The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Congregation of the week: Immanuel, Rock Rapids, Rev. Daniel Kordahl
Synod of the week: Northwest Washington Synod, Bishop Kirby Unti
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • ​Prayers of thanks and continued healing for Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen and Rev. Lorene Glant, who have both received reports of being cancer free. Praise be to God!
  • Rev. Terry Mahnke, health concerns; and Carol
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Group from WIS traveling home from the Holy Land
  • Elijah Ungs for continued healing for his ankle
  • Rev. David Cox recovering from surgery
  • Rev. Jerry Crow
  • Kay Broich and her family as they mourn the death of her mother

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
64 days till Assembly!!

Date: June 10th - 12th.
Theme: "We Are Church Together!" 
Theme verse: Ephesians 4:11-13
Location: Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Cir., Omaha, NE 68114; Phone 402-399-9000

Are your voting members registered? - Early bird deadline date for registration is May 1st.
There are two ways to register!!
  1. You can register your pastor and congregational members online by clicking here! You must pay with a credit card to register with this option;
  2. or you can register by filling out a paper form and mail or email to the Western Iowa Synod Office at 318 E. Fifth St, Storm Lake, IA 50588 or scan and email to Kay at

*Please remember, besides your allotted number of voting members, you are also allowed 1 young adult and 1 youth as a voting member!! Others can come as a registered visitor! 
(Young adult is age 19 - 30, youth is confirmed member age 18 or under, by June 1st)

Watch this area of the eSpirit for special assembly announcements and updates. Information and forms will also be available on the synod's website on the 2016 Assembly page
Get Going!!! For the Health of it and for the Money!!!
Has your pastor taken their health assessment yet? If not, please encourage them to do so. It is for their benefit and also for the congregation's and synod's benefit. Each congregation can earn a 1% discount on health contributions! Find out more information here!!
A NEW VISION is on the way!  A completely new and revised curriculum has been developed.  NEW VISION will come in two designs—LIKE FIRE can be used for leadership training, mission trips, with a planning committee, the call committee and as a mission school.  Brief instruction on use is included.  ALL THINGS RESTORED is a 10 week adult class/forum. Read more here.

Bridgebuilder, developed by Dr. Peter Steinke, is a resource of trained lay and clergy who assist congregations in reconciliation and healing.  The six-step process includes interviews with congregation leaders and other members, interviews with staff, gathering of information and preparation for a follow-up plan. Congregations discover solutions best suited to their context using the God given skill found within their own community. Read More here.

Grant Applications Due in 7 days!!
The Western Iowa Synod Mission Endowment Committee is now accepting applications for consideration for the 2016 WIS Mission Endowment Funds.  These funds are to be used for children and families in need and for worthy mission projects. Please fill out an application and submit by April 15th!! Applications may be mailed to the synod office at 318 E Fifth St., Storm Lake, IA or emailed to Lynn at Those selected to receive grant money will be notified within a month of the due date. Thank you!! Application Here!
If you are church that uses a Gestetner copier, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City has 3 boxes of ink (CPI 2) and 1 roll of masters (CPMT 9) to give away. May be picked up in Forest City.​ You may contact them at (641) 585-3152.

Tons of Food for those in Need!
Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Inwood  has literally been "weighing in" to fight hunger and help the Western Iowa Synod accomplish their goal  to collectively DOUBLE its 2014 ELCA World Hunger second-mile giving of $166,250 to $332,500, AND to collectively gather and donate 100,000 pounds of food or its monetary equivalent to area food banks in our synod.  

They weigh some of their youth each month to set the goals.  In May, they'll be weighing in three of their freshmen boys and that will be exciting and their biggest goal yet!  Even more exciting is that they’ve had some members say "we should continue this!"  Their local food pantries’ representatives have commented on what a fantastic impact this has made on the community.  God is good!
Every Pound Counts
Bethlehem has raised 2,355 pounds of food offerings since they started this project the first Sunday in September! We have 2 more months to go and should make it over the 3000 pounds by the time the school year ends.   Also, in the last year, Bethlehem has raised and sent out over           $8,000 in funds to assist the Inwood and Larchwood Food Pantries plus defraying costs for serving supper at The Banquet in Sioux Falls. Bethlehem Lutheran should be quite proud of their church family and their joyous response to assisting the Western Iowa Synod in its emphasis on Hunger abatement.  This is just one way that we can experience what it means as "We Are Church Together!" Please don't forget, this challenge continues in the synod and this same goal is what our Assembly Offering will go towards!! Thank you to all who have contributed towards this hunger goal!! 
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story or event you would like published in the eSpirit, please email it to Lynn by Tuesday at noon!                                  Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK!!
Pastors and Congregational Office Administrators, please note that many of these events have fliers or posters to be hung and/or bulletin inserts that can be printed off for distribution to your congregation. Please help us get the word out about these upcoming events! More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
WIS Events: (click on this link for more information on each event)
  • April 13th @ St John in LeMars, ConFest, for confirmation students & leaders (this event is full)
  • April 23rd - Tools for Community Engagement, St Mark, Storm Lake
  • April 30th - PLAN-IT Event - For Youth Leaders and Pastors - plan out your program year of ministry in one day. Better planning = Better Ministry!
Tools for Community Engagement  
When: Saturday, April 23rd - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Where: St Mark, Storm Lake
Cost: $10 (lunch included)

