The following is from Mary McFarling, our Women’s Missions and Ministry Network Director
Idaho Falls, ID – I recently received the following, shared by a NAMB Missionary couple, Eber and Melisa Argueta serving in St Cloud, MN.
“We were chosen as the missionaries of the month of January by ‘Women on Mission’ (national WMU) which means that many churches are praying for us, especially women and children. It has been an amazing experience. God has encouraged our hearts in a way I couldn’t explain.
We receive many cards like the one you see in this photo; children of preschool or school age have written us words of encouragement that have arrived just at the time we needed them most. Only God knew the anxiety that was in my heart the day we received one of the groups of cards. When I opened the envelope and began to read each one, I began to cry but with joy, to see how God is a close, personal God, who knows our hearts and uses even such small children for His glory. As you can see, this was written by a boy or girl of approximately 5-6 years old, but they were the right words I needed to hear that day. On many of the cards the same verse was repeated:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
And the message on that card said: ‘Argueta Family: just remember that God sent you for something, and you followed Him and His plan for you worked.‘
God is faithful, good, and takes care of his children. I can only give glory to Him for His salvation and giving meaning and purpose to our lives. Never look down on children for being children. They are invaluable to the Lord and He can use them for His glory.”
Would you like know more about what God is doing through our SBC missionaries, how to pray for them and how to lead our children to have a heart for missions through “Missions Journey Kids?” Please contact me.
Mary McFarling UISBC Women’s Missions and Ministries Network Leader
February is the final month you can submit your Annual Church Profile for inclusion in the final report. We encourage you to visit the link and complete your ACP today. Data collected will be used to assist churches to more effectively reach their communities. Information gathered is not sold or used commercially by any organization. We use the data to gauge our ministry impact across Utah and Idaho. It is important to include your church’s data to have an accurate picture of our ministry context. Thank you for taking 10-15 minutes to complete this report for your church.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The constant flow of baptisms over the last year was a reason to celebrate at 59th annual meeting of the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.
“There has rarely been a Sunday this year I have not seen multiple churches having baptism services,” UISBC Executive Director Rob Lee told messengers to the meeting.
About 20 registered guests and 98 messengers from 36 of the 180 churches in the two-state convention met Oct. 27 at Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho, with “The fields are white for harvest” from John 4:35 as its theme.
“We are experiencing a move of God in our churches and plants,” Executive Director Rob Lee told Baptist Press. “The number of multiple baptism services across our state convention is at a level I have not witnessed in my 36 years serving in Utah.”
Though several SBC entity leaders were present in person or via video, the messages were brought by state convention leaders.
Outgoing President Jared Jenkins, executive pastor of Risen Life Church in Salt Lake City, preached from John 4:31-38. A number of folks came to faith over the last year by reading the Bible and then finding Risen Life Church, he told his listeners. That number included 28 baptisms so far this year. “The field is ready for harvest!” Jenkins proclaimed.
“Do not underestimate the enemy,” preached Matt McGukin from Matt. 13:24-30. McGukin is pastor of the host church and chairman of the state convention’s executive board. Christians can look forward to eternity, but others will face judgment. That should motivate those who have a relationship with Jesus to share the Gospel, he said.
Interspersed with sermons during the one-day annual meeting were staff and national entity reports.
UISBC Executive Director Rob Lee (left) recognizes accountant Janice Trotter for 10 years of service to the UISBC. She also serves the Wyoming and Nevada state Baptist conventions as an accountant.
In his executive director’s report, Lee told messengers of five churches planted, two multi-site campuses started, four churches requesting affiliation and two more requesting information on affiliation for the next year. Fourteen church plants are active in the two states. Ten churches and plants have disbanded.
Though giving is below budget for the second year, Lee said, after the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans this summer, a dozen churches that had not been giving to the Cooperative Program restarted giving during the summer and three more this fall so far.
Snapshots from other reports: VBS this summer outpaced pre-COVID numbers. The 35 Gen-Send college students who were in the two states for eight weeks this summer amassed more Gospel conversations – more than 1,800 – than did NAMB Gen-Senders in any other state convention.
Cooperative Program receipts from churches in 2022 came to 96 percent of budget, the first decline in seven years. Disaster Relief teams have been to Maui twice since the major fire there. The partnership between UISBC and the Northwest Georgia Baptist Association continues to bear fruit.
“There is a growing sense that God is stirring up many people on a regular basis who are asking spiritual questions and exploring biblical Christianity,” reported Bobby Wood, Send Network missionary for Utah and Idaho. Churches planted over the last 10 years have resulted in 150 baptisms, including 50 so far this year at Redemption Hill Church in Eagle Mountain, Wood added.
Business consisted of passing a budget, electing officers and passing two resolutions.
Messengers approved a $1,518,344 budget, including $785,344 in Cooperative Program giving from churches, and up to $635,000 from NAMB for evangelism and church planting. The total is a 1 percent budget reduction from last year. It includes $235,603 (30 percent) in CP giving to national and global SBC causes.
New officers in addition to President Roger Naylor and First Vice President Dave Carver, are Second Vice President Timothy O’Day, pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in Lehi, Utah, and Recording Secretary Allen Featherstone, pastor-elder of Mosaic Church in Provo, Utah.
In addition to a resolution expressing “profound gratitude” to the host church and pastor, was one recognizing “The Goodness of Women in Ministry,” which included six “whereas” statements and four “resolved” proclamations.
