News From Paxton Methodist

 

Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next Sunday is All Hallowed Saints Eve that we know better as Halloween. But next Sunday, our scriptures, sermon, and service will celebrate All Saints Day, remembering the saints we have lost as well as those most meaningful in our personal lives. For me, All Saints Day is very important as we venerate those who came before us.

One week it feels like fall, and the next seems to slip back into summer. I started writing my “News from Paxton Methodist” last Saturday when Sam, Gunter, and I returned from my two- mile walk. Gunter had somehow injured a back paw—but was getting around on three legs. Dr. Sue and Dr. Randy looked closely at his paw, discovering nothing. Luckily, he’s been making steady progress, so he can skip the trip to Center and the real experts.

Paxton Methodists have been bringing peanut butter and jelly to add to the Community Christian Services collection. Next Sunday we will load it for me to deliver along with checks to the wonderful folks at CCS. And then switch over to November’s donation of rice and beans.

Also next Sunday we will fit in a business meeting to approve the 2022 budget, the Trustees Report, the Finance Report, and continued support of the current pastor. Plus, we must approve the Congregation/Clergy Assessment. These need to be voted on before our upcoming Church Conference with the District Superintendent on November 20th. I will send off the Church Council Reports to Dr. White afterward. All this is the “method” in our “Methodist” name.

Sue and Fred came this morning for Sunday School, and we sure enjoyed having them. Our Sunday School lesson’s scripture came from Revelation. We are often turned off by the graphic weirdness of this book, and too often people have taken literally the teachings of Revelation; the writer certainly did not not intend this. Our lesson focused oletters to two different communities that had let their faith grow lukewarm. The angels spoken about were not literally angels—but the leaders of that particular congregation of believers. We 21st Century American Christians get heartburn when the writer of Revelation questions how a community’s wealth affects its discipleship to Jesus. Compared to most folks back then and most of the world today, we Americans are amazingly rich—with plentiful water, gas, goods, and services.

With several folks out of pocket this Sunday, we had a small group. Since we knew ahead of time that would be the case, our hymns were ones we know best: “Amazing Grace” and “Hymn of Promise.” The quote on our bulletin was from L.M. Montgomery, the Canadian author of the Anne of Green Gables books: “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Can’t you just hear Anne saying that?

The Gospel lesson for the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time is Mark 10: 46-52, the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar, Bartimaeus. This is the last miracle story in Mark as our attention turns toward Jesus’ fateful journey to Jerusalem. In Jericho, the blind beggar screams out to Jesus, asking for mercy on him. Jesus does grant the gift of mercy, healing the beggar of his blindness. What a wonderful story of kindness, mercy, and persistence!

Whoever you are, in whatever faith you were born, whatever creed you profess; if you come to this house to find God you are welcome here. Paxton United Methodist Church is an inviting church that takes to heart the idea of “Open Doors, Open Hearts, and Open Minds.” Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is paxtonumc@yahoo.com. If you would like the weekly email newsletter about Paxton Methodist, you can send your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.

 
 

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