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.” [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Rev. Sarah Buteux January 2, 2021 Matthew 2:1-12 Epiphany 1, Year C To view this service and sermon, click here “Go to gifts.” If you’re the one who buys gifts in your household, you know what a “go to gift” is, and if you’re not that person, be thankful you have that person. In fact, you can go ahead and give their hand another squeeze. 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” [...]
In an effort to keep everyone safe we have made the decision to move our Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols online. The service will include a combination of music and readers from last year and a newly recorded welcome and message from the Rev. Sarah Buteux. Click here to go directly to the service. The service will premier on our Facebook and Youtube pages at 7pm on December 24. Merry Christmas to you all.
On December 19 we had our Christmas Pageant. You can view it on YouTube here.