Here We Stand – October 2017 Update

Here We Go: Partners in Growing the Kingdom

By Michael Roth

At Trinity, St. Joseph, we like to tell people that Lutherans are celebrating our 150th anniversary around the world. It is a happy coincidence that the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the 150th anniversary of our church and school fall in the same year. The question for us was, “How do we celebrate?”

In addition to having a guest preacher and a guest organist each month of 2017, we decided to conduct a capital campaign thank offering. That sounded to our leadership like a good idea, but a capital campaign for what? We did not need to build a new building or add on to our existing facilities, so we decided to have an open forum and get ideas from the congregation.

By inviting the congregation to our capital campaign planning open forum/potluck, we gathered a room full of interested people. In this enlightening conversation, a few interests emerged as top priorities. We had some obvious needs we felt could be addressed, like a parking lot in desperate need of repair and a mortgage not yet retired. However, one message was made clear: we should give a thank offering that promotes the mission of the church. The question then became, “What does Trinity need that will enhance its outreach in the community and beyond?”

Our Early Childhood Center has been a vibrant outreach ministry at Trinity for over 20 years, but our space is looking tired and has become inefficient. We could use a makeover and an update. Also, we have a campus setting in downtown St. Joseph that could be made more attractive and inviting to visitors. These sounded like good projects with mission outreach potential, but what about outreach beyond our community?

Well, it so happens that the Michigan District is engaged in a campaign, designed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, called Here We Stand. We have been part of the Michigan District and have benefited from our partnership from the beginning, so why not join in the Here We Stand campaign? From there it was decided that we would tithe our campaign to the Here We Stand campaign of the District. In this way, we would support our goal of using our thank offering for missions and teach our people about tithing. By unanimous consent, Trinity became a partner in the Here We Stand campaign.

Rev. Michael J. Roth is the senior pastor at Trinity, St. Joseph and also serves as Circuit Visitor.

Campaign Progress

Over $4.72 million in gifts, pledges, and congregational goals to date.

Resource Tip

If you are planning congregational presentations this fall, please remember to request campaign booklets from the District Office. Contact Linda Ekong at 734.213.4265 or linda.ekong@michigandistrict.org for assistance.

Congregation Highlights

We would like to thank Emmanuel, Britton for its gift to the campaign through participation in our Here We Ride Event and Peace, Shelby Township for its gift through the Reformation 500 Challenge.

Download this October Newsletter