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.

None Mother

My daughter recently graduated from college. During the graduation ceremony, the senior class speaker offered a rather confusing, rambling speech interjected with giggles (she seemed very nervous). Given the prestige of this particular college, I was a little taken aback … Continue reading

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Understanding the Limits of Welcome

This past Sunday was one of the more bizarre worship experiences I’ve had during my relatively long tenure as pastor and teacher at Old South Church in Hallowell, Maine. Let’s set the scene: The previous Sunday was Children’s Sunday and … Continue reading

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Old South the Musical or Old South the Opera?

Are we comedy or tragedy? One of the most important Sundays on the church calendar for me is the Sunday after Easter. That’s when I get the best sense of the state of the church I’ve served for almost fifteen … Continue reading

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Where Would We Be Without the Women?

Western Christians gathered this past weekend for the most significant of holy days, Easter (Eastern Orthodox Easter is next weekend). For those Christian Churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary (and many that do not) the Sunday Easter worship service … Continue reading

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A Church on Fire: A Confession

  The scenes from Paris were (and are) startling and heartbreaking. When part of the spire of Notre Dame fell into the huge cauldron of flames, I gasped. It was hard to take it all in from the vantage point … Continue reading

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The Remarkable Sound of Silence

Many years ago, when I was a second year divinity school student trying to figure out what sort of ministry was the right path for me, I took a field education assignment at a local church, after a year spent … Continue reading

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The Dreaded Funeral and Its Dreadful Portents

It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness, and less often than it happened in my first years at Old South: leading a funeral/memorial service for someone I’ve never met. In the almost fifteen years of serving Old South, I occasionally discover … Continue reading

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