News from Paxton Methodist - October 11, 2020

News from Paxton Methodist

Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Sunday morning began with sunshine and nice temperatures. Our prayers certainly go out to those south of us who suffered through a second hurricane in the last six weeks. This year, 2020, is one that we will long remember—for many wrong reasons. Maybe we can just put an asterisk next to it in the record books and move on.

Today, Theresa and Larry brought a huge photo to share with us, posting it in our bulletin board area. It was a picture of all the folks in front of the courthouse who came out for the Patriot’s Day program last year. Our little church was well represented. Just as it has everywhere else, the pandemic has necessitated adjustments to the usual commemorations by the VFW.

Fannie shared with the group the certificate given in appreciation for our church’s support of the inspirational area off the Carthage loop, featuring a statue of Jesus carrying a man. Through Ms. Fannie’s efforts, our church is seeing that the park is maintained this month. Bricks in the plaza are inscribed with names of individuals and groups who have contributed to its building and maintenance.

Paxton Methodist Church is meeting each Sunday wearing masks and practicing social distancing. If you haven’t realized, Shelby County has had a big increase in Covid cases in the last week. Our music is just on piano and CD—no singing to spread germs. This week Mrs. Hilda picked out a lively hymn for us; later, we listened to the upbeat hymn, “Lord of the Dance,” sung by Donovan.

In the month of October we are collecting peanut butter and jelly. Today before we began our worship service, I read through parts of the Congregation/Clergy Assessment that we send to the district. As folks left, they stopped at a station by the door with pens, hand sanitizer, and the clipboarded signature sheet to verify the assessment.

Next Sunday we will have a Church Conference, at which time we will approve a budget for 2021 and all required reports and forms for the upcoming Charge Conference. This is a Methodist thing that we do once a year. Our Charge Conference is Saturday, November 21st at 2:00, when our District Superintendent, Dr. White, will come to Paxton. Most churches in the East District are having virtual conferences using Zoom, but we are so far behind the times technologically at Paxton Methodist that our Charge Conference will proceed in the old-fashioned, in-person way.

As always, Fannie had a really good Sunday School lesson planned out. Gene read the scripture from Joshua 24, which includes, “But for my family and me, we will serve the LORD.” The title of the lesson was “Choose Today.” Our author said that new behaviors don’t come easy, and we certainly know that’s true. But our faith should affect how we treat others and also how we allocate our time. When we make an effort to begin each day with God, we increase our ability to face life’s challenges with more strength and wisdom.

I had a hard look at all the scriptures for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time before I settled on the Epistle lesson, which was Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4: 1-9. Despite Paul being in prison and his understanding that his future was bleak, he made time to write to one of his favorite Jesus communities, trying to get two believers to reconcile after a squabble. Euodia and Syntyche were well-liked and respected. We don’t know what came between them, but Paul wanted them to forgive each other. Paul was so upbeat despite his circumstances. He urged his friends to be gentle with each other and, instead of being anxious, to take concerns to God in prayer and petitions. The scripture reading ends with Paul reminding them that the God of Peace is always with them. That is important to remember during of time of fatigue and anxiety.

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.