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 am 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.
There were four churches and a synagogue in a small town (like ours?) - a Presbyterian church, a Baptist church, a Methodist church, a Catholic church and a Jewish synagogue. Each church and the synagogue has a problem with squirrels.
The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrels. After much prayer and consideration, they determined the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.
At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a water slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim. So, twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
The Methodist church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later, the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water slide.
But the Catholic church came up with a very creative strategy. They baptized all the squirrels and consecrated them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.
Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue. They took one squirrel and circumcised him. They haven't seen a squirrel since.
The congregation of Christ Episcopal Church sends their prayers and deep condolences to the victims and survivors of the Orlando massacre, and their families.
A hunger for wholeness – a hunger every person experiences at a deep level, but feeds with any number of substitutes that not only give just momentary satisfaction, but block us from seeing others whose very lives are their only own stories of seeking to be the person God made them to be. We have a model and an invitation; Jesus saw people as they really were. He saw their hungers, their needs, their worth regardless of their circumstances. Jesus sees us the same way – valuable, worthy, loveable. And he gives us an invitation. “Come unto me all you who labor and I will give you rest” - rest from the anxieties that come from living apart from God, the God who made us whole and invites us back into that union, a union that unites us with our own worth, with the worth of others, and with our maker.
From Val Neeley, inspired by the June 12th homily of the Reverend Janis Hansen
On May 9th, Catherine S. Doornbos joined her Lord at the age of 91.
Catherine was born on March 21, 1925 in the Ruby Valley, daughter of Martin and Agnes Simonsen. She was one of 10 children. Catherine was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Jens Peter, Martin, Howard, John, and Tom; and sisters (infants), Anna Marie and Betty Jeanette.
She spent the majority of her life in the Ruby Valley. She had a brief stay in California during WWII working in a factory producing rocket bomb parts. She married Edward Doornbos in 1947. Together they raised three children.
Catherine wore many hats during her life time including a wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, LPN at Ruby Valley Hospital, and recorder for Madison County. She enjoyed all of them as well as the many friends she made along the way but most especially that of a great grandmother. In her retirement, she kept busy reading her bible, making quilts for her family and working crossword puzzles.
She is survived by her three children, Andrea (John) Hammerman, Daniel (Janet) Doornbos, and Marty (Bruce) Masiak; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Agnes Bell; brother, Ken (Joyce) Simonsen; and sister-in-law, Marlys Simonsen (Jens Peter).
Catherine was extremely grateful for the care that she received from Dr. Molly Biehl, Nurse Valerie and all the staff at the Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center following her relocation in June of 2015.
Family and friends are invited to join the family in the celebration of Catherine’s life at Christ Church on June 26th at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Christ Episcopal Church, St Paul’s Episcopal Church or the Alder Community Center.