Series Syllabus and information

Class #1, January 16: 

The importance of the land for Native Americans. Native American theology, creation stories, and cultural traditions around the use and care of the land. Similarities and differences with Christian theology and creation stories. Beginning to get at the question of why developed a land acknowledgement might be important for us to do as (Lutheran) Christians.

Class #2, January 23:  

The Story of the Land in North America and the people who live there. From the Doctrine of Discovery to the fur trade, westward expansion and the Indian wars, reservations and treaties—how we came to this point.  Land acknowledgments as a re-framing of US History.

Class #3, January 30:

Getting practical: HOW to develop and use a land acknowledgment in congregation practice. Discussion, resources and examples of how to accurately and respectfully draft a land acknowledgement, and how to introduce its use and incorporate it in congregation life.

Class #4: Session 4, February 6:

WHAT’S NEXT? Discussion, resources and examples of restorative actions in further relationship with our indigenous neighbors. How do we build relationship after developing a land acknowledgment practice (likely a first step for many of us). We’ll focus on both ELCA resources for truth seeking and telling, national/regional reparations/land back movements as well as focus on local opportunities for accompaniment and deeper congregational practice and worship components.


Joy - Service - Sacrifice

These are just some of the values that can be found in stewardship



Harper’s Bible Dictionary defines a “steward” as follows: “From the Greek oekonomos, the manager of a large household or estate, who might be a slave. The name also designated a municipal officer (Romans 16:23). The steward had management of the children of the owner (Galatians 4:2). Jesus proposes the faithful steward as the example of the responsible Christian (Luke 12:42). The apostles are managers of the mysteries of God (I Cor. 4:1-2; Titus 1:7). The Christian is a steward of the grace of God (I Peter 4:10).” Stewardship is our response to God, how we manage what God has entrusted to our care. We believe and we respond with our whole lives. As children of God, we share in the purpose and work of God. Stewardship is a conscious effort to show what is important to us. It’s setting our priorities. Stewards are witnesses, sometimes silently, for showing what is important in life, including home, family, work, school, friends – not just what you do in your congregation. Stewardship is a way of life, a total response to God for all God’s blessings. Our God blesses us abundantly! Everything we have – families, friends, homes, food, clothing, meaningful work – all are from God’s gracious hand. How we choose to care for and use those blessings is what stewardship is all about. God has entrusted to our care the many things of this world. We don’t own them; they are God’s, to be used for God’s purpose and work. We respond to God’s blessings in two ways: 1) First, as individuals: how we deal with people in our everyday lives, nurturing them with kindness and respect, or hurting them with anger and harsh words. We as individuals set up priorities by which we live and thus we become silent witnesses to where Christ belongs in our lives. 2) Secondly, we respond to God as partners with other Christians, sharing His word and will throughout our Church, our community, and the world.

Mission Interpreters Bulletin Insert
> click here to download

Stewardship materials – Mike Markwell Target Letters
> click here to download

One Size Fits Nobody – Mike Markwell Presentation
> click here to download

2023 Mission Stories of the Northern Great Lakes Synod
> click here to download

2023 Compensation Guidelines, Salary Grid, and Worksheet
> click here to download

Congregational Annual Meeting Report Cover
> click here to download

Vanco Online Giving
> click here to download

Benevolence Remittance Form
> click here to download

Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference click to view

Stewardship Video Vignettes click to view

Grace Pomroy Stewardship Videos (August 20, 2020) click to view

Stewardship Resources/Grace Pomroy Presentation Link 1 / Link 2 / Link 3

Tax guide for churches click here to view

December 2020 Stewardship Toolkit is now available: click here

A resource from Living Lutheran that congregations can use to teach their folks about what Mission Support is and how it helps hold together our three-expression church. The PDF contains an article about Mission Support and a study guide that helps congregations go deeper. > click here to download

Technology Discounts and Financial Management Tools for Congregations click to view

Grace Pomroy Stewardship Videos (August 20, 2020) Session #1 [embedyt][/embedyt] Session #2.1 [embedyt][/embedyt] Session #2.2 [embedyt][/embedyt] Northern Great Lakes Synod1029 N. Third St., Suite AMarquette, MI 49855Phone:…

Lifelong Faith Formation 2024
Registration Now Open for Winter Semester

Classes Begin January and February

In its fourth year, Lifelong Faith Formation is one way for people of the Northern Great Lakes Synod, and beyond, to be church together. Join the conversation. Enjoy the fellowship and discover new ways to share the light of Christ with the world.

Please Register at least one week prior to when your selected class begins.

All classes are held online via Zoom. One course is meeting in person, at First Lutheran Church in Gladstone, with an option to “Zoom-in.” Classes are FREE but may require the purchase of textbooks or other materials. See below for details.

Contact Deacon Lori Ward if you have any questions about Lifelong Faith Formation 

(615) 519-1969 or

Lifelong Faith Formation Tree

Stewards of Children

Instructor: Pastor Kari Vadis, Trinity, Rhinelander 

Choose one of two sessions: 

Thursday, February 29, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern; 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central 


Thursday, February 29, 4 – 6:30 p.m. Eastern; 3 – 5:30 p.m. Central 

If you are a rostered leader, participation in this program will meet the Northern Great Lakes Synod recommendation for boundaries training once every three years.

Pastor Kari Vadis is an authorized facilitator with Darkness to Light, an international, non-profit leader in child sexual abuse prevention, research, and advocacy. This training session empowers adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through awareness, education, and stigma reduction. Join the movement toward a world free of child sexual abuse—a world in which adults form prevention-oriented communities that protect the child’s right to a healthy childhood. Join the movement to make your faith community a safe space.

Materials and cost: The cost of the workbook required for the training is $28, including shipping and handling. After registration, you will receive information on how to order the workbook.

Nicole - Lifelong Faith Formation

Open to Interpretation: Insights into Translating the Bible

Instructor: Nicole Hanson-Lynn, Zion and Salem, Ironwood

Sunday evenings for five weeks, January 28-February 25

6 – 7 p.m. Eastern Time, 5 – 6 p.m. Central Time

Why do we have so many translations of the Bible?  Why are people still translating it?  Isn’t the King James good enough?  In this class, we will introduce concepts in translating/interpreting, and discuss how we are blessed to have so many different interpreters and translators of scripture. You’ll get some tips for navigating all the translations, including background on Biblical Greek and Hebrew. Can anyone say “Amen” and discuss its word roots?

Stewardship Of Animals

Instructor: Cindy Sjoquist, First Lutheran Church, Gladstone, with guest speakers

Thursday evenings for 3 sessions: February 8,15 and 22

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Central Time

Meeting in-person at First Lutheran Church, 1212 Minneapolis Ave., Gladstone, with online option.

Capacity: 10 people (5 in-person, 5 online)

Then God said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. — Genesis 1:24

This class will touch on several religions and their beliefs and actions regarding animals from ancient history, on through the Middle Ages, and current situations. There will be guest speakers to update us on their experiences of dog stewardship. Please note that viewer discretion will be advised when there are occasional, disturbing images of animal suffering.

The Way of the Dream: God's Forgotten Language

Facilitators: Pastor Jon Magnuson, Former parish pastor and university chaplain, currently Director of The Cedar Tree Institute; Barb Ojibway, educator, former elementary school principal and current lay leader at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Harvey, Michigan; and Will Sharp, carpenter, bookbinder, and writer. Offered in partnership with the Cedar Tree Institute.

Tuesday mornings for 5 weeks, January 16 – February 13

9–10 a.m. Eastern Time; 8–9 a.m. Central

Capacity: 12 participants

Join the exploration of the role of dreams in scripture and the power of integrating dreams in one’s personal life as a personal spiritual discipline. Learn about the perspectives from neuroscience, sleep research, indigenous traditions, and depth psychology. The class will use a small-group format to honor our respective personal experiences and to learn ways to further deepen our inner lives.

Native America and the Stewardship of the Land:
Land Acknowledgements and Beyond

Click here for more information and the syllabus on the four-part series.

Instructors: Pastor Bucky Beach, Nancy Heykes, and Pastor Dave Van Kley

Tuesday evenings for four weeks, January 16 February 6

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Central Time

The Purpose of the Class: to provide a rationale and process for congregations to develop and use a land acknowledgement statement and to explore next steps for congregations to build supportive relationships with out indigenous neighbors.

The first session will focus on the importance of the land for Native Americans, with an overview of Native American theology, creation stories, and cultural traditions around the use and care of land. Participants will explore the similarities and differences with Christian theology and creation stories. We begin to get at the question of why developing a land acknowledgement might be important for us to do as (Lutheran) Christians.

The Book of Proverbs Part One: Donning A Foreigner's Clothes

Instructor: Pastor Tommy Richter, Zion, Manistique

Wednesdays for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 20

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Central

If Phillip Melanchton – who worked closely with Martin Luther – introduced his commentary on Proverbs with an interesting note on how we approach this book: “it is exceedingly difficult to translate the maxims and short sayings of a foreign language into another…For there are many stylistic elements present in short sayings that are not easily understood, partly because they arise from a language that is less familiar and partly because they refuse, if I may say so, to put on the clothes of a foreigner.” In this class, we shall attempt that awkward fitting into those proverbial clothes of a foreigner in our search for meaning and clarity among Proverb’s ancient Hebrew wisdom. Proverbs Part Two will begin in September.

There are no books require for this class other than the Bible. for those interested, Pastor Tommy’s scholarly companion for teaching will be Phillip Melancthon’s Commentary on Proverbs which has a new translation by Timothy Wengert.

Purpose of the NGLS Endowment

The Synod Endowment Ministry enables individuals and congregations to make lasting gifts to the mission of the Church. Being separate from the general operation of the Synod. The Northern Great Lakes Endowment includes three funds, each dedicated to support its own ministry focus.


“Now to him who by the power at work within us
is able to accomplish abundantly.
far more than all we can ask or imagine, 
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.”

