The eSpirit is a weekly electronic newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Introducing Our Intern Ryan Rehder

The Western Iowa Synod is blessed to have an intern working with the team for a couple months. This fall after a conversation with the Genensis Development Center staff in Storm Lake, Ryan Rehder was assigned to us as our intern to help with office duties until the middle of January.

Ryan is originally from Newell, where some family still lives, but he currently resides in Storm Lake. He is a huge sports fan and his favorite teams to cheer for are BVU and the Iowa Hawkeyes! Ryan is also an advocate for handicap accessibility and often travels to Des Moines for this purpose. 

Ryan will be in the office three afternoons a week, normally Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, from 2 - 4 pm. If you're in the area stop by to meet Ryan. 

Ryan will be assisting the team in updating database information of congregational leaders in the synod. Emails are going out to congregations and leaders asking for contact information. Please assist us in this endeavor by replying to Ryan's email with as much current information as possible. Thank you and please help us welcome Ryan to our team!
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Synod of the week: Northwestern Ohio Synod, Bishop Marcus Lohrmann
Congregation of the week: Faith Lutheran Harcourt, Mr. Rod Meyer
​Congregations in transition    
​Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen 
Brian Campbell - now home and receiving ongoing treatment
Rev. David Cox - undergoing surgery
Rev. Lorene Glant
Peace on Earth
Advent Daily Devotions

We hope you are using and enjoying the Advent Daily Devotions that have been publicized daily via the WIS Facebook Page and the website, written by people in the Western Iowa Synod!
Attention AMAZON Shoppers!!

If you are an online amazon shopper there is an easy way that you can make a donation to the Western Iowa Synod just by shopping for Christmas gifts or any other items throughout the year. Take a minute to check out how right here!! Thank you for your support!!
Gifts that Give

The Western Iowa Synod Mission Team has decided this year, after considering what is going on in the world, to give a team Christmas gift. The team will make a donation to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). We encourage you, your congregation, synod and/or your families to consider a gift like this as well. A gift that gives!! 
Western Iowa Synod Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Opportunity

At this last year's synod assembly, half of the offering was designated for debt reduction for rostered leaders in our synod. It is now time to dispurse those funds to our leaders in need of assistance with their outstanding education loans. If you are one of these rostered leaders, please fill out this form and send to the Western Iowa Synod Office. If you can scan and email that would be appreciated, however sent via snail mail is also permitted. Please return these forms by December 15th. Notifications of recipients will be made by the end of the year. You may email the applications to Bishop Prois
Christmas Shopping - Painless and Priceless!!

ELCA Good Gifts provides more than 50 different gift-giving options that grow the church, fight hunger and transform lives. These gifts, starting at just $10, provide direct support for the churchwide ministries of the ELCA. - Shop Here!
The Spirit Moves Youth
in Missouri Valley

At the Confest held at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Council Bluffs this fall, there was a presentation about the need for access to safe drinking water around the world.  We also heard about what our Western Iowa Synod is doing with its Water project, partnering with the Southern Diocese of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania to drill water wells.

The nine kids from St. Paul in Missouri Valley had a discussion after the event about what they might do to help with the project.  Carsen suggested having a bike ride and enlisting sponsors to contribute money for the Water Is Life project.  We identified Wilson Island State Park as a perfect spot for the ride.  It helped that the Park Ranger is a member of the congregation and dad of one of the kids. We decided ten miles would be a good distance.  (It makes the math easy.)  The kids got sponsors both from within the congregation and outside.  The ride took place on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on Nov. 8th.  Just five of the kids were able to be there along with Pastor Steve Pera.

From these efforts, the kids were able to raise $441.  We also raised awareness of the need for access to safe, drinkable water and of our Synod’s partnership work with the ELCT.  It just goes to show what can happen with a little water and Spirit—or is it Spirit and water? 

If your congregation has a story like this to share please email them to Lynn Egesdal
ELCA Night at Lamb Theatre in Sioux City
ELCA Lutheran  members and friends in Siouxland are invited to come together for  "ELCA Night at the LAMB Theatre" on Friday, December 11th. Sioux City's LAMB Arts Regional Theatre presents "They Call Her Beautiful," a new musical for all ages by Diana Guhin Wooley. This is a wondrous story of one family's holiday tradition, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Little Match Girl."

"They Call Her Beautiful" will be presented at the LAMB Theatre
471 Market Street, Sioux City, on Friday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m.

Special ticket prices for "ELCA Night at the LAMB" are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $11 for children and students.  Reservations may be made by calling St. Mark Lutheran Church at 276-2418 before December 7th.
Come to Bethlehem - Dec. 16th

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Inwood, IA, will offer their fifth annual “Come To Bethlehem” on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  This event is about taking time out of your hectic holiday schedule, entering our sanctuary and listening to live piano Christmas music while you relax and shake off the stress of the season.  There is no cost, no service, no talking….just a moment of peace.  Christmas cookies and hot apple cider are available in our church lounge.  Everything is “come and go as you wish”.  Our address is 302 N. Oak St., Inwood, IA  51240.  We are the A-frame church right on Hwy. 182; look for the life-size nativity always visible during the Advent/Christmas season on the front lawn.  Call 712-753-4804 with any questions.
Congregational Care Class
​Lay School Class – Register Now!

Register now for Lay School class Congregational/Pastoral Care.  Class will meet for 4 sessions beginning on Saturday, January 23 at the Synod Office in Storm Lake. This class will be taught by Pastors John Syvertson and Cara Knutson. The class will meet from 9:00- 1:30 once a month January - April.  Topics include learning to listen, prayer, visiting with those who are ill, grieving or alone.

Some outside reading, practicing visitation, and class discussion is part of the class.
Registration is $395 which includes lunch each Saturday the class meets.
More information is available from John Syvertson at or Lorna Halaas at

Please email Lorna at  to register.
Mark your calendars!!
The Leadership Academy is scheduled for February 27th at St Paul in Atlantic & February 28th at St Mark in Storm Lake. 

Please mark your calendars and watch for more information soon!!
****We will continue to update our website with more information on these events as it becomes available.
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