The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 4 million members in about 10,000 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands" the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians, and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.
Lutheran Christians in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northeastern Wisconsin gather together in communities of faith for worship and ministry. Walking together are the 80 congregations, 115 pastors and 27,500 Lutherans of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This Synod is one of 65 in the ELCA. The 10,000 congregations of the ELCA comprise 4 million baptized members. In 1987, the latest in a series of Lutheran church mergers created the Northern Great Lakes Synod (NGLS), encompassing the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the six adjacent counties in Northeastern Wisconsin. Immigrants from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and other European nations began the Lutheran ministry in this Synod area about 150 years ago. The oldest continuous congregation in the synod is Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock, Michigan, founded in 1867. Spreading the Gospel, the synod has embraced a new mission start at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is Eagle River, Wisconsin, as well as Shepherd of the Sea Chapel in Copper Harbor, Michigan. Other vibrant synod ministries include the Lay School for Mission and our Companion Synod program. The Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the Northern Great Lakes Synod are connected in the gospel.