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

Be Both Welcoming and Safe

19 May 2021 The increasing number of people who are vaccinated and the recent recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control allow us to take a new look at how we gather for worship. Individual congregations may find it useful to be more conservative, but the general recommendation for worship is: We welcome both masked and unmasked worshippers. No matter … Read More

Music Lives Here [VIDEO]

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Little Rock has hosted the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s River Rhapsodies series during the pandemic. This is just the latest musical offering from the parish. To learn more about how St. Luke’s uses music to reach out to the community, watch the video.

Camp Mitchell Working Group Report

An Update from Bishop Benfield The working group that has been looking into various possibilities for the future of Camp Mitchell has completed its report and presented it to Executive Council, a PDF of which you can download here. This is the same report the Executive Council has received. Executive Council additionally received attachments with more in-depth fundraising ideas, budget projections, … Read More

Recommendations for Restarting Church Activities

March 24, 2021 I spoke with clergy and lay leaders this week regarding my latest detailed recommendations for restarting church activities, based on new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are the highlights: Until we reach a higher percentage of the total population vaccinated, masks need to be worn and social distancing continued at any … Read More

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 … Read More

Bishop Benfield’s Address to Diocesan Convention

February 13, 2021 It was only a year ago that I stood at diocesan convention and told you that one of the best ways I know of gauging a congregation’s health is in the quality of its potluck lunches. Given what happened to the entire concept of public health a month after I made that comment, I have come to … Read More

An Update on Worship During the Pandemic

Nov. 18, 2020 The governor of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Health have issued revised guidance for worship as we enter the holiday period, with the goal of attempting to control the spread of the coronavirus. The governor’s latest guidance recommends that churches not use a choir, but instead use a soloist who stands at least twelve feet from … Read More

Latest Recommendations for In-Person Meetings

Sept. 23, 2020 As I wrote in a memo to congregational leaders yesterday, it is obvious that the pandemic is going to remain a central part of our lives for some time to come, and its impact will vary from location to location. In response to questions about how we proceed, and after seeing the steps various churches are taking … Read More