November 17, 2017
 

First Monday Covered Dish

The First Monday Covered Dish resumed Monday, October 2, 2017. Participants bring a covered dish to share and enjoy the fellowship. No programs. Just good food and lots of lively fellowship.

 

Study Group

We began our new series for adult Christian Education at 6:00 PM on September 18th. It consists of 24 half-hour presentations by Dr. David Brakke, PhD. It's a study developed by The Great Courses Entitled "The Apocryphal Jesus" and will cover the apocryphal writings of the New Testament era.

Each session consists of two 30 minute videos after which we take some time for discussion. (Note: We do not meet on those Mondays on which we hold our First Monday Pot Luck Suppers).

 

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.

 

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 in the Parish Hall. 


 

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Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Prison Ministry

 

      Residents Encounter Christ is an experience of Christian living and community for incarcerated prison residents.  This is a prison ministry which was organized in 1999 to enable residents at prisons in Winnsboro, New Boston and Bonham to have a genuine encounter with the Great Love of Jesus Christ.

      A team of Christians from St William Laud Episcopal Church and various other churches around north and east Texas and also from the DFW metroplex faithfully gather together to offer a safe, loving, and joyful opportunity for prison residents to truly encounter Jesus Christ as a part of their lives.  As a multi-denominational ministry, the team concentrates on the positive and encouraging precepts of the teachings of Jesus Christ: AGAPE LOVE, GRACE, and FORGIVENESS. Talks given by the team reflect on our need for the healing Love of Jesus, and religious celebrations give opportunity to truly engage with the Living Lord.

      While a prison resident is usually somewhat fearful of sharing deep spiritual needs with anyone else, the team’s desire to offer the friendship of Jesus promotes an environment for the resident to gain new insights and to experience sometimes for the first time a deep understanding of Christian community.  R.E.C. is careful not to even suggest condemnation.  More to the purpose of R.E.C. is a deep desire that each participating resident will truly encounter Jesus Christ as an essential part of his life with the sure hope of a new beginning and an appreciation that he is not alone.

      St. William Laud Episcopal Church has been at the forefront in bringing R.E.C. to the prisons in NE Texas.  Member Mike McCurry is the Executive Director of R.E.C. and he has been involved in the ministry since its inception some 18 years ago.  Many other members of St. William Laud have been team members or baked cookies or committed to pray at specific times.

      The myriad of details requires a lay director, a leader/coordinator who creates the team leadership.  Some team members are chosen to give “talks” on the Weekend which highlight central topics essential for response, conversion, and commitment.  These “talks” are really testimonials which reflect on the team member’s own personal encounters with the Risen Lord.

      There are also team members who sit at tables for the whole Weekend with about 6 prison residents. Those table leaders facilitate the building up of trust at their assigned table by praying for their assigned pilgrims, and encouraging each participant to respond to each of the “talks”, thus building up a mini-community. No one is isolated. Each person is respected.  And each table group is in turn a part of the greater community of the Weekend experience.

      There are many other essential but not as highly visible team members required to make the Weekend a rich and rewarding experience for each resident/pilgrim.  Music, food, and surprises all require a strong team and a clear spiritual focus.  To ground and support team members and pilgrims alike are the clergy who have their own team.

      R.E.C. is very similar to other “4th Day” retreats such as Cursillo and Walk to Emmaus.  The concept is that over a three-day intensive retreat away from ordinary life, a pilgrim may experience a new life, and then carry on the new life beyond the three days into a so-called 4th day, that is, into eternity.  R.E.C. is based on another international prison “4th Day” retreat ministry called Kairos which addresses the spiritual needs of incarcerated men, women, youth, and their families.  Kairos had its origins in Cursillo, the original 4th day retreat, and as with R.E.C. most of the team members have experienced their own 4th day retreat with Cursillo or Walk to Emmaus.

      The experience of R.E.C. has changed many lives over the past 18 years.  Pilgrims and team members alike have deepened their commitment and trust in the Living Lord.  And, the prison system has noted that prison residents are less likely to return to the prison system if they have participated in faith-based programs like R.E.C. In fact, units like the Johnston Unit in Winnsboro, a substance abuse facility (SAF-P), have noted a double digit drop in recidivism over the years.

      Once an offender has a change of heart and hears God’s call to follow Him instead of the lonely path of destruction, he takes that commitment to Jesus home to family and friends.  The Grace of God becomes like a domino effect and many people’s lives are changed. 

 

      “We will not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (1Cor15:51 ff)