Synod Happenings
Events Happening in and around the Western Iowa Synod, biweekly publication

Please share this information with your congregational secretaries, leaders and congregational members via your bulletin, facebook page, email, etc, and invite/encourage them to attend the events/ opportunities to Open Doors to others!

These events can also be found on the WIS Website by clicking here!!
October - 500 Food Item Challenge!!
We (At Bethany Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg) want to challenge the churches of the WIS.  Starting October 1st, we are collecting 500 food items by October 29th.  We will be giving the food to our local food pantry.  500 items in celebrating the 500 years since the Reformation.  So we challenge other churches to collect 500 food items for their local food pantry.  If your church accepts this challenge then we ask that you take pictures and tag the WIS Facebook page and/or send to Lynn. Let's do this!!

Discipleship Academy

- 2 New Classes - Sign up NOW!!

  • Interested in learning more about worship planning and leadership? 
                How hymns are selected?
                   Why the paraments are different colors during the year?
                   How you can be involved in worship leadership?  etc. 

1. The Worship Planning and Leadership Class will be at Augustana Lutheran Church and will begin on October 14. Anyone interested can contact Pastor Del Oliveir at pastordel@augustanasc.org or 712-490-6510. He will then send you the syllabus and any other information you might need --- 4 sessions -- One Saturday per month 9:00 – 2:00 pm. Cost is $395 (scholarships are available)


  • Who are the people in your congregation that would love to be visited?

                Do you have people in your congregation who love to talk, to listen, to visit?

                  Pastors – would you like someone to assist with homebound communion?

2.  The Congregational Care Class will begin on October 21st, Western Iowa Synod Office, Storm Lake4 sessions - One Saturday per month 9:00 – 2:00 pm -  Cost is $395 (scholarships are available)

Sign up today –  Email   Julie.cook@wisynod.org or call Western Iowa Synod Office 712-732-4968


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! 1Chron.16:34

 Join us for the 2017 Western Iowa Synod

 Thankfulness Events

Three Thankfulness events are planned this year throughout the synod.  Everyone is invited to attend these events, so please invite a friend and come join us. The events will all include a Pot Luck meal. Please bring your favorite food to share with others so we can enjoy God’s abundance. Plates, cups and utensils will be provided.

At these events, we will join together in giving God thanks in song, scripture, and prayer. There will be small group discussion centered around the following three questions:
1. What are you thankful for in your congregation or family?
2. What are you thankful for about the ministry we share in the Synod?
3. What are you thankful for about the ministry we share in the ELCA?

Bishop Prois will be present for a time of discussion and giving thanks. Please come and enjoy a delicious meal with great fellowship and stories as we Give thanks to the LORD.


*Thursday, October 19th – First Lutheran Church, 1525 Three Cross Road, West Okoboji, IA - 5:15 PM registration, 5:30 PM meal, 6 PM – 8 PM event

*Sunday, November 5th – St. Paul’s Lutheran & Presbyterian Church, 527 Main St. Rockwell City, IA - 2:45 PM registration, 3 PM – 5 PM event, 5:00 – 5:30 PM meal

*Sunday, November 9th – Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1101 East Summit St., Red Oak, IA - 2:45 PM registration, 3 PM – 5 PM event, 5:00 – 5:30 PM meal
WIS Clergy Spirituality Retreat
When: October 15th - 17th
Where: Lutheran Lakeside Camp
What: A time to come away with colleagues for prayer, rest, food, fellowship and holy conversation on our faith journey. We will be using the book, Red Fire by Paula D’Arcy, as the basis for our conversation.         Flier Here!
Iowa Hunger Summit
When: October 16th
Where: Des Moines

