A Message from the President – April 2018

April 16, 2018

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I pray your Lenten and Easter journey were times of recognized blessing for you and the members of your congregations. Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed! May the comfort, joy, and reassurance of His victory over sin, death, and Satan be with you each day as you serve Him and your congregations.

Since the last update in mid-February about Here We Stand (HWS), steady progress has continued to be made in all areas of the campaign. Campaign participation has grown to 119 congregations. This represents nearly one-third of Michigan District congregations (32%). Thank you again to the many congregations that have already made participation decisions, and to those that have verbally indicated they will be participating this year, but have not yet taken the step to formalize their participation.

The campaign has also grown financially during the past two months. Total gifts, pledges, and goals now stand at approximately $5.4 million, and cash received is approaching $4.2 million. We praise God for continuing to open doors for us, and for hearts desiring to support the four initiatives of the campaign, and in doing so helping to impact the future of our Church for the sake of Christ.

The student Bible reading program continues to grow as well. Each month, individuals continue to register on the YouVersion app to become a participant in the one-year reading program. As of our last report, there are 7,441 registrants, and 876 have now completed the program. Please continue to encourage participation in your congregations.

The Here We Ride bike event will occur again in 2018. Bethany, Charlevoix will once again be the host congregation. Thank you to Pastor Matt Peters from Zion, Petoskey for once again chairing this exciting event, and to the members of Bethany, Charlevoix and Pastor Paul Schneider for their gracious willingness to host this event again in 2018. What makes the Here We Ride event unique is the way raised funds are distributed. One half of all pledges and cash donations raised by a participant will be returned to the participant’s church or school for their ministry purposes. The other one-half is given to the HWS campaign to support campaign initiatives.

Several congregations have inquired if we are going to make the Reformation 500 Walk, Run, Bike event available in 2018. The answer is “Yes.” The event will run from May through September, and each participating congregation is encouraged to form a congregational team, or several teams, to run, walk, or bike at least 500 miles during the designated five-month period.

Participants will collect pledges and/or donations for their efforts, and when the event is completed and funds are turned in to the Michigan District, one-half of all monies collected will be returned to the congregation, or school, of their choice and the other one-half will be given to the HWS campaign initiatives. The uniqueness of both of these events is that congregations and schools benefit, as does the HWS campaign.

Information on both of these events may be found on the Michigan District website, or by contacting Linda Ekong by email at linda.ekong@michigandistrict.org, or by calling her in the Development Office at 734.213.4265.

Lastly, we are rapidly approaching the 2018 Michigan District Convention, June 24-26, at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. One of the reports given at convention will be the HWS campaign, informing all delegates and guests of campaign progress since HWS was approved by the delegates of the last convention in 2015.

We obviously would like to present as positive a report as possible at this time. With that in mind, I humbly ask each congregation that has not made a participation decision as of this writing to please prayerfully consider making that decision before the time of convention so that your participation can be included and acknowledged. I understand this request may not fit everyone’s intended participation timeline, but if it does, we truly would appreciate your response by the time of convention. Thank you for your consideration.

An updated “By the Numbers” report is included at the conclusion of my letter.

Thank you again for the privilege of serving you, and for the opportunity to share this monthly campaign update.

Your brother in Christ,

maier_signature

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

Support Here We Stand


By The Numbers through April 12, 2018

$5,406,783.12 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$4,143,575.69 – Cash received which includes $300,000 CEF Matching Funds
$951,480.18 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)

1,212 Total Contributors
1,093 Individual Contributors
119 Congregations Contributing
32.2% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
7,441 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program
876 Participants who have completed the Bible Reading Program

$1,085,094.43 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,941,652.75 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$794,468.27 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,273,840.42 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries