Paxton Methodist Weekly News, Oct. 16

October 17, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. I didn’t submit a news article or write my weekly newsletter last week because I was out of town visiting family. I had a great time with my son and daughter, as well as visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. Last week we had a Gideon speaker, so he took over the sermon part of the service, while Larry and my wife did the rest. Sue reported that David was an interesting speaker and a very nice person. Fannie and I attended the Gideon banquet on Thursday evening, which featured a program and an excellent meal.

We were in double digits this morning, an exciting event at Paxton Methodist. Gene and Joy’s daughter and son-in-law were in for a family reunion (plus a victorious homecoming game) and attended church. It is always good to see them. The quotes in our bulletin today came from two well-known people of our world: Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Seuss. According to the Queen, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” Dr. Seuss, in his Oh, The Places You’ll Go, said this: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself /Any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy/ who’ll decide where to go.”

Our church service was supposed to begin with a Gathering Hymn today, but either Sue or I accidentally switched the stereo into the off position. Our Gathering Words were based on Psalm 119, where the poet speaks about his love for God and God’s ways. After figuring out the problem with the stereo, we were able to sing “When We All Get to Heaven” and “Hymn of Promise,” two of Paxton Methodists’ favorites. At the Gideon banquet, we also sang “When We All Get to Heaven,” prompting me to include it in Sunday’s service.

My sermon was based mainly on Jeremiah 31: 31-33. Jeremiah is a long book, where he goes from a prophet correctly predicting doom and destruction to a prophet speaking optimistically of a new day and a new covenant. Today’s Old Testament lesson sounded a hopeful message for the future: God would once again make a pact with humanity. This one wouldn’t be written on stone tablets but on the human heart. We mortals would have within us the love, hope, and promise of God even if, like the Israelites, we were forced to leave our beloved home.

We had a really good Sunday School lesson. Fannie pointed out that our writer has for several Sundays in a row stressed that God requires us to look out for those less fortunate than we are. Jesus calls upon us not only to care for our families and friends, but even for those who don’t like us. Claudia read the scripture that came from John 9. Our writer warned us that we sometimes try to keep those who are marginalized out of view or treat them as if they are invisible. In the Bible lesson Jesus heals a blind man. In that time period, it was thought that blindness was inflicted by God for some wrong the person or his ancestors had committed. The blind man was really at the margins of society—but not to Jesus.

During the month of October, Paxton Methodists will collect peanut butter and jelly for Community Christian Services. Remember that a Blessing Box is located between Cindy’s Mexican Restaurant and the Community Center in downtown Joaquin. If you are clearing out your cupboards, take extra non-perishables to the Blessing Box. A big Happy Birthday this week to our dear friend Vera.

Last Thursday, Paxton Methodist met again about disaffiliation—whether to stay in the United Methodist Church denomination or join the new Global Methodist order. Rev. Tim Turner from San Augustine joined us to deliver information and answer questions. San Augustine has already been through the separation process and is going to become a Global Methodist Church. Rev. Turner also serves on various steering committees with the new GMC, so he was able to share many details. In the next few weeks, Paxton Methodists will meet in a more formal Church/Charge Conference and officially vote whether to disaffiliate or remain United Methodists.

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.