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Recent Comments

Re: “Circuit judge race finishes in the mud

I have read and read all your comments. First of all, no rule has been violated. I remember the James Law Firm starting this fight with one of their advertisement on radio. So give me a break when everyone is doing it. Have you not received the flyers for democrats against republicans? Seriously. Always easy to point finger right?
I have seen both candidate working. Different style different approach. Very good people both of them. So cool your jets people. I know that some defense lawyers are scum bag. Really. This is all about money and recognition, nothing to do with I will make a difference. I have been abused by a priest at a young age and the organization that he belonged to paid for a defense lawyer. They won. I was really mad because it was all about the money. I never understood how defense lawyer can make a difference, well I guess it depends on how much you want to pay....
Again a flyer will not change anything. And if you are so shocked about a flyer like that, maybe the truth hurts. My choice was made long time ago. Like always do your homework. I'm glad that I voted for John.

26 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by uriage98 on 11/04/2012 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Cathedral School to close

Letter from the Bishop regarding the closing of the School: To my friends at Trinity Cathedral:

During June and July, following the closing of the Cathedral School, it was my honor to be with you on four Sundays to celebrate the Eucharist and preach. One Sunday had already been planned for my annual official visit; I added the other Sundays to underscore the importance of this moment in Trinity's life, to hear your reactions to this event, and to learn more about your overall health as a congregation. I understand the enormity of feelings that resulted from the school's closing and the effect that it has had, not only on members of the cathedral, but also on the people throughout the Little Rock area who for so many years have been a part of the school's life. I have learned much from listening to you at church and from your visits, emails, and letters. I am thankful for the hard work of so many of you to support this parish and its work in the wider church.

The decision to close the Cathedral School was a result of a number of factors, and the closing's ultimate impact on the cathedral remains to be seen. But the decision itself was only one factor contributing to the intense emotional reactions of so many people. The manner in which the decision was made, other recent actions, and the history of how the cathedral has historically lived out its common life are important contributors as well.

For example, earlier this year the school's accrediting agency noted pervasive rancor during its review of the school and parish. In my sermon at the cathedral on June 5th I noted longstanding issues of mistrust, pride, and power. Closely connected are the ongoing lack of transparency in administrative and financial matters; an inability to exercise appropriate, effective, and gracious leadership; a lack of accountability for actions taken; and an inability to resolve conflict in a healthy manner. All these issues predate the difficult decision that was made in May concerning the school. Indeed, some issues go back generations.

Those issues can sound daunting. But I want to assure you that you have the ability within yourselves to make long-term decisions that will enable you to become a healthier congregation. Indeed, it is far better for your health to implement change yourself rather than have it imposed upon you. I strongly recommend that you do the following to attain that health:

•The dean, vestry, and larger cathedral leadership become honestly accountable to themselves and to one another for the actions each has taken, rather than focusing on the responsibilities, actions, and failures of others.

•Everyone bear in mind that the overall health of a congregation, as Edwin Friedman noted in his books on congregational systems and leadership, depends on the health of its leadership. Leadership can be exercised by officially selected individuals and bodies, as well as by informal groups. Mature leaders continue relationships with people who disagree with them. Mature leaders are non-reactive and non-anxious. Mature leaders do not maintain their positions by taking rigid, dogmatic stands.

•The cathedral's leadership engage a congregational systems specialist to examine and work on the longstanding issues I have listed in this letter. This process will be lengthy (years, not months) and will likely cause some discomfort; looking honestly at ourselves always does. But as the process continues and you are serious about the changes possible, you will start to see that you are making decisions and relating to one another in a healthier way.

In my judgment, to ignore the work outlined in these bullet points and instead focus on other items, such as programming or facility use or a new mission statement, will be detrimental to the long-term health and viability of the congregation, its leaders and members. To ignore this work may well result in the cathedral finding itself in a similar situation in future years.

My role is to remain your chief pastor, to engage with you and encourage you as you live into the mission of reconciliation to which God calls us. My official seat is at Trinity Cathedral, and I want to see the cathedral be a place that even more fully embodies its own call to be a house of prayer for all people. This congregation can have a mission to Arkansas that is exemplary. I want all of us to be so visibly the body of Christ that people will see Jesus through us.

You continue to be an important focus of my prayers and concerns. Together we can "come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ" that St. Paul wished for the people at the church in Ephesus, and by implication, wishes for us as well in this century.

With every best wish I remain

Faithfully yours,
Larry R. Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas

Posted by uriage98 on 07/14/2011 at 10:33 AM


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