October 2021 Update Letter
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
October 1, 2021
Greetings, Dear Friends and Ministry Partners!
Words from Greg: Where, oh where, do we begin? How do we communicate everything we want to share with you about all that God is and has been doing in our lives over the last four months during our sabbatical? When last you heard from us, we were beginning a four-month season of ministry rest to focus on our marriage, our family, and our relationships with Jesus. I am thrilled to report that God used our sabbatical to restore and refresh us in miraculous ways! The months that led up to our sabbatical were difficult and painful ones for Jill and me and our family, but today we can testify that the Lord is good and His mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jill and I have been blessed with a renewed love, joy, and tenderness in our relationship with each other. Our family has experienced fresh healing and continues to grow stronger and stronger in our love for one another day by day. Additionally, Jill and I feel the hand of God over us and are excited about returning to our ministry, Standing Together. Moving forward, Jill and I will serve God together, side by side, in the cause of unity and transformation that we so strongly believe He called us to champion here in Utah since March of 2001.
We are so grateful to God for all that He has done in us and for us! We want you all to know that we are humbled and deeply thankful for the love and support we have experienced from so many of you over the last four months. Pastors that we serve and partner with have prayed for us, loved us, and stood with us. They showed us that unity in the Body of Christ is a gift beyond measure, so desperately needed by all of us. Our Christian community and ministry supporters also prayed for us, continued to support us financially, and blessed us with their love and encouragement. As well, our board prayed for and guided us through this journey with their counsel and wisdom. David said in Ps. 30:5, “weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning,” and he proclaimed in Ps. 51:17, “a broken and a contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” We praise God for how He has redeemed our marriage and family!
Words from Jill: This last year is a year that we will never forget. We will never forget how the body of Christ rallied around us in our time of need. Your prayers moved the hand of God to sustain us, grow us, and heal us. So, coming together to minister as co-leaders after this refining season is exciting and hopeful.
After our sabbatical, God opened a door for Greg and me to host Nick Vujicic in a meeting with three top LDS General Authorities. We met to discuss the sanctity of life and protecting the unborn. Our hope for these kinds of meetings is to build rapport, friendship and demonstrate the loving-kindness of our Savior.
In March of 2020, the leadership at Multiply Goodness asked me to join their writing team, and I gladly accepted. Multiply Goodness seeks to empower women to love God’s Word and build bridges across different faith traditions through guided Bible study. You can see how this organization fits hand in hand with the work of Standing Together. As a team, we publish a Bible study each spring, fall, and winter. I’ve had several opportunities to teach Latter-Day Saint women how to study God’s Word; they are both receptive and eager to learn.
Many of us have grown weary of the extreme and judgemental ways in which the media often portrays those of us who follow Christ. As a result, Jesus is misunderstood and misrepresented. So, when the Rocky Mountain Assembly of God Women’s Ministry invited me to speak at their annual conference on the topic of “Combating Cultural Christianity with a Biblical Worldview,” I knew I had to say “yes.” The two days of worshipping with and getting to know the beautiful women of the Utah/Wyoming/Colorado Assembly of God district brought joy and encouragement.
Looking forward, past our sabbatical, we are hoping to grow our ministry team by hiring a new Administrative Assistant/College Ministry leader. We see God opening new doors for us to walk through as we facilitate unity efforts here in Utah with our church partners and pastors. We need your help! In a time of economic uncertainty, would you consider increasing your monthly giving or possibly sending an extra gift at this time to help us advance our mission to build unity and spiritual transformation?
-With all our love and appreciation, Jill and Greg Johnson