Newsletter: Sunday, September 13, 2020
September 10, 2020, 11:12 AM

St. John’s Episcopal Church 



It is with cautious optimism that the St. John’s Vestry and I have set the date of Sunday, September 20 for our return to indoor worship! Our return is based on the significant decline in active Covid-19 infections in Phillips County. Several months ago Bishop Larry Benfield established the parameter of fourteen percent active cases per ten thousand population for a sustained period of ten days as the threshold for returning to indoor worship.  For the past week the rate has been around five to eight percent. Please join me in praying that the rates remain low.

We will have our third, and hopefully last, Outdoor Service this coming Sunday, September 13. You are welcome to bring your own lawn chairs if you prefer.  Of course, we will also have our white garden chairs available.

You will note some changes when we return to indoor worship on September 20. In keeping with CDC and Arkansas Department of Health guidelines we will be roping off pews to provide for physical distancing, providing temperature checks upon entry and wearing facemasks.  Free standing, touchless hand sanitizers will be available at both the front door and chapel door.

In the near future we will return to our mid-week chapel service and adult Sunday School Class. The same safe practices observed in our worship service will be followed in these gatherings, too.

Additional details about our return to indoor worship will be provided in next week’s newsletter. I realize some folks may decide they are not yet ready to return to church on September 20.  Of course, I completely respect the fact that each person or family has to make their own decision about returning.  That said, though, I look forward to seeing familiar faces in the pews on the 20th!

If there is a change in the Sunday morning schedule, it will be announced in the weekly newsletter and, if necessary, in a second newsletter at the end of the week.  As a reminder, the link to the Live Stream on YouTube is the same each week and is provided below.  If you missed the Live Stream, it is recorded and is available on YouTube.  

Blessings,  Fr. Ray+



Please keep the following in your prayers:   Debra Richardson, David Henderson, Kathy Sullivan,  Lynn Jordan,  Jim Howe, Nancy Howe, Parker Pace, Courtney Turner,  Rita Merritt, Jo Boone Wild,  Gloria Higginbotham,  Vivian Wright,  William Brandon, Cedric Franks, Jr,  Jeannie McCabe, Kathleen Gibson, Jeffery Mink, Cole Jefferies,  Pat Wheeler, Carol Spencer, Tommy Galloway, Bonnie & Charles Rowland, Pat Delk,  Lee McCarty Boyd, Jo Liddy, Riley Kate Haas, Katrina Justice, Joan Henderson, Judy Waxman, Dagmar Bergan, Bob Wright,  Carla Myers, Katy Mouritsen, John Darnell, and Pam Garofas.




Angels of Grace and Anchor Mission ministries: Choose any items from their wish list which includes:  paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, laundry detergent, bleach, dish soap, and cleaning supplies.

Humane Society of the Delta Donations needed include puppy, dog, cat, & kitten food

Please place all of these donations in the red wagon in the narthex to be blessed.

Grace Food Pantry: plastic bags go in the labeled container in the narthex.

Thank you for your donations.  They are all greatly appreciated and needed.



Reader this week:  Ben Pittman

Flowers:  Neville & Maureen Jones


The link for Sunday services on YouTube is:


The church will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. till noon and on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m.  Our sexton Tony will be present to assist with the lift if it is needed and will apply disinfectant to seating areas after they are used.  Please follow CDC and Arkansas Health Department guidelines when entering the building.  These include:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others, unless they are part of your family.
  • Wear a face mask while in the building. They will be available as you enter.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the building. It will be available on the table as you enter the building.
  • Please enter by the front doors since the chapel door will not be open.


Contact info for Fr. Ray:

Cell: 501-291-6262    


St. John’s Church Office:

Phone:  870-338-8115    


Mailing address:  P.O. Box 770, Helena, AR 72342

Street address: 625 Pecan St., Helena, Arkansas