January 9, 2018

The next few posts are reflections on a trip to Israel/Palestine this month.  Follow me @PastorAmyTRC on FB or Twitter, or search the hashtag #HolyWomenHolyLand to see even more from me and my colleagues. Six rabbis and five pastors travel to the Holy Land…but first: Knowing that an interfaith group spending a week and a half talking about very intense conflict was going to require information and perspective I didn’t yet have, it seemed important to try to get my feet… Read more

January 2, 2018

Goodbye, 2017.  I can’t say that I’m going to miss you all that much; I think even you’d agree that our relationship has been rather difficult.  As a brand new year begins, I’d like to remind you of some of the things you brought us: We’ve had a whole year now with a president who is objectively unhinged, persisting in his attempts to institute a travel ban that discriminates against our Muslim brothers and sisters.  We experienced the loss of… Read more

December 31, 2017

Rise Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Luke 2:22-40 Today we’re still talking about gifts, and we’re rounding out our series on Simple Gifts by naming the gift of presence.  You know, not the brightly wrapped packages under the tree, but presence, being intentionally in relationship. It’s loved ones who traveled from far away and grandchildren running around excited and dear friends with whom we share the holiday.  It’s you, right here, sitting in a pew this morning or watching online.  It’s… Read more

December 24, 2017

When a Letter Isn’t Enough Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Luke: 1:26-38 Imagine my shock this week when I mentioned how I used to use Aerogrammes all the time when I was in seminary and lived overseas, and my younger colleague looked at me blankly. Aerogrammes.  You know them!  They are these crinkly, extremely thin blue papers that you write a letter on, then you fold over and secure the edges?  An aerogramme folds into the exact size of a letter,… Read more

December 17, 2017

I Will Sing Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Luke 1:46-55   The beautiful words of today’s gospel are Mary’s Song, The Magnificat, a young girl’s treatise about the state of the world and her stubborn insistence that it doesn’t have to stay that way.  But even with the haunting notes of a beautiful song of expectation ringing in our ears, we cannot forget the pain and desperation into which that young, timid voice defiantly sang. She was a young teenager, as… Read more

December 3, 2017

Demand the Light Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Mark 13:24-37 It was Christmas, 1975, and I began early that year crafting my letter to Santa.  I was five years old and it was the first year I’d written with real words, crooked letters and funny misspellings drawn in crayon, illustrated with my best attempts at drawing a Christmas tree.  I felt an urgency that year, I recall, because there was something I deeply wanted for Christmas.  I was pretty sure, in… Read more

November 29, 2017

The times, they are a-changing. This is typically the lament of the elders, a group in which I’m pretty sure I’m now included, and it certainly rings through the halls of every church I’ve ever encountered. Nobody likes change, and especially change to the institutions and experiences that provide structure and stability in a changing world full of upheaval. One of the ways our society has vastly changed in just the last 15 years has been the creation of an… Read more

November 26, 2017

Longing For Home Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Matthew 25:31-46 I went to elementary school at a private Christian school, a small kindergarten through eighth grade program called St. Mark’s Lutheran School, where the pastor of the associated church loomed large in the awareness of all the kids.  Pastor Gundermann not only pastored the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, he led weekly chapel services at school and was a prominent figure in the community.  With a loud, booming voice and a perpetual… Read more

November 21, 2017

I proudly call myself an evangelical, though some argue that point with me. The bottom line is that I believe loving God and loving our neighbors can change the world, and that’s good news. Evangelical. That being said, I have worked long and hard to temper the evangelical mindset I was given, a mindset that taught me everything in the world is easily parsed into crisp categories. These categories include but are not limited to: holy, sinful, heavenly, worldly, Christian,… Read more

November 19, 2017

Money, Money, Money, Money Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Matthew 25:14-30 For most people, talking about money in church is almost as fun as talking about politics at Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure exactly why we shy away from talking about money in church; my experience of talking frankly about money with many of you has felt almost like a relief—like we all are secretly wondering how our relationship to what we have impacts our relationships with God and with each… Read more

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