Lord Have Mercy

By |2022-03-20T13:17:40-04:00March 20th, 2022|Uncategorized|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux March 20, 2022 Lent 3, Year C Isaiah 55:1-13  Luke 13:1-9 To watch this morning's service click here. The sermon begins at the 38 minute mark.   Some trees really ought to be taken down.  At least that’s what the tree guy tells me. I don’t know if he works for the electric company or the town, but he comes by every so often to survey the great eastern pines that border our property.  They are all 5 or 6 stories high, massive conifers with huge, thick branches that can break off in the wind.  We’ve had a few close calls and some storms that have caused us worry. When the snow is thick and heavy or the wind kicks up and those giants begin to sway, it can be scary.  But I’m loathe to part [...]

Foxes and Hens and Heroes and Saviors

By |2022-03-13T13:16:55-04:00March 13th, 2022|Sermons|

Rev. Sarah Buteux March 13, 2022 Lent 2, Year C Luke 13:31-35   “At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, “Get away from here,” FLEE! for Herod - powerful, paranoid, power-hungry, Herod, is out to get you. “He wants to kill you,” they said.  Not one to back down, Jesus looked them in the eye and said “I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition.” Oh wait, that wasn’t Jesus, was it? No, that was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - the hero of the free world. Zelensky, out gunned but not not out manned, (wink) who has chosen to remain in the heart of Ukraine and fight with his people against an unprovoked, unjust, and unnecessary invasion. Together they have mounted a fierce resistance that has captivated the world and captured our hearts.  On Monday, Zelensky [...]

When Memory Serves

By |2022-03-06T13:33:30-05:00March 6th, 2022|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Scott Barton March 6, 2022 Lent 1, Year C Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Luke 4:1-13   The Lord be with you.   (And also with you.)   Oh, boy! Some of you know that response! I’ve never had the nerve to do this; but I fantasize going to Starbucks, and telling the barista who takes my order that my name is, “The Lord be with you,” so that when my name is then called out, I watch how many people respond as you just did!   There are words and experiences we remember that tell us we’re not alone. Maybe something in you connects you with a long-lost past, such as, “The Lord be with you; And also with you,” maybe from when you sat as a child in the pew with your parents, or you heard your grandmother humming a [...]

It Takes Time

By |2022-02-27T18:37:35-05:00February 27th, 2022|Sermons|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux Transfiguration Sunday, Year C Exodus 34:29-35 & Luke 9:28-43 “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”  ― Elizabeth Barrett Browning Although we had many technical difficulties this morning and the sound is very wonky, you can still watch the service here. The sermon begins at the 40 minute mark. One of my great joys when my children were small, was reading to them at bedtime. And one of my favorite books took place: “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines (where) lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine- the smallest one was…(anybody know?) … Madeline.” [...]

Disruptive Love

By |2022-02-20T13:24:39-05:00February 20th, 2022|Sermons, Worship|

Rev. Sarah Buteux February 20, 2022 Luke 6:27-38 Epiphany 7, Year C To view this morning's service click here. The sermon begins at the 34 minute mark. If you want to know who your enemies are, it might help to consider your heroes. I don’t think of myself as someone who has personal enemies out there - like, an arch nemesis in the vein of say Nellie Oleson or Rachel Lynde, Sauron or Thanos, Moriarty or “he who must not be named”… you know… (Voldemort).   But I sure do have heroes, men and women I love to listen to and follow like Roxanne Gay and Stephen Colbert, Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbs, the late Rachel Held Evans, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Brene Brown, our own Dan Miller and Bradley Onishi, and of course the deep bench of Op Ed writers at [...]

Mixed Blessings

By |2022-02-13T13:55:47-05:00February 13th, 2022|Sermons, Worship|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux February 13, 2022 Epiphany 6, Year C Luke 6:17-26 To watch this morning's service click here. The sermon begins at the 35 minute mark. 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 can even pretend to interpret this morning’s scripture reading, and it is this: I am blessed…like seriously blessed…and apparently not in a good way. In this very moment, standing here in front of you, I am slightly embarrassed to admit just how rich, full, and happy I really am.  I love my family. I love my house. I love my church. I have my health plus insurance. I have friends and a good reputation. I got a hefty raise when Todd left and I became the [...]

Caught Up In Love

By |2022-02-06T15:08:42-05:00February 6th, 2022|Sermons, Worship|

By Rev. Sarah Buteux                                             February 6, 2022 Epiphany 5, Year C Luke 5:1-11 (To watch this morning's service click here. The sermon begins at the 34 minute mark.) I know it says in Proverbs that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” but I sometimes wonder if “fear of the Lord,” isn’t where it all went wrong for religious people (1:7).   From Adam and Eve hiding from God in the garden to Jonah jumping ship to avoid both God and Nineveh, to the Israelites wiping out entire peoples like the Canaanites, the Amorites, or the Amalekites lest they be defiled by false religion and displease said God, on down through the ages, it would [...]

For the Word of God Among Us

By |2022-01-23T11:39:34-05:00January 23rd, 2022|Sermons|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Epiphany 3, Year C Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 & Luke 4:14-21 To view this morning's service click here. The Sermon begins at the 10:30 minute mark “For the word of God in scripture,  for the word of God within us,  for the word of God among us…” “Thanks be to God.” I had never heard that particular response before I came to First Churches. From a purely liturgical perspective, I admit it’s a little clunky and overcomplicated - too many words to keep straight - which may be why in most churches they just say:  “The word of the Lord.”  “Thanks be to God,”  after the scripture is read. But the weird thing about church is that once you do anything enough times, something in you starts to think that’s just the way it ought to be [...]

They Have No More Wine!

By |2022-01-16T15:27:13-05:00January 16th, 2022|Sermons, Worship|

January 16, 2022 John 2:1-11 Epiphany 2, Year C To watch today's worship service click here. Sermon begins at the 9 minute mark. “Did you find everything you needed?,” asked the cashier at Trader Joes.   “Mmm, not really,” I said, as I looked over my list.  I wasn’t put out about it or anything, because I’ve honestly got bigger things to worry about right now. But I’ve been noticing the gaps in the supply chain more and more as I’ve been going to the grocery store these days as I’m sure you have too.  There was no plain whole milk yogurt. They were out of the chicken soup dumplings I like to make for lunch. I couldn’t find chives, grilled chicken, farro, or the chocolate milk that my kids love. But that’s just how it is these days. Stores [...]

Be Gentle With Yourself

By |2022-01-09T11:12:35-05:00January 9th, 2022|Sermons|

Rev. Sarah Buteux Worship for January 9, 2022 Note: We met via zoom, because we were all craving connection over perfection this morning. Here are the words and prayers from this morning's service. From the Welcome Covid keeps throwing us curve balls, and I can’t predict exactly what’s coming next and how we’ll respond. But I have to say that the not knowing is at least thematically appropriate, because we are now in the season of Epiphany, the season of unexpected reveals and reversals.  Epiphany is all about finding the light and the truth and love in unexpected ways and places and people. It’s a season where we find ourselves on roads we did not intend to travel like the magi,  It’s a season when we are faced with people we did not expect to see asking us to do [...]

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