May 11, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the Fifth Sunday of Easter. It was also Mothers’ Day. We hope that all the mothers, grandmothers, and those special women who helped raise us had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Paxton United Methodist is still not having in-church worship. We are going to look at how the pandemic is progressing (or not) and make a weekly decision. We will of course listen to our bishop and our district superintendent.
What a beautiful week we had! It was sunny and warm. Some afternoons the puppies, Sue, and I were panting pretty hard by the time we got back from our daily walks. I have so enjoyed working in the yard and garden. Pretty soon the heat will get me into the garden early and late. We still have our daughter’s dog Stella, along with our two boys—Gunter and Sam. Stella is a sweet dog but was going to stay with us for just a few weeks: Then the pandemic changed everything.
I know life is inconvenient, and for many the financial hardships are staggering. Unemployment is higher now than any time since the Great Depression. I don’t think there is going to be an easy way to emerge from under the threat of Covid-19. Most importantly, we must listen to the experts and then be smart in following the guidelines as we venture out. The number of cases in rural areas like Shelby County are still increasing—and among all age groups.
I woke up Saturday morning to put the finishing touches on my Sunday sermon. I am not delivering sermons, but I am writing one each Sunday to send out. It was a cool start to the morning but not cold enough to turn the heater back on. Our older dog Gunter had been sick this week and spent the day at the vet’s getting IVs, shots, and other medications. Unfortunately, Gunter can’t tell us what hurts. Sue picked him up Friday afternoon, finding him much improved. The humans and dogs went for a nice walk, and all three seemed to enjoy Saturday’s cool morning.
One of the scriptures for Sunday was Peter’s first letter—the second chapter, verses 2-10. In the first chapter the writer tells his readers to rid themselves of impure foods—malice, guile, envy, and slander—and feed upon pure spiritual milk; in this way, we can encounter God in the depths of our souls. A headline in the paper borrowed a line from the T. S. Elliot poem which said that “April is the cruelest month.” The writer said our past April was death—it was cruel—but it must also be hopeful. It is sometimes hard to be hopeful when we are living in isolation from others and also living in fear of the virus and the unknown future. But hope we must.
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.” Normally Sunday School starts at 9:30 and Worship begins at 10:00. But during the Pandemic our usually “open doors” are closed. 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.