Palm Sunday in Lent - April 5, 2020
From the Vicar

Y'all. I know. Things are weird and difficult right now, especially if we feel fine and yet feel that obligation to stay cooped up in our homes (thanks be to God we have shelter!). And I know that God knows and that Christ is with us. We are not alone. We are truly in this together, making it through, with God's help . . . and generous doses of mercy and grace.

As we draw near to the holiest week of our church year, maybe it's about what we don't actually know that matters. Maybe it's about remembering that it's called the "Paschal Mystery" for a reason, the only-God-really-knows-the-truth of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection.

But the life, love, and liberation of Jesus's life, Passion, and Resurrection is revealed to us in many and varied ways. I beg of you to take time to pray through the next week with intention, to create a sacred space in your home for prayer, to set up a home altar. I'm going to be working to gather some of the resources into digital packets. There are so many resources flying around, thanks to the formation folks in the Church! We'll be going through this upcoming Holy Week with full awareness that we are walking through difficult times ourselves. The Stations of the Cross invite us to deep contemplation.

There's lots of info in this newsletter, so please read through. Remember that your Vestry folks, your prayer buddy, your neighbors at home and (normally) in the pews are all in this with you, as am I, and I give thanks to have the privilege to pray with you daily. Stay tuned for more info to come, as soon as it's done. All things in good time, and may the peace of Christ be with you. +
Holy Week and Easter
A Letter from Bishop Benfield

The Christian Church across the world is preparing for a Holy Week and Easter unlike any we have known. We will not be gathering in person, either to observe the Passion or to celebrate the Resurrection. It does not mean, however, that we will not find ways to gather.

On Monday I had a Zoom meeting with members of the clergy to discuss the varied ways that we are going to lead our congregations this next week. Some of us are going to lead online worship, some will record worship, and some will encourage parishioners to virtually join other congregations.

We will not have "drive-by" or "in the parking lot outdoors" services. The health risk is simply too great. Neither will we attempt what some people call "long distance" consecration of bread and wine. We want to respect the essential traditions of the church that have seen us through other plagues throughout our 2,000-year history.
I encourage you to join in services online as you can, and also spend your own time in prayer in your homes. I also encourage you to find your own acts of compassion in the coming week, be it watching out for a neighbor, calling an isolated person, or donating to help others who are fearfully struggling with finances. The Holy Week and Easter messages after all, are about dying to one way of existence and being raised to a new way of life. This is the life we can live whether we are able to gather in church or not.
On Our Theology of Worship: Questions in the Time of COVID-19 
Message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Across The Episcopal Church the current Pandemic has given rise to many questions about challenges to our liturgical life. Bishops are being asked, "May we do this or that? Will you permit this or that way of celebrating the Eucharist or delivering Holy Communion to the members of our congregations?" Some years ago in an essay titled "Is There a Christian Sexual Ethic?" Rowan Williams observed that in the then current debates about marriage rites for same-sex couples, this "permissible/not permissible" way of conducting the conversation was a dead end. The real (and much more productive) question for a sacramental people, he said, was not simply whether a given practice was "right or wrong," but rather "How much are we prepared for this or that liturgical action to mean?" How much are we prepared for it to signify? Sacraments effect by signifying.

Sacraments are actions that give new meaning to things. The current questions about the way we worship in a time of radical physical distancing invites the question of what we are prepared for a given sacramental encounter to mean. Sacraments are communal actions that depend on "stuff": bread and wine, water and oil. They depend on gathering and giving thanks, on proclaiming and receiving the stories of salvation, on bathing in water, on eating and drinking together. These are physical and social realities that are not duplicatable in the virtual world. Gazing at a celebration of the Eucharist is one thing; participating in a physical gathering and sharing the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist is another. And, God, of course, can be present in both experiences.

And that is surely the most important thing to remember. From the time of Thomas Cranmer, mainstream Anglicanism has insisted that the Holy Eucharist is to be celebrated in community, with no fewer than two people. In contrast to some medieval practices, the Prayer Book tradition was deeply concerned with reestablishing the essential connection between the celebration of the Eucharist and the reception of Holy Communion. Over time, of course, many factors contributed to a general decline in the celebration of the Eucharist well into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Morning Prayer became the common service of worship on the Lord's Day. And while it is good and right that the situation has changed dramatically, that the Holy Eucharist has again become the principal act of worship on Sunday across our church, few would suggest that the experience of Morning Prayer somehow limited God's presence and love to generations of Anglican Christians. There are members of our church today who do not enjoy a regular sustained celebration of the Eucharist for a variety of reasons other than this Pandemic - they are no less members of Christ's Body because of it.

