Here We Stand – October 2015 Update
Campaign Bridges Generations
Pop Quiz: When you hear the word “bridge,” which one comes to mind? If you are from Michigan, you might have thought of the Mackinaw Bridge or the Blue Water Bridge into Canada. Maybe you thought of the Golden Gate Bridge. Or you might know someone who would like the Lego model of the Tower Bridge of London.
A bridge is a structure connecting two sides divided by an obstruction. That’s true physically and geographically, but it is also true spiritually and relationally. And it’s certainly true for our Here We Stand Campaign. The theme verse, Psalm 78:18, reads: “O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” This campaign is a bridge to connect people to God and each other in ways they wouldn’t have been able otherwise.
With the Michigan District-wide 500th Anniversary of the Reformation worship service to be held in Lansing in October, 2017, and an emphasis on Innovative Missional Ministry, we have the opportunity to connect Jesus with new people in our state right now. By supplying funds for International Ministry, who but God knows the names of those far from Michigan who will come to saving faith. As the Father sent Jesus, we are sent to people who don’t yet have the blessings of saving faith burning in their heart. May we go forward with great humility and confidence in the saving work of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen for the sins of the world. We stand with our communities in Michigan and literally around the world, right now!
We will also continue to stand with people into the future. Supporting and strengthening Professional Church Worker Scholarships will ensure that the cost to students and their families will be minimized, and yet the educational institutions of our Concordia Universities and Seminaries can supply the best resources for ministerial and theological training. And bolstering the District Endowment Fund sets the table for our followers to declare the grace and might of the Lord to those still to come, our children’s children and more.
In Luke 10, we read what happened when Jesus sent out the 72 disciples: “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!'” (Luke 10:17 ESV). And Jesus said, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20ESV).
As someone from Bay City, Mich., I can think of a lot of bridges, and I thank God for those who build spiritual bridges for me by establishing congregations, colleges, and seminaries so that my name, and your name, is written in heaven.
There is great joy in following Jesus. There is great joy in joining Jesus in His mission. I pray you will find joy in contributing to the Here We Stand campaign and in this way bridging the gap from the present to the generations still to come.
Rev. Robert Appold, Pastor
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Chairman, Here We Stand Campaign