Author Archives: smaxreisert

About smaxreisert

I'm a United Church of Christ pastor serving the small, faithful Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Hallowell, Maine. I was ordained in Massachusetts in 1995, moved to Maine in 1997 and have served the Hallowell church since 2005.

Me and My Misanthropy?

In preparation for a weeklong clergy writing conference last year, participants were asked to submit a short essay on something that was on their minds at the moment.  Don’t spend too much time on it, we were instructed.  Write and … Continue reading

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Be the Church: Protect the Environment

A Meditative Slideshow on Psalm 8, using “Out of the Mouths of Babes” by Silvia Purdie [http://www.conversations.net.nz/] and photos by Susan, Joseph, Margaret and John Reisert

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The Church in These Days—Hungering and Heartbreak

On July 8, the New York Times published a story entitled, “Churches Were Eager to Reopen.  Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.”  The article offered a litany of churches that reopened in various ways, some trying to … Continue reading

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Apples, Oranges, and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation

Several years ago, emails from the “Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation” started appearing in my inbox.  I had no idea why.  I had not asked for them.  But, there they were.  At first, I ignored them, or deleted them without opening … Continue reading

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Lingering Lessons

When I was a first year student at Harvard Divinity School, I lived in Divinity Hall on Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, MA. I lived in a room on the second floor, next to the Divinity Hall Chapel, where Ralph Waldo … Continue reading

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O Say Can You See

The national anthem of the United States begins with a call for sight. Strictly speaking, the anthem paints the picture of a torn and battered flag of stars and stripes, waving majestically through a fierce battle. I think the call … Continue reading

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On Essentialness

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now for this weekend.” –– President Trump, May 22, 2020 (as quoted in the New York Times) Now that we are … Continue reading

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The Strange Case of the Unpopular Bible Study

In my long tenure as Pastor and Teacher at Old South, Bible study groups have never been especially well-attended.  Over the years, I’ve led short-term as well as long-term groups, on a range of topics.  I’ve offered studies that have … Continue reading

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I’m Working!

In the midst of all of the difficulties, uncertainties and unpleasantness of the current pandemic, one of the more minor issues, yet still a persistent one, is that I find myself being asked, one way or another, about what I’m … Continue reading

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Easter Worship, In Captivity

The word that continues to loom large in my head, when I think of worship in this time of pandemic is the word “weird.”  It’s not an uncommon word, to be sure, and it’s not a terribly good word.  And, … Continue reading

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