Recommendation to Resume Normal Activities and Worship Services

An Update from Bishop Benfield Since March 2020 we have learned much about how the COVID virus spreads and the best steps to take to ensure our health. As a result, last spring I recommended that congregations stop having in-person worship, later followed by numerous recommendations on how safely to resume worship services. Given the high percentage of people attending … Read More

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.

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

Long-Term Flood Relief

Flooding in Arkansas 2018

AN UPDATE FROM BISHOP BENFIELD Some disasters are quickly occurring events and require an immediate response. Think of what it is like when a tornado strikes; in a matter of minutes the damage is done. Other disasters, such as the flooding that is now occurring in Arkansas, occur over a long period of time, and the extent of damage sometimes … Read More

Ark. Episcopal Disaster Relief Team in Spotlight

The Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team is highlighted in this month’s Lamplight, the newsletter of ERD’s U.S. Disaster Program, for its efforts in response to tornadoes in 2014: “Through a partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the Diocese of Arkansas has been running a recovery program … in Faulkner and Pulaski Counties. … The Diocesan Disaster Recovery Team has been … Read More

Disaster Chaplaincy Training

Three members of the Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team recently completed Disaster Chaplaincy Training sponsored by the Beecken Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee) and the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN). Stan Vladenmar, St. John’s Episcopal, Fort Smith, Skip Cochran and Jan Thames, both of St. Margaret’s, Little Rock, were among 35 participants … Read More

ERD’s Response to Nepal Earthquake

A press release from Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the ecumenical ACT Alliance in Nepal and local partners in northern India and southwest China regarding urgent needs and assessment efforts following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu on the morning of April 25. The earthquake was centered east of Nepal’s capital, near the town of Pokhara, … Read More

Disaster Preparedness Training

Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., at St. Luke’s, North Little Rock The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas and Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team are hosting this training to assist parish leadership better understand the USA Disaster Preparedness Initiative and how it works alongside each diocese. Katie Mears, director of ERD’s USA Disaster Preparedness and Response, will be the trainer and … Read More


Submitted by the Rev Lorrie Slaymaker, member of the Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team. A “walkabout” in Australia is going into the desert to find your soul. A walkabout for the Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team means visiting the neighborhoods a few weeks after the catastrophe to offer help and support to those affected. After the Vilonia tornado, for example, … Read More