A Message from the President – July 2017

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I know it is not always true or possible, but I hope you are enjoying your summer with perhaps a little more relaxed schedule right now. I also pray that each of you have planned some time away to get some well-deserved rest and have a period of uninterrupted and extended time with your family. I am looking forward to doing that myself.

I wanted to provide you with an update on the Here We Stand campaign, even if in a shortened, “Reader’s Digest” version on account of everyone’s summer schedule.

So here goes:

500th Anniversary Worship Service  ̶  When you receive this update, we will be only 2 ½ months from the October 15 date of the event at the Breslin Center. It is critical that your congregation requests the free tickets needed to enter the Worship Service NOW! Tickets will be mailed mid-September, so the time is drawing near. Hopefully, your ticket captain is doing their job and registering names of attendees online as they request it, not waiting till the last minute. If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Hughes, our event coordinator, at debra.hughes@michigandistrict.org.

Worship Service FAQs  ̶  On the Here We Stand worship service webpage, you will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Worship Service. You may want to check there first to see if the question(s) you have is/are answered on this site.

Worship Service Offering  ̶  Please be reminded that an offering will be taken at the Worship Service, which will go towards the four Here We Stand campaign initiatives. An offering envelope will be provided at the Worship Service to those attending. This same envelope is available to any congregation or member who may not be able to attend, so they can have an opportunity to participate. Please let Linda Ekong know how many envelopes you would like to receive. These offerings will be added to the offering taken at the Breslin Center.

Doors  ̶  Congregations attending the Worship Service are asked to bring a decorated door to be displayed on the concourse of the Breslin Center before and after the Worship Service. The door decoration should depict your ministries at your congregation.

Worship Service Choir  ̶  The Festival Choir (adults) now has 920 members. Members still wishing to participate can do so by registering online but must do so soon as the choir is limited to 1,000 singers, and music will be sent to choir members in August. The Honors Choirs (children) are also still accepting nominations to perform. There are three children’s choirs divided into age groupings, each of which can accept up to 120 participants. These choirs will be performing at the Worship Service and during the pre-service concert beginning at 4 p.m. These nominations can be made online at herewestand.michigandistrict.org/500.

Here We Ride Bike Event  ̶  This free event on August 5 will begin at Bethany, Charlevoix on Saturday morning and end also at Bethany during the mid-afternoon with a picnic, awards, music, and other planned activities. I would like to thank our brothers and sisters in Christ at Bethany for hosting this event, as well as Pastors Matt Peters (Zion, Petoskey) and Roger Kilponen (Holy Cross, Onaway) for their leadership in putting this event together. Complete information can be found at herewestand.michigandistrict.org/hereweride.

Student Bible Reading Program  ̶  The Crafted by Truth Bible reading program continues to grow. At last checking, the program had 4,843 registered Bible reading participants. It is never too late to start the one-year reading program located on the YouVersion Bible Reading app. Please encourage youth, and all others, to read God’s Word and share their thoughts on the Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/crafteddaily/).

Hearts For Jesus (HFJ)  ̶  Our school children, parents, and staff have been most generous in their support for Hearts for Jesus this year. To date, over $27,000 has been received. For this we praise God, as HFJ funds are being used to send, at no cost, several hundred urban children to our four Sports Camp/VBS programs in Detroit (2), Pontiac, and Benton Harbor. If you have not yet held your summer VBS, please consider designating your VBS offerings this year to HFJ. See herewestand.michigandistrict.org/hearts-for-jesus for details.

Congregational Participation in Here We Stand  ̶  Progress continues on a very steady basis. Thank you to the 84 congregations who have already chosen to participate in the campaign, and the many who are currently working towards announcing their participation decisions. Please contact Ray Zavada, our Campaign Director, if you have any questions or need materials or assistance in any way.

Financial Progress  ̶  Thank God for steady growth. Our next intermediate goal is to surpass the $5 million mark by the Worship Service in October. Currently, we are at approximately $4.5 million. If you are ready to announce your participation decision, or to make a direct gift, please consider doing so before then to help in the attainment of this goal. We would be very appreciative.

For a complete accounting of campaign progress, please see the attached report.

Thank you again, brothers, for the opportunity to provide this update and for your support throughout the Michigan District for Here We Stand. This is a historic time for the Lutheran Church, and with your continued support and encouragement, it will be a historic time for the Michigan District as well.

Please, never hesitate to contact Ray Zavada or Linda Ekong in our Development Department should you have any question about any aspect of Here We Stand.

May God continue to bless each of you abundantly,



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

Support Here We Stand

By The Numbers through July 24, 2017

$4,587,648.14- Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$2,747,974.77 – Cash received
$200,000.00 – CEF Matching Funds
$1,358,373.37 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)

613 Total Contributors
529 Individual Contributors
84 – Congregations Contributing
22.6% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
4,843 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program

$908,511.11 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,615,440.56 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$680,417.12 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,101,979.37 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries