Don't miss out on the many great stories, opportunities and events in and around the synod that are listed below!  Please share this information with your congregational members, invite and encourage them to attend the events!! 

Synod of the week:  Southwest California Synod, Bishop Guy Erwin
Congregation of the week: American, Hawarden, Rev. Erma Wolff
  • Government
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastor Chris Lang - Upcoming surgery
  • Pastors Kim & Trudy Peterson
  • Rev. Dr. Gabriel Nduye's Mother
  • IELCH and ministry there
In This Issue:


ELCA Women's Gathering
The Tenth Triennial Gathering
When: July 13-16, 2017
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn
Theme: "All Anew"
Grant Applications Being Accepted
The Western Iowa Synod Endowment Committee is ready to accept grant applications for 2017. The grants are designed to support grass root programs and projects which need an assist to birth an idea for community based ministry or help sustain current ones. The grants can range from $100 to $2,000. Hands on participation by the applicant congregation is important. No large agencies need apply. Application due date is April 15th!! Application here
Congregation Register
Each congregation should have received a copy of a blank congregation register form in your last financial statement which you recently received in the mail. Please fill out the paper copy or click here to fill out an online form. This information will help us update our database and also allow us to connect directly with leaders in your congregation. 

Rostered Leader Forms
Rostered leaders, if you have not turned in your report form please do so as soon as possible. You can find the appropriate form here! Then select the Synod tab and select the appropriate form. Please remember to first save the form on your computer, then fill it out and save. Please email it to Julie at julie.cook@wisynod.org or print off and mail it to the Western Iowa Synod Office. Thank you!
Beginning Experience
- Healing Retreat for Widowed, Divorced, Separated
Beginning Experience NW Iowa is holding our Spring retreat March 10-12 at Camp Okoboji. This ecumenical, faith-based retreat helps persons to move forward through the stages of grief toward healing and embracing their new life.  This is for persons who have gone through the initial phases of grief after their loss, at least 6 months, and are ready to move forward.  For more information go to beginningexperience.org           Flier     &      Brochure

Have you taken your health assessment yet?
Thanks to two straight years of excellent health assessment participation, the 1% discount on health rates was already included in this year’s costs to your sponsoring organization. Do your part: Sign in to myPortico and take your health assessment today. Earn money when you complete yours!!
Lutheran Day on the Hill Hit Record Numbers
More than 300 people gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to advocate for Iowans during Lutheran Day on the Hill. This was a record number of attendees. Some of our attendees were able to speak to State Representatives and Senators. The WIS Team members were all in attendance along with approximately ten other leaders from the Western Iowa Synod. We hope more will participate next year as we advocate for others!
Living Waters Conference Assembly
When: Sunday, March 5th,  12:15 pm
Where: St. Mark Lutheran Church, 5200 Glenn Ave., Sioux City IA
(noon meal will be served...please RSVP for meal to
david.halaas.rev@wisynod.org by March 3. Business meeting will begin at 12:45 pm.
Chrism Mass for Rostered Leaders
- Mark Your Calendars
April 7      St. Paul, Treynor
April 10    Immanuel, Akron
April 11    Grace, Ft. Dodge

Assembly - June 9-11, 2017

We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors
The Western Iowa Synod's Annual Assembly will be here in just a little over three months. Please watch this area of the eSpirit for Assembly News and updates. You can also find many resources and information on our website! 
Here's What Your Congregation Can Do Between Now and June 9th!!

The Western Iowa Synod Companion Synods Medical Initiatives Network is once again striving to enhance health and wholeness for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Tanzania. In conjunction with Global Health Ministries, an organization that collects, refurbishes, warehouses, and redistributes any and all sorts of medical supplies and equipment to Lutheran health facilities in the developing world, WE WILL OPEN DOORS! Find out more about Global Health Ministries here and ways you can assist in making a difference!!

Medical Supply Flier
Newborn Kits
Hospice Kits
Mardi Gras Celebration at Emanuel
in Council Bluffs
Emanuel Lutheran Church will be hosting their annual Mardi Gras Celebration on Sunday, February 26th from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall. This event is open to the public.

This is the fourth year for this event. There will be a free-will offering which goes towards youth attending camps, mission trips and the ELCA National Youth Gathering. All are invited to come in masks and costumes or just as you are. Flier with more information here!
Crafting Retreat
Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps - March 3-5
If the winter has brought on a bad case of cabin fever for you, we'd like to offer you a chance to get out of the house for a weekend of crafting, creativity, and laughter at our spring Crafting Retreat!  Registrations are now open!  So grab a friend, some crafting supplies, and make your way to our Okoboji site for the weekend. We hope to see you there! For more information go to http://www.okoboji.org/crafting-retreat or give us a call at 1-800-OKOBOJI.
Retreat Flier

The Fort Dodge Forum Spring 2017 Schedule
The Forum meets at Grace Lutheran Church, Fort  Dodge. 

Forums begin at 9:30 am with coffee and fellowship.  The program runs from 10 until noon.  A catered meal (about $8) is available to conclude the event at noon.The Forum costs $40 per session, payable at the time of the forum. Join us for another year of learning together as we strive to lead our congregations into God's future. Complete schedule can be found here!
June 11-14, 2017
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
High school youth from ELCA congregations are invited to the Wholly Iowa Youth Leadership Discipling Event June 11-14 at Luther College in Decorah. This annual camp is designed to help high school youth learn how to become future leaders of the church. WIYLDE offers three tracks designed to give in-depth knowledge and training on a particular type of leadership. The teens will meet in small groups to discuss and put into action what they learn.  More info here!
And Many More Upcoming Events:

36th Annual Rural Ministry Conference, March 5-7. 2017

Wartburg Seminary is hosting the 36th Annual Rural Ministry Conference entitled “Crisis and Conflict”, March 5-7, 2017. For more information, visit www.wartburgseminary.edu and click on the “Learning for Life Events” tab.

Considering Your Call, discernment retreat, March 10-12, 2017

Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA is hosting a weekend discernment retreat, March 10-12, 2017, for those considering a call to public ministry.  Travel cost assistance is available.  For details, contact Matthew O’rear at MOrear@wartburgseminary.edu or call (484) 343-2882.

25th Annual Festival of Homiletics, May 15-19, 2017

“Preaching on the Borders” is the theme for the 25th Annual Festival of Homiletics, which will be held in San Antonio, TX,May 15-19, 2017. Presenters include: Rob Bell; Nadia Bolz-Weber; Barbara Brown Taylor; Walter Brueggemann; Adam Hamilton; Rolf Jacobson; Bishop Craig Satterlee; Will Willimon; and more.  For details, visit www.festivalofhomiletics.com or call (651) 523-1645

“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...

ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering, August 7-10, 2017

The first ever ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering will be held in Atlanta, GA, August 7-10, 2017. The theme will be “On the Way Together” and will feature worship, education and fellowship. For details, click here; or call 1 (800) 638-3522; ext. 2552.
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968