Practices such as "drive-by communion" present public health concerns and further distort the essential link between a communal celebration and the culmination of that celebration in the reception of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. This is not to say that the presence of the Dying and Rising Christ cannot be received by any of these means. It is to say that from a human perspective, the full meaning of the Eucharist is not obviously signified by them. Our theology is generous in its assurance of Christ's presence in all our times of need. In a rubric in the service for Ministration to the Sick (p. 457), The Book of Common Prayer clearly expresses the conviction that even if a person is prevented from physically receiving the Sacrament for reasons of extreme illness or disability, the desire for Christ's presence alone is enough for all the benefits of the Sacrament to be received.

Richard Hooker described the corporate prayer of Christians as having a spiritual significance far greater than the sum of the individual prayers of the individual members of the body. Through corporate prayer, he said, Christians participate in communion with Christ himself, "joined ... to that visible, mystical body which is his Church." Hooker did not have in mind just the Eucharist, which might have taken place only quarterly or, at best, monthly in his day. He had very much in mind the assembly of faithful Christians gathered for the Daily Office.

While not exclusively the case, online worship may be better suited to ways of praying represented by the forms of the Daily Office than by the physical and material dimensions required by the Eucharist. And under our present circumstances, in making greater use of the Office there may be an opportunity to recover aspects of our tradition that point to the sacramentality of the scriptures, the efficacy of prayer itself, the holiness of the household as the "domestic church," and the reassurance that the baptized are already and forever marked as Christ's own. We are living limbs and members of the Body of Christ, wherever and however we gather. The questions being posed to Bishops around these matters are invitations to a deeper engagement with what we mean by the word "sacrament" and how much we are prepared for the Church itself - with or without our accustomed celebrations of the Eucharist - to signify about the presence of God with us.

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Worship Schedule

Services at this time are through Facebook Live on our Facebook page and will continue to be so through Holy Week. Mother Sara has created a YouTube channel to make our services even more accessible, but know that this is not a click-of the button process, is far from perfect, and is not part of Mtr. Sara's skill set! A link will be sent to a few who are not on Facebook so we can give it a try. If this includes YOU, please let Mother Sara know so she can send you a link. Right now, the videos are private, viewable only with a link. The last thing we want is for our services to be "bombed" by those with ill will, even in the comments. Your patience is greatly appreciated as we adapt through this process and before we go more "public."

Mother Sara will also be reaching out to lectors (our scripture readers) about using Zoom to offer readings for our upcoming Holy Week services.

If you do not have The Book of Common Prayer at home, you may arrange to pick one up from the church or access it online: https://www.bcponline.org/ .

You can access a guide to the Daily Offices (of which Morning and Evening Prayer are included), HERE . If the link to the Google Doc doesn't work for you, please email Mtr. Sara for a copy of the .pdf.

Stay tuned, also, for bulletins for our Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday services. There will be invitations to further create your space at home. Again, stay tuned, and thank you for your patience.

Services :
8am - Morning Prayer, Rt. II, Monday-Friday (Yes, this continues through Holy Week.)
5pm - Evening Prayer, Rt. II, Saturday
9am - Palm Sunday
1pm - Domingo de Palma
6pm - Maundy Thursday/Juevas Santo
12pm - Good Friday: Stations of the Cross via video
6pm - Good Friday/Buen Viernes
8pm - Easter Vigil/Vigilia de Pascua
8am - Easter Sunday
(later Easter services via Trinity Cathedral/National Cathedral)
1pm - Domingo de Pascua
From the Treasurer

Fellow Parishioners,

First, I would like to thank all of you who have been able to keep your pledges current during these difficult times as well as those who have made non-pledge donations. We realize that times are difficult for each of you individually as well as the Church. Because we are not physically meeting, pledges and donations have fallen off rather dramatically from what we had originally expected and budgeted for.

Through the first quarter that just ended our total expected contributions are $9,792 below what was expected, and the basic expenses of operating the church continue. As most of you know we have been struggling financially for the last couple of years and just when it appeared at the beginning of the year that our financial future was looking much brighter, we are confronted with this crisis. As you would expect, the last month during which we have not been physically meeting has contributed $9,113 of the deficit. Non-purpose contributions that would otherwise have been expected were down by that amount last month. That might be expected since some are figuring out how to contribute without being physically present. 

We are looking into options through the combination of bank loans and government assistance per the bishop's direction (a portion of the bank loan to meet payroll/benefit expenses may qualify for forgiveness). While not ideal, we are looking at our numbers and projections. Know that we will work as hard as possible to get through this crisis together. We will with God's help.

