eSpirit         Nov. 9th, 2016
Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation
Now till January 15, 2017

Five hundred years ago, one man took a stand that shook Europe and changed the world. Now you can see the story of Martin Luther and the Reformation brought to life through astonishing artworks and historical objects, traveling outside Germany for the first time ever. Luther used art and the newly invented printing press to challenge Europe’s leaders and spread a revolution of religious, cultural, and societal change. This exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, gold, textiles, and works on paper—as well as Luther’s personal possessions and recent archaeological finds—that shed new light on an explosive era and the man who ignited it. More info here...
Reformation Responses from the LYO
On Sunday, October 30th, the synod's Lutheran Youth Organization met. Since it was Reformation Sunday they were asked what changes they would like to see in the church (either the one they are a member of or the larger church). Here are the youth's responses:
  • Higher attendance in churches 
  • Not so stingy
  • Less sass
  • More accepting
  • More volunteers
  • Not so grouchy
  • Less youth leaving the church
  • More giving (time or money)
  • Less watery coffee
  • Get the youth involved more
  • Be accepting of other people
  • Sing newer songs
  • New message for sermons that pertain to today

What would your answer be?
In This Issue:

Important Links:
Visit our WebSite
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 and invite them to attend the events!! 

Synod of the week: Caribbean Synod, Bishop Felipe Lozada-Montanez
Congregation of the week: St Paul, Merrill, Pastor Peter Boe
  • Congregations in transition
  • Kelli Ungs, recovering from foot surgery
  • Pastor Tess Panamarrow
  • Pastor Paul Johnston
  • ​​​​​​​The World
  • Wanda Norris,and Pr. Arlyn and family--continued struggles with cancer
  • Bishop Prois and Cindy Wells traveling to Peru
  • Pastor Jeff Ungs and Pastor Lorna Halaas traveling to Dubuque for an event
Attention congregation treasurers and bookkeepers!
Join us for a gathering of treasurers and bookkeepers throughout the Synod....

When?          Monday, November 21st from 6-8 PM
                     Soup & Sandwich available at 5:45 pm

Where?        318 East 5th Street, Storm Lake (Synod mission center)

Why?            1. To network with other treasurers from congregations in the Synod and to meet our new                     Synod treasurer, Michael Jacobson;
                    2. To discuss the new tax laws and how they might affect your congregation;
                    3. The “how-tos” of filling out congregation mission intent forms, remittance forms, giving                     statements, and other forms;
                    4. Learn about narrative budgets; and
                    5. Invite questions and conversation from the group.

In the event you are unable to attend in person, but would like to attend virtually online or would like more information about this event, please contact Pastor Jeff Ungs at e-mail above .     
Yes, It Takes a Village
As one community, we’re called to strengthen ministry. And we each play a critical role according to guiding church documents, the ELCA Philosophy of Benefits and Vision and Expectations.
  • Congregation members and organizations are called upon to provide their leaders with sustainable livelihoods as well as time to tend their well-being.
  • Leaders are expected to tend their well-being in all dimensions of the Wholeness Wheel, the ELCA’s wellness symbol and discernment tool.
  • Portico is responsible for providing cost-effective benefits, resources, and inspiration to help leaders strengthen their financial, emotional, and physical well-being.

Signs of a Healthy Leader
  • A healthy leader is comfortable talking about money.Because she has addressed her own financial realities, she can more confidently guide her congregation through financial challenges with grace, empathy, and wisdom.
  • A healthy leader cares for himself emotionally and physically, knowing that when he does, his people get him at his best. He is more likely to be a non-anxious, listening presence, able to guide others through difficult situations.
  • A healthy leader knows there is strength in vulnerability. She embraces help from family, colleagues, professionals, etc., and looks for opportunities to share with others how she was helped. In this way, she affirms for her congregation that we can't live well when we stand alone.
  • A healthy leader speaks openly about his life, sharing stories of his own decisions — wise and less wise. In this way, he engages his congregation in honest conversation, and invites them to more openly consider and discuss their own issues.(taken from the Portico website)
November Advocacy Update
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH & GENDER JUSTICE: In October, ELCA Advocacy encouraged advocates and partners to take the We Will Speak Out pledge to stand in solidarity with those facing gender-based violence. ELCA Advocacy is dedicated to supporting this church’s commitment to address the systems that perpetuate gender and racial inequality. To better understand how the ELCA speaks about gender justice and the ways we can address policy issues with a gender-justice lens, help share Lutheran social teachings and the work of the ELCA’s Justice for Women team as we prepare future advocacy with gender justice as a major focus. Read more here.
Accompanying Our Neighbor
We write today to update you on both the status of CAD and to invite your participation in exciting future opportunities to accompany Tanzanian smallholder farmers!   Not only accompany, but in such a way that affords them the DIGNITY of self-sustainability and self-determination in their lives!  The same human dignity God’s aspires for all.
Daily Advent Devotions...
will be offered again this year from people of the Western Iowa Synod!!! Advent begins on November 27th. There will be a link to the blog on our website and every week in the eSpirit. The devotion will also be sent out via Facebook daily! 
New to Synod Gathering
For rostered leaders new to the synod in the last couple years!
When: Thursday, December 1st
Where: WIS Mission Center, 318 E Fifth St, Storm Lake

Winter/Early Spring ConFest Events:
Theme - "You Belong"
Wednesday, February 15th @ Trinity, Moville
Wednesday, February 22nd @ Zion, Gowrie
Events begin at 5:45 pm with a light supper, with programing starting at 6:30 pm
Mark Your Calendar - Leadership Academy 2017
When: Saturday, February 18th              
Snowdate: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 9:30 am - 3 or 4 pm
Where: St Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge
For all congregational members!!
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Check out more events on the Western Iowa Synod Website​
Christmas Festival Craft Fair and Bake Sale @ Immanuel Lutheran in Sioux City
When: Saturday, November 12th, 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Over 30 Vendors - Two full rooms of crafts - Baked goods including Swedish Rye Bread
Cost: Free Admission, door prizes given each hour!! Lunch available!!
Other Youth Opportunities:
Weekend Recharges @ Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
Theme: One Direction – Proverbs 3:5-6
November 18-20: 9th -12th grade
You are invited!! Installation of Rev. Jennifer Henry

By the Grace of God, The Rev. Jennifer Henry is called as pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Spencer. She will be installed at a Festive Service of Holy Communion.
When: Sunday, November 20th
Time: 4:00 pm
Where: Bethany Lutheran, 15 West 14th St., Spencer

Please RSVP by November 14 to (712) 262-2327 or

Clergy and other judicatory leaders are invited to vest (green) and process. Please meet in the parlor at 3:30 pm.
There is still time to join us in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation Movement where it all began in Germany! Pastor Bob and DeeAnn Vaage will be leading an 11-day tour following the footsteps of Martin Luther May 2-12, 2017. Included in the tour are visits to the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, Luther’s birthplace in Eisleben, and the Castle Church in Wittenberg. In addition to the Luther sites, the tour will also visit historic Berlin, Prague, Augsburg and the capital city of Germany, Munich. For more information on the interest meeting or for a copy of the brochure, contact Pastor Bob Vaage at 712-330-0010 or email
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968