My Dear Friends in Christ,
A blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. By the grace of God, may your Christmas season be filled with God’s joy, love, and the gift of laughter, as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior in the coming days.
2020—Some say it is a year to remember and others say it is a year to forget. I can see it both ways. The COVID-19 virus has significantly changed our way of life, and there is “wonder” as to what will happen with a new president of the United States. Yet here we are, at the end of perhaps the most challenging year we have ever experienced, preparing to again celebrate the birth of Jesus, Our Savior, the One whose birth we know is certain and true.
The world around us is filled with uncertainty and change, but our joy comes in confidently knowing, believing in, and having a personal relationship with Jesus who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Let us be confident and joyful in that reality.
We know this to be true in the mission and ministries of the Michigan District as well. Sure, we have been impacted in our ministries just as you have been impacted in your homes. Yet just as you continue to forge ahead, so do we. The powerful, life-changing words of the Gospel continue to be shared in the congregations of the Michigan District and in the ministries we provide. Why this confidence? Because Jesus is constant through the Word, sacraments, and His promises. Jesus’ love, presence, and power never change.
Nowhere is this more evident than in our Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) urban ministries. In our multiple urban ministry centers in Michigan, hope continues to be found in the Good News of the Gospel as it is shared with hundreds upon hundreds of people.
Pray with me that our urban centers are blessed as were the cities in the early church as in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
A2E impacts lives in the Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, and Benton Harbor areas. A2E ministries continue to grow each year as new opportunities for serving communities are identified, and as the urban missionaries of the Michigan District respond to those new and ever-changing opportunities.
With continuing ministry growth, there is also continued growth in expenditures. Additional staff and resources are needed to serve an ever-increasing number of people. The annual expenditure budget for A2E is currently over $780,000 and we, dear friends, are delighted to spend every penny because A2E is making a difference.
Where is A2E making a difference? In Detroit through Bethany, Outer Drive Faith, Pan De Vida, Charity, and Family of God Lutheran Churches, and also through The Luke Project – 52 Clinic, Camp Restore, and Elli’s House; in Flint through Franklin Avenue Mission; in Pontiac through St. Paul Community Lutheran Church; and in Benton Harbor at Benton Harbor Outreach Ministry.
I invite you to prayerfully and generously support this vital ministry to the children and families served by A2E through its multiple urban centers in Michigan. As you make your Christmas and/or year-end giving decisions, please consider investing in the lives of those being impacted for God’s Kingdom here and for eternity through A2E.
With your continued generosity, the Michigan District will be able to meet an ever-growing need for serving families in several major urban communities.
Thank you again for your prayerful consideration. Please know your gift will be a wonderful blessing to someone this Christmas season and beyond!
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
P.S. Your generous gift will impact the Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) component of the Here We Stand campaign’s Innovative Missional Ministry initiative, and will receive a 10% match from the Michigan District Church Extension Fund campaign matching funds commitment.
P.P.S. If your personal passion is supporting one of the other initiatives of the Here We Stand campaign (Professional Church Worker Scholarships, International Ministry, or Michigan District Endowment), please know that your support of one, or more, of these initiatives would be most appreciated and also receives a 10% match through the generosity of the Michigan District Church Extension Fund.