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: Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, Bishop Richard Hoyme
Congregation of the week: St John's Lutheran, Woden, Pastor Trudy Peterson
  • USA in time of transition
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastor Paul Johnston 
  • Pastor Lorene Glant
  • Pastor Chris Lang - continued back pain
  • Wanda Norris
  • Pastor Tonna Parsons & family as they grieve the death of her mother
  • Historic fires in Chile
  • Downward peace trends in Palestine and less-than-favorable outlook
  • Susan Juilfs - recovering from surgery
In This Issue:

  • Rev. Bev Wolff, her sister and their families as they mourn the death of her brother-in-law Curtis Knutson
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 here
Rostered Ministers Gathering Transportation
On the way - together!!!
We hope you are making plans to attend the Rostered Ministers Gathering on August 7th - 10th, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are planning to attend and are interested in carpooling or synod transportation please let Pastor Lorna Halaas know as soon as possible. This will be a great event and we encourage all rostered ministers to consider going!! What a great gift this would be for your pastor!! Early registration: March 1 - May 31, 2017 More info about the event here!
Last Call - Register Now!!!

There are a few upcoming events/opportunities that have a deadline date in the next week!! Don't wait any longer, sign up now!! More information in upcoming events below or click here!
  • ConFest - Feb. 15th in Moville
  • ConFest Feb. 22nd in Gowrie
  • Leadership Academy at St Olaf in Ft Dodge, Sat. 18th - call or register now!
  • Application deadline for traveling to Tanzania or Chile
Green LBWs Available
Augustana Lutheran Church in Manson has several Lutheran Book of Worship hymnals available for anyone who can use them. If you are interested please call: (712) 469-2524
Maintaining Benefits
                   & Planning Retirement
Maintaining ELCA Benefit Coverage in Times of Transition:  This is a brand new document that will assist congregations and Rostered Leaders when their calls end or change. Get the document here!!

Will I have Enough Money When I Retire?
Pre-Retirement Seminars for 2017: 
Youth at Bethany Lutheran Learn And Act

       The youth at Bethany Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa have been blown away.  They did a 24 hour justice experience at the beginning of January.  The experience was through the International Justice Mission.  The International Justice Mission is an organization filled with lawyers, social workers, and many others that help those caught into forced slavery and human trafficking, specifically working with those in developing countries.  They help get the victim out of those situations, help with after care programs, and put those to justice that are doing these crimes.  The youth at Bethany went through a simulation of a real life situation and tried to find a victim and they quickly realized that it wasn’t easy.       They realized that it is a difficult process and that you can’t just go break down someone’s door and rescue the victims.  They dove into scripture, prayer, and really were amazed by the facts.  The second day of the experience the youth listened to a speaker from “Teens Against Human Trafficking” out of Ames/Fort Dodge area.  She told stories of cases she had been a part of and shared how close to home this issue actually is.  This is experience opened the youth’s eyes and to look at the world around them.  They were reminded of God’s plan for human life and how no one deserves to be treated like property.  The whole experience was focused around Luke 4:18-19 in order to be reminded that we can help those around us and each other with God’s help.       

    Throughout the month, we had a challenge called Penny Wars.  The youth versus adults were the teams.  Pennies were positive and everything else were negative.  Sabotage happened between the two teams.  This war of coins raised $268 for the International Justice Mission. 

    From this experience, the youth learned so much and have been encouraged to share with their families, friends, and others about this issue.  So the question remains, will you help fight for those whose voice has been taken from them?  Will you help END SLAVERY AND SEEK JUSTICE?

-Kristin Rienhardt, Youth Director of Bethany Lutheran

Whose work is it?

In her February column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton lifts up the need for well-trained pastors and deacons. Where do we find these potential leaders? She says it’s the “work of the entire church.”

At the end of the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John, many disciples who had been following Jesus left him. Looking at the 12, Jesus asked, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:66-68). It was a kind of crisis at the beginning of the Jesus movement.

Read her complete column in English or in Spanish
Join Us in Making an Impact
Join us in amplifying your impact by meeting directly with your Congressional offices in-district, and urging them to protect refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. 

Members of Congress will be back home in their states and districts for President’s Day, the week of February 20th. When they return to Washington, they will need to decide how to allocate funds to agencies that are implementing these Executive Orders or whether to pass legislation that will protect those fleeing violence or persecution.

As Lutherans, we have a proud history of starting ministries that serve our neighbors across the street or across the world because we know that “all people are God’s creatures, sinners for whom Christ died.” As children and families from Central America face policies that will further put them in harm’s way, we have the privilege to continue our tradition of humble servants by urging our Members of Congress to protect them. Learn how and more here....
Travel Opportunities for 2017
Adult Group Travel to Tanzania 2017
Anticipated dates: July 21— August 12, 2017 

Accompaniment Trip to Chile
Approximate Dates: Nov. 17-Dec 4, 2017

Two great opportunities to travel to our companion synods in Chile and Tanzania!! Deadline dates are quickly approaching apply now or contact Cindy Wells if you are interested!! Click here to find out more.....
Lutheran Day on the Hill 2017
When: February 21st
Join LSI and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA for Lutheran Day on the Hill in Des Moines on February 21st! This day is essential for giving voice to those who are not heard, for seeking social justice and for empowering people to exercise their right and responsibility to be part of the legislative process. More information and registration here! Questions - contact Pastor Ungs at jeff.ungs.rev@wisynod.org.
Winter/Early Spring ConFest Events:
Theme - "You Belong"
Our first Spring Confirmation event is next Wednesday, February 15th in Moville. There is still room, so if your confirmation group is planning to join us and you haven't registered. Please call in with your congregation name and the number attending by noon on Monday, the 13th. 
Wednesday, February 15th @ Trinity, Moville
Wednesday, February 22nd @ Zion, Gowrie - Still room register now!!
Events begin at 5:45 pm with a light supper, programing starts at 6:30 pm

Registration is open!! Register Here!!
Questions? Please email Lynn, Lynn.egesdal@wisynod.org

When: Saturday, February 18th              
Snowdate: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 or 4 pm
Where: St Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge
Cost: $25/person; or $75/carload (4-5 ppl)
For all congregational members!!
The church is constantly changing and how are we dealing with that as leaders, as members? How can we move from a time of lamenting the changes to a time of Holy Dreaming, being in conversation together about where is God calling us, as individuals, as a congregation? Come and find out!!!  More info here...
Bulletin Insert
Leadership Academy Registration
Sweetheart Pancake Breakfast
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sioux City, 315 Hamilton Boulevard
When: Saturday, Feb. 11th - 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Cost: $7; children age 5 and under FREE
Menu: Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Drink
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.

The event features live music by Da Band, New Orleans inspired food, a photo booth and activities for children. There will also be a silent auction, with a variety items available for bid. A Mardi Gras parade will take place at 5:30 p.m.

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
Reformation Tour to Germany

Pastor Olaf Roynesdal, East Side Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD, is hosting a 10-day Reformation Tour to Germany May 23—June 1, 2017 as part of the 500th  Anniversary of the Reformation. Cities/towns to be toured include Berlin, Juterborg, Wittenberg, Torgau, Leipzig, Eisleben, Erfurt, Eisenach, the Wartburg Castle, Mainz and Worms. The deadline for registering is March 1, 2017. For more information you may email him:Olaf@eastsidelc.org
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