A Message from the President – February 2017
Dear Brothers in Christ,
A blessed mid-February greeting to each of you. I pray your preparations for the approaching Lenten season are going well. It’s hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is less than two weeks away. As your most important preparations for the Lenten and Easter seasons continue, please allow me the opportunity to share with you several aspects of the Here We Stand campaign.
First, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to draw your attention to a Here We Stand packet that each congregation should have received on, or about, January 11. This brightly colored packet, roughly 10 inches by 13 inches in size, with the Here We Stand campaign logo on the front, was mailed in a clear envelope. This packet contains very important information about four specific events.
- When you open the packet, the left side contains information about the Crafted by Truth Youth Bible Reading program, which now has approximately 3,304 participants.
- You will also discover there the Hearts for Jesus “Kids2Camp” School/VBS/Sunday School If your congregation has a school, or pre-school, your children should be participating in this right now, during the month of February.
- On the right side of the packet, you will find extensive information about possible Community Events your congregation may consider holding during the Spring and Summer of 2017 to share the Gospel with your community.
- Of course, there is also very important information about the District-wide Reformation Worship Service on October 15, 2017, at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
It would be very helpful if you would please take the time necessary to review this information thoroughly and familiarize yourself with what is included. All this information is provided to help guide each congregation in celebrating this very historic time in our Lutheran Church history—the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. If you did not receive a packet for some reason, or if you have misplaced yours, please contact Linda Ekong in the Development Department immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you a replacement.
Please be aware that, as new ideas are developed or brought to our attention, we will pass them along to you to consider involving yourself in. One such idea is that of building a 500th Anniversary of the Reformation float to be used in local community parades throughout 2017. Perhaps congregations that are close enough in proximity could work together on a float, which could then be used any number of times in various communities. If you chose to do this, please send us pictures of the float in use, as we would like to publicize what you are doing.
Going back to the District-wide Worship service on October 15, please make sure you assign someone as your congregation’s ticket captain very soon. Although it sounds like there are a lot of tickets available for this Worship experience, we fully anticipate they will all be requested, based on the early feedback being received throughout our district. I would encourage you to begin the process of reserving tickets now. You should also begin planning transportation to and from the Breslin Center. I am aware of several congregations who have already reserved charter buses, school buses, or vans for this purpose. We will make every effort to have congregational members seated together, but to do this, the tickets must be requested together. You must have a ticket to enter the Breslin Center as all seats are assigned.
It is our continuing prayer, desire, and hope that the Michigan District provides a variety of ways to experience and celebrate the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. I am sure that in the weeks and months to follow, additional opportunities will be shared with you.
Finally, there is the continuing financial aspect of Here We Stand. The campaign continues to steadily grow in gifts and pledges received. We are squarely in the midst of the Congregational Phase of the campaign, and we are hopeful and prayerful that the congregations of the Michigan District will continue to make participation decisions soon. As you do, please communicate with us your intentions via a Congregational Commitment Form. Once we receive that signed Commitment Form, we will add that congregation’s commitment (pledge) to our campaign growth totals. Please see the current By the Numbers Report at the end of my letter for a complete, and up-to-date, financial report on the campaign.
Thank you again for the opportunity to communicate with you through my monthly campaign update. The Campaign Newsletter, which is emailed at the beginning of each month, will also provide you with a quick snapshot of campaign activity during the past month. I encourage you to share that newsletter with members of your congregations. If you have any questions about anything pertaining to the campaign, please contact your Here We Stand campaign Circuit Coordinator, or Ray Zavada, our Campaign Director, at email@example.com.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
By The Numbers through February 13, 2017
$3,275,636.26 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$1,809,652.74 – Cash received
$1,184,683.52 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)
507 Total Contributors
448 Individual Contributors
59 – Congregations Contributing
15.8% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
3,304 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program
$753,697.44 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,154,932.91 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$526,834.19 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$558,871.72 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries