Gospel for this coming Sunday
Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV)
40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Weekly eNews for members and friends of the Western Iowa Synod

Please share this information with your congregational secretaries, leaders and congregational members via your bulletin, facebook page, email, etc, and encourage them to attend the many events that can be opportunities to Open Doors to others!
In This Issue:
The Western Iowa Synod Mission Center Team wishes you all a safe and happy 4th of July!!

  • The Mission center will be closed on Monday the 3rd and Tuesday the 4th so the team may enjoy time with their family and friends!!

  • After today's email the eSpirit will be sent out bi-monthly (every two weeks)
It's time to stand up.
Dear advocates and ministry partners,
Now is the time to take a stand for our neighbors across Iowa. Federal legislation that would profoundly alter Medicaid and put many of the people LSI serves at risk of losing services is moving quickly through the U.S. legislature. Please act now by contacting the state and federal legislators listed below. 

This legislation is being fast-tracked and could be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate by June 30. (The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation on May 4.) It is critical that we act today — and every day — until this legislation is defeated or altered. Please join LSI in this urgent advocacy.

Is Your Church SAFE?

A life-long ALC/ELCA member with 20+ years as an Environmental, Health & Safety Manager, (cited @ OSHA’s website), 6 years as a bonded City Administrator, Chair of a State Medical Board and State Chair for Employer Outreach for Guard & Reserves will provide a free “walk thru” and same day meeting with you, your Pastor and/or staff.  No strings, not selling or recommending anything, just “giving back” with advice & guidance after a long career. More info here


Synod of the week: Southeastern Iowa Synod, Bishop Michael Burk
Congregation of the week: Immanuel Lutheran, Akron, Pastor Eric Alm
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Lorene Glant
  • Rev. Trudy Peterson
  • Judah Jack, son of Rev. Brian Jack recovering from surgery
  • Immigrants and Refugees and their struggles
  • Rev. John Syvertson, healing of broken hip
  • For all those who seek peace in Palestine as they mark 50 years of occupation; Dema and Hamsa as they return to Palestine, Jenny and Colin Grangaard, ELCA Missionaries to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, as they visit in Western Iowa
  • Community of Graettinger as they mourn the death of another community member (a teen)
  • Those affected by tornadoes and storms
  • For all those traveling for the 4th of July
Smart Consumer Tips to Help Control ELCA Health Costs
Choosing the right place to get health care can make a big difference in quality and cost. As part of the wellness reformation, Portico offers this growing series of tips to help members shop for health care wisely. If you’re a plan member, see how many you can try! You’ll spend less out-of-pocket — and make a dent in the amount that sponsoring organizations need to contribute next year.

NEW: Skip the Pharmacy, Save Time and Money With Home Delivery
Some things make sense to buy locally — like fresh produce, or prescriptions for an infection. But for many medications taken on an ongoing basis, it’s tough to beat the cost and convenience of Express Scripts home delivery service. Consider simvastatin, a generic high cholesterol drug used by about 1,350 ELCA-Primary plan members. In 2016, a member with Gold+ or Platinum+* could either:

  • Make 12 trips to the local pharmacy and spend $120 out-of-pocket, or
  • Receive 4 shipments via home delivery and spend $80 out-of-pocket
*Costs for the ELCA-Primary Bronze+ or Silver+ option may vary.

The Church of the Damascus Road Foundation

The Church of the Damascus Road, CoDR, has ministered to inmates of prisons in Rockwell City and Fort Dodge for 20 years. Even though several churches, community members, and some corporations have been generous supporters over the years, the outside church council of CoDR have consistently faced financial challenges. In order to prepare for the future a new Foundation has been established. Five members of the board of directors of the Foundation have been designated by the outside council : Rev. Paul Stone, Pastor of CoDR; Rev. David Grindberg, Pastor of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge; Rev. Jim Davis, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Gowrie; Diane Vavak, VP of the outside council of CoDR, members of St. Paul Lutheran and Presbyterian Church, Rockwell City; and Jim Willis, member of Emanuel St. John Lutheran Church, Lytton. The directors are currently holding monthly meetings, developing Bylaws, and plans for a fund raising campaign. The fund will be held ‘in perpetuity’ and no distributions will be made until at least $50,000 has been raised. As in the case of an Endowment Fund, distributions will be made as a percentage of the value of the total fund and distributions will be made to support the financial needs of CoDR.
Women’s Empowerment in Chile!!
Reformation Theme: “Creation is not for sale!”
Help support participation at the National Evangelical Lutheran Women’s Convention in Chile in November of 2017!

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile kindly asks for Western Iowa Synod accompaniment and financial support as they strive to bring 10 women from each of 10 congregations together for 3 days of national gathering in Nov. 2017. Please send any/all support by Sept. 30, 2017. Flier w/more info here!
Share your congregation's story of Opening Doors
The theme for this year's assembly and throughout the upcoming year is We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors. Please share stories with us about how your congregation is opening doors to people, organizations, the community, or the world. Send your stories to Lynn so they may be shared with others through the eSpirit.


