July 8, 2018

Sabbath as Radical Witness Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Mark 6:1-13 At the very beginning of this six-week series we talked about Sabbath as remembering—remembering who we were created to be.  And then, week by week, we examined more ways in which we could practice Sabbath in our lives: relationships, renewal, refocusing, and restoration. Today our study of Sabbath brings us back to the first story we heard as we began: the story of creation—remembering who we were created to be:... Read more

June 25, 2018

As I begin my fifth year as Senior Minister at The Riverside Church in the City of New York, I look back over these four years and feel the enormity of the distance we have come together.  This incredible institution with a history of world-changing witness is standing up a little taller, shining a bit brighter, coming into its current expression of call.  It has been a tremendous honor to have a front row seat and watch this beautiful beloved... Read more

June 24, 2018

Lord, we’re here today looking for respite, relief, repair…something, anything, that will lead us safely out of the whirlwind that has become our reality in America today. We can’t help it—the news is too much.  We turn our backs to the power of your love, we stare into the abyss of a culture now reaping what it has sown, the results on display in the faces and hands and terrified cries of children we are willfully sacrificing to the god... Read more

June 10, 2018

“Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” It’s number four on our list of the ten big commandments, but true confession: for most of my life so far, it’s the other nine that have given me the most pause—not this one. Honestly, if I gave it any thought at all I likely just assumed this commandment has something to do with making sure you get to church on at least a semi-regular basis.  But as we heard from Rev. Keat... Read more

May 23, 2018

Earlier this week I spent a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art wandering around the Heavenly Bodies exhibit.  Every year the Met holds a huge fundraiser gala with a specific theme.  This year the theme was “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which garnered a lot of press attention with its curious combination of fashion and faith (or at least the Church).  One of the costumes I saw reminded me of Princess Leia and an essay I wrote awhile back... Read more

May 17, 2018

When I first came to The Riverside Church in the City of New York, there were a lot of stories about the fact that I was the first female senior minister to step into this historic pulpit. In nearly every interview I got the question: what is it like to be a woman in this role? And my standard answer was that I wanted to be known as a pastor who happens to be a woman, not a woman pastor.... Read more

May 6, 2018

Unreasonable Love Rev. Dr. Amy Butler John 15:9-17 Okay, let’s pretend we’re all Christians here. We’ll assume for the next few minutes that we have all personally decided to be Christians, that is, followers of Jesus Christ, so let’s now speak frankly about what being a Christian is like in America in 2018. Most of us know what’s expected when you say you’re a Christian: accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior in just the right way. And when you do... Read more

April 22, 2018

Fooled by the Past Rev. Dr. Amy Butler John 10:11-18 As you may recall, it was April Fool’s Day that ushered us into this season of Easter—the weeks following Easter Sunday—when we read the stories of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and reckon with the difficult-to-believe reality of resurrection, an idea that flies in the face of everything we know to be true about being human. During these weeks of the Easter season we’re grappling with experiences we have that try our... Read more

April 1, 2018

#FoolsToo Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Mark 16:1-8 The date was April 8, 2007, Easter Sunday morning.  The church was filled with people dressed in their finest.  There were flowers everywhere and a spirit of joyful anticipation in the air.  Much like today. As I recall, the sanctuary of my former church in Washington, D.C., was set up specially that day, with risers behind the pulpit for the special festival choir to sit during the service.  I was preaching the Easter... Read more

March 29, 2018

It’s been 15 years since Fred Rogers died. To be honest, I never really knew him as “Fred;” he was always Mr. Rogers to me and probably to a lot of you. I remember thinking as a child that Mr. Rogers was a little strange—he wore some ugly sweaters and played with puppets on TV, after all. But, of course had I known he was a minister, Rev. Fred Rogers, that would have made all the sense in the world.... Read more

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