A Message from the President – May 2018

May 15, 2018

Dear Brothers in Christ,

Do you realize that we are only about six weeks away from our 2018 Michigan District Convention at Concordia University Ann Arbor? It’s hard to believe that three years have already passed since our last Convention in 2015. Planning is well under way, and only the final details remain to be completed before we come together to worship, fellowship, encourage one another, and conduct the business of our District and of our Lord. I look forward to seeing and greeting each of you in Ann Arbor.

During these three years much has taken place in the congregations of our district, and in the Michigan District office, to share the Gospel with unbelievers, serve our communities as the hands and feet of Christ, and to love, strengthen, and encourage those whom we are privileged to serve each and every day in our congregations. As we continue to pray for more such opportunities, we joyfully thank God for what He continues to allow us to do as His servants and for the sake of His Kingdom.

The Here We Stand (HWS) campaign is one of those areas that many of us in the district office—and certainly many of you in your congregations—have committed significant time and effort to. Thank you! As we rapidly approach the convention, please consider making your congregation’s intentions to participate in the HWS campaign known to us before convention begins.

During the convention, Ray Zavada, our district’s Vice President of Development and HWS Campaign Director, will be giving a campaign progress report to delegates. I know he would appreciate being able to include as many participating congregations in his report as possible. Currently, we have 120 congregations participating—about a third of our congregations—and for this already substantial level of support we are very thankful.

If the timing is right for your congregation, or if you have already made a decision to participate but haven’t yet submitted your Commitment Form, please do so soon. If the timing is not yet right for you to make your declaration of participation, we certainly understand. But even if this is the case in your situation, please drop Ray an email at ray.zavada@michigandistrict.org, and let him know your intentions to participate in the future.

Throughout the campaign, many innovative ways for congregations to participate in HWS have been considered. It’s been a joy to see some congregations participate by doing things that do not involve using congregational operating dollars (which we know is not possible for everyone). Please continue to consider various types of ways to participate. For ideas, please visit the HWS website at herewestand.michigandistrict.org, and search for the Ways to Give document. Or, if you have access to the February, 2018 Michigan in Touch insert in the Lutheran Witness, you can find an article specifically about innovative ways to participate beginning on page 11.

Amazingly, another unique opportunity to participate in the campaign has presented itself. On June 10, Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Mich. is hosting its annual 400-mile NASCAR race. Through Pastor Joel Hess from Emmanuel, Cadillac, the Michigan District has the opportunity to be involved in the opening Worship Service at 10 a.m. on the day of the race. Pastor Hess will lead the worship service in the Driver Q&A Tent in the MIS Fan Plaza area on the grounds of the Speedway, just a few hundred feet from the race track. This really is a one-of-a-kind outreach opportunity, and we thank Pastor Hess and his team from Emmanuel for their willingness to be the worship leaders that day.

Here We Stand benefits from this worship service in a couple of ways. First, when a person attending the race buys their ticket(s) at mispeedway.com/sunriseservice and enters code LCMS, the HWS campaign will receive $5.00 from every ticket purchased. Secondly, an offering will also be taken during the worship service which directly benefits HWS.

MIS has also graciously reduced the ticket price from $79 to $55 for those purchasing through the website mentioned above. They have also promised excellent seating for us during the 400-mile race that starts at 2 p.m., and are giving us access to the concert that takes place on MIS grounds on Saturday night at no additional cost. All in all, this is a great value if you are a NASCAR fan, or would like to go for the first time.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would share this information with your congregations. Perhaps some of your members will have an interest in attending worship at MIS and the NASCAR race on June 10. For more information, please contact Ray Zavada or, to receive fliers to distribute, please contact Linda Ekong in the district office.

Thank you again to all who are already making HWS a successful campaign, and to all who will become involved in the future. A very special thank you to our 43 HWS Circuit Coordinators who diligently work to keep campaign information and encouragement in front of the entire district through their respective circuits! Dear brothers, it is my joy to serve each of you, and serve with you, in the important Kingdom work we carry out in the Michigan District. May God continue to bless you abundantly.

maier_signature

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

Support Here We Stand


By The Numbers through May 7, 2018

$5,425,069.72 – Total campaign gifts, pledges, and goals
$4,206,587.57 – Cash received which includes $300,000 CEF Matching Funds
$907,806.15 – Outstanding commitments (pledges)

1,226 Total Contributors
1,105 Individual Contributors
121 Congregations Contributing
32.8% of Michigan District Congregations currently participating
7,441 Participants in the “Crafted By Truth” Bible Reading Program
876 Participants who have completed the Bible Reading Program

$1,089,032.82 – Total given/pledged for Professional Church Worker Scholarships
$1,953,366.80 – Total given/pledged for Innovative Missional Ministry
$797,332.32 – Total given/pledged for Michigan District Endowment
$1,274,661.77 – Total given/pledged for International Ministries