“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by mortals but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5).
We are the living stones of Christ’s Church “built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).
The North/West Lower Michigan Synod is undertaking and leading Living Stones Initiatives that equip us a Christians, congregations, and a synod that participate in what St. Paul describes as living stones joined together and raising as a holy temple in the Lord.
These Living Stones Initiatives are designed to help the Synod grow spiritually, strengthen connections, and raise up and support leaders. This includes:
- Revive Congregations: 18 congregations participating in REVIVE, a two year vitality program developed specifically for our synod. This program of workshops and retreats includes modules on worship, evangelism, stewardship, leadership development, community engagement, and cross-cultural conversation.
- Raise Up Lay Leaders: 75 congregational leaders will complete a retooled Equipping Leaders for Mission and Ministry (ELMM) program in four tracks: (1) Lutheran Bible Study Leader; (2) Stewardship Specialist; (3) Community Evangelist/Catalyst; (4) Assisting Minister
- Raise Up Rostered Ministers: 20 candidates for Rostered Ministry – Pastors and Deacons – from our synod are identified, accompanied, and supported.
- Reduce Educational Debt: Rostered ministers are relieved of some measure of educational indebtedness as our synod awards $2,000 grants to lending institutions.
- Increase Opportunities for Inspiration and Continuing Education: We offer quality continuing education. We want to maintain and expand our educational offerings for both rostered and congregational leaders.
- Expand Ministry with Youth: Especially youth in smaller congregations are afforded an additional level of youth ministry, to build on the excellent events provided by Living Water Ministries.
- Welcome All God’s People: Coach and equip congregations for Hospitality, Anti-Racism Training, and Open Hearts, Open Church are all ways congregations can choose to refine and expand their welcome.
- Invite People Outside the Church to Come to Jesus: Our synod remains vigilant to opportunities for Synodically Authorized Worshipping Communities. This is completely about helping people to know God’s love for them in Jesus Christ.
- Meet Jesus: Experience the love of Jesus in Latino and Native American communities on the territory of our Synod and through listening to and learning from them. We long for and pray for opportunities to listen and learn from people who live in our state but are not part of our congregations. Our goal is to behold the face of God in new ways.
- Accompany and Assist Struggling Congregations to Realistically Assess their Sustainability and Discern their Future: Where desirable, help congregations to partner with neighboring congregations, both ELCA and full communion partners.
- Recruit 100 Living Stone Givers: 100 people or combinations of people make a three-year commitment of an annual designated Living Stone gift of $500 to our synod for the Living Stone Ministry Initiatives. People appreciative of and committed to Synodical Ministry give directly to the North/West Lower Michigan Synod in the same way they give to Samaritas, Living Water Ministries, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and the ELCA.
- Express Gratitude: Congregations leading and growing in their mission support of our synod, together with the Living Stone diners are honored and thanked at annual Generosity Dinners.
Give to Living Stones:
- Send a check to the Synod Office (2900 N. Waverly Rd. Lansing, MI 48906). Checks should be made out to the N/W Lower MI Synod and designed Living Stones Initiative. Your check and bank statements can be used to support this tax deductible giving.
- Online credit card option is coming soon!