The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
A blessed Easter to all from the WIS Mission Team!!

Please join the mission team in prayer:

Congregation of the week: St Paul, Remsen, Rev. Pete Petersen
Synod of the week: Grand Canyon Synod, Bishop Steve Talmage

  • The people of Brussels
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • ​Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen 
  • Rev. Lorene Glant
  • Rev. Terry Mahnke, health concerns
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Group from WIS traveling to the Holy Land
  • Rev. Tonna Parson's mother
  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
2016 Assembly News/Updates
78 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

If you know of a ministry or organization that would like to lift up the ministry they do  and would like a display table at the synod assembly please have them fill out the request form and they will also need to register as a visitor. Space is limited and the deadline date is May 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
Grant Opportunity!!
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!


ACT NOW! Click here!!

rivent Financial members have until March 31 to direct any remaining 2015 Choice Dollars®. After that date, Choice Dollars® will expire. Remind members about the positive impact they can make by directing Choice Dollars® to
Western Iowa Synod ELCA.
"We Are Church Together!"
Arriving in Jerusalem During Holy Week
What an awesome experience during Holy Week! Three of the travelers from the WIS, have arrived in Jerusalem, with others joining them next week. Pictured here with Amir and Maureen Coosner, residents of Jerusalem, are our travelers: Kay Broich, Becky Ahrendsen and Cindy Wells! As they prepare for their first day in Jerusalem they overlook the old city. Tomorrow, Good Friday, they will walk the Via Dolorosa among other things. Please keep these three, and those preparing to travel, Rev. Joy Gonnerman, Rev. Rod Hopp, Antoine Cummins, in your prayers. 
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!!
Western Iowa Synod Events
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 details about the upcoming Synod Events can be found here!!

A day away for all ordained women!
Monday, April 4 at Lutheran Lakeside. The cost is $30 for the day.  Includes coffee, goodies, lunch, art supplies, and room rental. Please RSVP to by April 1.

April 6th - St John in Carroll, 6:00 - 8:15 pm
April 13th - St John in LeMars, 6:00 - 8:15 pm
Registration is OPEN !! Space is limited, so please register early!! You may register here!!
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!
PLAN - IT Event
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, Seminar 9AM-6PM
Registration:        Register here!
Register today! Once registered, Portico will email you an invoice for $35 per person. Please make your check out to Portico Benefit Services. Either mail the check to Portico or bring it to the seminar. To see other seminar locations and dates, go to the Events Calendar page on myPortico.  Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
Experience the Larger Church 
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.
Other Events of Interest
Book of Faith Challenge Gathering

On April 1 Wartburg Seminary invites you to the very first Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge Gathering, an event dedicated to exploring  creative, innovative, and faithful ways of teaching and engaging the Bible. The event will host as keynote speaker Dr. Diane Jacobson, former Director of the ELCA’s book of faith initiative, and will feature the year-long Bible teaching projects of selected students from four ELCA seminaries. This Challenge Gathering leads off a series of annual Book of Faith events in 2016-2019, all aimed at encouraging creative ways of faithful biblical engagement in the 21st century for the sake of the larger church. Pastors, church leaders, Bible study leaders, seminarians, and students of scripture of all kinds are most welcome to this invigorating day of dialogue. For more information and registration ($15), click here
Meatball Supper
Monday, April 4, 2016, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall
(302 N. Oak St., Inwood, IA  51240)
Supper Flier
GROUP - Ministry Training Event
What:  Leadership Training; all denominations welcome!
When:  Saturday, April 2 from 8:00am-3:30pm
Where:  Bethlehem Lutheran Church
            - 300 E Bow Dr, Cherokee
All trainings are led by Group Publishing Staff

To Register: call Bethlehem Lutheran Church 712.225.4969
Registration fee includes lunch!
Stepping UP to Staffing & Supervision
How in the world can a pastor supervise "Volunteers"?
Here's an answer...Come and hear Susan Beaumont!

WHO do volunteers and employees report to?
HOW do job descriptions get formed?
ARE there differences between supervising employees & volunteers?
CAN a committee supervise employees & volunteers?
Sponsored by the United Church of Christ. More info here....
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 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....
Useful Links                                                           
Western Iowa Synod                                 ELCA News                          Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
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eSpirit Newsletter Archive                        ELCA World Hunger
Administration Matters