Happenings at United Paxton Methodist Church, Nov 21st

November 21, 2016 - Sunday was Christ the King Sunday or Reign of Christ Sunday.  This final Sunday on the Christian calendar has been celebrated for over 1500 years.  At one time this festival time was just that—festive—but today it’s more of just a remembrance.  Next Sunday begins a new year and is the First Sunday in Advent.  This New Year will be the Year of Matthew, so most of the Gospel Lessons will come from there. Regardless of what year the Gospel reading is, though, it’s always about Jesus dying on the cross on Christ the King Sunday.  

The lesson certainly isn’t upbeat and doesn’t seem to fit with many happy merry festivals that are just around the corner.  Since this has been the Year of Luke in the Revised Common Lectionary used by most Christian churches, today’s reading comes from Luke 23:33-43.  Jesus and one of the thieves strike up a conversation.  Jesus assures the thief that he will be with Jesus in paradise.  Christian tradition says this thief is named Dismas.  In the Good as New translation, Jesus’ promise says, “We will keep one another company today, in God’s garden.”  That sounds really cool!

In England , this festival day is sometimes called “Stir Up Sunday.”  One of the first prayers in The Common Book of Prayer begins, “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.”  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need his/her “will” stirred up from time to time.
We have one more Sunday in this quarter.  I think all that attend Sunday school have really enjoyed this writer.  Once again the scripture lesson comes from Revelation.  We all have become accustomed to the wording, full of metaphor and flowery language.  But the images of life-giving water and tree leaves that will be used to heal are certainly nice to hear.  Fannie has a hard time keeping us on topic, but I don’t think she really minds.  We had a very good discussion this morning. 
We were in double digits at Paxton Sunday morning.  Our dear friend Susan Whiddon and her niece Laura and husband Joe came and worshipped with us this morning.  We really felt honored by their coming this morning.  Of course Susan and Fannie taught many years together in Center, and many former basketball players remember Coach Whiddon fondly.  Laura and Joe recently moved to Joaquin from Dallas, and I am sure it will take some time to get used to the slow pace here!  
We had two Nursing Home ministries this week.  On Tuesday we went to Holiday and had a wonderful time with the residents.  On Thursday we went to Lakeside Village Assisted Living and had a great time seeing old friends.  We had special music provided by Tori and Joyce.  The residents really enjoyed their singing and playing.  Some of us only wish we could make such a beautiful sound—it’s more of a “joyful noise” for me!
Paxton Methodist is busily planning (or finding out plans from Mrs. Fannie) our Christmas program on December 6, followed by finger foods.  Friends of Paxton are certainly welcome to join us, starting at 6PM.  We’re also happy to be included in Joaquin First Baptist’s plans for kids’ Christmas gifts.  We are doing both money and gifts: If you’re interested in helping with either, talk to Beverly Jousan or Lynn Silvey.  This is the first year of Community Christian Services, and we’re all hoping for a merry Christmas like those supervised for the past 30 years by Joaquin Christian Services, thanks to Gayle Samford, Harold and Judy Irish, and Leah Madden.

“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!