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.

Lent 2022, The Women Around Jesus: Martha

Adapted from a sermon preached at Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Hallowell, Maine, March 20, 2022. Scripture:  John 11:1-27; Luke 10:38-42 When I was a student at Harvard Divinity School in the early 1990s, I took a … Continue reading

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Lent 2022, The Women Around Jesus: Mary Magdalene, Part 1

Adapted from a Sermon preached at Old South Church, Hallowell, Maine. Scripture: Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:33-41 Mary Magdalene.  Mention her name and you might remember that she was present at the empty tomb on Easter morning.  But, it’s also likely, … Continue reading

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Screaming My Way Through Lent

At Old South this Lent, we are focusing on the women around Jesus. We are exploring stories about the women who worked with and were friends with Jesus. We are also considering stories of women, like the Samaritan Woman at … Continue reading

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A Different Lent

For Christians, Lent is the season in which we remember the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness while dealing with the temptations of the devil. Some Christians give something up for Lent, something that will require tests of … Continue reading

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I Can See You

A very good friend of mine writes fairly regularly for a major newspaper. In a recent column, she included a brief reference to a trip to a museum and made note of an exhibit that she saw with her wife. … Continue reading

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Under the Cover of Covid

Old South, like many churches, has been on something of a Covid-induced roller coaster ride. First, we learned Zoom and how to make it work for the church as a whole. Then, we learned hybrid, which has been more complicated … Continue reading

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WWJD? Covid Vaccine Edition

French President Emmanuel Macron recently made headlines for suggesting— using a vulgar French term— a new strategy for “encouraging” the unvaccinated to get the jab. Essentially, he called for making the lives of the unvaccinated so miserable that they would … Continue reading

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What’s There to See

At Old South’s 2021 Christmas Eve service, the featured speaking part was “The Shepherd” from Frederick Buechner’s The Magnificent Defeat. As the Shepherd reflects on his life, realizing that he’s the kind of guy who will eat muddy bread when … Continue reading

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Advent Lessons: Companionship

This coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary selections include Luke 1:39-45[46-56], where Mary offers her song of praise, aka The Magnificat. The relatively short passage (even with the additional verses) provides a treasure trove of preaching options. It’s a passage focused … Continue reading

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When Patience Isn’t Enough

I’ve started to notice, here and there, in little remarks or responses, the revealing of the idea that patience is the key to how we, as a church, will get through the pandemic. And, in that idea, the exposure of … Continue reading

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