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.