Responding Creatively

A Letter from Bishop Benfield This year continues to present us with a combination of challenges that are unprecedented. There is the confluence of a long-overdue awareness of racism as an ongoing evil, a toxic political climate, and a frightening virus. The church, as always, is called to respond with compassion. Compassion in 2020 means that we must find new … Read More

Reopening Our Churches

17 June 2020 Sunday I made my first visit to a congregation since the pandemic began. It was to St. Peter’s Church in Tollville, where the congregation has done great job getting the church ready for in-person worship. On Monday I sent guidelines to congregational leaders across the diocese about how we reopen churches for in-person gatherings, for both worship … Read More

VIDEO: Our Approach to Regathering

Bishop Benfield on our plan for regathering: “We Episcopalians will spend the month of May asking several questions about what steps we will need to take before we are ready to open our doors for worship.”

Our Approach to Regathering

04 May 2020 We face challenges as a church in this age of pandemic, but we are confident that the church is up to the challenge. Over the next few months we in Arkansas will find ways to bring our community back together in person, always mindful that we will look out for the health of everyone around us. In … Read More

Church Food Pantries

Bishop Benfield on the importance of sharing food to the Christian story and the importance of church food pantries in the current moment.

Looking Forward: Letter

A Letter from Bishop Benfield When this pandemic began and we closed our churches, many of us were looking forward to the Sunday when we would all return to church and it would feel like Easter at last. That sense of anticipation is probably more palpable now that Arkansas’s governor will allow certain businesses to start operations again on May 4. … Read More

Summer Camps Canceled for Camp Mitchell

A Letter from Bishop Benfield The Arkansas Department of Health has issued a directive for camps and faith-based operations, which states that “all summer camps, including pre-camp counselor preparations, cannot operate as usual this summer.” There is worry about bringing together large numbers of young people in cabin settings. The Health Department does not plan to re-evaluate this directive until … Read More

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