Six dioceses explore models for effective congregational development

By ENS staff, June 28, 2011 [Episcopal News Service] Sharing resources and ideas for congregational development across Episcopal Church dioceses is as the heart of a June 26-July 2 conference at the Duncan M. Gray Conference Center in Mississippi. Participants are studying and discussing models for organizational development in congregations, developing leadership, facilitation and assessment skills, and visiting six central … Read More

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas Youth Delta Mission

Three churches in Forrest City, Christ Church Episcopal, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, and Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church, will host over 50 youth from five visiting youth groups for the week of June 12-17. The visiting Episcopal groups are from Calvary Episcopal/Bastrop, Texas (in the Austin area), St. Thomas/Springdale, AR, St. John’s/Fort Smith, AR and St. Mark’s & Trinity/Little Rock, AR. … Read More

Ray Brown Ordained to Transitional Diaconate

Ray Brown, a parishioner at St. Michael’s Church in Little Rock, was ordained as a transitional deacon at that church at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31st. Ray was formerly an ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ Church and currently works at Presbyterian Village Residence Center in Little Rock. Ray will become the deacon in charge of St. Nicholas’ … Read More

Stephen Kidd Ordained to Priesthood

On Friday, May 27, Stephen Kidd was ordained as a priest. Bishop Benfield was the ordaining bishop on behalf of the bishop of Dallas, where Stephen is canonically resident. Many of Stephen’s friends from Texas joined the celebration, which was concluded, appropriately, with a barbecue dinner. Stephen will continue to work on the staff of Trinity Cathedral.

Helping with Disaster Relief

When I visited Christ Church in Mena this past Sunday I saw a brown collection plate being passed through the room. It was a wooden plate that was in addition to the brass plate that is the usual way to collect offerings. The brown plate was for donations to help victims of the recent tornadoes in Alabama. Having been through … Read More

“We Will See Jesus.” – Bishop Benfield’s Vision

The Book of Common Prayer tells us that the mission of the church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. That is the reason we exist, and we gather each week for comfort and the strength God gives us for that mission. What undergirds our mission is our trust in resurrection, our trust … Read More

The Floods and this Church’s Response

The reports of large-scale flooding continue to dominate the headlines. We do not yet know what will be the extent of damage, but for a number of people it is already catastrophic, and for others it soon will be. I want to encourage each of our churches to be ready to help people who might be in need. Please keep … Read More

Bishop Benfield on the Recent Tornadoes and bin Laden’s Death

Moral fiber is not a phrase that you will find in the Bible or the Book of Common Prayer. But it is a phrase that describes part of the make-up of each of us; it is probably fair to say that each of us has a slightly different moral fiber depending on such things as how we were raised, the … Read More

How the Violence of the Tornadoes Brought Churches in the South Together

Church bells call people to prepare for worship. The month of April has seen tornado sirens throughout the South call people of faith to pray for deliverance from severe storms and to ask God and one another how they might assist the storms’ victims. The month’s storms culminated in the devastation that focused on northern Alabama Wednesday evening. Tornadoes and … Read More

Bishop Benfield’s Easter Sermon

[Listen to the audio.] Some places are just down right scary: dark alleys and empty parking garages immediately come to mind. In any TV drama, if a person is walking down an alley or through an empty garage, there is going to be trouble. Let’s add another such place: churches at night. That’s right: churches at night. As nice as … Read More