What: A free day-long event to expand your knowledge of hunger issues in Iowa.  Five former Ag. Secretaries headline, along with several breakout sessions-increase awareness and enhance learning.   All are welcome.
For more information and to register: www.iowahungersummit.org/
Celebrating the Reformation - Worship Services
October 22nd - at First Lutheran in Sioux City w/meal to follow
October 29th - St John Lutheran in Mineola hosting a Lutheran-Catholic Reformation service @ 6:30 pm
October 29th - WIS joint reformation worship w/Nebraska Synod at St John Parish, Creighton University Campus, Omaha at 2:00 pm w/two host sites livestreaming the event. More info here.
Fort Dodge Forums Fall/Early Winter Schedule Set
The fun begins at 9:30 am at Grace Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge Iowa.  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 schedule can be found here on the left hand side of the page.
ConFest 2017 - "Lutherfest"
ConFest is an evening for confirmation students and their leaders/pastors to come together for a time of worship, fellowship, learning and activities. 
Two dates and locations will be offered this fall:
  • Wednesday, October 25th - Our Saviours Lutheran in Humboldt - $5/person
  • Wednesday, November 1st - St Mark Lutheran in Sioux City - $50/congregation
ConFest Poster
Register Here
A Day with Dr. Thomas Long

Lakeshore Center at Okoboji presents...
A Day with Dr. Thomas Long

When: Friday, October 13th, 9 am - 4 pm
Cost: $50 (includes lunch)
Registration at 8:30 am
9 am - Preaching in a Disenchanted Age
Noon - Lunch
1 pm - Ending Well, Beginning Well: Developing Sermons for the End of the Christian Year and for Advent/Christmas
Flier here!!                   Register here!!

Celebrating the Reformation

Ames area Lutheran churches of all synods have organized a program to provide an opportunity for you to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. 

The celebration will be held
When: 2 pm on Sunday, October 15
Where: C.Y. Stephens Auditorium on the campus of Iowa State University. 

The program will feature Pati Kachel of The Parable Fund in Minnesota, Rev. Don Rothweiler, retired Lutheran pastor in Ankeny, Dr. Paul Maier, professor emeritus of ancient history and former campus pastor at Western Michigan University, and Simon Estes,  world-renowned opera singer. Local choirs will participate as well.  Come and join in the celebration of the Reformation that occurred 500 years ago! 
Jive for Five!

As a part of Grace Lutheran Church’s on-going Reformation 500 celebration, Jive for Five! Brass Quintet and organist Bruce Perry will present A Mighty Fortress at 3 pm, Sunday, October 15, at 211 South 9th Street, Fort Dodge. The concert features festive arrangements of Luther’s most famous hymn, as well a Felix Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony arranged for brass and organ.  All are invited to share in the celebration. Admission is by free-will donation. Poster here!

Take a Women’s Day Away

Are you ready to get a little time away from the stresses of daily life? Join us for a wonderful day of relaxation, friendship, faith, and fun at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, a ministry of Ingham Okoboji! This one-day retreat, will include sessions, worship, great food, free time activities, and more. Our theme for Women’s Day Away is “Pressing On”. Each session throughout the day will cover one chapter of Philippians, with speaker Rebecca Meidinger. We hope you will be able to escape for a day away and join us! The Retreat will take place on October 21st from 9-5 pm. Find out more information at www.okoboji.org/womens-retreat and Register Today!        Flier Here!
FALL DINNER at Immanuel Lutheran, Sioux City
When: Sunday, October 22nd
Time: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Menu: Chicken & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Desserts and Beverages. 
Cost: Adults - $8.50; Children under 10 - $4.00; 3 and under - FREE
For more information call: 712-255-4729; Carry-outs Available!

