Western Iowa Synod Weekly eSpirit
The eSpirit is a weekly electronic newsletter for church secretaries and congregational leaders. It contains synodical news and events along with stories or articles on how we live out "We Are Church Together!" This information is intended to be dispersed to members of the congregations on a regular basis, via bulletins, facebook, newsletters and announcements. Thank you!!
Let us join together in prayer.....

Synod: Southwestern Washington Synod, Bishop Richard Jaech
Congregation: Trinity, Ottosen, Pastor Gene Broughton
  • Wanda Norris, wife of Pastor Arlyn Norris, recurring cancer
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rally Days and many sunday schools beginning
  • Rev. Duane Olsen, on hospice
  • Congregations in interview process
  • Family of Pastor Paul Sorlien, who passed away on August 29th, served at Ebenezer/Audubon from 2001 - 2011
  • Pastor Jane Johnston and her family as they mourn the death of her mother.. 
  • Prayers of thanksgiving and praise for 125 years of ministry at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lakota as they celebrate on September 11
  • Prayers of thanks for the teams retreat time away last week, it was very uplifting and energizing
  • Julie Cook's daughter Jessica, health issues and approaching surgery
  • Pastor Jeff Swanson's daughter
​Conference on Racism

Dear Friends and Colleagues:  Racism continues to be a complex and troubling arena for society and for church.  Racism is a deep, rooted, and complex arena in need of reconciliation and reparation. 
We in the Western Iowa Synod are looking to raise racism awareness and move toward action within the gospel message.  You are cordially invited to attend the United Church of Christ conference (information below) as one who could be a valuable voice in our synod as we tackle this important issue so that all come to face the dynamics of race within and around ourselves.
Please read carefully the attached premise for the event and the logistics.  The Western Iowa Synod is willing to provide several synod sponsored event registration fees on a first come basis via confirmed intent to attend to Cindy Wells.We do ask that you provide your own transportation.   

Please take a moment to look at the detailed information and topics covered below!

A Day for Sharpening: Iron Sharpens Iron, and One Person Sharpens the Wits of Another
Friday, October 21, 2016 from 10:00am to 4:00pm Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ 
Topics include: Dear Christians White . . .Now What?, So What's Racial Identity God to Do With It?  And, Now Back to History (The Internal is Shaped by External!), Digging In and Getting Concrete: Next Steps     More information here!                 Register Here!
For the Health of It
Working Hard to Live Well? Perhaps Too Hard.

Learn how spiritual practice helps us live as whole people of God. This video invites you to try centering prayer using Pastor Jay Hilbinger’s technique of holding an image in mind to rest in God's presence. Watch video here!
We Are Church Together!
This Sunday, September 11th, is "God's Work. Our Hands!" Sunday
Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will again have the opportunity to participate in “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday and celebrate who we are as the ELCA – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.If your congregation cannot participate Sept. 11, please consider another time. The 2016 dedicated day of service will also mark the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. 

“The world can be a dangerous place. But there are some who, when disaster strikes, run toward the danger. These are first responders, firefighters, police and EMTs, who live out their baptismal vocation in service to their communities in times of intense need. They do God’s work with their hands.”
                                                                                   – ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton

Please submit your pictures and stories to Lynn so that others may see God's work that is happening around the synod!!
Fall Convo 2016
for ELCA Rostered Leaders
FOCUS:  Preaching and Renewing Worship
Dates:     September 18-20, 2016
Location:   Lutheran Lakeside Camp – Spirit Lake, Iowa    Informational flier here!!
Register On-line Here
ConFest Events - Fall 2016 & Spring 2017
Western Iowa Synod's annual ConFest events will be held again, twice in the fall and twice next spring. ConFest is a confirmation festival. It is an evening for confirmation students, along with their leaders, to come together for worship, learning, fellowship and experience being Church Together!
  • October 5th - St Paul, Atlantic
  • October 12th - Estherville Lutheran, Estherville (please note change of location)
Spring event registration will begin on January 5th!
Register Here!
Synod Thankfulness Events
We are Church together. AMEN! Join us this year for one of our annual Synod Thankfulness events as we give thanks to the Lord for being Church together. This year, there will be four Thankfulness event opportunities for you to attend. Please bring something for a potluck meal, and just like Thanksgiving, there will be enough for everyone and a great variety of food for all to enjoy. The gathering will be a time to hear and share stories of faith and the positive impact of being Church together. Please mark you calendar and plan on joining in the fun!

Four Dates & Locations:
Tuesday, October 18th - Washington Lutheran, Duncombe - 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Thursday, October 20th - Immanuel Lutheran, Sioux City - 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 23rd - Trinity, Estherville - 3:00 - 5:30 pm
Thursday, October 27th - Exira Lutheran, Exira - 5:30 - 8:00 pm

Mark your calendars, invite others to attend with you and come join us......
We Are Church Together!!
Engaging Lutheran Worship Event
In this 10th anniversary year of the publication of Evangelical Lutheran Worship you are invited to attend an event focusing on Lutheran worship in our current context. Pastors, musicians, lay leaders, and worship committees: whether you have extensive experience with ELW, are exploring it for the first time, or use other materials for your community’s worship, you will find a place at these gatherings. More here!
  • October 14-15, 2016 Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minnesota
Mark Your Calendars
  • Synod Council Meeting/Network Meeting          September 17th
  • Assembly Business & Counsel                                September 17th
  • Rostered Leader Fall Convo                                  September 18-20
  • ConFest                                                                    October 5th, St Paul, Atlantic
  • ConFest                                                                    October 12th, Estherville, Estherville
  • WIS Assembly 2017                                                  June 9 - 11, 2017, Sioux City, IA
Events in and around the Synod
Blessing of the Combines Service
Harvest Ministry (St. John/Cushing & Salem/Correctionville) invite you to a Blessing of the Combines Service and Free Pork Sandwiches Lunch.

September 10th at 11:00 am - Cushing Fire Station - Special Guest: S. Elwynn Taylor
Jill Miller in Concert, Sunday Sept. 11th
Benefiting Human Trafficking Victims
Each year for the past 6 years we at Faith and Bethel have held a concert late summer this year we have moved it to the beginning of September. We will have Jill Miller in concert on the 11th. This will be a fund raiser for the Restoration House Project in Sioux City. There is a group that has been very active in learning and getting the word out about Human Trafficking and are wanting to purchase a house where those who have gotten caught up in the Human Trafficking Trade can have a place (about up to 2 years) to find healing, security and safety. Sr. Shirley Fineran, OSF will also be with us that evening to fill us in more on the project and where it is at this time. Flier here!
Cupcakes & Conversations @ Camp
Join us at Lutheran Lakeside for leadership development days packed full of conversation sharing, workshop learning, camp exploring and cupcake eating!! Each session is from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm; Only $15 per session/person; includes lunch and materials. More info here!
Outreach Nights for 6th-12th graders
Outreach nights are an opportunity for those in your 6th through 12th grade youth groups and beyond to join with other youth of all denominations from around the area to fellowship, grow in faith, and have fun together. An evening of outreach includes dinner, worship, a message, and of course, games!

Where: Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp                                               When: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
How Much: $3 per person for food
Dates: October 9, Novermber 6, December 4, January 8
RSVP to Dan: dan@okoboji.org or 712-337-3306 ext. 119
Other upcoming events at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
Oct. 21-23 - 4-6th Grade
Oct. 28-30 - 6-9th Grade
November 4-6: 6th-9th grade
November 11-13: 6th-9th grade - Also WIS Middle School Retreat
November 18-20: 9th -12th grade

Spiritual Care Day Event
October 27, 2016
Holiday Inn, 701 Gordon Drive, Sioux City, Iowa
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Musician Richard Bruxvoort Colligan leads us in:The Psalms:  Prayer Book of Despair, Disappointment, Healing and Hope. A time of teaching, singing, story-sharing and small groups. More here!
ELCA - "Seeds Monthly" e-Newsletter
Check out what's going on in and around the wider church. 
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www.wisynod.org  •  P: 712.732.4968  •  Lynn.egesdal@wisynod.org