Synod News
Thursday Webinars: Tips for Strengthening Your Connection to the Larger Church
Join Rev. Erika Uthe online to learn some ways to connect with the larger church on Thursday, January 3rd. Thursday Webinars are free online learning opportunities for anyone interested in the topics at hand and our shared ministry together as the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Webinars will be held online over the lunch hour with a live 30-minute presentation by synod leaders and 15 minutes of discussion.
Register online
Churchwide News 
From cradle to grave
By Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, This article originally appeared in Living Lutheran Magazine
Christmas comes at a descending time. The old year is coming to an end, the new year is not yet here. It is too late to accomplish goals set on the previous New Year’s Day, and just enough time to realize that whatever shape or state you are in will be the shape or state in which you end the year. There is a hefty dose of “what might have been.”

In the Northern Hemisphere the trees are bare, fields are barren, birds have migrated, animals are hibernating, the days are short and the nights are long. The earth’s colors are muted, and when there is snow the world becomes silent. Sometimes during these short days and long nights I find myself thinking about the brevity of life. This conflicts with my tendency to believe that the possibility of self-improvement and renewal is limitless: there is always another day, more time, another chance. Continue reading...
Annual Report Covers
The 2018 Annual Report Cover is now available for congregations. If your congregation wants to order a four-page hard copy, they will be available starting Wednesday, January 2. For congregations needing 100 copies or less, they will offer discount shipping for orders placed through ELCA starting January 2, 2019. These are also available electronically for download through the ELCA website.  Learn more...
Upcoming Events
Rostered Women's Retreat: A Wrinkle in Time
Join other women in ministry for the Women's Retreat for Rostered Ministers. Registration includes meals and housing. We will meet at the Stone Center at EWALU from February 10 to February 11. For more information contact Rev. Beth Wartick,
Register online
ConFESt is a synod-wide event to enhance and support congregation confirmation ministries by exploring churchwide connections, engaging servant learning, and creating community. This is an event for confirmation students and their leaders. 

This event occurs at two locations, 

Sunday, January 13, 2019
Faith Lutheran Church, Clive
1:00 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine
1:00 – 6:00 pm
Get flyer and register online
You're Invited

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place January 18 - 25, 2019. This year’s theme finds its origins in Deuteronomy. “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue” (see Deuteronomy 16:20) was chosen for its powerful message of promoting truth, equality and unity. The Week of Prayer has been observed since 1908. 

Resources for individuals, congregations, and communities are available on the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute website —

NEXUS Institute at Grand View University

The NEXUS Institute is a free, week-long, on-campus institute that brings together 10th-12th grade students from around the country to dig deep into theology with Christian professors and speakers. This institute, which students must fill out an application to attend, helps students think theologically, live in Christian community with our college mentors, and consider their call in ministry. This year’s theme is…

Jesus: Old, New, & Now.
We want to bring up future Christian leaders who understand the gospel and live its truths. We will dive deep into the Old and New Testaments to see the gospel at work, and we will learn how to carry the gospel NOW!
How much does NEXUS cost?
FREE! NEXUS is part of the High School Youth Theological Institutes and is made possible through a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation. The only cost to you is the cost of transportation to Des Moines (should a student need financial assistance for travel costs, please contact us ASAP).

How do my youth sign up?
We are currently recruiting for summer 2019 (one week: June 23-28 [week two is already reserved]). Our deadline is April 1st, however, we have a limited number of spots, so sign up soon!
Youth can apply here
Learn more

Canoeing the Mountains: Leadership Development Workshop 

Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, for a two-day workshop on January 24-25, 2019. 
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
13600 Technology Drive
Eden Prairie, MN

Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, will help us reframe our leadership for the sake of the church today. Rather than seeing graphs of decline or propaganda of a hopeful church, we will acknowledge the challenge of our time and hear stories of resurrection and hope from real leaders doing the work of Christian ministry. Change is inevitable. But how we respond to it matters. Don’t miss this opportunity to see signs of vital, creative ministry in our era of rapid change.
Learn more and register
Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp
The Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp is a collaboration between Drake University’s Comparison Project and the Des Moines Area Religious Council. High school students from across the religious spectrum take part in worship experiences at a number of diverse faith communities, learn skills for interfaith leadership, build relationships with one another, and create a digital storytelling project about their own life of faith. The camp is offered at no expense to students, and each student is awarded a stipend for their participation. Up to 20 students will be accepted, with the application period beginning in January of 2019. If you would like to learn more, please contact Sarah Trone Garriott, Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement for DMARC,
Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
To report your congregation’s mission support intent for 2019. 
Download the fillable PDF
View the Synod Calendar Online

December 24-25
Synod Center for Ministry Closed

January 1
Synod Center for Ministry 

Over 68 million people around the world have been displaced from their homes by war, violence, disasters and persecution. Pray for the safety, care and well-being of people who have fled or been forced from their homes and countries, that they have resources to meet their daily needs and find welcoming, supportive communities and congregations to help them find stability and pursue their hopes and dreams.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin

Announcements that appear in this newsletter may be copied and reproduced by congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in whole or in part without permission. Please credit authors if they are credited within this newsletter.