Monthly Archives: June 2013

Utah Issues: 4 Utah cities ranked in Top 100 ‘Best Places to Live’

4 Utah cities ranked in Top 100 ‘Best Places to Live’ by Money Magazine


Students play on the playground July 27, 2009 in South Jordan, Utah. Photo: Keith Johnson, Deseret News

Four Utah cities, including South Jordan and Orem, made Money Magazine’s 2012 Top 100 Best Place to Live in the U.S., released this week.

Orem, Sandy, South Jordan and St. George all made the list because they offer “strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care and plenty to do,” according toMoney Magazine.

South Jordan ranked the highest at 18 because of its growth rate and access to outdoor activities. The city also has the lowest divorce rate on the list at about 4 percent.

Sandy’s shopping centers and quick access to four world-class ski resorts helped make it No. 51 on the list. The city has attracted businesses such as E*Trade and Comcast.

Ranked just behind Sandy at 55, Orem is home to companies like WordPerfect, Novell and Omniture. Short commutes, friendly neighbors and numerous parks make the city family-oriented.

St. George’s close proximity to Zion National Park, along with high-quality care from Dixie Regional Medical Center, puts the city at 62 on Money Magazine’s list.

Utah had five cities make last year’s list, all of which were different from this year. Those cities included Draper, Farmington and North Salt Lake.

The Names Matter by Kyle Costello


picture kyle costello

 Mark Your Calendars for the Church Planter’s Summit                     Oct 3, 9-3 @ K2 The Church

THE NAMES MATTER By Kyle Costello                                Lead Pastor, Missio Dei Community, Salt Lake City, UT

When our moving trucked rolled into Salt Lake City on January 29, 2010 I had a countless amount of strategies, philosophies, and dreams for our church plant. I am sure I bored the life out of anyone who would listen when I discussed the who, what, where, and when of Missio Dei Community. I was ready to deploy my game plan on that incredible city nestled against the Wasatch Mountains. Little did I know that my church planting lingo and strategies would mean close to nothing when compared to words like; Joe, Ron, Grace, Isaac, and Justine.

As a kid I didnʼt grow up as a Christian. I was a Utah Mormon who would have struggled to tell you who Billy Graham was. When I first encountered Christianity the only thing that I was interested in was the short worship services. Rarely did much of it impress or intrigue me. In fact the only idea that really captured me was the idea that in Christianity we are called into a relationship with God and through that into a relationship with one another.

Itʼs difficult to describe a relationship in words, but both before and after conversion God was working on me. He opened my eyes to a Bible that I would have said I had known my whole life, but in hindsight had no clue about. and I didn’t want to find God walked me through his Scripture in both delicate ways and sometimes with the delicacy of a nine iron to the chest. He showed me Jesus like I had never seen, taught me words worship music nor did I like pursuit, and brought to life redemption. God always seemed to be around me. He was with me in doubt, struggles, successes, accolades, failure, and tragedy. He was a long-suffering God. The God relationship came much easier than the church one. When I became a Christian I didnʼt really want anything
to do with the church. I didnʼt know what “fellowship” was and I didnʼt want to find out. I had no interest in worship music nor did I want my political affiliation defined for me. The God relationship came much easier than the church one. When I became a Christian I didnʼt really want anything to do with the church. I didnʼt know what “fellowship” was and I didnʼt want to find out. I had no interest in worship music nor did I want my political affiliation defined for me. But once I shut my mouth and started listening to his people it began to be quite apparent that through these broken people God was bringing to life his Kingdom.

First, they were being incredibly patient with me. They didnʼt laugh when I mixed up the Book of Mormon and the Bible. They patiently talked me through what it meant to respond to God in service and obedience and they didnʼt excommunicate me when I made fun of Rick Warrenʼs shirts during our Purpose Driven Life small group.

What God was teaching me in those moments proved so much more effective to me in church planting than the latest book or the best demographics. God will first and foremost shape you in your relationship with him. His name reigns supreme. As you plant, his name must be revered above all. He must be the first that you repent to, the first that you cling to, the first that you trust in. You arenʼt

The God relationship came much easier than the church one. When I became a Christian I didn’t really want anything to do with the church. I didn’t know what “fellowship” was out. I had no interest in want my political affiliation defined for me. What God taught me 12 years ago proved to be my most valuable asset in church planting. Names matter. the savior, and this great God is shaping you so much more than you will ever shape your church plant. What God taught me 12 years ago proved to be my most valuable asset in church planting. Names matter. When people like Bart and Catherine suffered my immaturity, those many years ago, as we met and prayed and talked about God, they were showing me that Godʼs church cared about me. They cared about me for me. I wasnʼt a problem to fix or an asset to exploit but rather a fellow disciple to encourage, rebuke, and train up. I found that they cared for their neighbors, whether they were Christians or not.