"Come Together" with us in our celebration of the installation of Pastor Perry Aalgaard as the senior pastor at First Lutheran Church of West Okoboji. 

We count you all as friends in Christ, but also as friends of First Lutheran, so your presence as we gather for this special service would be an honor for us.

We invite you to join with us to recognize the call of Pastor Aalgaard to this position, to acknowledge his responsibilities and duties and to celebrate this new chapter in the life of our congregation.

Pastor Aalgaard Installation

First Lutheran Church

1525 Three Cross Road, West Okoboji

Sunday, July 9, 2017

3:00 p.m.

A Reception will be held immediately following the Installation Service.

Rostered Clergy are invited to vest and the color of the day is green.

May God's Blessing Be on You, And May You Continue to Be a Blessing Too!

Jane Kruse, congregational president

Upcoming Travel Opportunities
Two Travel Opportunities to the Holy Land in 2018
The Western Iowa & Nebraska Synods Peace Not Walls Networks warmly invite you to join in transformational travel opportunities to the Holy Land… Let us go and know the living stones...for the sake of justice, peace and reconciliation for all in the land. 

Join us as we listen, learn, and live into the Spirit’s call: to experience and accompany the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land in its life and ministry to enhance and broaden our understanding of our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters in their journey and struggle... to partner in the ELCA’s Peace Not Walls initiative and response toward justice and peace in the region... to recognize our personal and national roles in the regional situations... to visit many profound sites of Jesus’ life and ministry as we invite Him into our hearts and this peace-seeking goal... to be open and humble so as to allow the Spirit to move us in ways we may not expect or even comprehend...
Option 1: April 1-16, 2018, departing Easter Sunday (likely late evening flight from Minneapolis or mid-late afternoon flight from Omaha) under the direct leadership of the Western Iowa Synod. This option affords an add-on opportunity to spend Holy Week in Jerusalem that departs March 27. Estimated costs: $3,500-4000/person (plus $500 for Holy Week add-on) ~~ OR ~ ~ Option 2: April 16-April 28, 2018 under the direct leadership of the Nebraska Synod. Estimated costs: $4600/per person
Neb Synod Trip
PNW Trip Application
WIS Trip
Travel Opportunity to Tanzania in 2018
As we look ahead to 2018, be on the look out for information on WIS group travel to the Southern Diocese Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, 3 weeks sometime between mid-July and mid-August 2018!
Underwood Lutheran Job Opening:
Underwood Lutheran Church is currently accepting application for a part-time Faith Formation Coordinator. This position will have oversight of Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Junior High Youth Ministry Activities with a cross-generational focus. Review of applications/resumes will begin July 7th. From there the position will remain open until filled. Full job description and application instructions are available here.  
Western Iowa Synod Discipleship Academy For the Baptized
                            Classes start with a retreat on August 25-26!!                                      
Deepening our life in Christ; flowing outward in our baptismal call to Discipleship
  • Do you have a desire to learn more about the Bible, Lutheran theology, God’s mission and the work of Christ’s church?
  • Do you wonder how you can use your God-given gifts to impact God’s mission in the church, community and world around you?
  • Do you feel called to serve in a deeper and broader way?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Discipleship Academy is right for you!
Fall classes will be starting soon!!! Don't wait, Sign up NOW!!!
Discipleship Academy Flier
Registration Form

SAVE THE DATE! -                  

Fall Theological Conference

The 2017 Tri-Synodical Fall Conference for rostered leaders will be held at the Sheraton, West Des Moines from September 24-26, 2017.  Speakers Anna Madsen and Bishop Guy Erwin will address the:  the theme “The Reformation:  What’s at Stake?  Then and Now.”  Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will also be in attendance for a presentation and to preach and preside at the Monday evening communion service.  Registration will be available on-line beginning July 1.

July 21-23, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN
The BOLD GATHERING is a weekend for men to come together to learn, to worship, to network, and be equipped to BOLDY live out their faith! We are proud to announce our friend and artist who will be at the BOLD Gathering! William Butler, nationally known artist!!
“Rise, Remember Well the Future,” July 10-13
Celebrate the treasures of the last 500 years and look to the future and God’s covenant of faithfulness in all that is yet to be. Opening worship will be held at Saint Olaf College, site of the constituting ALCM convention in 1986. In plenaries led by Chad Fothergill, Daniel Schwandt, and Mary Louise Bringle, we will reflect on the changing role of the cantor—the leader of the church’s song—as we move confidently into a future blessed by our heritage and full of many changes in the church and its music. More info and registration here...
Aging Faithfully is coming up in July! 
Date: July 27, 2017
Times: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Augustana University
Ticket Info: Tickets are $25 through July 17; $35 on/after July 18
Our lives and faith look different in the second chapter of life. There are new opportunities, and many experiences behind us, too. Whether you are an older adult, you work or care for an older adult, or you are simply interested in the topic, we invite you to take part in this day of reflection and discussion featuring speaker Dr. Scott Morris. We invite guests of all faiths. South Dakota Synod Office.
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968