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 Cynthia.Halverson@ecla.org
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 ngls@nglsynod.org

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