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Thomas, the Questioning Believer

By |2019-05-05T17:06:35-04:00May 5th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux April 28, 2019 Confirmation Sunday, Easter 2 Year C John 20:19-31 Today is a big day. Chloe, Maja, and Rowan are going to stand up here in approximately 9 minutes to be confirmed. And I imagine you three are all feeling a little nervous? Maybe even still wondering if getting confirmed is such a good idea?  And that’s ok. We get it. Confirmation is all about affirming your belief in a faith that was chosen for you before you were even born. It’s the day when you stand up in front of your family and friends and the whole church community and claim this faith as your own.  And, as if that wasn’t enough pressure, we went out and rented a whole second congregation just to make this day feel even more momentous.   Today is the [...]

After Tears…Easter Joy

By |2019-04-22T07:35:23-04:00April 22nd, 2019|Sermons|

Sermon by Todd Weir Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 Scripture:  John 18:1-20 (Click play to listen) The earliest Easter artwork, in the 4th century of Christianity, shows two Roman soldiers keeping watch at the tomb, one is asleep and sees nothing, the other is awake and staring at the empty tomb.  I love the mystery in this artistic portrayal.  If you aren’t awake and aware, you aren’t going to notice anything. You have to be looking, be awake, seek, be fully present if you want to know anything about the Risen Christ. These early Christian icons do what great art is supposed to do, help us to see clearly, to keep our eyes open and be awake.   In our Gospel reading, Mary Magdalene is the one who is awake.  She arose before sunrise, the world still dark. The disciples went [...]

The Worst Thing is Not the Last Thing

By |2019-04-14T18:15:51-04:00April 14th, 2019|Sermons, Uncategorized, Worship|

The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem – James Tissot     The Worst Thing is Not the Last Thing Rev. Sarah Buteux April 14, 2019 Palm Sunday, Year C Luke 19:28-48 “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Five and a half weeks ago, we began Lent by reciting these words as the ashes of burnt palms were imposed on our foreheads.  Well, most of us did. Or, maybe it was just some of us.  I didn’t take attendance and I’m not going to ask for a show of hands to see who was actually there, because you and I all know that there aren’t a whole lot of people who come out for Ash Wednesday anymore. It is why we’ve taken to bringing the ashes out onto main street and offering them to people “on [...]

Lost Without You

By |2019-03-31T19:07:34-04:00March 31st, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

  By Rev. Sarah Buteux Luke 15:1-10 Lent 4, Year  C In my reading this week, I came across the story of Jon Tyson, a mega church pastor, who left his church in Florida and moved to NYC to start a new kind of church with a close group of friends.  I’ve read a lot of stories like this one, and at first it followed all the familiar beats.  Jon and his friends gave up the lives they’d known back in Florida. They banded together and started their church in somebody’s living room. They quickly outgrew that space and started meeting in the back room of a downtown bar, and when that became too small, they made the big leap.  They rented a theater uptown, launched a web site, printed flyers, rehearsed the band, and lo and behold, [...]

Life Isn’t Fair!

By |2019-03-27T12:09:10-04:00March 27th, 2019|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir Luke 13:1-9 March 24, 2019   Life should be fair, but it clearly isn’t. When the Manafort verdict came out, a Brooklyn defense attorney noted that a recent client received more time in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a laundry mat. Recent news reports wealthy parents buying their children into elite schools. Fairness and justice are deeply held values. Without some degree of fairness, the moral center collapses.  And yet, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to achieve perfect fairness.   The world is a messy place and sometimes bad theology gets in the way and makes it even worse.  Jesus is addressing the doctrine of fairness run amok.  I would like to believe if I lead a good life; seeking to be ethical, give back to the [...]

Life Isn’t Fair!

By |2019-03-27T11:59:05-04:00March 27th, 2019|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir March 24, 2019 Luke 13:1-9         Life should be fair, but it clearly isn’t. When the Manafort verdict came out, a Brooklyn defense attorney noted that a recent client received more time in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a laundry mat. Recent news reports wealthy parents buying their children into elite schools.   Fairness and justice are deeply held values. Without some degree of fairness, the moral center collapses.  And yet, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to achieve perfect fairness.   The world is a messy place and sometimes bad theology gets in the way and makes it even worse.  Jesus is addressing the doctrine of fairness run amok.  I would like to believe if I lead a good life; seeking to be ethical, give back [...]

Is My I-Phone the Devil? Some Thoughts on Technology, Temptation, and Jesus’ Sojourn in the Wilderness

By |2019-03-10T14:15:22-04:00March 10th, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux March 10, 2019 Lent 1, Year C Luke 4:1-13,   Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. Forty days.  Forty days out in the wilderness with nothing to do…without anything to eat…with no one to talk to.  When’s the last time you found yourself with nothing to do, without anything to eat, with no one to talk to?  It’s almost impossible to imagine, isn’t it?  I’m not saying that we’re never bored, hungry, or lonely. Boredom, hunger, and loneliness are part and parcel of the human condition. They dog us at every step.  But do any of us ever allow ourselves to truly feel those things anymore? Or do we pick up our [...]

Shame vs. Guilt: a sermon for Lent

By |2019-03-10T14:05:19-04:00March 10th, 2019|Common Ground, Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Preached at Common Ground on March 7, 2019 Psalm 51   There is a song by Kelley McRae where she sings:  Break us by the power of your grace O Lord, won’t break us, by the power of your grace  Break us Remake us Don’t let the sorrow take us Oh Break us, by the power of your grace  I love this song, and in my own spiritual walk, there are times when I need to hear those words, when that is my prayer…break me God, break me down, break me open, break in and break up the lies and the patterns and the habits that are hurting me and the those around me.  Break me, O God and then re-make me into someone whose life is pleasing to you. Re-make me into someone who is living [...]

Mixed Blessing

By |2019-02-21T11:26:08-04:00February 21st, 2019|Sermons, Worship|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux February17, 2018 Epiphany 6, Year C Luke 6:17-26 Before we begin, there is a confession I need to make.  In the interest of full disclosure, there is something you need to know before I even pretend I can help interpret this morning’s scripture reading, and it is this:.  I am blessed…like seriously blessed…and apparently not in a good way.  You need to know that I ate breakfast this morning - two eggs with cheese, washed down with my favorite tea, all of which I cooked in my beautiful new kitchen while laughing with my precious daughter. In this very moment, standing here in front of you I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I am rich, I am full, and I am happy.  I love my family. I love my house. I love my church. I [...]

Moving Deeper

By |2019-02-11T15:48:16-04:00February 11th, 2019|Sermons|

Sermon by Rev. Todd Weir February 10, 2019 Text: Luke 5:1-11 If you were a reporter covering this story, what would be your headline? “Preacher’s Fishing Miracle Has Better Ratings Than Super Bowl.”   Or- “Local Fishermen Retire, Leave Lucrative Business to Join Cult.”  We bring our perspectives to the story.  We might ask, “Is this story true?”  Did Jesus really create a fishing miracle? How did he do it?  Preacher Fred Craddock said, “Is this true?”  is the most disrespectful question we can ask. We wonder if the writer is a fabricator, and we may miss the point.  Here is a better place to start.  What is the story trying to tell us?  What truth does it offer for our life? Let’s go with the story and see where it takes us scene by scene.  Scene One.  It is [...]