The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, Weekly Communique

Communiqué #489 March 29, 2012


Bishop Benfield

A Message from Bishop Benfield

Seeing the Risen Christ in Each Other

Photographs can present powerful images and ideas. On occasion I see one that causes me to think carefully about its message. Such was the case this week when I saw a photograph of people kneeling in prayer on the steps of the Supreme Court building and on the same day heard comments on the radio from some of those people who had gathered there. They had gathered to ask God’s intervention to overturn the law regarding health care insurance.

There are as many feelings about this health care law as there are people in this country. I am not going to get involved in a public debate over the law’s merits. For one thing, I do not have expertise in issues of medical costs and insurance. But I do feel some competence in the area of the Christian tradition. And I have to say that it disturbed me to see Christians asking for God’s intervention to stop us as a community from taking care of one another.

Too much of Christianity has turned into a very isolated, individual relationship with Jesus, when in truth Christianity had its very foundation in the profound experience of people who began to see the resurrected Christ in one another. It had been the very failure to see signs of the Holy One in others that sent Jesus to the cross.

This failure happens every day, be it in our desire to hold on to as much money for ourselves as possible, or our complicity in treating others as if their dignity is not important, as if they are not as important in the eyes of God as we are. Can we ignore the pain of such people?

I hope as we go into Holy Week we can all take a serious look at how we have failed to see the risen Christ in one another and decide that come Easter Day, our eyes will be opened to the real message of resurrection that begins to see our Lord in the most unlikely of people and situations. I want to see some photographs of Christians standing up and loving the people around them because they see the risen Christ in the guise of the hurting and poor and lonely. I will then know that Christians have finally begun to understand what Christianity—and resurrection—are all about.


Bishop's signature




Palm Sunday Evensong and Requiem

April 1, 5:30 p.m., at St. Paul’s, Fayetteville

The children, youth, and adult choirs at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville will perform “Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis” arranged by Sir Sidney Nicholson, “God Be in My Head” by John Rutter, and portions of the “Requiem” by Tomas Luis de Victoria. All are invited to attend.

Daughters of the King Annual Spring Assembly

April 21 at St. Luke’s, Hot Springs

This year’s theme will be “Spring – A Season of Renewal,” and Mrs. Beth Maze will be the guest speaker. Registration will take place Saturday morning from 9:15–10:10 a.m., followed by Holy Eucharist and Renewal of Vows, with Bishop Benfield presiding. Please email Kathy Randel by Monday, April 16, to reserve your lunch. Following a short business session, we will have prayer requests and adjourn at 2:30 p.m.

Women’s Institute

June 1–3 at Camp Mitchell

The Rev. Renee Miller, from Monterey, Calif., will be the featured speaker at this year’s Women’s Institute. Her topic will be “Hangin’ Out with God.” Joyce Dalton, deacon at St. Stephen’s, Jacksonville, will also speak on “Remembering Who We Are” on our Quiet Day. You can download a brochure and registrations for at the Arkansas ECW website.

‘Knights in Japan’ Fundraiser Dinner and Silent Auction

Sunday, May 6, at Camp Mitchell

Doug and Jenny Knight are gearing up to become Episcopal missionaries in Japan. They will be the first participants from the Diocese of Arkansas in the Young Adult Service Corps. Join the Knights for an evening at Camp Mitchell on Sunday, May 6, at 6 p.m. There will be dinner, live music, and a silent auction to raise funds for their upcoming year of service in Japan. A minimum donation of $20 per person is requested. Please RSVP by email by Friday, April 27. For more information about the Knights’ year abroad, visit their blog.

A Top Ten Event

Cooperative College for Congregational Development

June 24–29 at Duncan M. Gray Camp & Conference Center in Canton, Miss.

If you are a clergy or lay leader who is looking for more tools and better training to help build your church into a healthy, sustainable congregation, then the Cooperative College for Congregational Development (CCCD) is the program for you. To learn more about CCCD and to get involved, email Canon Jason Alexander.

Upcoming Events
April 10 Fresh Start
April 15 Bishop visits St. Stephen’s, Jacksonville
April 22 Bishop visits St. Theodore’s, Bella Vista
April 24 Board of Trustees meeting
April 26–29 Province VII Youth Weekend
April 27–29 Happening #27
May 6 Bishop visits St. Paul’s, Fayetteville
View the full Diocesan Calendar.

If you have questions or would like to submit information about an event for publication in the Communiqué, email Beth Matthews in the bishop's office or call 501-372-2168.

© 2012 The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, All rights reserved.

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