November 21, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. This is my first article and newsletter in a couple of weeks. I had surgery on both hands a few weeks ago and am healing up nicely. I am still restricted on the weight I can pick up and on not overworking my hands. I have entrusted dog walking duties to Sue, and she has faithfully taken Gunter and Sam for morning walks on these cold autumn mornings. These last few mornings feel like January in East Texas, not November.
All of us at Paxton Methodist Church wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. What an important day to remember all our blessings! Of course it is a reminder that Christmas will be here soon: We need to get decorations and trees put up and finish (or start) Christmas shopping. 2023 promises to be a New Year for Paxton Methodist Church. You may have noticed that our church sign on the highway in front of the church reads “Paxton Methodist Church.” The word “United” has been dropped. Paxton Methodist is joining a new denomination, The Global Methodist Church, starting January 1st and will also be getting a new minister. The one certain thing we humans can depend on is change.
During November Paxton Methodists are collecting rice and beans for Community Christian Services. Some of our members are sponsoring a particular young person as part of the angel tree project—or donating money to help. It seems that in this time of thanksgiving and the promise of new birth and new hope, people are even more generous with their time and resources. I read that if we allowed ourselves to meet God everywhere, each day would become a Christmas Day.
We began our worship service listening to the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” We at Paxton were very joyful this morning as Sue and Fred braved the really cold weather and came to join us. They are a very sweet couple and we were all so happy to see them after a long recovery.
Our Gathering Words came from Psalm 100, urging us to greet the Lord with gladness. The affirmation of faith was the Apostles’ Creed. The next hymn was the beautiful Thanksgiving song, “We Gather Together.” The congregation wasn’t completely familiar with it, but it is my wife’s favorite hymn. Our final song Sunday was “This Is My Father’s World,” the facing page to my favorite hymn, “Morning Has Broken.” My message was all Thanksgiving. It was to remind us that gratitude must lead us to thankfulness. We all certainly have things to be thankful for, even though they may slip our minds during this busy time of the year.
We had our regulars at Sunday School; once again our author took a scripture that we have often heard but used it in a way most of us hadn’t thought of. In the scripture Moses’ father-in-law tells Moses he can’t do it all and must delegate, allowing others to help him out. He tells Moses to find men who are honest and trustworthy. We often are reluctant to trust others, figuring they wouldn’t do as good a job as we would—or that it is simply easier just to do it ourselves.
After living under the threat of pandemic for a couple of years, Paxton Methodists decided to renew our Paxton Community Christmas get-to-together this year. The program will begin at 6:00 PM on Thursday, December 15. After songs and a couple of readings, a light meal will follow, mostly catered rather than potluck. Come join us.
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.