Paxton Methodist Weekly News, June 26

June 29, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother and our teacher, Jesus. Amen. Summer is officially here as of last week: In downtown Joaquin, we got our first summer shower Sunday. It wasn’t much of a rain producer, but we will take what is given and be thankful. My phone says we are in for a week of cooler temperatures, only in the low and mid-nineties. Add to that the promise of lower humidity, and we all may be ready to venture out. I got up early Monday morning for my walk in the park with my canine companions, Gunter and Sam. We saw Doug pull up at the Community Center to get the Joaquin Senior Center off and running. It was nice to see that they were able to open again after being closed for illness. Gunter usually runs to the fence to bark at Doug but gave him a break this morning.

We had everyone back for Sunday School. Fannie was in prime teaching mode with a really good lesson on character building. Wearing a commemorative tee shirt, Fannie shared a project that her students did some eighteen years ago about developing positive character traits. Everything Fannie brought up fit right into our Sunday School lesson and worship service. It was wonderful to have Joy and Claudia back and hope they keep feeling better. We send our good wishes to Fred, that he’ll be back in the pink next week. Larry is back from his Arkansas trip, reporting a good time.

We began our worship with Psalms 43-43 as the gathering words. Our first song was “It Is Well with My Soul,” a little ambitious for our small group. Fortunately, the accompanist played slowly, or we might still be trying to get on the same page. We did much better with “Near to the Heart of God,” which was shorter, easier, and more familiar. Our affirmation was a modern statement of 21st century faith.

Reflecting the gathering words, our bulletin cover quoted Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief: “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.” Inside was a quote from Jon Meacham, the writer who eulogized George H.W. Bush: “We’ve always grown stronger the more widely we’ve opened our arms.” And one of our illustrations was from 1 Peter: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Lots of good advice!

I felt like I got very little done last week, putting things off to the last minute. I can’t operate like that for long before I get out of whack. So I am trying to get an early start on next Sunday. Usually in my sermon I choose one of the four traditional lectionary scriptures to focus on: Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels, and Epistles. However, this time—maybe because I was so unfocused last week—I covered a little bit of each one. My wife, a retired high school English teacher, said I connected each idea to the others; I’m happy she didn’t find anything to correct with her red pen!

The first part of Paxton’s mission statement says that we “gladly minister to our entire community.” That was evident as we loaded up my truck bed with rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. Obviously there was no shortage of paper products in our area during June! In July we will collect cans of ravioli and spaghetti.

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.