Synod Endowment Fund

Endowment Fund LogoThe Synod Endowment Funds exist in order to help individuals and congregations make lasting gifts to the ministry and mission of the Church, apart from the general operation of the Synod.  The funds consist of an Unrestricted Fund and several Restricted Funds.  The Unrestricted Fund distributes a minimum of five percent (5%) of the market value of its invested assets each year.  Restricted funds are used in accordance with the specific directions associated with the gift.

Among the Restricted funds are endowments that support seminarian scholarships through the ELCA Fund for Leaders.  These include:

  • the Bishop Dale and Josephine Skogman Seminarian Scholarship Fund
  • the David and Patricia Holli Seminarian Scholarship Fund
  • several congregational Fund for Leaders scholarship funds
  • the Faith Lutheran Church, White Pine, MI fund

Other Restricted funds include:

  • the Bishop Thomas and Luanne Skrenes Fund for Ministry, which will support the clergy of our Synod through pastor’s debt retirement, as well as work with our companion synod, the Eastern & Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
  • the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Marquette, MI Legacy Endowment will support a number of Synod ministries, including Fortune Lake Camp, Finlandia University, and Synod Mission Support.
  • funds which support Rural Ministry in our Synod, Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary Scholarships and Tumaini University Scholarships.

During the past decade, over $200,000 has been distributed from our Unrestricted Fund to a wide variety of organizations and ministries including

  • the Lay School for Mission
  • 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.

Gifts are encouraged and accepted to support the mission of the NGLS Endowment Funds.  Together with the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and ELCA Foundation, our Synod helps support the work of our Regional Gift Planner, Timothy Knutson.  His 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 Tim Knutson at 414-477-9979 or e-mail him at  His services are provided free of charge to all members and congregations of the NGLS and Northwest WI Synod.

 “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) 

2017 Unrestricted Endowment Fund Distribution
(as determined by the Bishop with approval by the Endowment Fund Board)

$10,000       Pastor’s Debt Retirement

Grants are made to rostered persons who have debt incurred while they were in seminary seeking their first theological degree.  A grant of $600 per applicant is anticipated.

$3000         Bay College Campus Ministry

Bay College has an innovative ecumenical ministry supported by our Delta Conference congregations.  A part-time campus pastor serves.  Our resources along help make this important ministry happen.  

$3000         Lake State University/Faith Lutheran Church, Sault Ste. Marie

Faith Lutheran Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan has begun a ministry for students at Lake State University.  The grant will provide for a student retreat and mission trip as well as purchase of food items for students who gather on campus during the school year. The congregation is taking the lead in this ministry and hopes to develop student leaders.

$3500         Retreats, Workshops and Programs

A number of programs and workshops are scheduled for the fall and winter, including the theological conferences in late September and in February   This grant will also assist the new bishop in funding programs and gatherings for introduction of ministry.

$3500         Tanzania Projects – Bishop Visit to Tanzania Summer 2017

For 25 years our synod has been blessed with a tremendous companion synod relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania-Eastern and Coastal Diocese.  No congregational mission support (regular offerings) funds this ministry.  This grant will support Bishop Skrenes’ summer 2017 trip to the Diocese as the Tanzanians celebrate 25 years of our relationship.

$2000         Lay School for Mission

Now in five locations, (St. Ignace, Minocqua, Hancock, Escanaba and Marquette) our Lay School trains over 40 adults a year in the work of the church. Students study scripture, church theology and history, pastoral care and Christian education. This grant will support expenses for this ministry.

Total 2017 Distribution: $ 25,000

Northern Great Lakes Synod
1029 North 3rd Street
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: 906-228-2300
Fax: 906-228-2527DonationsOnLine Donations