Here We Stand – April 2018 Update

To Will and To Do

I’m sure everyone recognizes the difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it. Good intentions and good plans are abundant. If you are like me, you have a drawer, room, or whole garage (gulp!) full of projects that you started but never completed or finished.

It is true that good intentions are necessary, but they are not enough.
– Unapplied paint doesn’t do you any good.
– Buying a treadmill doesn’t do you any good.
– Joining a health club doesn’t do you any good.
– Taking a class on nutrition doesn’t do you any good.

I’m sure you get the point—applying the paint, walking on the treadmill, working out at the health club, and eating nutritionally does fulfill your intentions.

During the 2015 Michigan District Convention, approximately 93 percent of the delegates indicated their congregation’s intention by voting in favor of embarking on the Here We Stand Campaign. The Campaign has four broad goals: Professional Church Worker Scholarships, Innovative Missional Ministry, Michigan District Endowment Fund, and International Ministry.

We are thankful that, at this time, over $5,400,000 of the $10,000,000 goal has been gifted or pledged. Thirty-two percent of Michigan District congregations have contributed (as of March 27, 2018). Now might be a good time for your congregation to look for a way to participate. There probably are many reasons your congregation might feel uneasy about participating. But there is a good reason to work toward completing your intentions: The Here We Stand Campaign helps us fulfill the words of Psalm 71:18, “I will proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come.”

There are many ways for your congregation to participate. You can find a number of ideas from what other congregations have done at HWS-Ways-to-Give.

In February, we saw Olympic athletes push themselves to amazing physical feats as onlookers cheered them on all the way to the finish line. One of my favorite Olympic moments is the story of John Stephen Akwari, who came in last in the marathon at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. Because he fell and injured his ankle and knee in the midst of the race, he crossed the finish line an hour after the champion had been determined. When asked why he just didn’t quit he replied, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish it.”

Consider how your congregation can complete its intention of contributing to the Here We Stand Campaign. I hope you will. Someone from a future generation might hope so too.

“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:11–12 NIV).

Rev. Robert Appold serves as pastor of St. Matthew, Grand Rapids and is the Chairman for the Here We Stand Campaign.

Campaign Progress

Over $5.4 million in gifts, pledges, and congregational goals to date.

Congregation Highlights

We would like to thank Emmanuel, Cadillac; Community, Flat Rock; St. Lorenz, Frankenmuth; Bethlehem, Glen Arbor; St. Luke, Haslett; St. James, Grand Rapids; Our Savior, Midland; Trinity, Port Huron; and Christ, Stevensville for their most recent gifts to the campaign.

We would like to thank Faith, Highland for its recent pledge to the campaign.

Download this April Newsletter