This workshop is intended to equip us with ways (and the will) to listen to and embrace what our neighbors and other community members have to offer. Further, we will discover how it is that we might join with those neighbors to do the will of God in the world, starting in our immediate communities. It's a great idea to bring others from your congregation with you. That way you'll enjoy a shared experience and be able to more readily "hit the ground running" upon your return to your ministry setting. 
Register Here!                              Bulletin Insert
PLAN - IT Event for Youth Leaders and Pastors
“Making it up as I go” or “Flying by the seat of my pants” is not making for successful ministry. PLAN-IT:    Better planning = Better Ministry
Plan your whole program year! Come by yourself or bring a team

Location: St John Lutheran, Carroll
Date: April 30th
Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Cost: $20/person (meal included)      Team of 3 or 4: $50

Please email Lynn Egesdal with any questions!                                
Register Here
Plan-it Flier

Pre-Retirement Seminar

Location:      Bethesda Lutheran Church
                      1517 Northwestern Ave
                       Ames, IA 50010
Date:             Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time:             Registration begins at 8:30AM, event 9:00AM-6:00PM
Registration: Register here!  
Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today. More Info...​      The synod is looking into the possibility of a synod bus going to this event!! Please watch for more information. A letter from the secretary of the ELCA!
PSST Retreat: “Resiliency in Pastoral Ministry”

This event will be Thursday, April 14 – Friday, April 15 at the Green Lake Bible Camp, Chrysalis House. Please see attached flyer for retreat schedule, registration costs and speaker info. This event is designed for pastors serving in settings with other pastors.   Registration deadline is April 6, 2016. 
Questions about registration, please contact Kristin Bakeberg at the synod office, 507-637-3904.
Retreat Flyer
4th Annual Faith Conference
Saturday, April 23rd    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota
The theme for the day is "Lutheran Convictions for Creation Care". There is no cost for this conference and all are welcome. More info here....
You are invited to attend an ecumenical "Women of Faith Event" at First Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 24th at 4:30 p.m. The program features stories from real women of faith in our neighborhood and will culminate with an evening meal catered by Tweeters of Okoboji, followed by humorist and effervescent speaker, Jenny Herrick, who traveled halfway across the world with 45 other clowns on a trip led by the "real" Patch Adams, whose life was made into a movie and was portrayed by Robin Williams. Bring a friend, a neighbor, an aunt, a grandma! Bring a carload! Enjoy fun, faith and fellowship with other Women of Faith! Tickets are on sale in the First Lutheran Church office for $13 or by contacting Jane Kruse  Dinner seating will be limited, so get your tickets early!  Nursery service available upon advance request. (Event is hosted by First Lutheran Families in Service. )   
Hip-Hop Outreach Coming to Atlantic
St. Paul’s is pleased to announce that International Christian rapper, dancer, and storyteller AGAPE* will be performing in Atlantic on 
April 28th, 5:30pm at the YMCA. 
All ages are welcomed to come share this exciting experience with us! Love offering accepted

AGAPE* (pronounced a-gá-pē) has performed for hundreds of thousands of youth across the US, and in eight different countries. He has recorded six CDs and has recorded with critically-acclaimed producer Ant (Atmosphere, Brother Ali) as well as Chris Brown's producer Ra Charm. Agape has shared the stage with the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Toby Mac, David Crowder, Tony Campolo, and Gospel giant Kirk Franklin.
AGAPE* connects with his listeners in a way that they really "get it". His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop, find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. His passion is to bring together people of all backgrounds and let them know about God's love for the whole world. This is "AGAPE*"!  If you would like to hear more about AGAPE you can visit the following links or call St. Paul's in Atlantic @ 243-3678
This event will offer participants, both clergy and lay persons, who are serving their neighbors in Jesus‘ name, time for personal renewal, spiritual practices and discernment, high quality education and Bible study, and Spirited worship. Speakers include Former Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Mark Hanson, Ginger Anderson-Larson, Dr. Diane Jacobson, and Dr. Winston Persaud. More info here....
Useful Links                                                           
Western Iowa Synod                                 ELCA News                          Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
WIS Facebook                                            Living Lutheran                   Lutheran Lakeside Camp
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eSpirit Newsletter Archive                        ELCA World Hunger
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