Good News Blog

Parish Announcements 8/13/20

Posted by Barbara Taylor on

Sunday Service on Facebook Live

Join us again this Sunday in the continuing adventure of bringing our Spiritual Communion with Holy Eucharist Rite II to you on Facebook. 

Service Leaflet 8/16/20   Prayer Requests 8/16/20

Re-opening Plans Underway

We are moving forward with our plans for reopening the church now that Benton County has reduced the number of new Corona virus cases being reported below the guidelines set by Bishop Benfield. If you would like to join the committee that is forming our new policies or have suggestions regarding how to safely reopen the church please contact Sharon Moravits as soon as possible. We hope to have a solid plan in place in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday Scripture Study

If you haven't yet joined our Sunday Scripture Study Zoom class, but would like to participate or even just check it out, contact Chris Schaefer at 501-454-6815 and she will hook you up. Their is no need to "catch up" on previous weeks' studies. Each class is a discussion of that week's lectionary scriptures.

Come in your pajamas! Come with your coffee! Come Zoom with us!

Every Sunday from 8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Lectionary   Study Guide

A Letter from Bishop Benfield

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 it. A vaccine and overall population immunity will make it so. Given that assurance, we can persevere in the coming weeks and months.

He told us that the most important things we can do right now are: wear masks, stay at least six feet apart, worship outdoors instead of indoors whenever possible, and avoid crowds. Interestingly, a crowd is not determined solely by the number of people present. For example, a large number of people outside, all ten feet from each other, is not a crowd, but can easily turn into one if they get near one another as they gather and leave.

He also said that the scientists are continuing to learn more information about Covid-19. We now know that 40–45% of people with Covid have no symptoms. Therefore, never assume that anyone is not infected. He also hopes that more data will soon be available on the role that ventilation might play in indoor worship.

Here in Arkansas I have been visiting a few congregations over the past eight weeks. For example, two Sundays ago I attended an outdoor Eucharist at St. Francis in Heber Springs and this past Sunday an indoor Eucharist at St. Paul’s in Newport. Both congregations did a good job in following the guidelines that Dr. Fauci outlined.

In the office I have also been searching for up-to-date information on the risks involved in catching the coronavirus. Covid Act Now publishes some very good information online. Its team is obsessive in its study of the data of how the virus is transmitted. In comparing its metrics with our own, if we are to stay at or below the suggested “medium” risk level, it appears that the recommendation of when to consider in-person worship should be when active cases in a county are below 14 per 10,000 residents Thus, my latest recommendation is that you consider in-person worship if your county has a seven-day average active infection rate of less than 14 per 10,000 residents. Please note that if the rate is above 35, your county is extremely risky for virus transmission. The diocesan website will report the county numbers each week.

No matter whether you meet indoors or outdoors, follow Dr. Fauci’s advice: stay masked, stay at least six feet from other people, meet outdoors if at all possible, and never allow a gathering to turn into a crowd. And remember as well, as he reminded us, that this pandemic will one day pass, and we will be able to return to the worship in the Episcopal tradition that has fed so many people for so many generations.

Faithfully yours,
Larry Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas

Comfort Food

Cooks met this week and added two soups to the bins. We really appreciate serving you and hope you keep on helping yourself to our soups. This week we made tomato soup (get your grilled cheese ready) and a wonderfully hearty vegetable beef soup (lots and lots of it).  


John Drum's Drive-By Birthday Party

On August 10th we arranged a Drive-By from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. The police were notified of the possible traffic, and Lana sent two e-mails with directions so that people would drive on the right side of the road. Mike and Shirley decorated two big boxes for the birthday cards. The boxes were tied with balloons, and a happy birthday banner was strung between them. We also got a big "John Drum 100 Birthday" banner. Finally, we wanted the festivities to be recognized as a St. Theodore's event. However, in all of the nooks and crannies in St. Theodore's there is not a single banner or sign that states our name. Mary Jane Cole went to hobby lobby and made a sign for the occasion, which has now been stored at the church. John and Rosalee were seated at the top of the driveway in an appropriately decorated golf cart. They were able to chat and wave at the cars and well-wishers. 

To provide some pomp and circumstance, Mayor Christie and Deputy Mayor Flynn were present. Mayor Christie read a proclamation and added some mirth to the occasion as well. There was, of course, the singing of Happy Birthday to You. John's favorite cake is chocolate, so he was presented with a Bundt chocolate cake with three candles—1 0 0.  Not long afterwards, another group decided to serenade John again. Lots of fun and well wishes for the next 100 years.

Lynn Adkins of the Vista newspaper called that morning and at the last moment was unable to come. However, she does want pictures and a brief commentary for the paper. Shirley Sheets took a host of pictures, a few of which are included below, and Susan Porter will write a brief bio to send. Shirley will also put together the pictures and present them to John. 

 A Message from the Senior Warden

In 1920, the world was recovering from a pandemic then, much like it is now. The average life expectancy for a man was 53.6 years and no one could buy a drink to celebrate their birthday due to the abolition of alcohol by the 18th Amendment. Women had just been given the right to vote and had cast off their corsets for a new invention called the girdle. Bandaids, Baby Ruths and Eddie Bauer Sports Shops were all new on the scene. The ACLU and the League of Women Voters were just getting off the ground. Isaac Stern, Mickey Rooney, Henry Heimlich and Bella Abzug were born. So was John Drum. In the past 100 years, John has seen so many changes that its hard to imagine them all. From horses and buggies to Lamborghinis; from the first flight to Mars rovers; from having to send a telegram to holding the knowledge of the world in the palm of one’s hand. Through it all, John has remained steadfast in his faith and served as an inspiration to anyone that has had the privilege of knowing him. 

The following has been attributed to many different authors and I won’t list them all here but the sentiment expressed by all of them perfectly describes John and his life:

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

We celebrate John and his 100th  birthday with him, his family, his church family and his community. God bless you and keep you, John. May we celebrate many more birthdays with you. 

Sharon Moravits

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash