Dear Members of the Parish,
For some time now, the traditional Episcopal community in Bella Vista has been considering leaving ECUSA and joining the United Episcopal Church of North America. Given the exigencies of St. Theodore’s (ECUSA), the Bella Vista group has decided that NOW is the opportune time to begin a mission.
In light of this development, I requested the Vestry members present for a quick meeting this past Sunday. The issue was discussed, and a motion was passed supporting the cause of our national church by planting this mission in Bella Vista as an undertaking of St. Gabriel’s United Episcopal Church in Springdale, Arkansas. The Vestry approved the idea of starting the UECNA presence in Bella Vista with the following suggestions:
- The mission will be termed “St.Gabriel’s Mission Church in Bella Vista” thereby keeping it connected to the main parish in Springdale.
- The Reverend Leo J. Michael will officiate the mission’s Saturday evening services and will be compensated for his time.
- The mission will maintain its basic membership with St.Gabriel’s and will attend services in Springdale at least one Sunday per month.
So, effective this Saturday at 5:30 p.m., with God’s gracious help, the UECNA and the parish of St. Gabriel’s will have a missionary presence in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Services will be held at the Bella Vista Lutheran Church. For more information, please contact Dr. Bobby Hall at 479-855-8099, or St. Gabriel’s directly at 479-756-5074.
This is a great moment of God’s grace for our church and its presence in Northwest Arkansas. Let us lift up this mission to the Lord in prayer and thank Him for this magnificent blessing. May His presence accompany us through these moments of growth in the life of our church.
In His service,
The Reverend Leo J. Michael