Ministry Highlights April – June 2014

God has given me three essential purposes in this season of my life: (1) preaching and teaching; (2) consulting and coaching—helping pastors and their churches professionally and personally; and (3) building collaborative relationships between and among key leaders. My theme for this season in my life: Getting pastors into relationships with one another, and churches together leading efforts to transform our communities.

Networking Leaders/Impacting Our Community

A blog about our work:

Historic reconciliation meetings with Catholics continue

Through a remarkable convergence of circumstances and relationships and in collaboration with a friend Joe Tosini and a number of other key pastors in the Phoenix area, in February we gathered hundreds of people—both Catholics and non-Catholics—for prayer and worship, at Living Streams (Pastor Mark Buckley) and North Scottsdale Christian (Pastor David Friend).

We had a grand follow up gathering on Pentecost Sunday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Tempe. We had about 700 come from all over the state, including a number pastors and priests. Remarkably, I preached there! I am devoting myself to this unique effort to bring members of the body of Christ together.

1Bishop Navares addressing the Pentecost Sunday gathering. Many Catholic believers wore red, the traditional color of Pentecost symbolizing the fire of the Holy Spirit.
2Yours truly, sharing from Galatians.
3Praying together at the close of the service.

In conjunction with our unity efforts, I attended a conference on Catholic-Protestant relationships hosted by Pat Robertson and Regent University. Speakers included Jack Hayford, James Robison, and Father Cantalamessa, official preacher to the Papal Household in Rome. His message was simply extraordinary:

Chair of the Arizona Council on Faith and Community

Below is a photo of a meeting of the Arizona Council on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which I’ve led for the last several years. We network faith leaders from the Valley and around the state. This is s special presentation of a network of churches and organizations assisting refugees in Phoenix. Every year, Arizona is among the top five states in the country receiving refugees. You can read about us at


Chair of Congressman Matt Salmon’s Council on Faith and Community

Congressman Salmon wrote to me,

“I wanted to take a moment and express my appreciation to you for accepting my invitation to serve as Chairman of the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Advisory Council. Your service will not only be of great benefit to me and my office, but also the constituents of Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.”

Our Council is focusing its efforts on mental health issues, because our mental health system is in crisis.

Working for Reform

Arizona and the nation are facing a humanitarian crisis with all the undocumented immigrant children crossing our southern borders. What to do?! We have to fix our nation’s broken immigration laws. I’ve been an outspoken supporter of reform for the last five, including meetings in Washington with both senators McCain and Flake—and all the Arizona members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. I’ve been participating with a new coalition called “Bibles, Badges, and Business.” A month ago, I was a presenter at a press conference at the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce:

Ground breaking event

This year I have spoken or will speak 30+ Sundays, with many openings this fall yet to be scheduled. A highlight was participating in ground-breaking for Word Alive led by Pastor Mark DiBernardo, a life-long friend and a former youth pastor at Word of Grace.

5Pastor Mark DiBernardo, myself, and long-time friend and colleague Pastor Len Griffin.

Civil Rights Act celebration at historic Tanner Chapel

I was honored to serve on the planning committee for the faith leaders gathering at Tanner Chapel in downtown Phoenix to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

6Celebrating with dance.


8Our son Matthew (second from left) graduating from Navy and Marine music school, an eight month intensive in Norfolk, Virginia. Matt’s been in the Navy for nearly eight years.
9Our daughter Shari and her family in Colorado.
10Marilyn and me with our youngest granddaughter Kaitlyn.

Your Continued Financial Support

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Gilbert AZ 85296.

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A personal letter from Pope Francis to Giovanni Traittori—and the rest of us in Phoenix trying to bring God’s people together…


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