My Dear Brothers in Christ,
Once again it is a joy to share with you an update on the continued progress and plans of our District’s Here We Stand (HWS) campaign. As you continue to receive and read the monthly reports sent by our Development Department, you have noticed that HWS has been an extremely positive and impactful event in the Michigan District over the past four years.
I would like to provide several pieces of information to illustrate how important and impactful this campaign has been, and will continue to be for several more years.
- We are expecting that the campaign’s total gifts and commitments will surpass $9 million (Currently approximately $8.9 million). This milestone will represent at least 90% of our original stated goal of $10 million. The level of response during the final months of HWS will determine how close we will be to the $10 million goal when the campaign concludes.
- Each of the four campaign initiatives has surpassed $1 million. We praise God for His rich blessing of each of these initiatives!
- Professional Church Worker Scholarships – Approximately $1.6 million of $3 million goal to date.
- Innovative Missional Ministry – Nearly $3.9 million to date, surpassing the goal of $3 million.
- Michigan District Endowment – Over $1.22 million of $3 million goal to date.
- International Ministries – Approximately $1.7 million, surpassing its goal of $1 million.
- Individual donors in the Michigan District have gifted nearly $6.7 million, and congregational giving has surpassed $2.2 million.
- 49% (174) congregations of the Michigan district have participated to date.
- The Michigan District Church Extension Fund has provided matching gifts totaling $700,000 to date. This number will increase by another $100,000 soon. We are grateful for the wonderful partnership we share with our colleagues in ministry at CEF.
WHERE DOES HWS GO FROM HERE?
First, a little background information. HWS is currently in its 5th and final year. The original timeline for the campaign included giving a final report to the 2021 Michigan District Convention this past June. We would then have had the final six months of 2021 to wrap up the campaign and end it by December 31, 2021. However, as you know, our Convention was rescheduled for the end of June next year.
Having made the adjustment with Convention due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, we feel making a slight adjustment in the timeline of HWS is also appropriate. The HWS campaign’s “final” report will now be given at Convention in 2022, one year later than originally planned. This means that HWS will be open for six more months, with a “soft” closing on December 31 and a wind-down time leading up to the “hard” closing at Convention in June 2022. By remaining open until Convention in 2022, it also allows for participation of those congregations and individuals who would still like to become participants.
During the extended six months of HWS, much of the campaign work that remains will mostly be done behind the scenes. Ray Zavada and Linda Ekong will both continue to be available to assist in any way they can. There will be a little additional time for fulfilling the few pledge commitments that remain outstanding. You will also notice that the flow of campaign information will begin to taper off as the campaign winds down towards its ending.
I would like to again thank you for your many acts of support for HWS since its beginning. I would encourage you to continue to stand by our efforts as we work to reach campaign closure at next year’s Convention. Please know there is still time to remain active in your support of HWS, or to become a participant if your congregation has not already done so. Any level of support you may be able to provide, whether ongoing or for the first time, will take us one step closer to the campaign goal of $10 million.
As additional monies are raised, PCW scholarships will continue to be given in future years, additional Innovative Missional Ministries will have opportunities to launch, and our support of Michigan District missionaries deployed around the world will continue. Beyond this, our Endowment Fund may also continue to grow some, which is vital to future ministry growth and support.
I pray God continues to bless you mightily and abundantly as you continue to lead and plan ministry in your congregations during these times that are still challenging and uncertain. God bless each of you, and I look forward to seeing you soon at the All Pastors Conference.
Your brother in Christ, David