A Message from the President – July/August 2016

Dear brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior. We’re already well into summer, and although schedules may not lighten, they probably change to some degree.  I am praying your summer months continue to be filled with joy, opportunity, and excitement as you disciple your flock while reaching the lost in your communities.

July remained a very busy month with our Synodical Convention in Milwaukee, installations, and lots of planning to prepare for fall when everything returns to full speed again. During the month of August, I will spend the first week as lecturer at Camp Arcadia and then some time with family. Many of our District staff also use the summer months to be with their families and friends, to relax, reload, and ready themselves for another busy fall. If you have not yet made any summer plans to get away, I encourage you to do so.

Although summer provides a season of change of pace, it remains a time of great blessing in our District’s congregations and in the Michigan District office as well. Word and Sacrament ministry as well as many different ministries of mercy continue. The Here We Stand (HWS) ministry campaign continues. We are very thankful for the tremendous momentum HWS has right now, and we pray and anticipate this will continue throughout the summer. Planning continues but is also bearing fruit on many different fronts, as more and more District activity falls into place.

For example, two September community donor events will be held in Frankenmuth. Scheduled at noon on September 19 is a Saginaw Valley informational lunch at the Bavarian Inn, and a reception is scheduled in the evening of that day at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Both events are being coordinated and hosted by Rev. Dr. Bill Hoesman, immediate past President of the Michigan District. They are designed to explain the Here We Stand campaign to those who are interested in learning about campaign initiatives and how each can participate personally and/or involve their congregation.

The very next day, on September 20, two regional donor events are scheduled in Jackson. They will follow the same format as the Saginaw Valley events in Frankenmuth by having a noon luncheon and an evening reception. Both of these Jackson area events are being coordinated and hosted by Mrs. Donna Lake.

HWS Campaign Director Ray Zavada and I will be making presentations at each of the events. If you are in the vicinity of either of these regional events, please consider attending personally. If you would also make this information known and available to your members, we would be grateful. You may contact Linda Ekong, Administrative Assistant to Ray Zavada, at linda.ekong@michigandistrict.org or 734.213.4265 to receive information or to make reservations.

I also want you to know that Ray and I would enjoy the opportunity to hold additional events like these in your communities. If you would like to host such an event, and invite members from your congregation and surrounding congregations, please contact Linda Ekong. There is absolutely no cost to you or your congregation, and each event will last no longer than 90 minutes. Please consider being a host in your community.

Here We Stand continues to make excellent progress. We have 23 congregations participating in the campaign already, and to be honest, we didn’t expect congregational participation to take place until the fall. We thank these early responding congregations for their help in getting the campaign off to its fast start, and we praise God for opening their hearts to an earlier-than-expected participation. We also have over 340 individual campaign donors to date. The following is the most recent campaign “By the Numbers” report which is updated and published regularly as a means to keep Michigan District pastors and members informed of campaign progress.

A “By the Numbers” look at the Here We Stand Campaign (through July 15, 2016)

$1,888,128.44           Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$1,218,602.49           Cash received
$ 669,525.95             Outstanding commitments (pledges and goals)

363                              Total Contributors
340                              Individual Contributors
23                                Congregations Contributing
6%                               % of Michigan District Congregations currently participating

$304,026.52              Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$858,233.89              Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$264,013.52               Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$461,854.51                Total given/pledged for International Ministries

Connect with Ray Zavada to discover how your congregation can participate in Here We Stand.

Please remember to check the Here We Stand campaign website regularly. The website contains all the information, video, power points, bulletin inserts, FAQ’s, monthly newsletters, president’s letters, and forms you will need to learn about, and participate in, HWS. If you would like an onsite one-on-one or group presentation, please contact Linda to schedule.

Please note that this is a July/August update letter. My plan is to communicate with you via my President’s letter again in September. In October, during my President’s Report at the All Pastors’ and Wives’ Conference (APWC) at Boyne Mountain, I will provide another detailed campaign update. Also, during the APWC Conference, you will hear presentations about the District-wide Worship Service in October, 2017 by Rev. Dr. Robert E. Kasper, the Students Read the Bible initiative beginning this fall by Rev. David Davis, as well as planned Events and Activities for the summer of 2017 from Rev. David Rufner.

If, at any time, you should need assistance, information, or just a conversation about the campaign, please do not hesitate to contact Ray Zavada or Linda Ekong. They will be glad to assist in any way they can.

Finally, as your congregation makes participation decisions this fall, or sooner, please remember to submit your Congregation Pledge Form. Once received, your congregation’s pledge will be added to the campaign’s totals. Remember, you may designate your congregation’s pledge to one, two, three, or all four of the campaign initiatives.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my campaign update with you. May God continue to bless you abundantly during the remaining days of summer, and may your ministry continue to be a blessing to those you serve.

Your brother in Christ,


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

Support Here We Stand