A Message from the President – February 2019

February, 2019

Dear Brothers in Christ,

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord  (2 Peter 1:2).

As you are aware, the Here We Stand  (HWS) campaign in the Michigan District has been active for quite some time with both individual donors and in our congregations. In fact, the congregational phase just recently began its third year. This is indeed a critical year to the overall success of the campaign.

As this campaign was being developed by Ray Zavada and the campaign Blueprint and Steering Committees, it was designed with a wide variety of ways for congregations to become participants. The 366 congregations of the district are all unique, beautiful, and special as brides of Christ in their operation and style and in the way they approach ministry, including HWS participation. The individuality of our congregations, yet especially the unity among our congregations, was the driving force in how we designed the campaign to adapt to each congregation.

This is the reason we have two major summer events which have proven to be very successful in the past for not only HWS campaign growth, but also for the congregations and schools that have participated in them.

REFORMATION 500 WALK, RUN, BIKE EVENT – It is very easy to become involved in this event which begins May 1 and concludes September 30, a period of five months.

This is how it works: Congregational members, or teams of members, are encouraged to walk, run, or ride their bike a total of 500 miles during this five-month period. If 500 miles is too much, just do what you are able. If 500 miles is too few, please do as many miles as you can. Each participant is asked to collect pledges and/or cash gifts in support of their efforts to maximize their exercise miles during the five months of the event. Then, when the event period has been completed, each individual participant or team is asked to collect their cash gift commitments and/or pledges. The total amount raised is then sent to the Michigan District. When a participant’s funds are received by the Michigan District, one-half of the funds is directed to the HWS campaign, and the other half is sent to the church or school the participant chooses when their monies are mailed in.

In essence, both the HWS campaign and the participant’s church or school benefit. The campaign grows and the participant’s favorite ministry also receives needed funding—a blessing to both. Several congregations have raised significant dollars in the past through this, and I would like to encourage you to try this if you have not yet done it, or continue it for another year if you have done it in the past. This is not only a fun way to participate, but it is a way to help you, as pastors, continue to build unity in your congregations.

HERE WE RIDE BIKE EVENT – This year Here We Ride will be held on Saturday, August 3, in Bay City. Pastor Chris Garcia from Immanuel is the event chairman. The details of the event are still being worked out by Pastor Garcia and the other congregations of Circuit 6, but it is known that the Bay County Riverwalk/Rail Trail System will be utilized for this event. The trail is a 9.6-mile loop around Bay City with the ability to expand to a considerably longer ride for those who are serious riders. The trail also allows for a family-friendly ride for families with children of all ages as several stopping points are along the route. For those who prefer to walk, the trail is also conducive to this form of participation.

There is no charge to participate in Here We Ride, but we do encourage participants to collect cash donations/pledges just as in the Reformation 500 Walk, Run, Bike Event. Again, these collected monies will be divided evenly between the HWS campaign and the participant’s church or school. Several teachers during the past two events have used Here We Ride as an opportunity to raise substantial dollars in their classrooms for the upcoming school year.

Information about these events will be available on the Michigan District website soon, or you may call Linda Ekong in the Michigan District office at 734.213.4265. Linda will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and she can direct you to the appropriate places on the website to find registration materials for both events if you need assistance.

Additionally, this summer, we will have our second Worship Service at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Prior to the NASCAR Race on June 9, the main tent in Fan Plaza will be the site for the pre-race Lutheran Worship Service. Pastor Norm Koy from Crown of Life, Rochester Hills will be the worship leader, and music will be provided by a team coordinated by Debby Fall from Redeemer, Jackson. There is absolutely no charge to be a part of this unique worship opportunity, since it takes place in Fan Plaza. Yes, I know it is highly unlikely any of you will be able to attend, but you may have members who will enjoy this experience.

There will also be a special website from which those wishing to attend the race may buy tickets. These tickets will be substantially reduced in price. In addition, $5 from each ticket purchased through the website will be given back to the Michigan District by Michigan International Speedway for the HWS campaign.

Brothers, I wanted to get you these dates and events ASAP so you have ample time for planning your congregation’s participation. I hope you and your members will take advantage of these great opportunities to support HWS, while also raising some additional funding for your congregations and schools. To God be the glory!

Thank you for the opportunity to share these events with you.

Continued blessings for all,

maier_signature

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

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