Recharges are weekend youth retreats for 4th-12th grade at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp PACKED with fun, fellowship, and growing in faith. Come discover the great God we serve, learn more about the Bible, and have a blast with others at camp! Our fall theme is Unshakeable from Psalms 62:2.  We hope you are able to join us for one of the weekend listed below! Check out more information on the theme or how you can register at www.okoboji.org/recharges

October 20-22: 4th-6th grade
November 3-5: 6th-9th grade
November 10-12: 6th-9th grade
November 17-19: 9th -12th  grade
Recharge Flier
  THE NEXT 500 - A Festival of New Sacred Music

Call for singers: Bethany Lutheran Church of Spencer is marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with The Next 500: A Festival of New Sacred Music on Sunday, October 29th at 4pm. Singers are invited to participate in a community choir that will rehearse on Oct. 22nd and 29th at 2:00 p.m. in Bethany’s  sanctuary. The concert is free and open to all. A potluck meal will follow in Bethany’s dining hall. For more info contact Stephen Baker at musicdirector@bethluthspencer.com                   

Youth Leader Network Meetings
Youth leaders from around the synod will be gathering together monthly for a time of learning, sharing, and supporting one another. All adults who work with youth are invited to join us. The next few meetings will be from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. We will attempt to use Facebook live or record our meetings so that others can participate. Meeting locations after December have not been set yet. If you would like to host one in your area please contact Lynn. We could even possibly meet over an evening meal for those who serve part time and are not available during the day. The dates, locations and topics chosen are listed below:

November 2nd - Bethany Lutheran in Spencer - Communication/Advertising
December 7th - Bethlehem Lutheran in Cherokee - Fundraising/Service Project Ideas
January 11th - TBD - Volunteers: recruiting/equipping
February 1st - TBD - Youth Gathering/Mission Trip
March 1st - TBD - Boundaries/Self Care/Health
April 12th - TBD - Curriculum
May ?

Youth Leaders, please also join the Western Iowa Youth Ministry Network page on Facebook!!

Healthy Congregations Event in Omaha

When: November 10-11, 2017 
This event is a follow-up to the Peter Steinke presentations in May of this year.  The upcoming event will be led by the Rev. Leigh Beasley Gillis, a trained facilitator with Healthy Congregations, Bridgebuilders, and other congregational programs.  This event will focus upon congregations that are addressing conflict, that may want to be proactive about managing conflict, and how to work through various issues.  Leigh has been trained by Pete Steinke, is a seasoned and experienced pastor and church executive.  Event flier here!

When: Saturday, November 11; 9 am - 2:30 pm
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 315 Hamilton Blvd., Sioux City, IA
Cost: Free
Over 35 tables of goods to browse and/or buy!! From handmade crafts to Christmas cookies, floral bouquets, Door Prizes, etc!! You won't want to miss this!!
ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering
When: Jan. 21-24, 2018
Where: Washington, D.C.
What: Learn about ELCA hunger initiatives, the upcoming Farm Bill and realms of advocacy as you meet with Iowa Senators and Representatives to uplift wise and moral policies that help all to be fed. Two per synod are invited with all major event costs covered by the ELCA and/or the Western Iowa Synod.  Participants are expected to serve on the WIS Global Mission/Hunger Network thereafter as we strive to increase awareness, advocacy and action in our synod on hunger issues.  Interested participants are to contact Cindy Wells, WIS Director of Global Mission, by Nov. 3 to submit their name for consideration (cindy.wells@wisynod.org712-732-4968 Ext. 441).  
Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
This Parish Nursing course is being offered February 5th - March 26th, 2018 on-line, followed by two days on-site. The purpose of this educational event is to prepare the nurse to initiate and maintain a faith community nurse ministry within a given congregation and to function in the leadership role for the faith community's health ministry.  For more information regarding contact hours contact: Paula Lubeck, paula.lubeck@avera.org or 605-322-3384
Youth Gathering Registration is OPEN!!!
ELCA Youth Gathering June 27 - July 1
Is your congregation taking youth to Houston in 2018? If so registration is now open!! It's an awesome opportunity and formative opportunity for the faith of our youth!! Getting Ready materials are also available....check it out here along with many other resources!!

If your group is interested in or planning on using synod busing, please contact Lynn ASAP with your congregation & city and the number of youth and adults!!
Travel Opportunities for 2018

Tanzania, Southern Diocese - July 15th - August 15th (approx. dates)
Holy Lands - Two opportunities - April 1-16 or April 16-28
More information and applications can be found here!!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968