2 July 2020
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
North Little Rock, Arkansas
“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
– Isaiah 59.19 King James Version
Dear Church Family,
We are truly living in days of biblical proportions! It seems that the very foundations of our society are buckling and threatening to collapse.
As one looks back at the last great pandemic – the Spanish Flu of 1918, it’s evident that the experience of those just over a century ago were very similar to ours. There were religious groups that saw the pandemic as a sure sign that “the end of the world” was about to occur. Others saw it as a form of governmental overreach and continued to worship in large groups, contributing to the rising death toll. Political unrest worsened as the Great War raged on. There were so many deaths that a casket shortage ensued, with funeral homes having to hire armed guards to protect their show room stock!
At present the Covid 19 cases are surging with greater totals than any we have seen to date. It also saddens me to report that our parish has finally been touched by Covid-19, our own Angie and Peyton Waliski have contracted the virus and will be in quarantine at home for the next two weeks. Please check with a vestry member or a member of the Daughters of the King if you would like to be involved in taking them food, supplies, and toys. We are tired, we are ready to have some semblance of normal, and that includes being able to attend worship in person. Your clergy, vestry, and staff have been working on a plan for reopening. We want for the entire congregation to be able to take a look at a draft of this plan, and we would like to hear your feedback. After considering your feedback, we will finalize our plan; and look to setting a date when we will open up our service to more folks.
Our bishop has developed new guidelines for the distributing of Holy Communion. There is a video embedded on the diocesan website for you to view. This coming Sunday (5 July) I will be consecrating the bread and wine, and distributing the bread only (under strict protocol) to those who are present. This is a small step toward normalcy, and we will see how this goes. I have had some personal conversations with parishioners around this issue, please feel free to reach out if you are struggling with not being able to receive communion.
In the meantime, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of our staying connected to one another by all available means. We will continue with two weekly services of worship, Sundays and Wednesdays. Our virtual “Happy Hours” will continue at the rate of about two per month, and is a great way to look in on each other and to catch up on what’s been going on! We will do another broadcast of the “At Home Series” soon, and will continue sending out a weekly e-News and monthly e-vangelist. During the service you are able to post comments and you can see others comments and respond (as someone said to me, “It’s like being able to whisper in church without feeling guilty)!
Know that you are all God’s beloved sons and daughters and are precious in his sight, as are all whom we encounter. May we be gentle with one another, ourselves, and our neighbors, and for all those who see life from a different perspective. It Really Is All About Love!
In Christ’s Love,
Church services for Sunday worship will be @ 10:30 am and Wednesday at noon St. Luke’s Facebook page Live. The facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/frcarey.
Let us continue to stay connected to one another by phone, e-mail, the US Postal Service and continue online worship on Sundays and Wednesdays. Please do let us know if you have any kind of need either pastoral or practical. Your priest and fellow parishioners stand ready to help you. Don't hesitate to reach out, and know how much you are loved and missed!
May the grace and peace of the Great Physician be with us all.
All services will be broadcast on
St Luke’s Facebook page.
Bulletins for Sunday and Wednesday service will be provided by email, personal delivery or direct mail.
Senior Warden Report July 2020
“In these days of pandemic, we are being granted the offer of a lifetime – to personally experience the Holy Spirit’s moving, and to “be the Church” out in the world, in new and exciting ways; as we plan safe ways of worshipping together. “Fr Carey
I am not certain how long COVID-19 will remain virulent among us, but I am certain that as Christians, the second Great Commandment should undergird the responses we make: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Bishop Larry Benfield
As you are all aware, St. Luke’s has been closed to in person worship for the past four months, due to corona virus-related restrictions from Bishop Benfield and state Department of Health. The harsh realities of the covid19 virus and the impact it has had on all aspects of our lives, has become part of our “new normal”. We realize that the closing of our churches has been particularly hard as we look to our spiritual faith to guide us through these difficult times.
In response to the church closing St. Luke’s has adapted by adding virtual (Facebook) at home service and by scheduling Zoom meetings for various lay ministries and committees (and even virtual Happy Hours). Although we have had great response to our online worship services, many parishioners are anxious to get back inside the church and fully experience our worship services and the fellowship of our church family.
As we look ahead to reopening our church for in-person worship, we are directed by our Bishop to comply with health and safety guidelines from the Ark Dept of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control. St. Luke’s vestry has carefully reviewed all the guidelines and has developed this draft plan to assure our members and the Bishop that we are prepared to comply with key guidelines and ultimately protect the health and safety of all our parishioners.
The attached Reopening Plan focuses on continuing our virtual worship services and reopening for in-person worship services. Once successfully reopened for in-person worship, we will focus on lay ministries and ultimately on reopening our church campus only when we believe it is safe to do so. This plan identifies action items in four categories: 1) Communication, 2) Worship Services, 3) Health and Safety Logistics, and 4) Lay Ministries and Church Activities, Additional planning will be needed to support implementation and monitoring.
