Ministry Update March 2022
Dear friends and partners,
Spring has sprung, and we greet you in the name of Jesus from the snow-capped mountains of the Wasatch Front in beautiful Utah! The first quarter of 2022 has ended, and we wanted to update you. There have been so many beautiful ways God has blessed Standing Together so far this year!
The first three weeks of March were a blur. We were blessed to have four different spring break college groups partner with us for our 20th year of Evangelical/LDS student dialogues. A packed weekly schedule provided numerous opportunities for our visiting evangelical students to meet and engage with LDS students. They dialogued about matters of faith and deepened relationships with each other. Over the three weeks, nearly 75 visiting evangelical students met with almost 150 LDS students for multi-hour dialogues and times of friendship building. They met at BYU and Institutes of Religion in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake, Orem, Cedar City, and St. George. After "breaking bread" with each other over pizza, sandwiches, or soup and salad, we experienced terrific conversations. These exceptional students explored LDS history, each other's theology, social issues, and personal faith expressions while showing respect, civility, and love. The LDS and evangelical college students expressed that the experience was truly life-changing and unforgettable.
Additionally, our evangelical students met with an LDS General Authority (the Commissioner of Education) for an hour and a half of significant spiritual Q & A each week. The encouragement our team and local pastors received from the students from Biola; Westmont; Chi Alpha Duluth, Minnesota; and Mars Hill Church in Mobile, Alabama will last all year long. These college students know how to be convicted about what they believe and express it civilly and honestly with each other. We may never know the full extent of how God might use the time we spent with all of these students, but it is clear that God profoundly used their spring breaks. We are thrilled and honored to facilitate these incredible conversations and are delighted by how God is using them in the lives of the participating students.
In late January, we invited Dr. Ken Smylie to Utah from Florida to do a one-day seminar for our local pastors' network on mental health and spiritual warfare. "Healing Hearts with Dr. Ken Smylie" blessed our pastors corporately in a group session and individually with ten private sessions available to those who wanted to seek Ken's guidance and encouragement. During the evening, we hosted another "Healing Hearts" seminar at a local church where a young woman in the audience visited with Ken on stage and gave her life to Jesus Christ. She has already followed the Lord in baptism, regularly attends church, and is growing in her new faith in Jesus. It was truly amazing and God-ordained!
In the months ahead, we are looking forward to ways to continue to encourage the Body of Christ in Utah to stand together in Jesus. We will be hosting our National Day of Prayer Community Leadership breakfast again after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19. We are also thrilled by new opportunities to use our podcast platform on YouTube, "Building Bridges with Greg and Jill," to advance the ongoing conversation between Latter-day Saint leaders and ourselves. We continue to see how God uses The Chosen TV series and Jill's writing with Multiply Goodness to build bridges with our LDS friends here in Utah.
We want to humbly acknowledge that nothing we are privileged to do here in Utah would be possible without your financial support and prayers. We see God doing powerful things here in Utah as God has united Jill and me in leading Standing Together together in 2022. Would you consider joining our monthly support team as we close this letter? Could you possibly send us a one-time financial gift and pray for our small four-member ministry team? We would be most grateful if you would!
With our love and sincere appreciation!
Greg, Jill, Kelsey, and Marco