Weekly eNews for members and friends of the Western Iowa Synod
Please share this information with your congregational secretaries, leaders and congregational members via your bulletin, facebook page, email, etc, and encourage them to attend the many events that can be opportunities to Open Doors to others!
In This Issue:
Western Iowa Synod Discipleship Academy For the Baptized
                            Classes start with a retreat on August 25-26!!                                      
Deepening our life in Christ; flowing outward in our baptismal call to Discipleship
  • Do you have a desire to learn more about the Bible, Lutheran theology, God’s mission and the work of Christ’s church?
  • Do you wonder how you can use your God-given gifts to impact God’s mission in the church, community and world around you?
  • Do you feel called to serve in a deeper and broader way?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Discipleship Academy is right for you!
Fall classes will be starting soon!!! Don't wait, Sign up NOW!!!
Discipleship Academy Flier
Registration Form

  • Do you have the desire to grow in your relationship with God?
  • Is there a major life choice for which you need help with discernment?
  • Are there struggles, losses, or joys in your life about which you need to talk with someone?

If your answer is 'yes' to any of these questions, spiritual direction might be helpful for you.  
During your meetings with the spiritual director, you become more attuned to the movement of God's Spirit in your life.  Although there are some similarities to psychotherapy and counseling, the primary difference is that the focus of spiritual direction is on a person's relationship with God. Learn more here!

It's time to stand up.
Dear advocates and ministry partners,
Now is the time to take a stand for our neighbors across Iowa. Federal legislation that would profoundly alter Medicaid and put many of the people LSI serves at risk of losing services is moving quickly through the U.S. legislature. Please act now by contacting the state and federal legislators listed below. 

This legislation is being fast-tracked and could be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate by June 30. (The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation on May 4.) It is critical that we act today — and every day — until this legislation is defeated or altered. Please join LSI in this urgent advocacy.

Statement on 50 Years of Occupation

Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. (Leviticus 25:10)

This year, 2017, marks several historic anniversaries of great importance to the history and development of the situation in Israel and Palestine and to the ecumenical community’s response to this situation – including 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 50 years since the Six Day War of 1967, and 10 years since the 2007 WCC International Peace Conference "Churches together for Peace and Justice in the Middle East" in Amman, Jordan. Complete Statement Here!


Synod of the week: South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Bishop Mary Froiland
Congregation of the week: Señor de la Misericordia, Rev. Filemon Diaz

  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Lorene Glant
  • Rev. Trudy Peterson
  • Judah Jack, son of Rev. Brian Jack recovering from surgery
  • Rev. Jean Morse, healing for broken bones in foot
  • Immigrants and Refugees and their struggles
  • Peace
Painting a New Outcome
by Deacon Tammy Devine
"Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!" Luke 10:23

At my first painting lesson, my teacher instructed, “Paint what you see, not what you know.” Six hours later, painting in hand, I felt thrilled, exhausted — and changed. The world looked different through these new eyes. I began noticing scale, shades of color, shapes, and shadows. I even became aware of what I didn’t see, but rather had assumed was there. It felt like for the first time I was truly looking with intention.
That intention kept guiding my vision over the next weeks. In particular, on my daily walk I kept noticing my shadow. At first I wanted to ignore it. It reminded me of the shadow thoughts (like self-doubt and grief) that have plagued me in the past. But as I work on living in the present, I am trying to grow from my shadows rather than be haunted by them. That day, I assigned my shadow a home within me and accepted it as part of what makes me who I am. With new eyes, I am trying to be grateful for the ways these shadows have shaped me to be more compassionate and understanding. Rest of story here!
Record number of young adult volunteers
Ninety-six young adults accepted the call to serve as volunteers with the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program during 2017-18. This is a record number of volunteers for the program, which started with eight young adults in 1999. The Young Adults in Global Mission volunteers are ages 21-29 and spend a year in service, living and working with ELCA companion churches and partner organizations around the world. This year’s volunteers will begin service Aug. 23.    Learn more.
These articles are from the Seeds Monthly newsletter. You can access the complete newsletter here!
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday 
is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. The suggested date for the 2017 dedicated day of service is Sunday, Sept. 10. Mark your calendars today! If your congregation cannot participate on this date, please consider another day. More info here!
With New Voices: 
First Commandment

Eaton offers deeper context for Martin Luther's meaning of the First Commandment: You shall have no other gods.

Opening Doors!!
Does your congregation or Sunday School need a MISSION PROJECT for the 2017/2018 school year? Please consider Bethesda Lutheran Communities!!

For over 100 years, Bethesda Lutheran Communities has served people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We provide for the physical, emotional, vocational and spiritual needs of people who often would have nowhere else to go for help. 

Can you help us help them?  By designating Bethesda as a mission project for your school or Sunday school, your students will partner with Bethesda’s ministry and help to make a positive difference in the physical and spiritual lives of people with disabilities.

If you do choose Bethesda, upon request we can send helpful resources such as the following:
Information about Bethesda and the people Bethesda serves each day
Early Childhood Bible Study and teacher guide
Elementary and Youth Bible Studies
Coloring books
Age-appropriate activities for your students

To get this information and/or if you have any questions please send an email request with the number of students and ages involved to: development@mailblc.org  Working together, we can make and will make a positive difference in the lives of people with disabilities. 

