A Message from the President – December 2016
Dear Brothers in Christ,
We have reached that time of year that I truly loved when I served as a congregational pastor. I’m sure it is the same for you. I pray God’s richest and most abundant blessings and spirit are yours as you lead your congregations on their Advent journeys to a most joyous day … Christmas.
This Here We Stand update for the month of December will be brief. As you will recall, the congregational phase of the campaign “officially” kicked off at the All Pastors’ and Wives’ Conference in October. Since that announcement was made, several congregations have already responded with their decisions to participate in Here We Stand over a multi-year period. Several more congregations have verbally shared with us their plans to participate and are in the process of completing their Commitment Forms. To each congregation who has made a participation decision, please accept my sincerest gratitude. We look forward to receiving many more commitments over the coming months.
I also want to encourage you to review the campaign’s “By the Numbers” update for the most recent information about campaign progress. You will find this report at the end of my update. As you go through your campaign participation decision-making process, please let our Campaign Director, Ray Zavada, or his Administrative Assistant, Linda Ekong know if they can assist in any way. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at email@example.com. Either of them can answer your questions, guide you to resources available on the campaign website at herewestand.michigandistrict.org, and schedule a time to meet with you and/or your congregational leadership if you think doing so would be helpful.
Finally, I would like to remind all congregations that the Hearts for Jesus emphasis in February of 2017 will be Here We Stand. Specifically, it will focus on the Acts 2 Enterprise Summer Sports Camps/VBS outreach to urban children. This Hearts for Jesus emphasis will give the children of our schools an opportunity to support and minister to hundreds of children from Detroit and Pontiac who attend one of our three week-long camps each summer.
It is our hope that this Kids2Kids concept will be an encouragement to the children of your congregations, whether or not your congregation has a school. Please encourage your Sunday school programs—and even next summer’s Vacation Bible Schools—to participate as well. This will give your children an opportunity to make a difference in another child’s life and see the love of Christ flowing through them.
I want you to be aware that, by the end of the year, every congregation in the Michigan District will receive a packet of information detailing Hearts for Jesus, in addition to important information about our other events that celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:
- 2017 community events;
- The student Bible reading initiative;
- and the District-wide worship service at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on October 15, 2017.
Please watch for this important mailing later this month.
… And have you heard that over 1,200 people from the Michigan District have registered in the Student Bible Reading initiative so far and, by doing so, committed to reading the Bible by October, 2017? I know Pastor Dave Davis, our Bible reading initiative coordinator, is very encouraged by this high level of participation already, but he, and we, would love to see many more of our young people start, and ultimately finish, the student Bible reading challenge as well. Please be a strong voice to your congregation’s young people and encourage them to become involved. Registration in the Bible reading program, titled Crafted by Truth, is easy. Your youth simply need to go to the YouVersion Bible Reading website or app to get registered. You may also contact Linda Ekong by email or phone at 734.213.4265 and she will be happy to walk you through the steps.
Again thank you for your support of, and in many cases already, participation in Here We Stand. We still have a long way to go, but by God’s grace we are off to a great and encouraging start. Please continue to work toward your participation decisions, and do not hesitate to let us know if we can help in any way.
Again, have a very blessed, joyful, and merry Christmas, and a wonderful and happy beginning to the New Year. May the presence of Christ fill your hearts each and every day as you serve Him and your congregations with joy.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
By The Numbers through December 13, 2016
$2,544,530.30 – Total campaign gifts and pledges
$1,457,107.69 – Cash received
$1,087,422.61 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)
$295,000.00 – Congregational Goals *not included in totals
444 Total Contributors
398 Individual Contributors
46 Congregations Contributing
12% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
$544,035.04 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,028,742.53 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$440,917.79 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$530,834.94 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries