OUR MISSION - VISION - CORE VALUES
The vision of St. Michael Lutheran is to be a growing congregation within our local community that is “Making Mighty Messengers for Christ” by helping people:
- DEVELOP, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through His Word and Sacraments, a more vibrant and personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ that expresses itself in consistent prayer and worship; and to
- GAIN practical, relevant, biblical insights for faithful Christian living both through personal Bible study and through our various Christian educational offerings such as Sunday School, Small groups, St. Michael Lutheran School, etc.; and to
- BELONG to a loving and caring family of faith with a solid doctrinal heritage through active membership, ministry involvement, and Small group participation; and to
- GIVE of ourselves to others in loving Christian service and evangelistic witness within the congregation and beyond it to our local community and world.
In other words, this vision statement helps define who a “Mighty Messenger for Christ” is, namely, a “Mighty Messenger for Christ” is a Christian believer...
- who has a vibrant and personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ;
- who strives to gain practical, relevant, biblical insights for faithful Christian living;
- who actively belongs to a loving and caring family of faith with a solid doctrinal heritage;
- who gives of oneself to others in loving Christian service and evangelistic witness.
Our Core Values
1) We value worship, as we gather around God’s Word and Sacraments, that is meaningful and up-lifting, including clear, relevant preaching. We appreciate both traditional liturgy and hymns as well as contemporary music and desire variety and quality in all our worship services so that we might have a meaningful experience of praising and glorifying God with the best that we have. (Colossians 3:16-17)
2) We value evangelism and believe that the good news of the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the main message of the church. We care about meeting all human needs but recognize that the most important need people have is for a love relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and so we reach out with this saving Gospel and proclaim the truth of God’s Word to all people without compromise. (Acts 1:8)
3) We value discipleship through the Christian education of children and adults of all ages as essential and vital to our spiritual health and growth. While we highly value people of every age, we are especially excited about our population of young families, many of whom come into our congregation through our Christian education programs for children. (Luke 18:15-17)
4) We value fellowship and want a friendly church that is like a loving family that actively cares for one another in times of need. When inevitable conflicts arise among us, we desire to be reconciled to one another, to communicate honestly and lovingly with each other, and to worship, work, and play together in peace and harmony. (Acts 2:42-47)
5) We value service and good stewardship of our time, talents, and treasure within our congregation and community. We put a high premium on the volunteer ministry of our members, believing that the primary role of our professional church workers is not to do all the ministry themselves but “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12; Romans 12:4-8)
60 Years of Making Mighty Messengers
St. Michael was a Michigan District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod mission plant and some of our foundational members came from Zion. The first worship service (in which the charter was signed) was at Milham School in Portage on September 25, 1960.
The first pastor of St. Michael, who was the District’s mission planter placed right out of the St. Louis seminary, was Rev. James Poerschke. Pastor Kenneth Allan followed him in 1963, and continued at St. Michael until his retirement in 1997. After spending about 10 years in retirement in Tennessee, Pastor Allan moved back up to Portage, and serves as our Pastor Emeritus, continuing to make calls, teach, and do some preaching. Pastor Paul R. Naumann was installed as Assistant Pastor on February 2, 1997. Following the retirement of Pastor Allan, he was eventually joined by Pastor Steve Thiel as Associate Pastor from 1999-2002. Later, St. Michael has been blessed to have Rev. Jason Toman serve as Assistant Pastor. Jason continues also to work as a part-time engineer for a local company.
2020 has been a year of challenges and joys, as through the pandemic we have gone to having pastoral devotions weekly and services broadcast on Facebook LIVE, electronic newsletters and parking lot services with drive-by communion offered. We said goodbye to our Director of Child/Youth, Andrea Lynch, and we welcomed Rev. Daniel Maske and family into our midst at his installation service on September 6. He serves as Associate Pastor and has a focus on the faith formation of our children/youth.
Saturday, September 26, we joyfully celebrated that St. Michael is "Sixty and Solid: Built On The Rock" of Jesus Christ 1960-2020! Christian recording artist, Don Wharton, provided worship music and a concert following a celebration meal and program. Pastor Emeritus, Kenneth Allan, shared the Word with guests.
In support of Lutheran World Relief, we assembled about 1000 school kits to be shipped out. Recipes were collected from members and a book printed. The Quilter's group crafted a beautiful workmanship that was given away.
The story of St. Michael is really about the people whose lives have been changed for the better by the love of God in Christ Jesus. While we look back in gratitude at all the Lord has done among us and through us, we also know He still has much more that He would like us to do for Him in our community and world. Obviously, there are many people hurting these days financially, emotionally, physically and Spiritually. Our ongoing ministry will seek to address these concerns into the future. As we celebrated God’s past faithfulness, a 60th Anniversary Thank Offering has been contributed to LCMS World Relief and Human Care. They will apply our gift wherever the opportunity for Gospel-centered mercy and human care is most pressing or urgent.
Our goal in all is to say thank you to God for all His good gifts to us over the past six decades. We are grateful to Him for this historic milestone, and look forward to the next chapter of service that by the power of the Holy Spirit He will grant us and guide us through. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His love lasts forever” (Psalm 107:1).