IDAHO FALLS – A team of local pastors are hosting a faith-promoting event this month and they’re inviting you to attend.
It’s a two-day Trinity Conference and organizers say one purpose of the event is to bring people together of all denominations and establish unity on one key doctrine.
“In years past, there’s been a lot of conversation in the religious community in seeking to apprehend this doctrine of God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” Pastor Todd Wood tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The theme of the conference is “Knowing God and Making Him Known” and it’s happening Oct. 23 and 24 at Christ Community Church in Idaho Falls. It will feature remarks from five different local pastors.
Wood is among those who will be speaking. The topic of his remarks is “The Personhood of God: An Eternal Perichoresis and Dance of Love.”
Wood says the focus of his talk is to show that God is not one person, but three separate people.
“Sometimes we think of God as if it’s one person who (wears many hats) … and it can be confusing,” Wood says. “From the beginning, it’s been love (manifested) through the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and that’s why we say God is love.”
Others who will be speaking include Pastor Beau Floyd from Emmaus Road Church in Idaho Falls, Pastor Mike Ghiglia, with MorningStar Christian Fellowship and founder of Share the Son Ministries, Dr. Jeff Kennedy with Christ Community Church in Idaho Falls and Reverend David Bass from New Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
‘Connecting pastors to one another and eastern Idaho to Jesus’
The conference is sponsored by the Eastern Idaho Pastors Coalition, a group devoted to “connecting pastors to one another and eastern Idaho to Jesus.” The group helped put on Vision 2020, a virtual event last month in Idaho Falls.
Wood and Ghiglia are two of the group’s steering committee members, which was formed during the National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2019.
Wood says the coalition was inspired by the now-defunct Evangelical Ministerial Association.
“They would meet together on a regular basis, but that just sort of subsided,” Wood says. “(A group of us) wanted to revive it” to help in efforts to spread the gospel.
As part of the coalition, the group established a statement of affirmations that highlight beliefs held in common by all those on the committee. Some of those beliefs include the doctrine of the Trinity and that humankind — male and female — is created in God’s image.
The group also affirms the Bible is the word of God and marriage is designed to be between a man and a woman.
“I know there’s a lot of controversy in our culture (over some of these things), but we really hold to these affirmations,” Wood says. “Our desire is that the region can see that even though there might be (differences in what we believe and how we worship), that we’re one and this is what Jesus has done in our lives.”
Coming to Jesus and a life of ministry
Wood’s conversion began when he was a student at Skyline High School more than thirty years ago. During that time, he says he was miserable and often wondered whether he was good enough. Reading the book of Romans in the Bible was a turning point for him.
“I realized that my justification doesn’t come by the strength of my faith or my performance. (Everything I do) is clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ and what he’s done for me on the cross,” he says. “When I came to that realization, it set me free.”
He felt the call to a life of ministry after graduation during a visit to his grandfather’s house in Prineville, Oregon when he read the story of God calling Moses.
He went on to attend a bible college in North Carolina and later earned a master’s degree in Theology. He moved back to Idaho Falls in 1997 to help start the Berean Baptist Church in Ammon.
Wood currently serves as pastor of Providence Downtown Church in Idaho Falls and Shepherd of the Falls Lutheran Church in American Falls. He is also a pastor with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.
“The most rewarding thing for me is to see the changes in people’s lives … and watching (others) treasure Jesus as I do,” he says.
With so much polarization nationwide surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming election, Wood says faith can play a huge role in “healing the brokenness” and the timing of this conference couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Before Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the thing that was on his mind for his disciples was that they would be one, that there would be this unity so that the world would see and know that Jesus is truly the one sent by the Father,” says Wood.
The Trinity Conference is a free event open to everyone. It kicks off Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and continues at 9 a.m. the following day. To register or learn more, click here.