Welcome to the Youth Ministry page for the
Northern Great Lakes Synod of the ELCA!

Mission statement for the Northern Great Lakes Synod’s Youth & Family Ministry:

“This synod supports congregational youth & family ministry through Christ-centered resources, ideas, and powerful ministry events.”

  • Campfire At Zion

About The Youth Ministry Team

Youth Ministry Team

The synod’s Youth Ministry Team works to plan youth ministry activities on a synod level, seeks to share resources in youth and family ministry with congregations, and develops training opportunities to develop leaders among young people and adults in youth and family ministry.

Upcoming Events

Conference-Wide Youth Events

The Synod Youth Ministry Team is putting together some Conference-Wide Youth Events for young people. We recognize that many congregations only have a handful of youth and that by combining efforts, we can offer more opportunities for youth to get together for fellowship and faith-building activities within their conference. Would you like to be part of the planning process? With such a geographically large synod, we are looking for additional adult leaders to help plan and execute these gatherings. Please email Stefanie Ehle (youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org) with questions or for more details.


Upcoming Conference-Wide Youth Events

Pre-registration is encouraged by contacting the event leaders below to help ensure enough supplies.

Wednesday, January 18 – Copper Country Conference Sledding Party

Copper Country youth between 3rd-6th grade are invited to the Swedetown Chalet for fun and fellowship! There will be sledding, a service project, food, and hot chocolate. Older youth are also welcome to participate and help with the event. Register at https://forms.gle/B91WmHfMEjCQ6Ywb7 or email dannelso@mtu.edu for more information.

Date: Wednesday, January 18
5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Swedetown Chalet and Sled Hill (56641 Osceola Road, Swedetown, MI)
Dave Nelson, dannelso@mtu.edu

Saturday, January 21 – Menominee Valley Conference Sledding Party

Menominee Valley Conference Youth between 7th-12th grade are invited to go sledding at Water Tower Park on Saturday, January 21. Bring your own sleds and winter gear. Snacks and drinks will be provided. For questions or to RSVP, contact youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org.

Date: Saturday, January 21
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Central
Water Tower Park (near 18 th St. and 36th Ave. in Menominee, MI)
Stefanie Ehle, youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org

Friday, February 10 – Menominee Valley Conference Lock-In

Menominee Valley Conference Youth between 7th-12th grade are invited to Zion Lutheran Church in Marinette for a Lock-In on Friday, February 10. Registration will start at 6:00 p.m. and there will be plenty of games, crafts, a service project, food, worship, friends, and a Swap & Donate Party. To participate in the Swap & Donate Party, bring items such as clothes, games, or electronics that you no longer want or need for the chance to exchange them for something new to you! Pick-up will be at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. For more information or to RSVP, contact youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org.

Date: Friday, February 10
6:00 p.m. Central
Zion Lutheran Church (2714 James Street Marinette, WI)
Stefanie Ehle, youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org


Friday, February 10 – Superior Central Conference Lock-In

Superior Central Conference Youth between 6th-12th grade are invited to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Negaunee for a Lock-In on Friday, February 10. We will begin at 7pm. The night will be filled with pizza, snacks, games, and worship! Pick-up will be after breakfast from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Hope you can come! For more information, contact Pastor Alex, lachappy@gmail.com or Stacy McEachern, stacymc6@gmail.com. Please RSVP by February 6.

Date: Friday, February 10
7:00 p.m. Eastern
Immanuel Lutheran Church (520 Hwy 41 E, Negaunee, MI)
Pastor Alex LaChapelle lachappy@gmail.com or Stacy McEachern, stacymc6@gmail.com

Stay tuned as we continue to add future events and locations.

Youth in Advocacy Retreat — April 14-16, 2023

youth in advocacy retreat flyerHigh School Youth from across the U.P. and Wisconsin are invited to gather in Madison for a weekend in April to learn what it means to be an advocate and how advocacy relates to our Lutheran faith. Throughout the weekend, participants will explore topics that affect us both globally and locally such as racism, environmental justice, LGBTQIA+ advocacy, and world hunger. There will be designated time for meaningful conversations, engaging workshops, prayer, interactive music, personal reflection, and fellowship with peers. Contact Stefanie (youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org) if you would like to be part of the NGLS delegation. 

Registration for this event is available at loppw.org/resources/youth-advocacy. The cost is only $75 per person and includes all program materials, lodging, and meals. Scholarships are available for anyone who needs financial assistance. 


Journey: Tri-Synodical High School Youth Gathering — July 24 – 27, 2023
River Falls, WI

Journey - Tri-Synod High School Youth Gathering


The Northern Great Lakes Synod is once again partnering with the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and the LaCrosse Area Synod of Wisconsin to plan a Tri-Synodical Youth Gathering at UW-River Falls this summer. High schoolers are invited to join us July 24-27 for creative ministry, challenging conversation, inspiring guest speakers, service learning, and uplifting worship. Visit (Northwest Synod of Wisconsin | JOURNEY (nwswi.org) ) for additional details and registration information.


2024 ELCA Youth Gathering — July 16 – 20, 2024
New Orleans, LA

ELCA YOUTH GATHERING LOGOEvery three years, thousands of high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation and fellowship known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through inspiring speakers, worship, music, and the opportunity to be immersed in the host city, young people will be inspired, challenged, and called to live out their faith in their daily lives.

The theme for the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering is “Created to Be” centered on Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.”  The next ELCA Youth Gathering will take place in New Orleans July 16-20, 2024.

If you would like to be part of the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering, please reach out to your pastor or contact the NGLS Youth Coordinator to get connected to a local congregation.

Visit ELCA Youth Gathering for additional information and resources to help you prepare for this faith-forming experience.


Growing Younger ELCA Logo

Growing Younger

The ELCA Growing Younger project began in 2019, after research confirmed that congregations were experiencing a decrease in attendance, especially among young people. ELCA staff discovered that the Fuller Youth Institute had been working across denominations to help churches grow younger and create more vibrant communities in response to this trend. Since then, the ELCA has had over 300 people trained from 52 synods to learn how to create a faith community that not just welcomes young people, but equips them with strategies to create a place where young people can belong and be part of the church family.

The Northern Great Lakes Synod currently has 4 trained leaders and would like to continue to share resources and opportunities for others to learn more about how to encourage congregational growth. Visit the Growing Younger webpage for more information and upcoming training opportunities through the ELCA.

Contact Us

Contact Stefanie Ehle NGLS Youth Ministries Coordinator, with questions or for more information about youth ministry in the Northern Great Lakes Synod.
Stefanie Northern Great Lakes Staff Headshot

Stefanie Ehle

NGLS Youth Ministries Coordinator

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Join The Community!

Please send us your name and email address to be included in future communications regarding youth ministry in our synod.