Happenings at Paxton Methodist Church

          Grace and peace from our brother and savior, Jesus, Amen.  Last Friday morning I took my dogs to the park for our morning constitutional.  When we left the house it was about 70 degrees, which felt really nice.  As we were making our laps, the winds picked up and I knew that the temperature was falling.  When we returned home, it was 55 degrees! I guess Mother Nature finally released fall.  Saturday and Sunday we had some winter-like mornings.  I sure hope we have a long autumn full of moderate temperatures.

With the coming of fall Christians once again have high holy days to look forward to.  We say good-bye to Ordinary Time, and next month we celebrate All Saints Day.  During the month of October we have collected peanut butter and jelly for Community Christian Services.  When November rolls around, it will be rice and beans.  On Tuesday we head to Holiday for our ministry there.  Also on Tuesday at 2:00, Fannie Watson will be speaking at the Shelby County Museum.  Fannie is a life-long resident of Shelby County and knows so much of the history. 

The scripture for our Sunday school lesson came from Psalm 51, referencing the story of David, Bathsheba, and the prophet Nathan from 2 Samuel.  Religious tradition tells us that David is the author of this poem, but most scholars date it to sometime after the exile.  It is a lament and a confession.  The author of our lesson stresses the spiritual practice of confession and the importance of finding a quiet place in which to be mindful of God’s presence.  Gene gave a treasurer’s report on the investments of the church’s funds. We especially appreciated the report when we saw how much pain Gene is in from his sciatica acting up.  We sure hope he is feeling better soon. 

In the Gospel Lesson for Sunday Jesus tells the parable of the ten lepers.  Jesus heals all ten and instructs them to go to the priests at the temple to show they have been cleansed and can rejoin society—the family and their village.  Of the ten, only one stops, coming back to Jesus to thank him for his healing.  We see in this story that gratitude is a crucial part of Kingdom Living.  And once again, Jesus uses a foreign-born person—someone who is hated by many of the Jews, a Samaritan—to be the hero of the day.  This is no accident but something Jesus purposely injected to show that all are welcome into God’s Kingdom whether we like it or not!

Last week was our program at Focused Care, where we had a rollicking good time!  Minnie played piano, and I emceed, with lots of anecdotes.  Fannie spoke about optimism, including getting along with her hot water heater!  Pastor Sarah used a personal story about a stray dog to make a point about communication and prayer.  Jo read Psalm 100, tying it to volunteerism.  Sue performed the silly kids’ book, There’s a Cow in the Road.  With her strong voice, Nora worked “To God Be the Glory” and then—the climax of the day—got us all belting out the verses to “Do Lord.”  Margie, Hilda, and a cast of thousands (well, almost) sang, clapped, and laughed along all during the program.

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, Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and 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 me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.