Paxton Methodist Weekly News, Sept. 4

September 5, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. For the third Sunday in a row, I mentioned the Chinese proverb (or possible curse), “May you live in interesting times.” The weather has certainly been interesting the last week of August. Dallas had a historic, once-in-a-thousand-year rain, and the temperatures of the hottest month for Texas have been in the 80s, while other parts of the country are getting our usual triple digits. The possibility of rain has been in the forecast almost every day. Despite the rains, we are still in the midst of drought, although most counties and parishes have lifted burn bans.

On Wednesday, I took sacks and sacks of new children’s underwear and socks to Community Christian Services. I always get a good vibe when I visit with the volunteers as boxes of food are brought out to lined-up cars. I dropped off what Paxton Methodist had gathered during the month of August, along with a couple of checks. In September Paxton Methodists are going to donate macaroni and cheese to CCS. Today we also discussed the Kids’ Christmas part of CCS; Sue is our church’s contact for that, and she had information from Beverly at First Baptist.

We got new Sunday School booklets for Fall 2022, so we were introduced to new themes and a new writer. This first lesson spoke about standing up against oppression. The scripture came from the first two chapters of Exodus, where we hear about baby Moses. Claudia liked this lesson, as she remembered hearing the wonderful story when she was young. We are told that Joseph and his family coming to Egypt to escape hunger and famine had been generations ago. The Hebrews had grown in such numbers that the pharaoh felt threatened and had the Hebrews enslaved. When their population continued to increase, he ordered Hebrew baby boys sought out and killed. That didn’t work either. The author of our lesson focused on two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who defied the pharaoh and concealed the births of baby boys. One child they saved, Moses, became the lawgiver who would later lead his people out of Egypt.

It being the first Sunday of the month, we celebrated a Service of Communion and Remembrance. In the United Methodist Church, communion is open and the table is considered to be Jesus’ table, not the individual church’s. Our Gathering Words were based on Psalm 139, and we spoke the Apostles’ Creed as our affirmation of faith. To recognize Psalm 137’s “By the rivers of Babylon,” we sang “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand.” Our second song was “Marching to Zion,” and Gene shared about his and Joy’s trip to Zion National Park in Utah. One bulletin quote was from Malala Yousafzai, at 17 the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize: “If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.” The other was from Frances Clark, an American pianist: “There wouldn’t be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one.”

The Gospel lesson, Luke 143: 25-33, was one of those “hard sayings” of Jesus. He turns to the growing crowd and tells them the possible costs of discipleship, suggesting they weigh their decision very carefully. Those considering what this young teacher was saying were at a crossroad. I used Psalm 137, a gripping lament of the people of Israel who, after being enslaved, were also at a crossroad. Held against their will by a foreign government, they were living in “interesting” times (translation: frightful).

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.