Get Ready … The Game is Coming5 min read

Dear Friends in Christ,

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! Because of His sin-bearing, sin-conquering death, we can now be assured that our sins are forgiven. Risen from the dead, the champion of our faith has removed the fear of death for those who, by grace through faith, are His own. He is also risen to live in and through us, and now we are compelled to share the eternal, life-giving message of the Gospel that comes only from our Savior, the risen Christ. I pray that this Easter message lives outwardly in you and me today and in all of us every day … as we are lights, voices, and models of Christ in our family, church, and community.

I pray sharing the love of Christ and the Good News of the Gospel is something we all take seriously, because that is our Great Commission responsibility (Matthew 28:16-20). I realize that we are all not trained evangelists, and may not always know what to do or what to say, but God can still use us to make a significant impact as we shine the Gospel light in our lives. Let me tell you how you can make a very tangible, real, and significant difference for the Kingdom, regardless of your ability to be an evangelist.

Get Ready … The Game is Coming  — A2E Sports Camps/VBS

Again this summer, our Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) urban ministry, based in Detroit, is presenting our Sports Camp/VBS programs in the city. Each year they are presented under a theme that helps the children focus on the Gospel during the week they are at camp. This year’s theme is Get Ready … The Game is Coming. As Rev. Christopher Bodley, who plans and organizes the summer camps as our Missionary-at-Large for A2E, explains it: Get ready is another way of saying … prepare. Preparation is to be a process for every believer’s life. In 1 Peter 3:15 the apostle Peter states, ‘Always be prepared to give … the reason for the hope that is in you.’ This year’s summer Sports Camps/VBS will focus on how the Gospel changes our lives, and the lives of children, so that we can be prepared to change the game in life.”

Surrounding the 400 or more children attending our summer camps will be willing, able, caring, and eager individuals who are trained to share the Gospel message with children in a way they can comprehend, and then make these teachings part of their lives. Helping Pastor Bodley will be upwards of 100 volunteers, many of whom come back year after year from LCMS congregations throughout the Michigan District, to mentor and teach young lives about Christ, and what having Christ in their lives means to them.

Remember, these are children who may not have had a previous opportunity to hear the Gospel up close and personal until experiencing one of our camps. You can help make this possible—this is your opportunity to be an evangelist through others. Permit me to share with you how.

The cost of attending a summer Sports Camp/VBS this summer is $55.00 per child. Through good stewardship and the gifting of many tangible items, such as food and drinks, we have been able to maintain this cost for each of the three years the camps have been provided.

What I ask you to prayerfully consider is sponsoring one child, or as many children as your personal financial circumstances will allow. Our goal is to again sponsor every child who wishes to attend camp. This goal was attained in our camps the previous two years, and it is our belief that generous and faithful supporters of this ministry will allow 100% of the children to be sponsored again in 2015.

The first camp will take place on Detroit’s east side, coordinated by Bethany Lutheran Church in Detroit, from June 15–19. The west side camp will be from July 13-17 at Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church. In addition to repeating these two very successful camps, I am delighted to announce that a third camp has been added for this summer. In August, St. Paul Community Lutheran Church in Pontiac will also host a week-long camp.

On the first night of camp, each child receives a colorful new t-shirt that identifies them as a Sports Camp/VBS participant and which they keep as his or her own. The shirt gives each child a sense of belonging, and it also provides for greater safety due to its bright color. Each evening of camp begins with a meal at 5 p.m. For many children, this may be their only meal of the day. In addition to the daily Vacation Bible School component, each camp has a sports component. By the close of camp each day at 8 p.m., children will have received exposure to several different sports, including soccer, golf, lacrosse, martial arts, cheerleading, basketball, and flag football.

Thank you in advance for your faithful generosity. The addition of the third camp will require even more scholarships than last year. If you are still unsure whether you would like to be a sponsor this year, please take a look at the pictures accompanying my letter that were taken during the past two camps. I hope the looks on the children’s faces will inspire you to be a sponsor, just as they continue to inspire us to make these camps available to them each summer.

With your help, this will be a joy-filled summer for many children. Your gift is an encouragement to Pastor Bodley and many volunteers, but most importantly, to the children who will hear the Good News of the Gospel and witness the love of Christ through others who care about them. Again, thank you for helping these children meet Jesus. May God grant this for the sake of His Kingdom.

Serving those who need our care together,

Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, President

Michigan District, LCMS

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About the Author

Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier is president emeritus of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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