Synod Endowment Fund
The 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 Rev. Rudolph and Darley Kemppainen 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, Cynthia Halverson. Her 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 Cynthia Halverson at 414-544-2008 or e-mail her at Cynthia.Halverson@elca.org. Her 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)
2018 Unrestricted Endowment Fund Distribution
(as determined by the Bishop with approval by the Endowment Fund Board)
$10,000 Pastor’s Debt Retirement
Now in its 16th year, grants are made to rostered persons who have debt incurred while they were in seminary seeking their first theological degree. Last year, 16 persons benefitted from payments made directly to the holder of the student debt. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, an additional $600 was distributed to each applicant in 2017. A grant of $600 per applicant is anticipated in 2018.
$3,000 Bay College Campus Ministry
Bay College has an innovative ecumenical ministry which all our Delta Conference congregations support. A part-time campus pastor serves and receives very modest funding. This disbursement helps make a Christian presence on campus possible.
$3,000 Lake State University/Faith Lutheran Church, Sault Ste. Marie
In 2017, this disbursement began a campus ministry through Faith Lutheran Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for students at Lake State University. We have committed to three years of support for this ministry. The congregation and Pastor Bre Kinnunen are taking the lead in this effort.
$4,000 Bishop’s Participation in Leadership Summit – August 2018
August 6-10, 2018, the ELCA and ELCT are gathering synod bishops and leaders from Tanzania and the United States to review what has been learned in our companion relationships, what are best practices, and determine future goals. No congregational mission support (regular offerings) funds this ministry. This grant will make Bishop Finegan’s attendance at the Summit possible. Her husband, Dave, will be joining her at his own expense.
$2,500 Mission Interpreter Initiative
In an effort to communicate the blessings and ministry work of our partnership together as a Synod, and our contributions to the mission of Christ through the ELCA, a new initiative will train leaders to share this important story with congregations throughout the NGLS.
$2,000 Lay School for Mission
Now in five possible locations (St. Ignace, Minocqua, Hancock, Escanaba, and Marquette), our Lay School trains over 40 adults per year in the work of the church. Students study scripture, church theology and history, pastoral care, and Christian education. This grant supports expenses for this ministry.
$500 Leadership Support
Every two years our Synod has been pleased to sponsor a retreat on Mackinac Island for our Rostered Leaders, Pastors, and Licensed Lay Ministers. This disbursement will make a down payment possible for a fall 2019 retreat, sponsored jointly with the North/West Lower Michigan Synod and possibly the Southeast Michigan Synod.
Total 2018 Distribution: $25,000