Expanded Emphasis on Prison Ministry in Arkansas

From the Rev. Dr.  Keith Hearnsberger, transitional deacon at St. Michael’s Church in Little Rock There are over 17,000 people incarcerated in over 20 different Arkansas Department of Corrections and Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities across the state. In 2019, as I prepared for ordination as a priest, I was among them for 102 days, following a car accident. While … Read More

New Recommendation on When to Consider In-Person Worship

This Monday the bishops of the Episcopal Church had a Zoom meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss the future of worship, given the Covid-19 pandemic. The hopeful news that he wanted us to share with you is that there is going to be an end to this pandemic; we will one day return to worship as we have known … Read More

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

VIDEO: Guidelines for Distributing Holy Communion

Guidelines for Distributing Holy Communion Effective June 28, 2020 Covid-19 continues to infect large numbers of people. We are not certain what future infection rates might look like. The rate of infection varies from county to county in Arkansas; there are many locations where continuing online worship should be the only way that congregations gather, but there are locations where—with … 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

Comments Put in Context

A Letter from Bishop Benfield Last week I sent out a Communiqué article reflecting on the president’s misuse of Holy Scripture and an Episcopal Church near the White House for a photo op. The action itself and the events leading up to it were parts of a crisis in race relations that is both societal and religious. I admit that … Read More

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

A Letter from Bishop Benfield Read the Bible, especially Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” To see the president of the United States stand in front of an historic Episcopal church with a Bible in hand as a political prop—while using rubber … Read More

Regarding Camp Mitchell’s Pause in Operations

An Update from Bishop Benfield Many of you may have watched the video I released last week, announcing that operations at Camp Mitchell will be temporarily paused beginning July 5. At Diocesan Convention in February, I reported on the increasingly large operating losses of the camp and appointed a task force to see what the next steps should be. As the task force … Read More