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.

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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In These Difficult Days

The news from Christendom these days isn’t good. The seemingly endless parade of revelations from the Roman Catholic Church is heartbreaking and disturbing. The recent signs of serious rifts in the United Methodist Church are also distressing. The Southern Baptists, … Continue reading

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Rules of Engagement, Part 1

A recent article in the local newspaper highlighted a protest at the Maine State House—clergy protesting the separation of families at the border. I recognized a couple of the clergy who were present. My first response was to wonder why … Continue reading

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Ministry Advice in Strange Places: Bill Belichick Versus Julia Child

The New England Patriots are bound for yet another Super Bowl. As someone who has been a life-long New Englander (and Pats fan), and is old enough to remember the terrible days of the old Patriots, when a visit to … Continue reading

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Preach It, Lady Gaga

It seems a troubling day when a pop artist notoriously prone to outrageous acts of theatricality becomes the voice of reasoned Christianity. But, that’s where we appear to be. After a recent story printed in the New York Times regarding … Continue reading

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