The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Church in Arkansas, Communiqué

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, Weekly Communique

Communiqué #487 March 15, 2012


Bishop Benfield

A Message from Bishop Benfield

Investing in the Top Ten

Following diocesan convention, discussions are beginning to take place across the church in Arkansas on how better to welcome the stranger as suggested in our new booklet, “Top Ten Ways to Welcome the Stranger.”

A number of you have taken the Top Ten audit, an online way to reflect on how welcoming your own congregation is. One of the results of the audit is that you say you are least effective in efforts to let others know about your congregation, or to use another word, you are concerned about your marketing.

At convention, our delegates voted to use the convention offering, which totaled $882, to support the work of the Top Ten. Given what you have said in the audit, I want to share how that money is being used.

We have used a portion of it to buy some templates for congregational websites. Very soon our communications director Jaman Matthews will be making available website templates for congregations that don’t already have first-rate websites. The plan is to have these templates designed so that you can insert news, service times, and photos with minimum effort, with the additional benefit that your website will have built-in links to websites of the diocese and other Episcopal institutions. We will host your websites, saving you another potential complication as well.

We are using the second portion of the convention offering to purchase copies of A People Called Episcopalians, the book that we suggest you use to learn more about our church. These books are available to your congregation on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the coming months (and yes, years) you will hear about more opportunities to incorporate the Top Ten into our daily lives as congregations. It is not so much a program as it is a change in attitude for all of us, a chance to focus on others first as we offer good news of God’s love to all people.


Bishop's signature




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.

Part-Time Youth Minister Wanted

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock

St. Margaret’s, Little Rock, is seeking a part-time youth minister. Candidates should have an energetic spirit, a maturing faith, and a passion for ministry with youth. Demonstrated leadership and organizational skills are required. If interested, please email the Rev. Mary Vano or call her at 501-821-1311.

St. Patrick’s Pub Night at Camp Mitchell

Sunday, March 18, from 5:30–8 p.m.

Camp Mitchell will hold its Fifth Annual St. Patrick’s Pub Night on Sunday, March 18. Corned beef and cabbage dinner is $17.50 per plate, with proceeds going to the Robert R. Brown Scholarship Fund for adults with disabilities. There will be live Irish music from 5:30–8 p.m., as well as games and dancing. You can bring your own adult beverages. Please call Camp Mitchell at 501-727-5451 to reserve your space.

‘Inner Mystic, Inner Wisdom’ Retreat

Saturday, March 24, at All Saints’, Russellville

This one-day retreat, led by Bishop Larry Maze, will focus on the importance of making the inner journey and discovering our own inner mystic and inner wisdom. The retreat will take place March 24, from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Please register by March 19 on All Saints’ website or call 479-968-3622 to register or for more information.

‘Time for J.O.Y.’ Women’s Retreat

April 27–29 at Camp Mitchell

Register your deserving women now for a weekend retreat of spiritual renewal. Rev. Suzanne Stoner will serve as keynote speaker and celebrant for this seventh annual retreat. Space is limited, so register early! Volunteers, gifts, and prayers are most welcome. Registration forms and further information can be found at the Time for J.O.Y. website or you can email Sara Milford.

Upcoming Events
March 24 Andrew Hybl, Transitional Diaconate Ordination, Trinity Cathedral, LR
March 25 Bishop visits St. Mark’s, Hope
March 25 Canon visits St. Stephen’s, Blytheville and Calvary, Osceola
March 27 Executive Council
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

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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