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.

Telling Our Stories

I just returned from a two-week trip to Italy. The travel blog starts here: It’s a very interesting time in which to travel. My travel companions and I hatched the plan to go to Italy in late spring, when … Continue reading

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Sound Complications

The transition to hybrid worship has been something of a trial.  While I’m comfortable holding worship on Zoom, and in person, it’s quite another thing to try to do both things at the same time.  I feel like all of … Continue reading

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Days of Disconnection

During most summers, my husband and I spend several days with some friends on an island off the coast of Maine.  Getting to and from the island is a bit complicated, involving a ferry from the mainland to a large … Continue reading

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The Ties that Bind, to a Building

In Colonial New England, the first public building erected in a settled town was usually something called a “meetinghouse.”  This building was used for gatherings, especially gatherings of the faithful for regular worship.  The concept of meetinghouse was intended to … Continue reading

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Tending to the Aggression

But now you must get rid of all such things: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive language from your mouth. (Colossians 3:8) This aggression won’t stand, man. (The Dude, The Big Lewbowski) I live in a part of the world … Continue reading

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Give Me a Groan!

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our … Continue reading

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Switches, Cameras, and Platforms, Oh My

Like many other churches, Old South has been an online church during the pandemic.  Worship, meetings and other gatherings have been almost entirely on Zoom.  And, for the most part, this approach has worked well for us.  Also like many … Continue reading

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The Silencing

Over the many years I’ve been in parish ministry, it’s not uncommon to find myself in a particular situation that I find especially challenging:  dealing with adult children of a recently deceased church member whose spouse has already passed away … Continue reading

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Among the Exclamation Points

Any normal Easter Sunday usually involves a fair number of exclamation points:  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  Etc. As I prepared for Easter Sunday worship this year, it felt like the exclamation point had run amok, taking … Continue reading

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As Holy Week Begins 2021

I have unexpectedly mixed feelings as we embark on this year’s Holy Week.  Holy Week is usually a week that I look forward to.  It’s a time to think deeply about important theological issues, and a time when there are … Continue reading

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