patriarchal plot to keep women subservient.   Episcopal preacher Barbara Brown Taylor said, how we talk about the Virgin Birth limits our understanding of Mary role and importance. Taylor writes, “Mary is the perpetual [...]

Sermon: “With Joy, Draw Water”

By |2018-12-18T16:30:15-04:00December 18th, 2018|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir December 16, 2018 Scripture:     Isaiah 12 :2-6   Today we lit the candle of joy, and in this season, we do many things to attempt creating joy.  We decorate our homes and bring greenery inside, while outside the trees are bare and dormant.  We light candles to push back the darkness that settles in before our evening commute. Fires burn to ward off the cold.  Carolers sing in the streets, Christmas music everywhere, joy to the world.  Gifts are given and received, charities are supported.  In busy stores, profits are made, savings depleted.  Oh well, joy to the world.  From Holiday Stroll, the Hot Chocolate Run and First Night, it is a month of celebration that cushions us against the beginning of winter, the darkest time of the year.  Without this enormous effort to [...]

Where Christ is Found

By |2018-12-09T18:48:41-04:00December 9th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|

The Rev. Sarah Buteux Luke 3: 1-6 Advent 2, Year C Some people are peacemakers and some people are homemakers. There are taste makers, king makers, rain makers, and matchmakers. But I, my friends, am a list maker, and proud of it.  Anyone else here a list maker? How many of you have a list on you right now? Lists are the primary tool that enables me to function in this world. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done, so much so that if I do something that wasn’t on the list, I add it to the list after the fact just to be sure. That doesn’t make sense does it? Not even grammatically. But that’s what I do. I typically have multiple lists running on my phone at any given time: laundry lists, grocery lists, short lists, [...]

Sermon: Where is Your Kingdom?

By |2018-12-18T19:10:03-04:00November 25th, 2018|Sermons|

Rev. Todd Weir Reign of Christ Sunday, November 25, 2018 Scripture: John 18:33-33 Click on play to listen. What does Jesus mean when he says his Kingdom is not of this world?  He makes a number of these cryptic statements.  “Be in the world, but not of the world.”  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s.” Some have interpreted this text to mean we should stay away from political life, which is fraught with vanity, ego, desire for power; perhaps even believing that the political realm is unredeemable and evil.  Just focus on living a good life so you can get to heaven.  In medieval times, religious vocation was monastic, withdrawn from the world, which was left to Kings and Lords.  Many Mennonites do not vote or run for office as an article of [...]

Don’t Lose Heart

By |2018-11-18T18:26:02-04:00November 18th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|

  By Rev. Sarah Buteux November 18, 2018 Mark 13:1-8 Proper 28, Year B   Last Wednesday I attended a gathering at Congregation B’nai Israel. It was called “After Pittsburgh: Uniting Against Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy.”   Part vigil for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the two black patrons of Kroger’s in Kentucky, and the two women at a yoga studio in Florida, and part call to action in the wake of so much violence and hatred - the event itself was a little all over the place.  It was organized by two of our local Rabbis in conjunction with members of the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center. So throughout the evening we bounced between lamentation and rousing political speech, between prayers offered by various people of faith and the pleas of secular people who are [...]

“Your Two Cents” Sermon for November 11

By |2018-11-12T13:55:50-04:00November 12th, 2018|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Scripture:  Mark 12:38-44  (The Widow's Mite) (Click below to listen) You have likely heard the phrase, “Here’s my two cents.”   Some dictionaries say the usage began with the cost to send a letter, the “two penny” post.  Others say it comes from poker, where you place a two penny ante to play the round.  Both usages imply, “I’ve paid my price to have an opinion, whether you want to hear it or not.”  Another possibility is the 16thcentury English phrase “a penny for your thoughts.”  If you got a long answer, the reply was “I guess that was two pennies worth.”  Of course, the oldest possible usage comes from our scripture text about the widow giving her last two pennies.  Sometimes “my two cents” means, “These are my humble thoughts.”  It may not [...]

Heaven is a Place on Earth

By |2018-10-25T12:48:49-04:00October 25th, 2018|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux     October 21, 2018 Mark 10:35-45     Proper 24, Year B Heaven is a Place on Earth How many of you here try to exercise regularly?  Good for you. Well tell me this: do you exercise because you love it or because it’s good for you?  Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you do it because you love it, just love it: the endorphins, the rush? Yeah…you people are a little weird.  And how many of you do it because it’s good for you? Now I know some of you are probably thinking this shouldn’t be an either/or but a both/and sort of question, so for those of you who do it for love, ask yourself this: would you still do it if it turned out that exercise had absolutely [...]

To Judge or Not to Judge

By |2018-10-01T09:22:05-04:00October 1st, 2018|Sermons, Worship|

by Rev. Sarah Buteux Mark 9:38-50, Proper 21, Year B There is a saying in ministry that you should preach from your scars, not your wounds. But my scars feel more and more like scabs these days. And the news of the day picks away at me the same way it picks at you. I am as hurt and angry and disillusioned and confused as the rest of you. I am human too. But I’m here anyway, and you’re here, and God is here to help us do our best to make meaning out of the mess. So before I begin would you please pray for me and with me. O God, be with us now, speak to us now, comfort us now, and help us to be a comfort to one another. Help us to see what you need [...]