A Message from the President – January 2017
Dear Brothers in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Savior Jesus. Having just completed the journey through the Advent and Christmas seasons, I truly hope both were a blessing and filled with joy for you and your congregations. I also want to wish you a blessed New Year, one filled with great opportunities to strengthen the faith of the faithful, and one that will grow the Kingdom as you share the Good News of the Gospel with those who do not yet believe in Jesus.
As part of this January letter, I would like to explain that, at the end of January, the Michigan District concludes its fiscal year. Our fiscal year begins February 1, and concludes on January 31 of the following year. This “staggered” fiscal year schedule gives many of the congregations of the Michigan District the first month of the New Year to complete any annual missions commitments or annual campaign pledges which were made and remain unfulfilled for the year that has just been completed.
This is a very important time for the HWS campaign as well. We are aware that many of our District’s congregations went through the process of making campaign participation decisions in late October, November, and in early December. Then, the busy Advent and Christmas seasons began, and the formal submission of these commitments were placed on the “back burner,” and rightfully so. Now that we are past Christmas, please prayerfully consider submitting your formal HWS Commitment Form by the end of January if it is at all possible.
By doing so, the Michigan District will receive your commitment in our current fiscal year, which is important for our reporting purposes and for accountability to our Board of Directors. However, it is especially important for our internal accounting of the campaign as we plan the distribution of projected campaign funds received during the new fiscal year beginning February 1. Receiving your commitments by the end of January will help determine the level of Professional Church Worker Scholarships we will be able to give to students attending a Concordia University or either of our seminaries. It also impacts the level of funding we are able to provide for Innovative Missional Ministries receiving financial support from the campaign, for our financial support of missionaries from Michigan District congregations deployed somewhere in the world, and for our support of St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church in South Africa, to list some of our campaign-supported goals.
So brothers, if it is possible, please formally declare your participation decision by the end of January by submitting your HWS Congregational Commitment Form. If you do not have a Commitment Form, you can download it here or contact Linda Ekong at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can either mail or email you a copy. Thank you for your consideration of this.
Overall, HWS continues to make very strong and steady progress. As of this writing, we have surpassed the $3 million level in gifts, pledges, and congregational goals, which is 30% of our campaign goal of $10 million. For this we praise God, and thank God for the many of you who have already made congregational participation decisions. Please see the latest revised campaign “By the Numbers” Report at the conclusion of this letter.
Also, if you are a congregation that has a school, preschool, or daycare, you should have received a packet from our office outlining the entire Hearts for Jesus program for February. If for some reason you have not received this information, please contact Linda Ekong at 734.213.4265.
We hope this year’s Hearts for Jesus program is exciting and heartwarming for your children as they have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other children their age who live in Detroit, Pontiac, and Flint. What a joy it would be to see our kids helping other kids, many of whom are much less fortunate.
Each of you should have had contact from your HWS Campaign Circuit Coordinator. Your Circuit Coordinator is an important resource for you, and your congregation, regarding any matter pertaining to the campaign. I would like to encourage you to utilize them and their expertise to help you work through the decision-making process. Please give him the opportunity. You should also be aware that Ray Zavada, our Campaign Director, has already assisted many congregations with their campaign planning processes, and is available to assist you as well. Ray may be contacted at email@example.com or by calling 734.904.2773.
Thank you again for the opportunity to update you on HWS. We look forward to what is in store for the campaign in 2017. Thank you again for what you are doing to be a part of this historic campaign in your congregations. 2017 is a very full year as we work toward the District-wide celebration service of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on October 15, 2017. If this is not already marked on your calendars, please do so, and begin to announce and promote this Worship Service in your congregations.
Finally, the Student Bible Reading Initiative, being coordinated by Pastor Dave Davis, is moving forward very well. Many young people in our congregations have accepted the challenge to be Crafted Daily through this Bible reading program. To date, there are over 1,700 participants. It’s not too late to start, so please encourage your young people to go to crafteddaily.com to get more information.
May God bless each of you abundantly in the New Year.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
By The Numbers through January 9, 2016
$3,226,799.45 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$1,731,105.80 – Cash received
$1,210,693.65 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)
492 Total Contributors
438 Individual Contributors
54 – Congregations Contributing
14.4% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
1,723 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program
$737,954.91 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,138,071.79 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$512,273.07 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$553,499.68 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries