January 17, 2022 - Today is The Baptism of Our Lord Sunday. Like most Protestants, we believe there are two sacraments, baptism and communion. However, baptism has been a point of contention between the various denominations. Methodists believe in only one baptism and accept baptisms from other churches and denominations; we also practice the different forms of baptism—sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.
January 10, 2021 - Today is the Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Actually the Epiphany has a set date on the Christian Calendar: January 6. However, Methodists usually don’t attend church on the actual date to celebrate this festival day. This year the news concentrated on that dark day—January 6, 2021, and the attack on the US Capitol. People of my generation will always remember November 22, 1963, and September 11, 2001—now adding January 6, 2021. But it is a new year, bringing hope and a promise that things will be better.
January 3, 2022 - Happy New Year! I stayed up until around 11:00 New Year’s Eve and just pretended it was an hour later. I am writing the first part of this article on Saturday evening and kept checking the outdoors for that cold front. My daughter in Dallas said it was windy, cold, and rainy this evening so I guess it is coming our way. We have had such a weird winter so far with temperatures hitting heat records several days for December. With a new year and a new month, we at Paxton are going to collect cans of tuna for Community Christian Services.
December 6, 2021 - Hope, peace, love, and joy are the themes, one for each of the four Sundays of Advent. Last Sunday the word was hope, and today it is peace. Dr. King warned that there cannot be peace if there is no justice. Jesus would certainly agree with that. We are moving toward Christmas Day, but it feels more like fall in October than winter in December. When Sue and I went to Saturday’s Christmas Festival in Joaquin, it was almost hot. I have been wearing short sleeved shirts, which is not something this cold-natured person does at this time of year.
December 1, 2021 - Hope, peace, love, and joy are the themes, one for each of the four Sundays of Advent. For years I began my sermon with these four words because they sum up what Jesus followers want in their life. It is my hope that each of you found some reason for joy during the time of Thanksgiving. Sue and I had our daughter, my brother, and his wife here in Joaquin for Thanksgiving. Their dogs, Stella and Scally, came with them, and our four dogs had a good time with each other.
November 15, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Next Sunday, Christ the King or The Reign of Christ Sunday, is the last on the Christian calendar. After that, we begin the first six weeks of the new liturgical year with Advent, literally meaning “important arrival,” as we await the birth of Christ on Christmas.
November 8, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. This Thursday is Veterans Day, so on Sunday we celebrated veterans, saying special prayers for those who gave so much for the country you and I love. Our first hymn was “America,” AKA “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” also commemorating these selfless heroes.
November 1, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was All Hallowed Saints Eve (Halloween); Monday is All Saints’ Day, when Christians remember all the saints that came before them, honoring and thanking them for the impact they made. Paxton Methodists recalled the saints of the church and the saints of our personal lives with photos we displayed, recollections during the service, and special hymns for today.
October 25, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next Sunday is All Hallowed Saints Eve that we know better as Halloween. But next Sunday, our scriptures, sermon, and service will celebrate All Saints Day, remembering the saints we have lost as well as those most meaningful in our personal lives. For me, All Saints Day is very important as we venerate those who came before us.
October 18, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Fall has finally showed up. It was so cool Saturday morning that I had to wear a jacket when I walked Sam and Gunter. While in Dallas I bought plants at several nurseries: When I got home, I had to first find a place in my various gardens and then put them there—fun, yes, but also work. My daughter bought me a plum tree, the original reason for the trip. Kinda like going to Walmart for two things and coming out with a buggy full!