April 18, 2016 - Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Easter. The Psalter Lesson was Psalm 23, the best known of all psalms among Christians. The Second Lesson for the 4th Sunday of Easter was Revelation 7: 9-17. Both of these scriptures speak of God as a shepherd, who leads us to still waters and restores our soul. John’s Revelation, however, is certainly a wild story full of symbolism that we must really work at to understand. A few years back at Joaquin Methodist we did a Bible Study on Revelation and used the book Breaking the Code by Bruce M. Metzger. Dr. Metzger is considered the foremost scholar on John’s Revelation. What we all learned was that this book is not a kind of doomsayer’s handbook, even though there are over a half million websites that try to turn Revelation into a “be afraid—the world is ending” sort of book. My favorite is the book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. And honest to God—no joke—there was a 1989 second edition!
We had a small group this morning. Fannie as usual had a really good lesson for us at Sunday school. Gene was back this morning—after jumping out of an airplane at 14,000 feet! Joy wasn’t feeling well, and we all hope she is feeling better soon.
This Tuesday is our Holiday Nursing Center ministry. Volunteers from many churches join us as we visit, sing, and share stories. The program will start at 2:00. This month we are collecting toothbrushes and toothpaste for Community Christian Services. In May, cans of fruit.
The Joaquin Methodist Church really shone this weekend with its Heritage Fair. The original idea was to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the church with an old-fashioned gathering—but they went way beyond that!
The fellowship hall featured local art of all kinds: paintings, sculpture, books, poems, quilting, needlework, and a slideshow of 7th graders’ models of old Texas buildings. A partial quilt was set up on a frame, and ladies patiently worked their craft on it. Outside on the front lawn stood a storytelling tent where listeners could enjoy such practiced narrators as our Mrs. Fannie.
The majority of the fair was spread out on the church garden. Many of those who had tables, booths, and the like were dressed for the period—around Civil War times. We visited with Daughters and Sons of the Republic, who were displaying dyes, food products, musical instruments, and other relics along with explanations of their uses. In the corner, a re-enactor had set up a tent from the era (and slept in it Friday night); he demonstrated ax-throwing and musket-shooting nearby. A woman was teaching a fascinated group how to make rag dolls and woven products.
Some booths were selling items like painted gourds and canned goods. Two men used a huge roaster to make corn on the cob, and near them was an old-fashioned lemonade stand. The City Christmas Lights committee fried fish, hush puppies, and French fries—which I can testify were delicious. While we waited for that, an ice cream cart set up, cranking it out the traditional way.
A brush arbor in the middle of the garden hosted various singers, musicians, and raconteurs, entertaining everyone within earshot. We saw a beautiful stagecoach and talked to the man who built it—a fellow Shelby County teacher retiree.
All this was Saturday. On Friday they hosted the Joaquin fourth and seventh graders, who are studying Texas history this year, as well as Logansport junior high students and other attendees. Friday’s visitors saw some of what we did, plus demonstrations such as Dutch oven cooking, live horses, and poetry reading. A big thank you to the Joaquin Methodist folks who put all this together. The entire experience was phenomenal, like delving into a different world.
“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 9:15 and 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 me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed!