WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (BP) – The Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in late October “was different this year with COVID and all in masks,” Executive Director Rob Lee said. “There was an atmosphere of excitement as folks were able to network throughout the meeting.
“We had very good pre-registrations, but with the pandemic’s surge in Idaho it really knocked out a number of folks last minute. One pastor, one associate and one pastor’s wife all tested positive last week.”
Nonetheless, with “Count it all joy” from James 1:2-4 as the two-state convention’s theme, 15 messengers from nine Idaho churches and 44 from 18 Utah churches, plus 23 guests, wore masks and remained socially distanced when gathered Oct. 29 for the usual one-day annual meeting.
“The annual meeting followed the Utah State Health rules from the COVID-19 Event Management template,” Lee said, adding that while the meeting lacked singing, exhibits and meals, longer breaks provided time for fellowship and networking.
The annual meeting and pre-meeting pastors’ conference were broadcast, though online participants were not able to vote or add to business discussions. However, the Constitution Committee suggested future constitution/bylaw changes for online participation.
“We know the headlines say ‘the sky is falling,’ but the headlines should be what God is doing,” Lee said in his executive director’s message. “Churches are reporting multiple baptisms in services since the start of COVID. Churches are broadcasting their services online, through locked gates and locked doors, into every single home across Idaho and Utah. It’s a miracle of God.”
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Source: Baptist Press