As Cases Decline, Indoor Worship Is Possible for Some Churches

Feb. 24, 2021

The recent decline in Covid-19 infections in Arkansas means that it is possible for several of our congregations to consider indoor worship if infection rates stay low. No, we are not going to be sitting in crowded rooms and singing next Sunday. Social distancing and masking will still be necessary, and please remember that it is the decision of your congregation’s leadership to determine if it is safe enough to gather indoors.

As indoor gatherings commence again, I plan to continue to listen carefully to the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Even if we are vaccinated, we will stay masked for the time being to assist in keeping others safe as well. We won’t sing until we hear that it is safe to do so. We will wait until medical professionals tell us that it is time to return to sharing consecrated Wine at Communion or having coffee hours. And we will see what advice the health professionals give us regarding nursery care.

We have been faithful stewards these past eleven months as we have put the wellbeing of others ahead of our own personal desire to gather in church, and as we have assisted the people who have suffered greatly in this pandemic. I thank you. We will continue to be cautious in the coming months, confident that our slow and steady progress will pay benefits in the long run as the church regathers and finds new ways to carry out our mission to restore relationships among all people.

Faithfully yours,

Larry Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas