June 2020 Ministry Update Letter
Dear Friends and Standing Together Partners,
The last several months of life on earth have been, challenging, to say the least. The world before Covid-19 and an America before the tragic murder of George Floyd only weeks ago, as well as the outrage in cities across our nation since his death, have marked a “new normal” that seems anything but normal. Honestly, it has been hard to know how to serve the Utah evangelical Christian community and the cause of biblical unity during this strange season of ministry and life.
The first thing I did was to invite a select group of evangelical leaders of larger congregations to form a Virus Response Team that has met weekly since the last week of March. The response of these leaders has been amazing and they have asked me to extend our meeting schedule from a one month commitment, to two, and now to three. Meeting each Thursday over a Zoom session, the group of 15 to 20 pastors has become a key advisory team. During our meetings we have had such leaders as our Governor, our Lt. Governor, our Attorney General, our state Covid-19 Task Force Director, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Senator Mike Lee and former Ambassador Jon Huntsman join our calls for direct briefings from them and to offer our input to them. One pastor remarked to me personally, “Greg, the contacts you have in our state government are remarkable and I cannot imagine any other pastors network having such direct and diverse contact with their state’s leadership during this pandemic.” In fact, a few of our task force members have recently shared their words of appreciation to me for the leadership role Standing Together has played as we have faced the many questions and concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.
I'm grateful for the ministry and mission of Standing Together. The value of unity amongst the body of Christ has been profoundly demonstrated during these times of uncertainty.
-Pastor Corey J. Hodges of the Point Church
Greg, your leadership during this time of state and national crisis has helped position me and my church to be able to respond with wisdom and confidence. The experts and state leaders you have brought onto our calls, who have been able to answer our questions and allowed us to give crucial input, have been amazing. The increased unity I sense with the other pastors in Utah has also been a huge blessing to me. Thanks Greg!
-Pastor Bill Young of The Rock Church
Standing Together has proven to be such a valuable link from the community of faith to our state government in this uncertain time. Without ST our information would be less timely and we would not be as prepared as we are for the next steps for our church community. Thank you ST for opening up such important doors.
-Pastor Rich Wooten of Life Church
I’m so grateful to Greg for creating a forum for church leaders where we can find wisdom and encouragement from one another throughout this season of uncertainty. Standing Together has never felt more important, and I thank God for calling Greg to partner with Him in what He’s doing in the state of Utah!
-Pastor Troy Champ of Capital Church
Having a group like Standing Together during a situation like Covid-19 has been priceless. The ability to connect, talk together and network with other pastors each week has been incredible. It has reminded us that we are not facing this crisis alone!
-Pastor Robert Guiller of Crossroads Christian Fellowship
The weekly sessions with other pastors has strengthened my leadership and my confidence about the hard decisions I have had to make. I am grateful for ST!
-Pastor Mike Heil of 1st Presbyterian Church of American Fork
Through Greg's effort and network each pastor has never felt alone, isolated, or without encouragement. Ministry was never intended to be done alone and Greg has demonstrated the importance of this through Standing Together.
-Pastor Matt Miller of Elevation Church
Last week we had our largest pastors gathering ever for a normal monthly fellowship meeting and we called out to God for our nation and our state in prayer. Our time together was powerful and even now a new initiative is being considered to engage the racial tensions in our state.
So, this is what God has called Standing Together to do over the last several months of our ministry. Candidly, the current crisis has hit our financial position hard and our monthly giving is significantly down. If you can help us regain our financial footing during this critical time, I would be most grateful. As always, my trust and confidence as to what God has for us in the days ahead is in the Lord’s hands. With love and appreciation for your support of the work of biblical unity and transformation in Utah! God Bless you all!
For the Body of Christ in Utah, Greg