ALL ARE WELCOME AT
Pine Bluff's Neighborhood Episcopal Church
A Letter from Bishop Benfield
For me, Holy Week has always been more introspectively focused than communally focused. It is a time to reflect and not get so caught up in what, these days, has become a “pre-holiday frenzy” before every holiday, secular or religious. Even the church, with all its liturgies, loves getting into a frenzy.
This Holy Week, due to the pandemic, we all are going to be forced to be more introspective—more alone—than many of us want to be. No pre-holiday frenzy this year. Gaping absences instead. But in this week that is quieter than usual, we all have the chance to focus on the absences in life that can form our vision for a more abundant future. The most striking image I cannot let go of this week is an online news article that showed a young, uninsured woman ready to catch a bus to go to work as a health care provider. She is fearful of becoming sick, yet she knows that she has no other option than to catch that bus because she is living on the edge of poverty. It is a situation that embarrasses me because my own life has been so different, so abundant.
Holy Week is about directly facing the reality of a broken world. But it also gives us the chance to envision what a more abundant world can look like for everyone and the decisions we need to make—as individuals, as a church, and as a society—on how we get there. As I reflect during this Holy Week, I am hoping that resurrection is indeed just around the corner, a day when the fear will be replaced by joy, disease replaced by health, selfishness replaced by concern for one another. I hope you will as well.