So, I must reiterate, when we physically attend church our non-pledge as well as our pledge donations each weekend are significant, and it is very important that we maintain those donations even though we are not currently physically meeting. We request that those who can make contributions 
  • by check: send them to All Saints' Episcopal Church, PO Box 528, Bentonville, AR 72712.
  • online: through Tithe.ly. You can go to https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithely/give (the space that appears between the words "give" and "new" in the address is really an underscore on the keyboard) to establish a new account and determine how you wish to pay. It is easy to establish an account and if set to be done periodically and automatically it will help our cash flow tremendously. You also won't have to worry about taking a check to church when start meeting again!
One bright note is that many of you will receive a government payment (optimistically by the end of April) in the amount of $1200 per individual or $2400 per couple. Be sure to check to see if you qualify and what you might need to do to make sure that you receive it. Hopefully that will help many and can indirectly help the Church.

Thank all of you so much for your help in supporting our Church and all the good that it does in these difficult times. Please keep the Church itself and Mother Sara in your prayers. My prayer is that all can stay safe and we can all come out of this together. If I can be of any help in any way please feel free to contact me at treasurer@allsaintsbentonville.org or by phone at 361-739-7567.

Your Treasurer,
John Jones
Looking forward to Easter

To whom would you like to dedicate an Easter lily? For what do you want to offer your thanks? Sign up through our SignUp Genius and pay $15 per lily through tithe.ly (select "Altar Flowers" when designating purpose). It's all online! We'll make sure the flowers get set up at the church, and afterward we can deliver yours to you and plant any remaining at the church. While many churches have cancelled their order, I wonder how many we will have this year?
All Saints' Directory - Photos Needed!

We're trusting that you've been to our directory online (instantchurchdirectory.com) or have installed the app: https://www.instantchurchdirectory.com/app/ . (Actually, we know that not everyone has, but we're moving forward anyway!) Our Vestry and Clergy will be using this as a means of contact to you all. If you're not included or if you would like a printed copy, please contact Sandi Lynn or Mother Sara. We would love to see more pictures of our members! Help us do this before we go seeking photos of you! Thanks for helping us stay better connected, which is so important especially now that we are not gathering in person. We'll be in touch soon!
Prayer Buddy?

Did you miss out on getting a Prayer Buddy? No worries! Please contact Mother Sara so she can share your contact info with another who may have missed filling out the card. 
Creation Care Connection - Fair Trade Movement and Coffee

"It is inhumane in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity."  - Dave Barry
 
Did you know that the buzz that comes from coffee beans was discovered by goats? Or, that coffee was originally dubbed Satan's Drink? Fun story for another time.......
 
A few months ago, we announced in the newsletter that we were going to begin serving only fair trade coffee at All Saints. Once we deplete the inventory of Folgers, we will move forward with this plan! Why the change? Well, it is really good coffee in more ways than one. The Fair Trade Movement began in 1946 with a Mennonite woman named Edna Ruth Byler (founder of Ten Thousand Villages International). In rural Puerto Rico, she encountered women living in extreme poverty selling their wares to survive. She purchased all they had, took the items home and resold them for ten times what she paid. The profit was sent back to the village. The Mennonite Relief Organization recognized the value of providing sustainable income for impoverished people and took up Byler's work.
 
The Fair Trade Coffee campaign was launched in the 1980s by a Dutch organization called Solidaridad. The premise was simple - pay a fair price to farmers so that they pay a fair wage to workers. As fair trade coffee became popular, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and put their own fair trade logo on coffee without changing their practices. Ultimately, the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO) was formed to ensure that growers as well as the supply chain maintain a level of integrity. Under FLO guidelines, farmers (who pay to use the Fair Trade Logo) agree to (1) use sustainable, earth-friendly practices; (2) avoid child labor; (3) pay workers a living wage; and (4) provide decent working conditions. The coffee is sold at a higher profit margin with fewer middlemen so that everyone benefits. Our coffee will be purchased through a Fair Trade/Direct Trade non-profit consortium, in which there are no middlemen. Equal Exchange includes farmers and workers as voting members of the consortium. Coffee is sold directly to the consumer (like our church). Additionally, Equal Exchange pays a portion of the proceeds to the Episcopal Relief Organization to support international work.
Work on the Roof Underway!

The work has begun on the roof, and a check from the diocese (as part of the amount designated to All Saints') has been received, which covers the $72,000 cost. Replacement and repair of the soffits has also been completed for, including adding vents to help with circulation. Please keep Gustavo and crew in your prayers as they do the work on the roof. You are welcome to drive by and see the progress underway, but please steer clear of the parking lot, as we don't want your tires to find any stray roofing screws from the old material or risk being in the way of the workers. We are so fortunate to be able to have this work done.
Lent Madness - It's getting serious!

