Ministry Update September 2022
Dear Friends and Partners,
Can I share a passage of scripture with you that has become more significant to us over the past several months than ever before? Matthew writes in chapter 11:28-30 of his gospel…
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)
That’s it! These three verses say it all. Are you weary? Are you carrying a heavy burden? Are you hurting, lonely, tired, anxious, or depressed because of this crazy world and all the division, anger, and sin we see in our society? Then come to Him, come to Jesus. There are no prerequisites, no hoops to jump through, no steps to climb, and no spirituality that you must attain. Nope, the only thing you need to do to receive the rest that He offers all of us is to come, to approach Him, to cry out in prayer, and tell Him that you are tired and weary. Then, Matthew says, God will hear you and give rest for your souls. Jesus tells us that the nature of His heart towards us is gentle, humble, and lowly. Nowhere else in the gospels do we hear Jesus describe His heart for us, that He wants us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us! (I Peter 5:7)
Matthew 11:28-30 has encouraged Jill and me so that we are seeking by faith to trust God for our marriage, family, ministry, provision, and daily service to Him here in Utah in a new way. We are seeking to fully surrender our burden for unity in the Evangelical Christian Community, our desire to build bridges to our LDS friends, and the weariness that we sometimes feel after 21 years of leading Standing Together. This passage has become a treasured reminder that while we seek to serve Jesus in Utah and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit day in and day out, we have to give it all to Him. By faith, we must trust Him that He will guide us, lead us, provide the opportunities, oversee the process, and bless the work He has given us to do! I can tell you that this level of surrender is easier for Jill than me, but I know and want to live out the truth that He who is in me is greater than he that is in the world. Jesus is the One who guides our path, our service, our ministry. We trust, we come, we believe, we pray, we seek and then He fills our days and directs our ways as we seek to serve Him here in Utah for the sake of the good news of Jesus!
In July, we had some wonderful time in New Jersey with our daughter and son-in-law over the week of July 4th. Indiana and Caleb are having their first child in late October and we are going to be grandparents for the first time ever. They say the best part of life is grandchildren and we are eager to find out if this is true. Then later in the month, our family traveled out to the Christian camp where our son Reagan works in northern California and had a wonderful week together, which included a white water rafting trip with Reagan as our guide. We had a blast!
That wasn’t the only camping we did this summer. In late July, I was humbled and honored to spend a week serving Utah foster and adopted kids with Royal Family Kids Camp, a national Christian ministry. We have been invited by Utah’s first lady, Abby Cox, to share with her about these week-long camps. Her personal initiative as First Lady of Utah is to support Utah’s adoptive and foster children.
Worship ’22 returned this year to the front lawn of the Utah State Capitol for the first time in three years as the last two events were canceled because of COVID. Our three worship bands led hundreds of Utah believers in several hours of united worship. For the first time in nearly 16 years of hosting our Worship event, we had rain—but we also had a double rainbow appear in the sky above the Wasatch Mountains, a beautiful reminder of God’s promises to us.
We are looking forward to hosting a fall pastors event and our annual Christmas honor luncheon for partnering pastors and ministry leaders. We continue to meet with four pastors groups each month and love hosting our monthly podcast on YouTube (please check it out on our YouTube channel: Building Bridges with Greg and Jill!). I’m also excited about an upcoming lunch meeting with an LDS General Authority I’ve been building a new friendship with.
Let me close for both Jill and myself by saying how much we love and appreciate you and your support of our work here in Utah over the past 20+ years. You, our partners, have blessed us over and over with your gifts and prayers. We would love to invite you to help us with the reduced giving that seems to accompany the summer months. As we head into the fall, we are trusting God for everything He wants to do in and through us. We trust that He will provide for Standing Together for as long as He desires to do so through such dear friends and family as all of you!
With our love and appreciation for your support,
Greg, Jill, and our ST team!