Holy Week and Easter in the Time of COVID-19

A Letter from Bishop Benfield​The Christian Church across the world is preparing for a Holy Week and Easter unlike any we have known. We will not be gathering in person, either to observe the Passion or to celebrate the Resurrection. It does not mean, however, that we will not find ways to gather. On Monday I had a Zoom meeting … Read More

Thank You for Being the Church

25 March 2020 A Letter from Bishop Benfield COVID-19, as nefarious as it is, has had at least one positive effect: it is bringing out the best of the people in our churches. I am hearing stories of outreach ministries, such as feeding programs, that continue to operate under new and challenging circumstances, and I know that our members are making … Read More

How to Love Your Neighbor During a Pandemic

An Update from Bishop Benfield All of us continue to struggle with appropriate responses to the presence of COVID-19, a situation that is taking us into uncharted territory as a church. I am not certain how long this virus will remain virulent among us, but I am certain that as Christians, the second Great Commandment should undergird the responses we … Read More

All Congregations Urged Not to Meet

13 March 2020 An Update from Bishop Benfield Each day public health authorities are either mandating or urging additional steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In many jurisdictions, large gatherings, including church services, have now been prohibited. So far that sort of prohibition is not the case in Arkansas. It is apparent, though, that people want appropriate actions taken … Read More

Churches Encouraged to Close in Three Arkansas Counties

12 March 2020 The spread of COVID-19 is affecting gatherings, both secular and religious, across Arkansas. This is new territory for us as a church, and its presence among us is going to require creative responses. There is much that we do not yet know about how easily the virus is spread and when its transmission will peak, for example. … Read More

What to Expect in Church on Sunday

March 11, 2020 An Update from Bishop Benfield The presence of the virus named COVID-19 is changing many ways that we do things at workplaces and in church. I do not want us to be overly anxious or afraid, but at the same time I want us to take precautionary actions now before the virus becomes more virulent than it … Read More

Concerned About Coronavirus and Your Congregation?

March 2, 2020 First things first: Stay calm. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (the official name of this coronavirus) in Arkansas. While it is likely the virus will make its way here, a few commonsense precautions will go a long way. To that end, we have created half-sheet bulletin inserts you can download and print … Read More

Living Faithfully in a World of Pandemics

March 4, 2020 A Letter from Bishop Benfield The discussions surrounding the presence of the coronavirus among us have brought lots of questions about how the church responds to health emergencies. I will leave it to the health professionals to provide appropriate guidelines on how each of us can protect our health. From what I have read, the best advice … Read More