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.”

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.

2024 NGLS Child Protection Policy & Congregation Letter

Child Protection Letter to Congregations
NGLS Child Protection Policy 2024

As you put together your own policies and best practices, feel free to reach out to Stefanie Ehle, NGLS Youth Ministry Coordinator, or Bishop Katherine Finegan with any questions or circumstances you want to talk through.

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

Every 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.
Stefanie Northern Great Lakes Staff Headshot

Stefanie Ehle

NGLS Youth Ministries Coordinator

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

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.

Growing Younger

Growing Younger ELCA Logo

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.