A Message from the President – March 2017
Dear Brothers in Christ,
May our Lord continue to guide your journey through Lent and shower you with renewed understanding and appreciation of His mercy and grace. I know you are extremely busy, so I will get right to the information I would like to share with you relative to the Here We Stand campaign this month.
500th Anniversary Worship Service – October 15, 2017
The most important thing your congregation can do right now to prepare for the event is to assign a Ticket Captain to coordinate the requesting of tickets for your members. Both adults and children will need to have a ticket to enter. I would encourage your ticket captain to begin requesting tickets on our online ticket request system as they are gathered. Additional tickets may be requested as more names are received in the days and weeks ahead.
Reformation 500 Festival and Honors Choirs – A Note from the Choir Director, Dr. Brian Altevogt:
This is the time to round up all interested singers and encourage them to register for the Festival Choir that will be singing during the October 15 worship service at the Breslin Center. Also, students in grades 4 through college have the opportunity to audition to participate in one of three honors choirs. One way you can help advertise the singing opportunities is through a bulletin announcement. You can also direct people to the website herewestand.michigandistrict.org and click on “Worship Service.” Deadline for both audition submissions for the Honors Choirs and registration for the Festival Choir is April 15.
Decorating of the doors – Please remember that each congregation and/or school is asked to bring a decorated door with them to the Worship service. Your door should be decorated in a manner that represents the mission and ministry of your congregation and/or school. The doors will line the concourse of the Breslin Center as people enter for the Choir Concert at 4 p.m. and the Worship Service which begins at 5 p.m. They symbolize the open door of the Gospel that each congregation represents in their unique and varied contexts in their communities.
Reformation Bible Reading program Crafted Daily on the YouVersion app – The number of participants continues to increase! The latest update on March 13 was at 3,847 participants. Outstanding! It is never too late to begin the one-year reading program, so please continue to spread the word and encourage participation. I also learned that a congregation in the Nebraska District recently registered about 100 readers. Feel free to encourage fellow pastors, family members, and friends in other districts and around the world to participate as well.
The Reformation 500 – The Reformation 500 is a challenge to congregations to complete 500 miles in 5 months and raise money in the process. The design behind The Reformation 500 is for maximum participation by people of all ages and fitness levels, and it is to be done on a local basis. It is a great way to involve an entire family, as well as people of your community who are not members of your congregation. Participants will walk, run, or ride their bicycle during the months of May, June, July, August, and September, and record the number of miles they accumulate each week. The five months represent the five centuries of the Lutheran Reformation. The goal is to reach 500 miles by the end of September. The miles will be recorded on a Master Log at the end of each week, and will accrue during the five designated months. We encourage teams to be formed that will accumulate miles together.
The purpose of this event is three-fold:
- To encourage the improvement of personal fitness;
- This event will draw attention to the Reformation in general, but more specifically to your congregation. Please build this event up in your community and encourage community members to participate;
- We encourage all participants to collect pledges from family members, friends, and neighbors for every mile they accumulate during the five months of the event. At the end of September, we suggest that 50% of the funds collected be given to your church or school to help support your ministry, and 50% be given to the Here We Stand Campaign to help support the campaign’s four initiatives. Pledge forms are available at michigandistrict.org/TheReformation500.
I share all this information about Worship and event participation opportunities to encourage you and your members to become involved in the recognition of this historic time in our faith walk. The upcoming 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation provides us with a remarkable opportunity to engage our members and enlighten our communities. Again, I urge you and your members to involve yourselves in as much as you can, and enjoy your journeys through this year of celebration.
Finally, following the conclusion of my letter you will find the latest update on the financial growth of the campaign. We are now about four months into the congregational phase of the campaign, and God continues to richly bless this campaign. Please, if you have not already, let us know your participation plans and thoughts, and if you have any questions or need information, please contact Ray Zavada at email@example.com, or Linda Ekong at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734.665.3791 Ext. 265.
Brothers, you are such a vital part of our campaign communications system, and I cannot thank you enough for all you do to help see that the Here We Stand campaign is shared, and known, within your congregations.
Thank you again for the opportunity to share this information with you, and for the privilege of serving alongside you. May your remaining journey through Lent and Easter be blessed each day.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
By The Numbers through March 16, 2017
$4,180,032.73 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$2,709,963.21 – Cash received
$1,188,769.52 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)
515 Total Contributors
452 Individual Contributors
63 – Congregations Contributing
16.8% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
3,847 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program
$800,435.60 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,450,826.08 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$572,944.48 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,074,526.57 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries