June 21, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Today was the fourth Sunday after Pentecost (and also the real Father’s Day). I had been thinking it was Father’s Day all last week and ended up using some FD material in last week’s sermon. That didn’t make sermon writing any easier this week. But as we see in today’s scriptures, things are not always meant to be easy.
Sue is back operating the CD player and putting our songs together for worship like she did at First Methodist in Joaquin. We certainly miss our piano player, Ms. Hilda, and were so happy to hear that she is home. We hope she gets stronger each and every day. Today we used a couple of songs that we sang often at Joaquin but that are not on the Paxton standard list. The hymns for Father’s Day were “This is My Father’s World” and “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” Sue decided they were both “kinda father-ish.” (In case you’re wondering what happened to “Faith of Our Fathers,” that hymn is on a CD unfortunately missing from our set.)
Our Sunday School lesson once again focused on the Old Testament Joseph, who had become an important person in his adopted country of Egypt. What took him to the top was his ability to interpret dreams. Joseph didn’t take credit for what he saw but correctly predicted seven years of famine followed by seven years of woe. This last part would bring his family back together—but at what a cost!
For Father’s Day, I discussed my dad and my father-in-law, who would both have turned 100 this year. They certainly saw plenty in their years! The older I get the more I appreciate that I was able to internalize some of my dad’s best qualities. He introduced my brother and me to reading, playing hard to win (but not at any cost), thinking deeper than we realized we could, and treating everyone—regardless of station—with respect. I wish there was a way to say thanks, but I guess paying it forward does thank your mentor.
It was good to visit by phone with Hilda this week. Joy also talked to Carolyn, who thinks she may come back to Texas later this summer for some doctors’ appointments. We might have to ID her to make sure she is still a red, white, and blue Texan! It was nice to have Larry McNeil back this morning. Last weekend he went to northern Arkansas (almost to Missouri) for a family reunion and a memorial service for his wife Rose. Larry said traveling to this part of Arkansas really makes for a scenic but lengthy trip. Sue and I made a much shorter trip this week to Monroe to visit Uncle Eddie. He is a champion storyteller and always regales us with tales of family, friends, and adventures. Luckily this time, we had no such (mis)adventures through small-town Louisiana on our return—and this time we had a paper map just in case!
Sue and I ordered a copier from Amazon, and I was able to run off bulletins for this morning. I was proud of myself for getting it up and running... but don’t congratulate me yet: Somehow I was totally unable to call up my sermon and prayers on my trusty Kindle. I always need a script heavy with instructions and directions written down right in front of me, in English, as I often lose my place. This week I had to use prehistoric reminders—on paper.
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.” 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 your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.