Synod Endowment Ministry
“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
What is the purpose of the NGLS Endowment Ministry?
The Synod Endowment Ministry enables individuals and congregations make lasting gifts to the mission of the Church, apart from the general operation of the Synod. The Northern Great Lakes Endowment includes three funds, each dedicated to support its own ministry focus.
The Equipping the Saints Fund
This fund receives general and undesignated endowment ministry gifts, adding to a corpus which provides for
an annual distribution which is a between five and eight percent (5%–8%) of the market value of its 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 Ministry support for Bay College in Escanaba and Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie
- Companion Synod projects
- The Earthkeepers 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 ELCA Fund for Leaders.
- Bishop Dale and Josephine Skogman Seminarian Scholarship Fund
- Rev. Rudolph and Darley Kemppainen Seminarian Scholarship Fund
- David and Patricia Holli Seminarian Scholarship Fund
- Several congregational Fund for Leaders scholarship funds
- Faith Lutheran Church, White Pine, MI fund
Other Restricted funds include:
- Bishop Thomas and Luanne Skrenes Fund for Ministry for:
- the Clergy Debt Relief of the clergy of our Synod
- work with our companion synod, the Eastern & Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
- St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Marquette, MI Legacy Endowment to support:
- Fortune Lake Camp
- Finlandia University
- Synod Mission Support
- Funds which support Rural Ministry in our Synod, Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary Scholarships and Tumaini University Scholarships.
The Clergy Debt Relief Fund
In 2019, Norman Lamberg, in conversation with Bishop Emeritus Dale Skogman, made a substantial gift to
ministry in the Northern Great Lakes Synod. A $200,000 portion of that gift was designated for the 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 reduce 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.
What is the Answer the 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 Debt Relief Endowment. In this way, our Synod congregations answer the call to support rostered leaders before, during, and after they answer the call the ministry.
A bulletin insert and flyer is available here.
Giving Options & 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 otherwise would not be possible. Individuals and congregations can make a gift at any time to any of these funds or arrange for a future gift as a 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 the giver.
Assistance is available if an individual wishes to makes plans for a gift or future bequest by contacting 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@elca.org. Her services are provided free of charge to all members and congregations of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and the 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, contact any of the following Synod staff or make an online donation here.
Bishop Katherine Finegan or Betsy Koski, Bookkeeper