We're just getting started in the Elate Eight, as the field of competitors vying for the Golden Halo has narrowed to just eight saints. Excitement is high, and if you want evidence, look no further than the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. They've made a fantastic trailer to promote voting in the Elate Eight. We love our fans, and we wanted to share with you this great work from ardent fans. Don't forget to vote at LentMadness.org!
Theology Pub on COVID-19 Hiatus

Unfortunately the COVID-19 virus has halted our theology pub meetings for the time being. Watch this space for updates as soon as we are able to congregate again.
Noon Bible Study - Email Group 

Our social justice-themed Bible study continues now through video conferencing, thanks to Zoom. Please email Sandi Lynn or Mother Sara if you would like to join. All you need is a phone (you can just dial in), a smart phone, or a computer, and we can still feast on the Word together.
Interfaith Book Club

Our Tri-Faith Book Club has been renewed, renamed and is meeting online each Tuesday evening at 7:30pm. Thank you to Meshall Khalid for reaching out from Arizona to get us all back together. We are welcoming new members of all faiths! Please let Sandi Lynn know if you would like to be added to the group. You will need a link to join the meeting.  This is an opportunity for all of us to reconnect, no matter where we are, Bentonville or not! If there is someone you know who may be interested in joining our group but is from a different faith, they are welcome! We will build a stronger community together when we are able to know each other.

The book we decided on is " The Lemon Tree" by Sandy Tolan.  As a reminder, you do not have to read the books suggested to join our meetings. Our discussion questions are usually given in a broader sense and your take on any topic is welcome! We also would like the group to be fluid and open to change, so topic ideas other than books is fine, please bring them!
Essentials Outreach

All contributions are helpful! Thanks to all who contribute to our neighbors. Lost your list? Here are items requested: Check out our Facebook page!

Toilet Paper
Shampoo
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Soap Shaving Cream Dish Detergent Laundry Soap

Disposable Razors Deodorant

Food Pantry 

The Food Pantry at Christ the King Lutheran Church  will be meeting but in a limited manner.  Customers will be handled in a drive thru sort of form and the building will remain closed.  

Food Pantry - March 25
38 people, 9 families

Prayer Requests

Please keep these people, organizations and causes in your prayers. If you have a prayer request, you can send a detailed email to Mother Sara . As you pray, please remember:

Fred June Dave Nielson family Margaret
Anne Brenda Janelle Ana Maria Simmons-Abernathy family
Deborah James Heather Kathi Tamara
Raven & family Carey Samantha Nancy, Brian, Joyce and family Toni
Candace Steve Linda B Leigh Lynda
Pat Howard Hilary and housemates Natalia the Schiller family, especially Sarah
Sara and Cole for those expecting - Michelle


for the safety and protection of healthcare workers for all affected by Covid-19 all those whose jobs have stopped or are at risk

Prayers for the departed: Justin (brother of an incarcerated woman), Gretchen (mother of Kyle Schiller), and all who have died from Covid-19, especially Josh -- May they rest in peace and rise in glory and their families be comforted by the presence of Christ now and always.

Do you
know of others ? Please join your prayers with ours. Thank you.
ministryMinistry Leaders 

It takes many people to support the ministries of All Saints'. Here are email links for leaders of lay ministries. If you have any questions or would like to help, please reach out. There is a place for you. Your participation is much needed and appreciated!

Acolytes - Lou Honderich
Altar Guild - Jennifer Stoner
Bread Guild - Justin Snopko
Chalice Bearers and Lectors - Lou Honderich  (Sunday) Marj Bernhardt (Saturday)
Diversity Representative - Julie Collins
ECW - Sandi Lynn, all women of the church are encouraged to attend!
Facebook - Belinda Ostrowski, pictures are always appreciated!
Flower Guild - Brenda Zedlitz or sign up online
Hospitality - Geraldine Madsen and Sandi Lynn
Interfaith representative - to be filled
Music -  Jayme Amonsen
Newsletter - Sandi Lynn, feedback and suggestions are always welcome!
Rides to church - Tom Morris
Theology Pub - Sandy Wylie
Vestry - Debby Nye , Senior Warden
Regularly Scheduled Events

Choir Rehearsal - Wednesdays at 6:30pm

ECW - 2nd Thursday monthly, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Noon Bible Study - Tuesdays, 12:00 noon - 1:00pm

Theology Pub - every other Monday, 6:30pm

Time to Breathe - Thursdays, 6:00-6:30pm

Vestry Meeting - 3rd Tuesday monthly, 6:30pm

linksQuick Links

LGBTQ+ Alliance Facebook
LGBTQ+ Alliance Instagram
All Saints' Instagram
All Saints'/Todos Los Santos calendar
Arkansas 211 Resource Guide - updated list of where to get help
Diocese of Arkansas
Episcopal News Service
Past Sermons - Mtr. Sara's blog
Church Phone Numbers and Office Hours

Church phone: 479.802.0302
Office hours: Tues - Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and other times by appointment.
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