ARKANSAS: Convention backs death penalty abolition; bishop offers new vision for diocese

February 28, 2008

The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, meeting February 22-23 for its 136th Diocesan Convention hosted by the state's Northeast Convocation and St. Mark's Church, Jonesboro, heard Bishop Larry R. Benfield offer a new vision for the diocese.

In his convention address, Benfield told approximately 250 delegates, who came together despite inclement weather, that the Episcopal Church in Arkansas shares "the transforming power of Christ's resurrection in worship and relationship" and acknowledged that as the focus the diocese will use as a new generation is welcomed into the church.


Benfield unveiled a new website, which is currently in development, and committed the diocese to continuing to explore new media and ideas for evangelism and outreach.


The business of convention included the approval of a change to the constitution, dependant upon a second reading, for the apportionment of convention delegates from congregations. A resolution was passed in support of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the convention urged members of congregations to back the initiative.


In keeping with the convention's theme of glorifying God through music, workshops in liturgical music were offered by the Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, and Scott Weidler, associate for music of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas comprises some 14,000 Episcopalians worshipping in 56 congregations throughout the state.

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