The resolution, passed unanimously, affirmed “the goodness of God’s plan to include women in biblically appropriate ministry roles within our churches;” recognizing and honoring “the work women have done in the churches of Utah and Idaho;” equipping and mobilizing women “to fulfill their God given callings;” and “That we commit ourselves to celebrate the goodness of women in ministry as we honor, respect, value, and mobilize women as co-laborers in Christ for the advancement of the Gospel in Utah and Idaho.”
The next – and 60th annual – meeting of the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention is set for Oct. 25, 2024, at Risen Life Church in Salt Lake City.
To watch the UISBC Annual Meeting sessions 1-3 in their entirety, visit our YouTube page or watch from our website here:
Ontario, CA – Utah and Idaho churches have an incredible opportunity to provide top quality training to their volunteers from leading experts in the field of Bible Teaching and Leading. Our “seminary in the west” is hosting their Annual Bible Teaching Conference at Gateway Seminary’s Ontario, CA campus. A Bible Teaching Conference! Shaping Lives is our theme this year. The conference is hosted by Dr.Paul Kelly and our Educational Leadership Department. Attendees can participate in person or use the online option for those who can’t come in person. Either way you will be blessed. The conference is designed to help Bible study teachers and leaders in the local church. There are breakouts for teachers who teach at every age level, plus some biblical knowledge breakouts.
Gateway now has 50 prerecorded breakouts from previous year’s events, so individuals and churches can continue to use the website link to watch the main sessions and prerecorded breakouts during future church gatherings, staff meetings, and teacher training events from January 28-December 31, 2024. That is one full year of training access for you to use in your local church or association.
Gateway is currently registering individual churches and associations serving 40 churches or less (which all Utah and Idaho churches/associations would qualify). Individuals can also register for in-person and the online option, but it can be a great associational event to rally together with other churches in your area.
Contact Ann Iorg at Gateway Seminary if you have any questions. Her email is AnnIorg@gs.edu
Bible Teaching Conference: Shaping Lives Sat. January 27, 2024, 9am-1pm
Register your church today for Gateway’s annual Bible teaching conference. This one-day conference provides encouragement and training for anyone who teaches a Bible study or small group as well as special training for those who teach specific age groups. Teachers of every skill level will find challenging sessions designed to take them to the next level.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Octavio Esqueda, professor of Christian higher education and director of the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He was born and raised in Guadalajara, México. Esqueda graduated with honors with a Licenciatura in Latin American literature from the University of Guadalajara and two additional diplomas, one in religion and society and the second in journalism. He graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary and completed his Ph.D. in higher education at the University of North Texas. Esqueda has several publications on theological education and Christian higher education, practical theology, and literature. Teaching is his passion, and he has had the opportunity to teach in several countries on different academic levels. He is an avid soccer fan.
Attendees will also have access to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences!
Translations of main sessions to Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin will be available through conference call (participants must bring their own devices and headphones).
8:00 a.m. | Registration Opens
9:00 a.m. | Main Session with Octavio Esqueda
10:00 a.m. | Break
10:10 a.m. | Breakout Sessions
11:00 a.m. | Break
11:10 a.m. | Breakout Sessions
12:00 p.m. | Break
12:15 p.m. | Main Session with Octavio Esqueda
1:00 p.m. | Dismiss
Options for Participation:
Gateway Student Individual Ticket $20
Gateway students have access to in-person sessions during the conference and to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences. Recorded sessions are for personal use only and may not be shared.
Individual Ticket $40
Individuals have access to in-person sessions during the conference and to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences. Recorded sessions are for personal use only and may not be shared.
Online Only Individual Ticket $20
Individuals have access to livestream sessions and to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences. Recorded sessions are for personal use only and may not be shared.
Church Registration $250
With a single Church Registration ticket, you can bring your church’s teachers to Gateway’s campus in Ontario, California, for in-person sessions. You will also be able to access the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences.
Online Only Church Registration $100
With a single Online Only Church Registration ticket, you can access livestream sessions and to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences.
Online Only Small Association Registration $100
With a single Online Only Small Association Registration ticket, you can access livestream sessions and to the library of previously recorded sessions from past conferences for any church in your association of 40 churches or less.
Tickets are non-refundable but are transferable.
10:10 a.m. Sessions
Sharon Bennett | Guiding Children’s Behavior
Paul Kelly | Teaching Youth
Kristen Ferguson | Leading a Bible Study in the Digital Age
David Rathel | How to Interpret the Bible
Gregg Watson | Understanding the Book of Ruth
Philip O Hopkins | Teaching Cross-Culturally
Benny Wong | Using Psalms 119 to Shape Lives (in Mandarin)
Kon Yang | “Hesed” in Action in the Book of Ruth (in Korean)
Jesse Harris | Advance Training
Landry Holmes | Lifeway Ministry Grid Curriculum
Jeff Iorg | Developing Teachers for Your Church
Octavio Esqueda | TBA (in Spanish)
11:10 a.m. Sessions
Ann Iorg | Teaching Preschoolers
Paul Kelly | Shaping Lives Through Teaching
Kristen Ferguson | Creative Bible Teaching Strategies
Bruce Hitchcock | Teaching Senior Adults
John Taylor | Keys to Understanding Ephesians
Benny Wong | How Does Gateway Seminary Assist Chinese Church to Shape Lives? (in Mandarin)
Kon Yang | Jonah: Closing the Gap Between Faith Confession and Action (in Korean)