Your input is critical to making sure this plan fits St. Luke’s. Our bottom line is addressing the both the spiritual needs and the health and safety of all our parishioners. While all items in the plan are related to Health Department guidelines, we can make adjustments to ensure they fit our church. For more information or to offer comments, concerns, and edits, please contact Senior Warden Betty Guhman, Fr Carey or any Vestry member.
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to make improvements in our virtual worship ser ices, while preparing for eventual regathering!
Peace be with you,
Betty Guhman, Sr Warden
Grantchester Group Discussion
Please join us for a lively discussion of the PBS presentation of Grantchester Season 5, a British series about a sleuth detective and an Anglican priest. The series airs on Sunday evenings, at 8pm on Arkansas PBS. The other four seasons can be viewed on PBS, Apple TV, HULU Live (if you need to catch up). We will meet via ZOOM Monday mornings from 10:30am to 11:30am for convivial fellowship and lively discussion about the most recent episode. Check your email from the church with an invite to join us. Two easy steps: 1) open the email 2) click on the underlined blue writing - that's all there is to it! Hope to see you on Mondays!
These were the Grandchester "Groupies" last Monday!
please encourage other groupies to join in the fun!
From the Virtual church office
The physical office is temporarily closed but we are very much open for business on Facebook live, phone calls and mail. Shirley Howard is available by e-mail and remote at email@example.com. Please place letters, pledges, etc into the OUTSIDE mailbox as this will be checked daily. If you have questions, concerns or in need of care please call:
Thank you for all you do!
It is very much appreciated!
- The church directory is being carefully updated with corrected emails. Calls from the office have been made to help in that process. It was good to hear those voices again. We will be using the directory to send out short messages and information. This is to keep you as up to date as quickly as possible. The directory is easily updated so whenever changes need to be made they can be made for you the contact for that would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This past Sunday's altar flowers were given in honor of Col. William L. Fry, US Air Force, and all those who have served our country to protect our freedoms, father of Jeannie Fry.
- This Sunday's Altar flowers were donated by the Anderson family (Betty, Ginna, Lawson and Kay) in honor of Rev. Lawson Anderson in honor of his service with the US Army and as Rector of St. Luke's.
- If you already signed up for the altar flowers you may still send the check by mail or drop into our outside mailbox at the office. You may also contact Shirley at the office 501-753-4281 with the information that you wish to include with the flowers or the dates you wish flowers to be placed on the altar.
St. Luke’s Outreach Ministries
- Clothes Closet In the past, our clothes closet, which is located in the basement of our church building, opened up its doors each Tuesday morning, serving an average of 20 or more individuals each week with donated clothing. Right now, while the closet is closed, we are operating as a “mobile” clothes closet, delivering clothing to individuals and to locations such as Dorcas House, Women & Children First, Central Baptist, Jericho Way, and individuals and locations as we become aware of them. We are not able to accept any more donations at the present time; we will inform the parish when this changes. Contacts: Nancy Crow, Jeannie Fry
- Homeless Shelter Ministries St. Luke’s supports area homeless shelters such as River City Ministries (North Little Rock) and Dorcas House (Little Rock). Each month, we deliver donations, such as bottled water, and items left in the three white containers in the church office including detergent, hand warmers, razors, band aids, small packs of aspirin and toiletries (e.g., toothpaste, shampoo, soap, hand cream, hand sanitizer, etc.), bleach, bottled water and diapers. Other donation points will be designated from time to time during this Covid crisis period. Contacts: Don Wood or Tommie Williams
- Family Promise Ministry is a nationwide outreach program designed to help homeless families with children find a safe and permanent new home. While in the program, they live at shelter sites for one week, which, in the past, were provided by churches like St. Luke’s. We partner with our neighbors, Park Hill Christian Church, in this ministry. Which is funded 100% from outside of St. Luke’s operating budget. It is funded by a Keller Fund grant, distributions from St. Luke’s Endowment Fund, in-kind donations, and individual donations “ear-marked” for Family Promise. Right now, rather than housing families in our parish hall, we will deliver evening meals to them at the hotels where they are staying. Contacts: Nancy Crow, meals coordinator, Tom Simmons, overnight host coordinator, and John Rhodes, facilities coordinator.
