Paxton Methodist Weekly News, July 24

July 25, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother and our teacher, Jesus. Amen. Last week I mentioned in my article how oppressive the heat has been. Then this week, on Thursday and Friday, Sue and I got 2 inches of rain in downtown Joaquin! On Friday, the temperature didn’t get out of the seventies until the afternoon. Oh, what a relief it was! It has been a nice break not having to water my gardens, fruit trees, and shrubs. But it is, after all, summer in Texas, so I know what we are in for. I sure hope the electric grid holds and the AC keeps working.

Fannie had a most wonderful Sunday School lesson for us this morning. Gene read a rather long scripture from Acts 15, which documented the first church council that had to make a decision affecting the Jesus Movement. The new way of seeing and believing was just beginning; more and more converts were not Jewish but Gentile. The question before the council would be just “how Jewish” did Gentile converts need to become. For example, should males be circumcised in order to become followers of Jesus. There have always been disagreements among believers—the reason there are so many denominations today. James the Just, who was seen as the leader of the Jerusalem followers, decided that God came to the Gentiles as well as to Jews, so roadblocks shouldn’t be placed in their way. We “United” Methodists could use a James today.

In our worship service, our Gathering Words were based on Psalm 85, and the affirmation was the Apostles’ Creed. The Gospel lesson was Luke 11: 1-13. Our songs this morning were two familiar ones, “Shall We Gather at the River” and “Hymn of Promise.” The second is a more modern one, with beautiful words and melody. Our first bulletin quote was from Maya Angelou, American poet: “Equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: We all have it, or none of us has it.” The other was from Billy Graham, American evangelist: “True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice.” Both of these folks were wise and thoughtful, with advice worth repeating and remembering.

In today’s story, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. It is in Luke and Matthew that we are introduced to the Lord’s Prayer, used more than any other prayer in Christian Churches today. At Paxton we recite this prayer each Sunday. It is not a complicated prayer—only five sentences, about forty words, in the Common English Bible that I used in preparing my sermon. I think what most writers find unique is the personal, almost intimate way Jesus addresses the God of the Universe. To the ancient world and among the priests and keepers of the Temple in Jerusalem, this would have bordered on blasphemy. To us, it seems comforting.

In July we have five Sundays, so Paxton Methodist will continue to collect cans of spaghetti, ravioli, and other Italian foods for Community Christian Services. Originally at Joaquin Methodist, August was the month we collected children’s underwear and socks. Gayle called one special Sunday “Undie Sunday” and kept the name even after expanding to the whole month. Paxton too will collect children’s underwear and socks during the month of August. New underwear for kids was to coincide with the beginning of a new school year. I saw where Joaquin teachers and staff are heading back on August 1st.

In downtown Joaquin, between Cindy’s Restaurant and the Community Center, are the Mini Library and the Blessing Box. Anyone can add nonperishable and canned goods to the Blessing Box and get a book from the library (or leave one). Mr. Shelby Johnson has been making good use of the produce section of the Blessing Box, leaving hundreds of tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelons, zucchini, summer squash, and potatoes. He’s an example to us all.

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 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.