A Message from the President – December 2017

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I know your lives are extremely busy as this December update arrives at your desks, but please know you are in my prayers as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior with your families and congregations. Please accept my sincere wish for a blessed and joy-filled Christmas, and may the Holy Spirit fill you with the fullness of His presence.

In the upcoming January issue of the Michigan in Touch insert, in the Lutheran Witness magazine, you will find a Here We Stand (HWS) Campaign Year in Review article. This article provides a brief summary of the many and varied aspects of the HWS initiatives as they transpired during the year. Although the financial campaign is extremely important and vital to future Michigan District mission and ministries, there is so much more. This article emphasizes the broadness of HWS.

The article will also be shared, although probably edited for space, in the January, 2018 edition of the HWS monthly newsletter. The goal is to have as many members in our Michigan District congregations as possible read the article. Please feel free to share any, or all, of this information with the members of your congregations, especially your congregational leaders.

Here We Stand Campaign Year in Review

2017 was an exciting year for the Michigan District’s Here We Stand (HWS) initiative, as demonstrated by the numerous successful events and activities that took place throughout the District and in the substantial financial growth that took place in the campaign itself. The following provides a brief snapshot of the past year’s successes.

  • Hearts for Jesus/Kids to Camp ̶  Through the generosity of many of our Lutheran Schools children, families, and staff, $30,757.84 was provided to send nearly 200 children to the four week-long A2E Sports Camps/VBS programs that took place in Detroit, Pontiac, and Benton Harbor during the summer.
  • Reformation 500 Challenge ̶  this five-month walk/run/bike challenge had many people involved in raising funds for HWS and their respective congregations or schools.
  • Here We Ride ̶  Approximately 80 riders of all ages participated in this day-long biking event hosted by Bethany, Charlevoix. These two “exercise events” (Ref. 500 and Here We Ride) raised $10,910.81 for HWS and congregations/schools.
  • District-wide 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation Worship Service ̶  On October 15, the Breslin Center in East Lansing was filled with approx. 13,000 people of all ages to celebrate this historic anniversary of the Reformation. At the Worship Service, nearly $60,000 was received in offerings to benefit the initiatives of HWS.
  • Congregational participation ̶  We began the year with 52 participating congregations, and as of December 1, there were 101 that made gifts and commitments.
  • Donor participation ̶  As of December 1, there were 1,024 individual (non-congregational) donors to the campaign. That is an increase of 604 from the end of 2016.
  • Financial growth ̶  The HWS campaign grew significantly during the past year. Through December 1, over $2.04 million in new gifts and commitments were received, and over $2.12 million in new cash was received to be distributed among the four campaign initiatives.
  • Church Extension Fund Matching Gifts ̶  During 2017, the Michigan District received $200,000 in campaign matching funds. We are grateful for our partnership with CEF and for the generous support of HWS they provide.
  • Crafted by Truth Bible Reading Program ̶  The year began with approximately 1,700 participating in the one-year Bible Reading program and ended with 6,116 participating, a dramatic increase of over 4,425 in one year! To date, over 200 have completed the Bible reading program.

As you can see through this Campaign Year in Review, HWS is a broad-based initiative designed to encourage participation and opportunities for growth in numerous ways. Please prayerfully consider how you personally, or your congregation, may become involved in 2018. Together we can, and are, making a difference for future mission and ministries in the Michigan District and beyond.

For more information, or to talk about how your congregation or you can participate, please contact Ray Zavada, our HWS Campaign Director, at ray.zavada@michigandistrict.org or Linda Ekong, Campaign Administrative Assistant, at linda.ekong@michigandistrict.org.

Thank you again for all that you’ve done to make HWS a success this year. Together with you, I look forward to what lies ahead in 2018 with God’s continued leading.

A blessed Christmas season to you and yours,


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

Support Here We Stand

By The Numbers through November 13, 2017

$4,952,879.66 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$3,157,384.89 – Cash received
$300,000.00 – Additional received CEF Matching Funds
$1,131,336.02 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)

1,157 Total Contributors
1,052 Individual Contributors
105 Congregations Contributing
28.3% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
6,116 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program

$1,011,876.26 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,694,487.38 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$754,984.71 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,127,372.56 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries