Bi-Weekly eNews for members and friends of the Western Iowa Synod
WIS Resources:

Joining Together in Prayer
Synod of the week: Montana Synod, Bishop Jessica Crist & Staff
Congregation of the week: St. Mark Storm Lake and Pastor David Kebschull

  • Changing hearts in the heartland
  • President Trump, administration and USA
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastors Kim and Trudy Peterson
  • Pastor Jeff Ung’s health
  • Pastor Cara and Maja Knutson - adoption of Derek
  • Pastor Chris Lang - upcoming knee surgery
  • Thankfulness conversations
  • Family and friends of Pastor John Planz who passed away on Nov. 9th
  • Those fighting and affected by the California wildfires
  • Pastor Ann Klavano who had a stroke and is at Mayo in Rochester

Strengthening Relationships, Strengthening Churches

In early August, I traveled to Tanzania to attend a gathering of bishops from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) and ELCA. During opening worship, Bishop Brian Maas, Nebraska Synod, shared his thoughts on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. He noted that companion relationships have the qualities where both parties’ benefit and they can be more effective in their individual ministries and their joint work. Two are better than one. The ELCA website states: “[Companion] relationships are rooted in....continue reading here.                   Full November Living Lutheran Insert Here
Remembering a Colleague in Ministry

Rev. John F. Planz of Titonka, died Friday, November 9, 2018 at Muse Norris Hospice House Inpatient Unit in Mason City at the age of 90. 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour prior on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Titonka. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army. Other arrangements are pending at this time.
The Church of the Damascus Road FLASH
Walking Along Beside by Rev. Carroll Lang
“Matthew 25:35-36 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
This is one of the most often quoted scripture passages in The Church of the Damascus Road’s ministry inside the two prisons. Those of us who have worshiped inside with the inmate members can see the face of Christ on our brothers and we have a sense of Christ’s presence. When we fellowship before and after worship, we hear about our brothers’ experiences, some sharing how they got into prison and also what their hopes and dreams are when they are released. Many of them have filled out a Reentry Reintegration application and are hoping to be matched up with a Reentry Reintegration team. Visiting our brothers in prison is the same as.... continue reading here
Thankful For our Ministry Together
The Laundry Soap Church
Hope Lutheran Church in Sioux Center is known to the community as the Laundry Soap Church. See the middle picture below.
From laundry soap, to tied blankets, flood buckets and school kits, all ages from Hope help in these important ministries.

Send in your photos and stories about the ministry your congregation does!!
Ecumenical News
Serving at First Presbyterian Church
You are invited to the installation of Denise Parrello as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Alta on Sunday, November 25th at 3:00 pm.  (First Presbyterian is at 317 S. Main St in Alta.)  Join us and our ecumenical partners as we share in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Clergy are invited to vest; the color of the day is red.
Attention Women's Groups
We here at Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Inwood made a church cookbook some years past, and ordered too many copies.  We have lots left over.

Do you have a supply of unsold church cookbooks also?   If so, let’s trade.  

All of us know at least a few collectors of church cookbooks and others who would also like one.  Respond to me, Pastor John Wolf, at the address and we will get the trade done in time for Christmas, maybe even Thanksgiving.
2018 Portico Updates
Complete Your Live Well Challenge
Don’t leave money on the table – Portico plan members and spouses with ELCA-Primary health benefits have until Nov. 30 to complete Portico’s 2018 Live Well Challenge and earn up to $400 wellness dollars. These wellness dollars help you pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, mental health, and dental costs. Note that if your doctor is submitting the biometrics form to Quest, it must be sent by Nov. 15. 
Upcoming Events in and Around the Synod
More info can be found on the website at
Western Iowa Synod Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 8th

WHERE: Western Iowa Synod Office
318 E Fifth St, Storm Lake
TIME: 9 AM - 2 PM

Come and enjoy the Festival of Trees sponsored by our congregations and Networks, vendors and crafters with goods on display and for purchase, demonstrations throughout the day, and of course refreshments. Come for some Christmas Spirit, Shopping and Fun!!  Poster Here!
Thanksgiving Bazaar           

Trinity Lutheran Church in Estherville (721 18th Ave. N) is hosting their annual Thanksgiving Bazaar on Saturday, November 17 from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Ten booths will be filled to overflowing with specialty baked goods and crafted Christmas gifts for everyone’s interest. Featured items are Trinity’s “famous” homemade potato lefse, kringla, baklava, and pork chow mein packaged to go. Homemade caramel and cinnamon rolls, spiced cider and coffee will be served all morning. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend!
Free Thanksgiving Meal
to Be Served November 22nd At Salem Lutheran
(rural Correctionville)
Salem will be hosting a free Thanksgiving meal from 12 noon to 1:30 PM to anyone in the area that is alone on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) or has no other plans. We will provide the turkey, potatoes, corn and stuffing and ask, if you are able, to bring a side dish (salad/bread) or dessert. 

