September 13, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Our numbers are smaller than usual because of Covid, but we are still meeting in person and trying to be responsibly careful. We welcomed to our morning worship our District Superintendent, Dr. White and his wife. They are so gracious and genuine, a pleasure to have them with us. One could not ask for a nicer morning for a drive, as the sky was clear and temperatures felt like autumn was ready to show up.
In my sermon I returned to a theme I have preached on several times. If your preacher has used a particular theme before, it is because s/he thinks it needs to be preached or the congregation needs to hear it again. Of course, it can’t be that the pastor has run out of ideas!
The ancient Celts of Ireland kept reverence for nature and creation. Part of this was the idea that there are “thin places” where heaven meets earth: In those times or places, a person can experience the Eternal in real time. It may be a vision or a dream, but its impact is real. Jacob of Genesis saw a ladder reaching heaven, with angels ascending and descending. He realized then that he was present on holy ground, a divine “thin place.”
It is great having Joe with us on Sunday. He lead us in singing “Joy to the World,” our first hymn. I never liked confining this song to the Advent or Christmas season—joy is important all year long. Joe also lead us singing our closing hymn, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” This last one was a capella, much easier than trying to keep up with the accompanist on the CD! Our “listening” hymn this week was “What a Wonderful World,” sung by Louis Armstrong. The words of the song were perfect for celebrating God in nature and creation.
We sure miss Mrs. Hilda for many reasons, foremost among them just being around her uplifting spirit. She also lifted us up with her lively piano playing. Dr. White’s better half loves to play the piano; next time they come, maybe she’ll play for us.
In September we are collecting macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services; I suppose its origin is Italian, but mac-n-cheese is certainly an American tradition. In preparation for our Church Conference we will work up and submit a budget to the district. There won’t be much change from last year, but we might discover some ministries we would like to support more regularly. Our church will send a contribution to the work of the Gideons again this year, but due to the pandemic we will not have a speaker.
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.