- Park Hill Christian Church Food Pantry Ministry Our neighbor church, Park Hill Christian (“PHCC”) has an extensive Food Pantry, which is open every Tuesday morning to serve those in need. They also distribute Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets and provide a Christmas store. Opportunities to help include volunteering to help with the PHCC food pantry (hours are flexible), donating nonperishable food, helping with food baskets, and donating to their Christmas store. Right now, you may leave donations of non-perishable food at PHCC, outside of their church office. Contact: Jeannie Fry
- St. Luke’s Respite Care Center In the past, every Thursday in the parish hall, St. Luke’s Respite Care has served as an adult day care from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The ministry is supported by five congregations in North Little Rock: Lakewood Methodists, Park Hill Christian, Park Hill Presbyterian, Immaculate Conception and St. Luke’s. It began in 1984 with a grant from the UNITED THANK OFFERING. It is entirely funded OUTSIDE of St. Luke’s operating funds, due to donations from individuals and area churches and client fees. It is supported 100% by volunteers who help prepare and serve snacks and meals and provide activities for elderly unable to care for themselves, thus, giving their caregiver some time off. Contacts: Due to the Covid crisis, and due to the nature of the volunteer and client base, Respite Care is not operating at this time in the parish hall. However, efforts are underway to stay in touch with clients and volunteers (by phone or email) and reaching out to clients at home as possible. If you wish to become more involved in the Respite program in the future feel free to contact St. Luke’s parishioners Trish Wood Tommie Williams or the program’s director, Lalia Zakrewski at 501-912-9615.
- St. Francis House (“SFH”) Veteran’s ministry SFH is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas located at 2701 S. Elm, Little Rock. For nearly 50 years, SFH has provided provides social services, a medical clinic and an extensive veteran’s program and transitional housing for veterans trying to get back on their own. St. Luke’s has always actively been a part of SFH and, currently, Jeannie Fry serves on the Board of St. Francis House. In the past we provided meals with entertainment each quarter in our own parish hall for the vets housed at St. Francis House. Right now, we are delivering packaged dinners to the vets at SFH. Also, in the past, through our Christmas OPERATION ADOPT A VET, our parishioners answered the call to adopt more than 30 vets housed at St. Francis House this past Christmas. With your help, Christmas gifts of clothing was purchased, wrapped and delivered to our vets. Watch for more information--We will look for creative ways to continue OPERATION ADOPT a VET this Christmas amid the Covid crisis. Contact: Jeannie Fry
- Annie Lea’s Pantry” is a Little Free Pantry [“LFP”], a mini-pantry feeding neighbors, and remains fully operational. Anyone may stock it with non-perishable goods, anyone may access it, at any time. As the sign says on its door, “Take what you need, leave what you can.” Our LFP is called “Annie Lea’s Pantry” in memory of Annie Lea Shuster. Leave non-perishable packaged goods in Annie’s Pantry: such as fruit cups, individual packages of oatmeal, beanie weennies, peanut butter cups, Vienna sausages, ramen noodles, dried fruit, fruit snacks, jerky, granola bars, bottled water, etc. [Please do not leave fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or unpackaged foods.] Contacts: Abbie Parsons, or Jeannie Fry
Submitted by Jeannie Fry, July 2020
ST. LUKE’S PRAYER LIST
Let us pray for those whose lives are closely linked with ours
For M'Liss Collins, Stephanie Mays sister of Shannon Stone, Gloria Holst,Pat Howard, Matt and Stacy Briggs, Max Green, Saint Gavin Whitted, Wes Ward, Bear Slaughter, , Wes Bala,Ann Chisholm, Vivian Hall, Lorene Means, Jean Belknap, Mayo Smith, Karen Chisholm, Abbie Parsons,Carmen Quinn, Sarah, Adam, gerald Warren, Jasper, Jennie Martin, Nathan Martin, Nancy Collins,Bill Gates, Anne Gontermann, Louis Jenkins, Kailyn,Steve Fanning, Jill Cox, Gene Cox, Carle,Becky Simpson, Lindsay, Kevin Quinn, Ross Traa, Megan Rice, Dianne Shewmaker, Missy Griffin, Sara Rains, Randy Henard, Randy Henard, Josephine Wrenn, Linda Hawkins, J.R., Aleita Easley, Lloyd, Cherryl, Ed, Dennis Sobba,JQ Richardson, Stuart Richardson, Louise Charlotte, Angie and Peyton Waliski, Dawn Kramer, Doug House, Kay and Denton Gay, Cody and Corey McBain.
For the Governor and his leadership team.
For those suffering with or at risk of the coronavirus,
For doctors, nurses, healthcare team, hospital administrators, EMTs.
For all those who serve in law enforcement, and for racial reconciliation.
For those who have been wounded in body and mind for the sake of our freedom.
For all the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially Justin, Joshua,Tim,Matt, Doug, Brian Mahoney, Brian Mennes, Frank Tate, Alex Schimelpfening, David Liem, Justin, John Landis, Lucas Kunce, David Jackson, and Derek Caro.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
4106 John F Kennedy Boulevard
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116
The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield, Bishop
The Rev. Carey Stone, Rector
The Rev. Richard Robertson, Deacon
Shirley Howard, Administrative Assistant
Betty Guhman, Senior Warden
Tim Reid, Junior Warden
Joshua Taylor, Verger
Max Green, Sub-Verger
Scott Seidenschwarz, Organist & Choirmaster
Virtual Worship Services
Sundays 10:30 am Holy Communion or Morning Prayer
Wednesdays 12 noon Healing Prayer
4106 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116
The website button for St.Luke's as well as the Facebook link is attached below.