Here We Stand – June 2020 Update

Here We Ride 2020 by Rev. Chris Garcia

Last year, Immanuel Lutheran and Zion Lutheran churches in Bay City had the joy of co-hosting our district’s Here We Ride event. Participants from all around the state rode the beautiful biking trails of Bay City while volunteers awaited them with water, encouragement, and even some snacks. Members of the community were also greeted by volunteers while they were out for their morning walk or bike ride. The event began with a prayer service and ended with a picnic at Zion. It was a wonderful experience, a time of fellowship, exercise, and spreading joy in our community. So naturally I was excited to chair the event once again. I had hopes of inviting more people to come and experience this wonderful event.

But just as we began putting the details of Here We Ride together for this year we were hit, along with the whole nation, by the new concerns that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been in prayer and careful consideration about whether or not our congregations could host this event again and what it would look like with the current and forecasted restrictions. While this is an outdoor event, many of the fundamental elements of what has made this event so wonderful involve the close interaction of participants and volunteers. If we had the same number of participants from last year, that would be too many people for us to gather.

Our prayer is that more of God’s people would want to get involved in this wonderful event, so we are changing things up! Here We Ride 2020 is still on but in a different format. On Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2, you, your family, and your congregation can participate in your own community. Find a route in your neighborhood and go for a ride. You can pray for the families, businesses, and schools you pass on your route. Swing by the homes of homebound members and drop off a care package. Ride to a nursing home and lead a hymn sing. Or just enjoy some quality time with your family.

You can sign up at herewestand.michigandistrict.org/hereweride. When you do, you can also download a pledge form. We encourage you to collect pledges for the miles you will ride that weekend. We ask that you give 50% of the money raised to the ministry of your choice (church/school/other) and the remaining 50% to the Here We Stand campaign initiatives, which include Church Worker Scholarships, Innovative Missional Ministry support, Michigan District Endowment, and supporting International Ministries!

To make this event a little more fun, there will be prizes for longest ride in each age category (5 & under, 6-12, 13-19, 20-39, 40-59, and 60+) and for the best decorated bicycle and most creative t-shirt designs by an individual or family. Submissions for these prizes will be done via social media. Share a photo of your bicycle, your creative Here We Ride t-shirt design, or a picture of your ride and the number of miles you completed. Be sure to use the hashtags #milcms and #hereweride.

We look forward to seeing what God is going to do through you in this event. Join us for Here We Ride 2020 and take this opportunity to get into your community and care for your neighbor.

Campaign Progress

Over $6.9 million in gifts, pledges, and congregational goals to date.

Congregation Highlights

We would like to thank Grace, Canton; St. John, Cheboygan; Lamb of God, Flint; Our Savior, Lansing; St. Paul, Pontiac; St. John, Rochester; St. Matthew, Westland; and Trinity, Wyandotte for their recent gifts to the campaign.

June 2020 Newsletter