A Message from the President – April 2017

Dear Brothers in Christ,

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! I trust that your journey through Lent and Easter was a time of blessing and encouragement for the members of your congregations and for you and your family. Due to our time together at the upcoming pastors’ conferences in May, this update will serve as both the April and May campaign update.

The campaign is “humming;” everything is in full swing. The financial aspect of the campaign continues to advance steadily as both individual donors and congregations have added to the campaign’s recent growth. For this we praise God! (Please see the most current campaign financial update at the end of my letter.)

This question was recently asked of me: “What should we (pastors) be doing right now relative to Here We Stand?” Here’s the answer for all to consider:

  • Please finalize your congregational commitment to the campaign if you have not done so already. As of now, we have 67 participating congregations, which is about 18% of our district’s congregations. That’s an excellent start, but it also informs us that we have yet to receive responses from the other 82%, or close to 300 congregations. We are aware that several decisions will be made in June to coincide with a July 1 fiscal year calendar; several more congregations have informed us they are planning to link their decisions with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation activities they are planning this fall; still others are tying Here We Stand with their own congregational capital campaigns this spring and fall.

1)      Friends, if you have already reached a participation decision, but have not yet communicated it to us, please forward this information to Ray Zavada, our Campaign Director. The Congregational Commitment Form, which is used to announce your commitment, can be downloaded easily here, or by contacting Linda Ekong in the Development Department at linda.ekong@michigandistrict.org. She will be happy to mail, email, or fax you a copy.   

2)      If you have not yet made a congregational decision, and do not have a plan in progress, I am encouraging you to have those discussions and establish a plan to participate this year. The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation is a significant milestone in our history to declare your multi-year participation decision.

  • Another very important focus right now is the upcoming District-wide worship service at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on October 15. Let me share a few very important aspects of this as well.

1)      Now is the time to have your members and friends sign up to receive a ticket to attend. Tickets are free, but every person attending must have one. Please keep in mind that this is a massive undertaking, and early registration is critical to have an equitable and timely distribution of tickets. Thank you for your help and encouragement in this regard.

2)   Worship Service Choirs

– Nomination Phase for Honors Choir Singers – (Fourth grade College students) We are accepting nominations for singers who wish to participate in one of three 120-voice Lutheran Honors Choirs that will participate in the 500th Anniversary Reformation Worship Service on October 15, 2017 in East Lansing. If you would like to nominate a singer for one of the Reformation 500 Honors Choirs, please complete a nomination form. Remember to nominate students who love to sing and will appreciate the opportunity and challenge of learning new music and performing in a group of 120 singers. The person you nominate (or their parents) will receive an email notification that he/she has been nominated by you. The nomination phase will remain open until choir sections are full. It is strongly recommended that you nominate singers by Friday, May 5.

– Adult Festival Choir Registration Remains Open – There are currently 800+ singers registered for the Adult Festival Choir that will participate in the 500th Anniversary Reformation Worship Service on October 15, 2017 in East Lansing. We appreciate the early sign-ups, allowing repertoire selection and seating, but want you to know that registration will remain open to include even more singers! Sign up today by clicking here.

3)      Please remember to have your doors ready to bring to the Breslin Center in October.

4)      Please have your transportation plan worked out as well. We hear that more and more congregations are reserving charter buses. If you are chartering a bus, or more than one, and have seats available, please consider extending an invitation to a smaller congregation, or two, to ride with you.

– May is also the first month of the Reformation 500 challenge. Individual and congregational teams should be forming, or already be formed, to participate in the 500-mile walk, run, bike challenge to raise funds for your church or school and the Here We Stand campaign. Remember, 50% of pledges received stays at your church or school, and 50% goes to Here We Stand.

– Please also consider the innumerable opportunities for community service that can take place during the summer months. Hopefully your congregation is already planning to participate in one, or more, such activities or events within your immediate community. This truly is an awesome opportunity to bring attention to the Reformation Anniversary, and to introduce the respective members of your congregations to the members of your community. Many examples of how this can be done may be found on the campaign website and in the packets which were mailed to you in January.

– Finally, keep your eyes open for another event that is currently under construction for August 5. This is a one-day event, titled Here We Ride. The plan involves a one-day bike ride beginning at Bethany in Charlevoix, riding to Petoskey, and then back to Charlevoix for an evening celebration. This event is designed for everybody, including a family who may want to ride together for a shorter distance, or a serious bike rider who may want to ride up to 100 miles during the day. Riders will be asked to raise pledges for their efforts, and divide them evenly between their church and Here We Stand. 

I pray that you are as thankful as I am to consider the many opportunities that currently are available, and those that are continuing to be planned. Again, I respectfully ask you to make these opportunities known to your members so they will have every chance to become involved in this historic time in our Lutheran history.

May God continue to bless each of you abundantly, and I look forward to seeing you at one, or more, of the upcoming regional conferences in May.

Your brother in Christ,


Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS

Support Here We Stand

By The Numbers through April 12, 2017

$4,264,180.24- Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$2,565,262.59 – Cash received
$200,000.00 – CEF Matching Funds
$1,217,617.65 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)

520 Total Contributors
453 Individual Contributors
67 – Congregations Contributing
17.4% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
3,976 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program

$826,743.46 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,482,759.51 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$598,695.22 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,074,682.07 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries