All Congregations Urged Not to Meet

13 March 2020 An Update from Bishop Benfield Each day public health authorities are either mandating or urging additional steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In many jurisdictions, large gatherings, including church services, have now been prohibited. So far that sort of prohibition is not the case in Arkansas. It is apparent, though, that people want appropriate actions taken … Read More

Churches Encouraged to Close in Three Arkansas Counties

12 March 2020 The spread of COVID-19 is affecting gatherings, both secular and religious, across Arkansas. This is new territory for us as a church, and its presence among us is going to require creative responses. There is much that we do not yet know about how easily the virus is spread and when its transmission will peak, for example. … Read More

What to Expect in Church on Sunday

March 11, 2020 An Update from Bishop Benfield The presence of the virus named COVID-19 is changing many ways that we do things at workplaces and in church. I do not want us to be overly anxious or afraid, but at the same time I want us to take precautionary actions now before the virus becomes more virulent than it … Read More

Concerned About Coronavirus and Your Congregation?

March 2, 2020 First things first: Stay calm. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (the official name of this coronavirus) in Arkansas. While it is likely the virus will make its way here, a few commonsense precautions will go a long way. To that end, we have created half-sheet bulletin inserts you can download and print … Read More

Living Faithfully in a World of Pandemics

March 4, 2020 A Letter from Bishop Benfield The discussions surrounding the presence of the coronavirus among us have brought lots of questions about how the church responds to health emergencies. I will leave it to the health professionals to provide appropriate guidelines on how each of us can protect our health. From what I have read, the best advice … Read More

The Person on Your Doorstep

Larry R. Benfield  |  29 September 2019  |  St. John’s, Helena-West Helena Let’s get one thing clear up front: Any gospel lesson that starts by referencing a very comfortable man dressed in purple and fine linen, and by the end of the lesson states that that man is in Hades, ought not be in the Bible. But, alas, that is what … Read More

Praying with Eyes Open

In many of our congregations this past Sunday we offered up prayers for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. It has become an all-too-frequent ritual: eyes closed, prayers said, and flags lowered to half-staff. Some people might ask of what use it is to pray in such a situation. After all, God is not going … Read More

Long-Term Flood Relief

Flooding in Arkansas 2018

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 takes a long time to … Read More

“On The Row”: Stories from Arkansas’ Death Row

Founded in 2012 as a ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas by storyteller Kathy McGregor, the Prison Story Project benefits incarcerated women and men. Inmates explore their truths through poetry, creative writing, literature, songwriting, and visual art. Their work is then curated into a staged reading performed by actors. The goal of the Prison Story Project is … Read More