January 13, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. It seems like a year since I wrote my weekly article from Paxton United Methodist Church. I have spent the past two weeks either sick or getting over being sick. For two out of the last three years, I came down with the flu. This seems very unfair to me since I always get my flu shot. Finally feeling a bit better from the effects of the flu, I developed a sinus infection that kept me feeling bad. So I didn’t write an article last week and will try to get caught up.
Our group visited Lakeside Assisted Living on New Year’s Eve and Focused Care last week (more on those below). During the month of January the folks at Paxton Methodist will be collecting cans of tuna for Community Christian Services. I still have December’s cans of soup in my truck that I will try to get delivered this week. I have four doctors’ appointments this week, so I am starting off the New Year taking care of things I need to do—and like my sister-in-law says, “these are the going-to-the-doctor years.”
We had a really good Sunday School lesson that focused on the friendship between Ruth and Naomi, one of the great love stories in the Bible. Ruth and Naomi forged a covenant between each other, not just out of necessity but out of a deep sense of caring. It was great to have our entire Sunday School back this week. Gene and Joy had company last weekend, and I missed because of illness.
The big football game today is between Larry’s Chiefs and Gene’s Texans. I hope it is a good game that both enjoy watching even though there will be only one winner. Joy and Gene are heading to Tyler later, as Joy will have a procedure to get more blood flowing to her feet. Fannie asked that Joe Knight’s name be added to the prayer list. Theresa is up and about, and her knee seems to be getting better (although not broken doesn’t necessarily mean not hurting).
The twelve days of Christmas have ended, and the Season of the Epiphany has begun. Traditionally Christians celebrate the three magi coming to Bethlehem as the beginning of this special season. This past Sunday we also celebrated an epiphany in the baptism of Jesus. When we say we have had an epiphany, we think of God’s in-breaking into our living. The baptism of Jesus is a retelling of the Christmas story and is a reminder that God is always ready to enter into our lives—to pitch his tent among us.
I missed the last two nursing home programs because of illness, hoping not to spread it around. At Lakeside on New Year’s Eve, Sue did the emcee job, including sharing some of my previous Sunday’s sermon. Minnie played piano, and swelling the singing ranks were Jo, Hilda, Gene, Maggie, Margie, Peaches, and Stellar. Fannie also talked about the twelve days of Christmas, tying it to some old family photos she’d shown to Christmas visitors, and read a poem about brightening the corner where you are. Nora introduced and sang a lesser-known carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Sue told the story of how “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” became such a beloved song, thanks to Montgomery Ward and Gene Autry, and the group followed by singing it.
At Focused Care on January 6, Pastor Sarah tried out the emcee post with great success. She began with personal New Year’s resolutions with matching Scripture from her new “super giant print” Bible! This time Hilda was the accompanist, and Margie and Jo were again on hand to lend their voices to the congregational singing. Sue read from a new kids’ poetry book: “My Secret Karate” and “Purple Pox.” Fannie spoke of beginning the new year with a good attitude, reading the poem she had at Lakeside. Nora shared a picture book from the Little House on the Prairie tales, Dance at Grandpa’s, and also sang “How Great Our God Is.” Between group songs and individual presentations, Sarah used anecdotes to enhance the meaning; her benediction closed 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, and Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.