Happenings at Paxton Methodist Church

 Love and peace from our brother, Jesus.  Kids are back in school in Joaquin.  That and all the heat advisories show us that we are in the “dog days of summer.”  I really don’t know where that saying came from, but I do know that my four-legged friends, Gunter and Sam, don’t like the heat any more than I do.  I really appreciate air conditioning and never complain about my electric bill.  I have been watering every day, trying to keep my perennial plants, flowers, and fruit trees alive.  This Sunday morning I have read my Sunday school lesson and am getting ready to head to the metropolitan area of Paxton. 

My sermon scripture was once again the Old Testament Lesson for this Sunday, deep in Ordinary Time.  It comes from the First Isaiah—Isaiah 5: 1-7.  What begins as a love poem ends up with exasperation and disappointment.  Jesus taught us how to live in God’s vineyard—God’s Kingdom—beginning with a desire to love God with all we have and also to love our fellow humans.  It is about being compassionate and welcoming even to those who appear different from us. 

Our Sunday school lesson continued from the Book of Ruth.  In this story Naomi is determined to secure a life for her beloved daughter-in-law Ruth as well as herself.  She sets her eye on Boaz and before we know it, he is smitten; now the two women have a much more secure future.  The daring of Naomi and Ruth’s plan is obvious—Ruth must make the first move, which is unheard of in that culture.  She is a foreigner and a servant/worker.  She doesn’t come from any place of strength, and yet Naomi and Ruth prevail. 

During the month of August we are collecting children’s socks and underwear for Community Christian Services.  Early on, Gayle and Joaquin Christian Services set up a Sunday in August before the start of school to collect socks and underwear.  She called it “Undie Sunday,” part of her effort to get new clothes and school supplies for students in our area.  Monthly collections of nonperishable foods and paper products grew out of this one donation.  This month Paxton Methodist also voted to send a church check to CCS.

Because of the way the dates fall this month, we will be visiting both Holiday Nursing Center and Lakeside Assisted Living next week.  We have monthly programs in three area nursing homes: People from many communities and many churches come to sing, visit, and share stories.  It is certainly a feel-good time and something we thank Mrs. Hilda for beginning.

After church at Joaquin Methodist on Sunday, there was a celebration for Frances and Charles Freeman’s sixtieth wedding anniversary.  Imagine 60 years together!  Many folks from hither and yon gathered to congratulate the happy couple.  Ann Ortigo, the pastor’s wife from Joaquin Methodist, made a lovely, delicious three-tiered cake to mark the occasion and many people brought potluck dishes to share.

Our worship time is 10:00 AM; we would love to have you come to worship with us.  I know how very busy everyone is: Our early meeting time enables you to move on to family get-togethers or jobs afterward.  Not to mention naps, which my wife says are best on Sunday afternoon.  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.