July 24, 2017
 

First Monday Covered Dish

The First Monday Covered Dish will resume in 2017. Watch here for details.

 

Study Group

We will begin a new series for adult Christian Education at 6:00 PM on April 24th. It will consist of 12 in-depth discussions of Science and Religion.  It's a study developed by The Great Courses series and will consist of a half-hour video presentation after which we will discuss the presentation for another 30 minutes. We will try to hold the entire session to one hour, however, due to the subject matter, we can make no promises. Come for any or all. Stay as long as you can. There seems to be a lot of interest.

For more details go to the "News" page and scroll down.

 

Directory & Schedules (Members Only)

The Parish Directory as well as ministry schedules are all on line. Sign in and go to the Resources page in the "Members Only" part of the website and choose "Directory" or "Readers" or "Altar Guild, Servers, Chalice Bearers, Ushers".

 

Get your Parish Cookbook today! Reduced Price - $5.00!! Go to the "News" page

 

Worship Times

Regular Sunday Eucharist - 9:00 A.M.

Holy Week

Maundy Thursday - 6:00 PM

Good Friday - 6:00 PM

Easter Sunday Mass - 9:00 AM

 

What is the Episcopal Church?

Find out about the Episcopal Church and the history of this wonderful community on our What is the Episcopal Church page.

 

Our Parish Community

Go to the About Us section to meet the staff of Saint William Laud, and find out what we're all about!

 

Visiting for the first time?

If you're curious about what a truly nurturing community of believers is like, then you should come to the Join Us section to find out how you can get involved. Join us!

 

Loaves & Fishes

The SWL food pantry continues to minister to the citizens of Camp County! What a great ministry. Thanks to all the volunteers who help in that effort. We couldn't do it without you! If you would like to donate contact SWL at 903 856-2675. Loaves and Fishes takes place the third and fourth Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM.

 


 

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Food for Thought

The articles, links, stories on this page are collected and placed here at the discretion of the webmaster. They are intended for the spiritual uplifting of visitors. Please take them in the spirit that they are offered.

 

 A Bucket of Shrimp   It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean. Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

    Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach.  Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp. Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly.  Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds.  As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you.  Thank you.' In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave.

    He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.  Invariably, one of the gulls lands on his sea-bleached, weather-beaten hat - an old military hat he's been wearing for years. When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away.  And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

    If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say.  Or, 'a guy that's a sandwich shy of a picnic,' as my kids might say. To onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp. To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ....maybe even a lot of nonsense.

    Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters. Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida .. That's too bad. They'd do well to know him better.

   His full name:  Eddie Rickenbacker.  He was a famous hero back in World War II.  On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

   Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific.  They fought the sun.They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger.  By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food.  No water.  They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

   They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft. Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!

     Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal - a very slight meal for eight men - of it.  Then they used the intestines for bait.  With it they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait......and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea...).

    Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull. And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

PS:  Eddie was also an Ace in WW I and started Eastern Airlines.

Reference: (Max Lucado, In The Eye of the Storm, pp.221, 225-226)

The Woman and the Fork

 

 There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.' 

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and  they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand.. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.  

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel  , indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share  ....Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.
And  just remember...keep your fork!
 

God's Grace
There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak....
"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, "What do you have there, son?"
"Just some old birds," came the reply.
"What are you going to do with them?" I asked.
"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em," he answered. "I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."
"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"
"Oh, I got some cats," said the little boy. "They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."
The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?" 
"Huh?? !!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!"
"How much?" the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?"
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. "Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"
"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.
Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, gonna teach them how to backbite on each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"
"And what will you do when you are done with them?"
Jesus asked. "Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly.

"How much do you want for them?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!"
"How much? He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your blood, tears and your life."
Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.
I thank God everyday for my blessed life. I'm not rich, don't live in a mansion and don't have the nicest of material things, but, I'm healthy, have , a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table, a family that loves me and lifelong friends to get me through. I'd say I have a lot to be thankful for.