A Message from the President – April 2019

April, 2019

Dear Brothers in Christ,

As you continue on this year’s Lenten journey—which in a few weeks’ time will culminate with the joyous celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and its life-giving, live-sustaining, power-filled, message of His victory over sin, death, and the Devil—may I suggest a quiet reading of Psalm 32. I believe it is written after the great penitential Psalm 51, and shows David’s journey of repentance and the blessed outcome of the working of God’s Holy Spirit and God’s grace.

As we move through this crucial third year of the Congregational Phase of the Here We Stand (HWS) campaign, I would like to reemphasize the importance of the next eight months to the success of the campaign. From the last two weeks of December, 2018 through mid-February, 2019 we saw significant new congregational participation activity in HWS. During that two-month period, we saw nine new congregations become participants. This was outstanding campaign growth as we saw our congregational participation level increase to 146. Thank you to the many of you who declared your participation at that time.

Today, March 29, as I write my letter, we remain at 146 participating congregations, or 39.7%, which obviously means there was no additional participation during the past six weeks. I understand the brutal weather conditions during part of this time may have had a negative impact on participation, as has the beginning of Lent, which is very understandable and expected. However, I would like to encourage you to continue to become involved in HWS as soon as is feasible for you so that we can prayerfully work toward a successful conclusion of the Congregational Phase by the end of 2021.

We view HWS as already having reached a good level of congregational participation. In terms of the metrics we use as we measure campaign growth, we view 40% as good participation, 50% as very good participation, and 60% and above as excellent participation in a district-wide campaign. It takes about 36 new participating congregations to increase participation by an additional 10% and reach the very good level, and about 72 additional congregations to reach the excellent participation level. So please, prayerfully consider becoming a participant this year, or if doing so is not possible now, then certainly next year. Just as a reminder, when we conducted our last campaign, The Future is Now, from 2007 to 2012, we reached a 62% participation level. We are well on our way to matching that.

In March, we did reach another significant campaign milestone when we surpassed $6 million in total gifts and commitments. God be praised! This is an outstanding accomplishment and we are so very grateful to the many congregations and numerous individuals who have made this accomplishment possible. Please note that over $5.3 million in cash has already been received, which means that, in addition to the new cash gifts that continue to come in, those who have made multi-year pledges are fulfilling them on schedule.

Also note that, of the $6-plus million in gifts and commitments received to date, a little over $2 million has come from the congregations of the Michigan District, and slightly over $4 million has come from individuals. Our hope is that these numbers will be more balanced by the time the campaign concludes.

Once we reach the $5.4 million level in cash received, we will be eligible to receive an additional matching gift from Church Extension Fund in the amount of $100,000. The Michigan District CEF has generously supported every aspect of Here We Stand and continues to do so with their commitment of giving $100,000 to the campaign for every one million dollars in cash that is collected. Our short-term goal is to receive their match as soon as possible. Right now we’re just under$50,000 short of this goal!

Finally, ample information has been distributed and communicated about three summer of 2019 events that will benefit HWS. They are the Sunrise Worship Service at Michigan International Speedway led by Pastor Norm Koy on June 9, the Here We Ride bike event on August 3 in Bay City, hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church in partnership with Zion Lutheran Church, and the Reformation 500 Walk, Run, Bike event that runs from May 1 through September 30. Please check these events out on our website or call Linda Ekong in the Development Office at 734.213.4265 and she will be happy to answer any, and all, or your questions, and help you get set up to participate in one, or all, of the events

I look forward to seeing many of you at our three upcoming Regional Pastors’ Conferences and Circuit Visitors’ Conference in May. Each regional conference has an outstanding program! ( You may want to plan on attending more than one conference if doing so is feasible for you.)

A blessed Easter to each of you, your families, and congregations,


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

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