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.”
About The Youth Ministry Team
Conference-Wide Youth Events
The Synod Youth Ministry Team is putting together some Conference-Wide Youth Events for young people between 7th-12th grade. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or for more details.
Upcoming Conference-Wide Youth Events
All events are free and open to 7th – 12th graders, youth leaders, and pastors. Pre-registration is encouraged by contacting the event leaders below to help ensure enough supplies.
Sunday, October 16 – Tri-County Conference
Join us for an Escape Room experience and evening of fun. At no charge to participants, youth grades 7-12 are invited to Sherlock and Key Escape Rooms and then to Bethany Lutheran Church for pizza, ice cream, games, and discussion about what could be next. Please RSVP to First Lutheran Church, Gladstone at (906) 428-4565.
Location: Escanaba (Sherlock and Key Escape Rooms and Bethany Lutheran Church)
Time: 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Contact: First Lutheran Church (906) 428-4565; Pastor Elisabeth Daniels (773) 419-2892
Sunday, October 22 – Menominee Valley Conference
You are invited to help load quilts onto the boxcar for Lutheran World Relief and then join us for pizza, a corn maze, and fall fun at Hofer’s Pumpkin Patch in Wallace.
Location: Train Depot in Menominee, MI and Hofer’s Pumpkin Patch in Wallace, MI
Time: 10:00 a.m. – ??? Central
Contact: Stefanie Ehle (email@example.com)
Sunday, November 13 – Superior Central Conference
This Youth Event will have games, worship, service, food, fellowship, and time to brainstorm future events. Attendees will be assembling Lutheran World Relief School Kits and are asked to collect items ahead of time and bring them to the event on November 13. Details on items to be collected can be found at https://lwr.org/kits/school-kits/instructions.
Location: Prince of Peace Lutheran, 555 Riverside Rd. Harvey, MI
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Eastern
Contact: Assistant to the Bishop, Jim Duehring (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stay tuned as we continue to add future events and locations.
Mark Your Calendars!
Tuesdays from 7-8 pm ET / 6-7 pm CT beginning September 13 through November 1
This fall, members of the Synod Youth Ministry Team will lead a Lifelong Faith Formation class on the book, Growing Young by Powell, Mulder and Griffin. We will explore what it means to Grow Younger and why it matters. Based on research conducted at over 250 thriving congregations, Growing Young provides ideas and strategies any church can use to involve and retain young people (specifically those who are 30 years or younger). Please mark your calendars, invite a friend, and plan to join us via Zoom starting September 13. Registration for this class, and all of the fall Lifelong Faith Formation classes, is available here.
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.