A Message from the President – September 2019

September, 2019

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I hope each of you have had a wonderful and blessed summer and were able to enjoy time away with family. I was able to mix in some time away with my entire family even as we worked around all the conferences, pre-convention meetings, National Youth Gathering, and Synodical Convention. All of this is now behind us and we look forward to a new fall of ministry in the congregations of the Michigan District.

I pray you are looking forward to this fall as much as I am as we prepare for our fall conferences and everything else that is upon our District, and as you get ready for your congregational and personal schedules. May God grant us a full measure of his strength, wisdom, and guidance as we boldly go forth with the Gospel to His Church and to our communities.

During the summer, two planned events were completed as part of our Here We Stand (HWS) campaign: the worship service at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on June 9, and the Here We Ride bike event at Zion, Bay City on August 3. A special thank you to Pastor Norm Koy for leading worship at MIS, and Pastors Chris Garcia (Immanuel, Bay City) and Steve Schilke (Zion, Bay City) for their leadership in the Here We Ride event.

HWS will enter the fourth year of the Congregational Phase this fall when we gather for the All Pastors’ Conference at Boyne Mountain on October 6–8. As you have continued to receive and review the monthly By the Numbers updates throughout the summer, you have noticed that the campaign has continued to make steady progress, with approximately $6.2 million in gifts and commitments received to date. HWS has already been a remarkably successful campaign, even if it were to end now. However, as we continue to advance from this point, the additional financial progress that is made will allow the Michigan District to do even more to support the campaign initiatives and to continue to develop new opportunities. In addition, the Michigan District Endowment fund has grown by nearly $1 million, which provides a steady flow of income back into the District for support of multiple ministries.

With this in mind, I would again like to extend a plea to each congregation that has not yet pledged its participation in the campaign. Currently we have 152 congregations participating, or 41.7%. As I have shared before, this is already a good level of participation, but our goal continues to be a very good participation level (50%), and then eventually an excellent participation level (60%), which was the level reached during the Future is Now campaign from 2007 through 2012.

As a reminder, at the Michigan District Convention where the delegates approved the campaign commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, over 93% of delegates voted in favor of proceeding with this campaign. It was with this strong endorsement that we moved forward and designed the HWS campaign you are now very familiar with. The congregations of the District have now provided a little over $2 million of our campaign dollars to date, while individuals have given slightly over $4 million of the $6 million-plus we have received.

As you reconvene this fall and normal church activity and meetings resume, I respectfully ask you and your leadership to visit, or perhaps revisit, participation in the HWS campaign if you have not already done so. With your fair-share help, significantly more financial progress will be made, which will allow for even more ministry to occur and further increases in student scholarship support to take place.

By the way, for the 2019-2020 school-year that is just beginning, the Michigan District anticipates awarding a total of $260,000 in Professional Church Worker Scholarships to 95 future church work student recipients. The highly successful HWS campaign has made this possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact Ray Zavada, HWS Campaign Director, or Linda Ekong, Ray’s Administrative Assistant in the Development Department, if you are in need of any materials, ideas, or guidance in getting involved. They will be glad to assist you.

Finally, I look forward to the opportunities we will have this fall to have our paths cross again, and serving alongside each other as partners in sharing the Gospel and growing Christ’s Kingdom. May God grant this for His sake.

Your Brother in Christ,

maier_signature

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

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