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.

The Season of Woe

Four years ago, as we approached the 2016 election, I started to worry about what was happening around me, in the church I was serving, the community in which I lived, and in the wider community.  On the one hand, … Continue reading

Posted in Misc | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is This What Happened When Churches Moved from Houses to Buildings?

At Old South, we are continuing our online existence.  Worship, meetings, gatherings, even pastoral care are all now remote, and mostly on Zoom.  Despite no community transmission of Covid in these parts, we’ve been reluctant to move to in-person gatherings.  … Continue reading

Posted in COVID, Worship | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Toll

On a Saturday early in September, I got the call that the church matriarch was gravely ill.  On Sunday, I went to the hospital to see her and to be with her family.  On Monday, I was on the phone … Continue reading

Posted in My Life as Pastor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

For Louise

Like many churches, Old South had a matriarch.  I use the past tense here, as our matriarch passed away a few days ago.  It’s a very sad time for Old South.  In the midst of the many challenges we face, … Continue reading

Posted in My Life as Pastor | Leave a comment

The Looming Season

There always seems to be a certain moment, sometime in August, when the end of summer comes into focus.  I’m not sure what exactly happens, but it always feels like there’s a clear turn in the sense of the season.  … Continue reading

Posted in Misc, My Life as Pastor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Misc | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Worship | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in My Life as Pastor | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Misc | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Misc | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment