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.

It’s Time to Self-Isolate . . . from the New York Times

Like a lot of people, my usual morning follows a routine.  First, coffee. Second, make toast.  Third, drink coffee.  Fourth, say good morning to others who may be in the kitchen at the same time.  Fifth, open computer, review the … Continue reading

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Can This Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

Ministry in the Age of COVID-19 My twenty-year-old son blames his twenty-three-year-old sister for everything that is happening in the world, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For Christmas, Margaret gave her brother a t-shirt from Venice, Italy (where … Continue reading

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A Sad Day

When I was a younger woman, I felt confident that at some point during my lifetime, the United States would elect a president who happened to be a woman—or perhaps because she was a woman (women generally possessing many excellent … Continue reading

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A Lenten Discipline 2020

I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.  Matthew 12:36-37 Lent … Continue reading

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Getting My Non On

At some point during this year’s annual meeting at Old South, I experienced a moment—an instance that I can only describe as almost terrifying.  I was looking out at the assembled group of good, dedicated church folk and realizing that … Continue reading

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Identity Crisis

Last Sunday’s sermon was on unity, focusing on the lectionary passage from the beginning of First Corinthians. The title of my sermon was “Give Me a U.” The plan was to talk about Paul’s encouragement regarding unity, to remind us … Continue reading

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Don’t Sit There!

And you may ask yourself, well How did I get here? —Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime During my homily last Sunday, on our first winter worship service of the season in Old South’s parish house (where worship is a … Continue reading

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The Heartbreak of Christmas 2019

At Old South, Christmas Eve has become the most unwelcome and dire of bellwethers. When I began my ministry with Old South, in 2005, I heard quite a lot about the annual Christmas Eve service. The bell choir would play … Continue reading

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Do I Need to Write About This?

Do I Need to Write About This? That was the first thought that entered my fuzzy head when I woke up to the news that the President had been impeached. I don’t want to write about this. It’s Christmas; I’ve … Continue reading

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The Neighborhood that Wasn’t Allowed in My House

We are in the throes of a renewed consideration, examination and all-around reminiscence of (and perhaps yearning for) Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, the children’s show that ran on PBS from 1968 to 2001. Last year, there was a documentary on the … Continue reading

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