                                                                                ~Ephesians 3:20-21

Equipping the Saints Fund

This fund receives general and undesignated endowment ministry gifts, adding to a corpus which provides for an annual distribution; (%5-%8) of market value in invested assets each year.

During the past decade, over $200,000 has been distributed from our equipping the saints fund to a wide variety of organizations and ministries, including but not limited to:

  • The Lay School for Mission and lifelong Faith Formation
  • Pastoral educational debt reduction
  • Transformational Ministry Projects
  • Campus Support for Bay College for Escanaba and Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie
  • Companion Synod Projects
  • The Earth Keepers initiative for environmental stewardship
  • Events for stewardship education, walking together, pastor retreats and boundaries training.

Please Click here for the 2021 Distribution of The Equipping the Saints Fund

The Restricted Endowment Fund

This fund consists of a variety of gifts designated for a particular ministry focus. The following funds support seminarian scholarships through the ECLA Fund for Leaders.

  • Bishop Dale and Joesphine Skogman seminarian Scholarship Program
  • Rev. Rudolph and Darley Kemppainen Seminarian Scholarship Program
  • David and Patricia Seminarian Scholarship Program  
  • Several congregational fund for leaders scholarship funds
  • Faith Lutheran Church, White Pine, MI fund

Other Restricted Funds; 

  • Bishop Thomas and Luanne Skrenes Fund for ministry for:
    • The Clergy Debt relief of the clergy of our Synod
    • Work with with our companion Synod, the eastern and costal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Marquette, MI Legacy Endowment Support:
    • Fortune Lake Camp
    • Finlandia University (Closed)
    • Synod Mission Support
  • Funds which support rural ministry in our Synod, Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary Scholarships and Tumaini University Scholarships

Please click here for the 2021 Distribution of the Restricted Endowment Fund

The Clergy Debt Relief Fund

In 2019, Norman Lamberg, in conversation with Bishop Emeritus Dale Skogman, made substantial gift to the ministry in the Northern Great Lakes Synod. $200,000 portion of that gift was designated for relief of debt incurred by NGLS rostered leaders as they pursued their first theological degree. An annual disbursement of this fund provides for grants for clergy to reduced their debt load. Every year, clergy are invited to make a request. Funds are paid directly to the lending institution and all recipients are asked to write a thank you note in acknowledgement of this gift.

Click here for words of thanks from the clergy of the Northern Great Lakes Synod 

Answer to call Campaign

Every congregation in the Northern Great Lakes Synod is invited to dedicate a day to receive offerings in worship to “Answer the Call”. These gifts are divided between the Fund for Leaders for Seminarian Scholarships and the clergy relief Debt Endowment. In this way, our Synod congregations answer the call to support rostered leaders before, during, and after they answer the call of ministry.

Click below button for Bulletin insert and flyer

Giving Options and Regional Gift Planner

The Endowment Ministry of the Northern Great Lakes Synod makes a difference in Jesus’ name. Because of the generosity and future thinking of those who contribute, ministry can happen that happen that otherwise would not be possible. Individuals and congregations can make a gift at any time to any funds  or arrange for a future gift as part of estate planning. Contributions can be added to existing funds or a giver can create an additional Endowment fund designated for its own ministry purpose at the discretion of giver.

Assistance is available if an individual wishes to makes plans for a gift or future bequest by contracting our Regional Gift Planner, Cynthia Halverson. In partnership with the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and ELCA Foundation. We support her work. Her efforts include:

  • Education on gifting options 
  • Assistance in establishing congregational mission endowment funds
  • Assistance in establishing policies relative to endowment gifting 
For more information, contact Cynthia Halverson at (414) 544-2008 or e-mail her at
Her services provided free of charge to all members and congregations of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.
Be a part of the Synod Endowment Ministry If you wish to make a gift to the Endowment Ministry of the Northern Great Lakes Synod, please donate or contact any of the following synod staff:
  • Bishop Katherine Finegan
  • Betsy Koski, Bookkeeper
(906) 228-2300

Northern Great Lakes Synod
1029 N. Third St., Suite A
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: (906) 228-2300
Fax: (906) 228-2527DonationsOnline Donations


Congregational Reporting
Call Process
LifeLong Faith Formation
Faithful Innovations
Youth Ministry
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Model Congregation Constitution
2024 Church Wide Assembly Form

Pastoral Leaders

2024 Compensation Guidelines
Pulpit Supply
Directory Information
Stewardship Resources

Lifelong Faith Formation Welcome to Lifelong Faith Formation! The Northern Great Lakes Synod offers a diverse series of online classes for adults who want to increase their knowledge and understanding…

Synod Endowment Ministry “Now to him who by the power at work within usis able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be…

Ordination and Installation of Pastor Micah Cavaleri on June 12, 2021. [metaslider id=”47342″] Northern Great Lakes Synod1029 N. Third St., Suite AMarquette, MI 49855Phone: (906) 228-2300Fax: (906) 228-2527Online Donations Quick…

Page 1 of 131 2 3 13

© 2022 Northern Great Lakes Synod

Created and Maintained by GlobalTSS LLC