Thank you, in advance, for your prayerful consideration of support for the mission and ministry of Bethesda Lutheran Communities!
Rev. Reuben Schmitz & Mr. Peter Ferry
Bethesda Mission Support Counselors
Share your congregation's story
The theme for this year's assembly and throughout the upcoming year is We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors. Please share stories with us about how your congregation is opening doors to people,organizations, the community, or the world. Send your stories to Lynn so they may be shared with others through the eSpirit.
Upcoming Travel Opportunities
Two Travel Opportunities to the Holy Land in 2018
The Western Iowa & Nebraska Synods Peace Not Walls Networks warmly invite you to join in transformational travel opportunities to the Holy Land… Let us go and know the living stones...for the sake of justice, peace and reconciliation for all in the land. 

Join us as we listen, learn, and live into the Spirit’s call: to experience and accompany the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land in its life and ministry to enhance and broaden our understanding of our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters in their journey and struggle... to partner in the ELCA’s Peace Not Walls initiative and response toward justice and peace in the region... to recognize our personal and national roles in the regional situations... to visit many profound sites of Jesus’ life and ministry as we invite Him into our hearts and this peace-seeking goal... to be open and humble so as to allow the Spirit to move us in ways we may not expect or even comprehend...
Option 1: April 1-16, 2018, departing Easter Sunday (likely late evening flight from Minneapolis or mid-late afternoon flight from Omaha) under the direct leadership of the Western Iowa Synod. This option affords an add-on opportunity to spend Holy Week in Jerusalem that departs March 27. Estimated costs: $3,500-4000/person (plus $500 for Holy Week add-on) ~~ OR ~ ~ Option 2: April 16-April 28, 2018 under the direct leadership of the Nebraska Synod. Estimated costs: $4600/per person
Neb Synod Trip
PNW Trip Application
WIS Trip
Travel Opportunity to Tanzania in 2018
As we look ahead to 2018, be on the look out for information on WIS group travel to the Southern Diocese Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, 3 weeks sometime between mid-July and mid-August 2018!
Underwood Lutheran Job Opening:
Underwood Lutheran Church is currently accepting application for a part-time Faith Formation Coordinator. This position will have oversight of Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Junior High Youth Ministry Activities with a cross-generational focus. Review of applications/resumes will begin July 7th. From there the position will remain open until filled. Full job description and application instructions are available here.  

24 hours of triennial women's gathering costs about 12 cents a minute!!

What can you pack into 24 hours? A lot if you’re attending one day of the Tenth Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA.

Day registration—either Friday, July 14, or Saturday, July 15—at the triennial gathering is $175 or about 12 cents a minute. The event is at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn., July 13-16, 2017.

One-day registration gives you plenary sessions, including music and speakers, workshops and servant events, and full access to all the exhibitors and vendors. It also offers you fellowship with 2,500-3,000 other women of faith. Visit www.welcatg.org under the registration tab to learn more.

SAVE THE DATE! -                  

Fall Theological Conference

The 2017 Tri-Synodical Fall Conference for rostered leaders will be held at the Sheraton, West Des Moines from September 24-26, 2017.  Speakers Anna Madsen and Bishop Guy Erwin will address the:  the theme “The Reformation:  What’s at Stake?  Then and Now.”  Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will also be in attendance for a presentation and to preach and preside at the Monday evening communion service.  Registration will be available on-line beginning July 1.
It's Time for Summer Camp
Not Too Late to Register
It's not to late to register you kids for summer camp at Lutheran Lakeside Camp. Check out all of the camps we have to offer www.lutheranlakeside.com. All are welcome and we hope to see you this summer! 

Family Camp Welcomes Mike and Sue Blair 
Our theme, Generation to Generation, will engage creativity, humor, storytelling, music and spiritual practices to explore new ways of telling Biblical stories and sharing our faith stories. Psalm 79 sings, “from generation to generation we will recount your praise .” Sue and Mike invite participants to bring imagination, insight, prayer and playfulness to the Psalmist’s call of sharing faith from generation to generation. All are welcome! Register today or for more information visit our website www.lutheranlakeside.com/familycamp 

Quilt Auction July 1st! 
Come and support camp at our fun, annual Quilt Auction! Buy a beautiful quilt, adopt a staff member, eat some delicious food, and have fun with the Lakeside community! All donations and bids go toward supporting Lutheran Lakeside Camp this summer so we can keep doing what we do best! Join us on July 1st at Lutheran Lakeside. 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Silent Auction, Quilt Viewing, & Lunch then at 1:00 PM the Live Auction Starts
Mike and Sue Blair, Family Camp Speakers
57th Summer Institute for Church Leaders with Rev. Dave Daubert
When: July 10-13, 2017
Where: Gettysburg Seminary
Cost: Depends on option you choose
Renewal in our Congregations through Spiritually Grounded Change to be Re-Rooted in our Communities. More info and registration here!

July 21-23, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN
The BOLD GATHERING is a weekend for men to come together to learn, to worship, to network, and be equipped to BOLDY live out their faith! We are proud to announce our friend and artist who will be at the BOLD Gathering! William Butler, nationally known artist!!
“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...
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968