Please RSVP your intent to attend by Monday, Nov. 19 (so we can plan how much food to prepare) to Nancy Clausen at 373-5273 (text number-712-251-6538) or Karen Lund at 375-5269
(email address: Please join us in fellowship and food to give thanks for all our blessings.    
Scandinavian Tea at Bethany in Emmetsburg
WHAT:   Scandinavian Tea
WHEN:  Wednesday,  November 28th, 1:00 - 3:30 pm
WHERE:  Bethany Lutheran Church
                 703  Broadway  Emmetsburg  

Tickets:  Adults  $7.00     Children:  $2.00
Scandinavian Foods are served by waitresses in costumes.       
There is also a bake sale.
Outreach Nights at Okoboji Bible Camp for Youth

Who: 6th—12th graders, their youth leaders, and/or parents
Where: Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, 1203 Inwan St., Milford
When: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
How much: $3 per person to cover food costs

Outreach Night is an opportunity for those in your 6th through 12th grade youth groups and beyond to join with other youth of all denominations around the area to fellowship, grow in faith, and have fun together!  This provides a chance for great ecumenical fellowship for kids and adults.  An evening of Outreach Night includes dinner, worship, a message, and of course games! Everyone is welcome.
2018-2019 Dates/Game
                                                                    March 3rd-Hoonting
Dec. 2nd- "Silent" Night Game                    April 7th-Dodgeball
Jan. 6th- Gargoyles                                     April 28th-Secret Agents
Jan. 27th-Winter Games                                     

More info here                     
2019 Continuing Education Events
Deaconess Community’s annual J-Term course

“Diaconal Ministry: History, Formation and Spirituality” -  a master's level seminary course for credit/audit/continuing education credit.

  • It introduces students to diakonia 
  • It asks how that history continues to impact the present, and future in the intersection of church and world.
  • The Deaconess Community pays the tuition for all students who wish to take the course.
  • This course is open to any person discerning public rostered leadership (either roster), already rostered leaders, lay leaders, synod staff, bishops, and candidacy committee members. 
  • The onsite component  will be January 6-12, 2019, at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, AZ. There will be two online sessions prior to the onsite component.

Please do not hesitate to contact me, Sr. Liz Colver, Director of Vocation and Education, with any questions.

Registration opens October 18, 2018.                         Flyer here
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University

Holy Listening – We believe holy listening is at the core of spiritual direction. It’s listening to one another, and most attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit.

Everyone is Welcome to Apply – Our primary purpose is to train people who feel called to be such spiritual friends, spiritual companions; however, those who are interested in deepening their own spiritual practices are also welcome.

Within the Christian Tradition – Ours is an experience in spiritual direction grounded in Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom that can be found in other faith traditions. We will draw on those traditions and will integrate them from a Christian perspective

We have commissioned our first cohort and are looking forward to commissioning our second cohort this June. Our next cycle of new participants begins with an intensive January 16 – 19, 2019.

Application deadline is November 15.

Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries -
Continuing Education 

Minister’s Conference: Conference Presenter – Peggy Hahn

When: January 21-23, 2019
Where: Carol Joy Holling Camp’s Swanson Center (Ashland, NE)
Time:  5 pm - 1 pm
Cost:  Commuter: $100
          Double occupancy: $100
          Private room: $300
Cont. Ed: 10 hours

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course (Parish Nursing)
is being offered February 2 through March 27 online, followed by two days on-site April 5 & 6, 2019. There is an opening on-site date of February 2. Both parts are required for completion. Registration deadline is January 10, 2019.   Flier Here!!
Mark your Calendars 
Continuing Ed for Pastors, Families & Students

All inclusive: meals, lodging, education, worship, and endless camp activities for all ages.

When: August 4 - 9, 2019
Where: Lutheran Lakeside Camp        
Speaker:  Rev. Dr. Troy Troftgruben
                   Rev. Dr. Winston Persaud,    
Lodging:  Variety of housing options makes the week affordable for all families. Special rates for students and people considering seminary.

Visit for more information. Spots are limited so reserve now with no payment until January.
Save the date!!
WIS Leadership Academy      April 13th

Western Iowa Synod Assembly      May 3-5, 2019

Churchwide Assembly      August 5-10

Tri Synodical Fall Convocation      Sept. 22-24

For a list of upcoming events from November thru Sept. 2019 click here!!


eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry, please send to Lynn by Monday morning @ 10 am.!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588