They served them and loved them, not to force them to come to church but to show them love that is born out of abundance rather than scarcity.

It may sound simple or pedestrian, but that is how we have gone about planting Missio Dei. Those names in that first paragraph are all people that I met soon after moving here. Joe is a coffee shop owner who is no closer to accepting Jesus as when we moved here. He loves profanity as well as his agnosticism. But one thing Joe knows for sure is that our community loves him and that we love Jesus. He knows so many of us by name, trades life stories, parenting stories, and music suggestions with us on a daily basis and has quipped more than once how he appreciates our love for the city.

Grace is an incredibly gifted nurse who loves Jesus. I met her through some insane circumstances and she jumped in with our motley core group. She studied Eugene Peterson with my wife and talked to me often about her dream of the American Church serving locally and globally in a selfless manner rather than an imperial one. She eventually was ready to go and 14 months ago she left Salt Lake City for Gonaives Haiti where she runs a medical clinic in a slum built on a trash dump.

My wife and I didnʼt recruit Grace with a flyer, rather we learned her name and the life behind her name over Americanos, Ethiopian food, and contra dancing. We didnʼt sweet talk Joe into liking us, rather we remembered his name, prayed for him often, and sought to bless him and his business.

Those other names at the top all have stories attached to them. Some are Jesus followers and some arenʼt but they are all people who we believe God wants to woo, redeem, love, heal, and bring into the great news of the Gospel. Names matter here. Who really is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Who really is Joe, Grace, Isaac, Justine, and Ron? How can I be known more by God and my community? How can I know my community and God more? Those questions have seemed to go a lot further than my strategies and arguments about church planting philosophies.


Utah Issues: Teen Suicide

Utah Issues:  Teen Suicide

Candice Madsen, KSL Special Projects Producer Candice Madsen joined KSL TV in August 1999 after graduating from Brigham Young University where she studied international relations and journalism. She is now a senior producer of Special Projects and produces the Sunday Edition With Richard Piatt.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah ranks in the top 10 for suicide — the region is known as the “suicide belt.” But an even more concerning statistic is that the state is ranked fifth for youth suicides.

In 2012, Utah lost 23 youths ages 10–17. There have already been 18 youth suicides in 2013 in Utah. That is an especially tough statistic for the state official who has to investigate these deaths.

State medical examiner Dr. Todd Grey deals with the end result of a suicide almost every day. And the numbers in Utah continue to rise, almost doubling in just the past seven years.

“In so many cases, it is the pointlessness of it that is so depressing,” Grey said. “It’s just sad.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10–17, a statistic that concerns state officials, especially Gov. Gary Herbert.

“All of us should be very concerned,” Herbert said. ‘It’s way too high. I don’t know if we exactly understand why it is high, but we need to do what we can to lower it and stop it altogether.”

Some of those affected by suicide are now working to prevent it. Emily Hoerner now co-chairs the Utah Chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Her family continues to heal after her brother’s death by suicide.

Enlarge image
Credit: National Institutes of Health

“To this minute, I still can’t believe he was capable of taking his life,” Hoerner said. “The most important thing for me, personally, was just learning about the warning signs, being able to help other people. You just have to not give up.”

While many people hear about suicide, people hear less often about suicide attempts. Emergency room Dr. Michael Jones described what he sees at the American Fork Hospital.

“There’s a lot of things that concern us in the ER, but particularly, recently it seems like we’ve had an increase in the number of young people that are attempting suicide, or taking medicines, or harming themselves in some way because they are depressed, they are feeling hopeless, they are frustrated and they are overwhelmed,” he said.

He said that nearly every day, the hospital sees someone in the 12–30 age group that has attempted suicide — despite the small size of the American Fork ER.

“Those 12–30 age range are hard because they have so much potential,” Jones said. “In some cases, I look at them like they were my son, and I think, ‘You have so much going for you; why are you in here?’ ”

Jones said no family is immune to suicide attempts, and he believes the community would be shocked at the number of cases his hospital sees.

“We see (attempted suicides) from every community, every socioeconomic background, from homes with a lot of support,” he said. “There is something that is not happening to prevent this, and I think it is probably awareness.”