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.

To Be Welcomed, Or Not

The death of Pope Benedict XVI several weeks ago propelled me into a memory— a couple of memories, actually— about my experiences of welcome, or unwelcome, in the Roman Catholic Church. I’ve had a decidedly mixed experience. In reflecting on … Continue reading

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A Long December

And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe/Maybe this year will be better than the last/I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself/To hold onto these moments as they pass. “A Long December” by … Continue reading

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We Will Worship on Christmas Day

The New York Times recently published an article entitled “O Come All Ye Faithful, Except When Christmas Falls on a Sunday.” (12/18/22) The article explored the various issues for Protestant churches regarding worship this year when Christmas falls on a … Continue reading

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My Business Plan

I think I might try to start a business. It’s something I’ve never done, so maybe it’s time to give it a try. I’m not sure what kind of business exactly— there are so many options— but I do know … Continue reading

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Crushing My Advent Dreams

My husband and I are on a cross country (and back) adventure this fall. Last weekend, we arrived in Moab, Utah and checked into our hotel where we would stay for a couple days while we explored Arches National Park. … Continue reading

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When a Visitor Is Just a Visitor

Last Sunday, my husband and I attended a worship service in person for the first time since July. I’m in the middle of a four-month leave of absence from Old South and have been attending weekly worship online, visiting a … Continue reading

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Worshipping Online: What I’ve Learned (so far)

I’m in the middle of a four-month leave of absence from Old South, assisting my husband in taking advantage of his full-year sabbatical. We spent most of September in Norway and we expect to head out for a cross-country road … Continue reading

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Crowds and Community

My husband and I live in one of Maine’s lovely lake areas, a group of lakes and ponds known generally as the “Belgrade Lakes.” In the midst of this area is Belgrade Lakes Village, about a half hour drive northwest … Continue reading

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The Man Who Made Such a Difference

In my many years of pastoring and preaching, whenever I’ve experienced difficulty in getting into a passage, searching for the kernel that would get a sermon going or help in wrapping things up, I’ve almost always turned to one person: … Continue reading

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Women in the Early Church:  “That” Passage, Part 2

This is an adaptation of a sermon preached at Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Hallowell, Maine, July 24, 2022.  Scripture:  1 Timothy 2. Last week, we considered the authorship and context of this particular passage that we … Continue reading

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