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.”

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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

Darkness To Light Child Protection Trainings

Darkness To Light: End Child Sexual Abuse Flyer

Pastor Kari Vadis, of Trinity Lutheran in Rhinelander, is an authorized facilitator with Darkness to Light: a leader in child sexual abuse prevention education, research, and advocacy.  A training event in your conference will empower 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.

Register for a Training Using the Links Below:

Register For Negaunee: October 10th, 2023 – 5:30pm Eastern Time
Location: Immanuel Lutheran Church – 520 U.S. Hwy 41 E. Negaunee, MI 49866

Register For Chassell: October 14th, 2023 – 9:30am Eastern Time
Location: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – 42905 Wilson Memorial Drive Chassell, MI 49916

Register For Crystal Falls: October 21st, 2023 – 9:30am Central Time
Location: Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp – 138 Fortune Lake Camp Road Crystal Falls, MI 49920

Register For Eagle River: October 23rd, 2023 – 10:00am Central Time
Location: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church – 5030 State Hwy 70 W. Eagle River, WI 54521

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 connect with other participants from the Northern Great Lakes Synod.

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


Conference-Wide Youth Events

The Synod Youth Ministry Team encourages and supports 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 share resources and offer more opportunities for youth to get together for fellowship and faith-building activities within their conference. 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.

Grant Money Available for Youth Ministry Collaborative Events

The NGLS Youth Ministry Team invites you to find ways to collaborate with congregations to provide faith building programs and events for youth in our synod. Funds may be used for Conference-Wide Youth Events or other programs that meet the grant requirements.

Each Conference may apply for grants totaling up to $500 per calendar year from an Equipping the Saints Endowment distribution. Proposals that meet the following criteria will be considered by the NGLS Youth Ministry Team.


Youth Advocacy

High school youth and adult leaders gathered together in Madison, WI in April to be part of the first ever Youth Advocacy Retreat coordinated collaboratively with the Lutheran Office of Public Policy and all 5 ELCA synods from Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. The weekend was filled with guest speakers, musicians, scripture, challenging conversation, and people with a heart for social justice. Check out a video put together by one of the high school youth attendees, Elsa Vadis.

Contact youthcoordinator@nglsynod.org if you are interested in future events like this or check out LOPPW’s website for additional resources on youth advocacy.

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

Connect with us!

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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.