News from Paxton Methodist - September 20, 2020
Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Later this week we officially enter fall, AKA autumn. The temperatures have finally started to moderate, and we are lulled into the idea that summer is over. Unfortunately we are still in hurricane season, with another storm brewing in the gulf.
Paxton Methodist Church is meeting each Sunday wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Our music is just on piano and CD—no singing to spread germs. All during the month of September we are collecting macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services.
In fine Methodist tradition, Paxton Methodist will have its yearly Charge Conference. We don’t have the technology (or truth be told, the know-how) to do Zoom, so our District Superintendent is coming to Paxton on Saturday, November 21st. We will be getting together yearly reports and a congregational and clergy assessment. Working on these reports reminds me of my days as a school principal. But I never faced what administrators at our schools are having to confront with the pandemic. What a frightening time for school employees, students, parents, and the entire community!
The scripture for our Sunday School lesson was Romans 8: 1-11. The purpose of both the reading and the lesson was to overcome selfishness, learning to live in God’s Spirit. Paul says that the Spirit of God leads to life and peace. A preacher at Joaquin Methodist, when Sue and I first started going there, said all sin was selfishness. Forty-five years later, I can still hear him saying that, and have come to believe it is really true.
We had a small group for Sunday School and church this morning. It was really nice to have Sue and Fred worshiping with us this morning. Today is Gene’s birthday and we hope he has a really nice, special day.
The Old Testament Lesson for Sunday was the last part of Jonah. The reading starts after the cool parts—getting swallowed by a great fish and then thrown up on the beach. I titled my sermon “Grumbling with God” because Jonah just knew that God was going to be merciful and forgive the people of Nineveh: Jonah wanted those no-good people to suffer! And God didn’t disappoint Jonah. He did forgive, and he was merciful; Jonah was ready to pack it all in.
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 email@example.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.