It came as a surprise to most present when the chair for the day, Ron McNutt, announced that ten years earlier, on February 2, 2008, Groundhog Day, that Resurrection Church had held its first Men’s Breakfast. About a dozen men were at that first gathering and over time the group grew in number to about forty. Then, when the SaddleBrooke congregation was added in September 2014, the group expanded. Now, it is not uncommon for close to seventy to show up to experience what is always good food, good fellowship, and a good program.
The February program had an international focus as Roger Blomquist spoke on “Serving Small Farmers in Tanzania.” Roger and his wife, Trish, are residents of New Brighton, Minnesota. They winter in SaddleBrooke and have become involved in the SaddleBrooke congregation of Resurrection Church. The Blomquist’s made twelve trips to Tanzania from 1995 to 2015 under the auspices of a companion synod partnership between the St. Paul Synod in Minnesota and the Iringa Diocese in Tanzania. This endeavor which actually started in 1987 has come to be known as “Bega Kwa Bega” in Swahili or “Shoulder to Shoulder,” synonymous descriptive phrases for a partnership among equals who walk together on a journey of faith and faithfulness.
Over time this partnership has expanded. Today there are focuses on agriculture, micro-finance, Christian radio, an orphanage, and healthy sources of water to name a few. Roger was one of the founders of the Institute of Agriculture at University of Iringa and has been actively involved on all of his trips in agricultural education and demonstration projects. Trish has immersed herself in the accounting and overall financial functions related to this now multi-pronged effort. Wherever they are, either Arizona or Minnesota or somewhere else, both are in contact with the program in Tanzania and providing their input and assistance.
Roger was raised in Michigan and is an agriculture graduate of Michigan State University. In 1971 he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After that, Roger became a pioneer of sorts in the then relatively new field of environmental science when he joined an environmental consulting group in the Twin Cities. Later, he formed his own group and he continued to consult in the environmental area until his retirement from Natural Resource Group, Inc. in 2008. He and Trish have been married 49 years and have two children and four grandchildren.
The Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfasts take place the first Saturday of the month October through May at the Outreach Center at the main campus in Oro Valley. Time is 7:30 a.m. and the group is always adjourned by 9:00 a.m. You do not have to be a member of Resurrection Church to attend and any resident of SaddleBrooke is welcome to do so.
Resurrection Church at SaddleBrooke holds its all-denominational Sunday worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. in the Vermillion Room of the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. All are welcome.