Bi-weekly eNews for members and friends of the Western Iowa Synod
WIS Resources:

There will not be an eSpirit the week of 3/14 as Lynn will be in the Holy Lands
We Are Church for the Sake of the World
What does this mean?
"We Are Church for the Sake of the World" is the theme for the 2018 Synod Assembly which is June 8-10!! A few people were asked "what does this mean to you?" and here are the responses that came in:

"We need the church to make new disciples to save more people in this broken world or we won't be here for long." 

Kaylynn Ridgely - Youth member on Synod Council, Rockwell City


Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit for his disciples directly leads to those same disciples serving as Christ’ witnesses. Not only in Jerusalem (the bastion of Hebrew religion), but in all Judea and Samaria (the historic homes of the tribes of Judah and Israel) and beyond, to the ends of the earth. This blessing is an echo of God’s blessing of Abraham in Genesis 18:18 and again in 22:18. Through God’s favor shown to Abraham and his descendants, “all the nations of the world will be blessed.” We in the Christian Church today hold ourselves to be both the recipients of that Abrahamic blessing as those who, in most cases, trace our roots to non-Hebraic ethnic groups, as well as those through whom “all the nations of the world” or “the ends of the earth” continue to be blessed. To be the Church is, by its very nature, to be for the sake of the World. We exist by God’s grace to proclaim Christ’s life, death, and resurrection by a living faith that is committed to sustaining the weary, walking with the lonely, and serving the needy, regardless of their own religious convictions, ethnic background, or any other affiliation, whether by accident of birth or by chosen preference. In baptism, as we are gifted with the Holy Spirit and entrusted with the life of the Church, we are blessed so that we may be a blessing to all.

Pastor Luke Kuenzli – St. John, Mineola

God's Irresistible Call
In her March column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares her call story of becoming a Lutheran pastor. She says women don’t follow God’s call to be trailblazers—they say “yes” because God’s call is irresistible. Reader her column in English and in Spanish.

New Matching Funds Will Help Tanzanian Families Improve Lives

One of the most effective ways to help Tanzanian families improve their lives has just gotten better. The Western Iowa Synod recently received two grants that will match gifts made to support the creation of new community-based micro-financing groups in southern Tanzania. For every $2 contributed another $1 will be added. A total of $15,000 in matching funds is available!

Faith Lutheran Church in Odebolt has given $5000 in matching funds for SACCOS. The remaining match comes from an anonymous congregant with long-time service to the Center for Agricultural Development and the SACCOS (Savings And Credit Co-Operative Societies) project.

“SACCO membership, as a form of microfinance, is an avenue to hope for those with limited economic opportunity,” says Western Iowa Synod Bishop Rodger Prois. “All across the developing world, and now in the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, access to more here!
Mission Interpreters Tell the Story of World Hunger
  • Around the world 795 million people can’t access the food they need to live active, healthy lives.
Abel’s Story:  Despondent, malnourished, and bewildered, Abel arrived in Cairo, Egypt, in need of emotional and social support. At 13, the Ethiopian refugee had experienced extreme trauma.  He was imprisoned with his family and tortured; he witnessed the execution of his father, and now he was separated from his mother and brother.  “Everything was dark for me –-I was thinking to end my life.  It was too painful to keep thinking of what happened in my life and now being all alone,”  Read the rest of Abel's story here!
Rev. Munib Younan, Bishop Emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan, Speaking Tour
At the invitation of Presiding Bishop Eaton and The Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities, the Rev. Munib Younan, Bishop Emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, will be in the United States from February 9 through April 23, 2018, following his recent retirement. Bishop Younan has a full schedule, visiting ELCA colleges and universities as well as a few congregations, seminaries and the ELCA Churchwide Offices. Bishop Younan will be hosted by Augsburg University in Minneapolis. More information here!
Augustana Choir to perform at St Paul, Holstein

Augustana Choir, Sioux Falls, SD, will be performing....
When: March 17th @ 7:00 PM
Where: St Paul Lutheran Church, Holstein
Cost: A free will offering will be accepted

The Church of the Damascus Road Office Manager Needed
Position available:Office Manager
Part-time position available morning ½ time 8am-12pm M-F. Skills needed: computer, keyboarding, filing, receptionist, page layout(Adobe CS5), Quicken, record keeping. Inquire at 515-955-3579 between 8am-12pm.
Discernment Retreat
Discernment Retreat (April 30-May 1) offered by Seeking the Spirit Within.  This retreat is provided to help individuals discern whether God is inviting them into the ministry of spiritual direction and whether our program is a good fit.  The next cohort is scheduled to begin in August of this year.  There are a total of ten times in the two year formation program that the cohort gathers face to face, so it is possible for persons living outside of Nebraska to participate.
Information about our program and online registration for this retreat is available on our website,
Sheepdog Seminar - A Response to Violence
We are grateful to the Pleasant Hill, Iowa Police Department for their support and participation in this seminar. As a matter of fact, it was PHPD that took the initiative to invite us! Chief Al Pizzano extends an invitation to all Iowans to attend the seminar on March 19-20.
Monday's seminar will help equip churches to be prepared for acts of violence. Colonel Grossman will speak on Tuesday. Pastors, church safety teams, ushers, youth workers; all are encouraged to come. The price covers both days. Flier w/more info here!

Trying Small - March Newsletter from...
Brian Palmer – ELCA Pastor/Missionary serving in Totota, Liberia. Check it out here!

Mental Health Ministry Conference
Please save the date for our upcoming Mental Health in Ministry Conference on April 23-24th!  Attached is a postcard with all the details, and you may feel free to forward this on to members of your leadership team or congregation who may be interested.  Registration information will come out next week!  More information regarding the topics the speakers will cover can be found on our website.          Postcard Here!!
Celebrating A Decade of Table Grace Ministries
When: Friday, March 9, 2018
Where: St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE
Tickets are available here!!
Preaching in Series Workshop
Create sermon series that will have your congregation faithfully fed, grateful, and alive. Walk away with new ideas, a network of forward thinking preachers, ready-to-go adaptable sermon series, and a plan for your year. 
When: June 19-20
Where: St Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie, MN
Cost: Early bird registration...$89
Who: Lillian Daniel, Karoline Lewis, Mark Hanson
Register and more information
Reports Needed!!
Please Submit your Rostered Leader Report....if you haven't done so already!! Click below for an easy fillable form!! Under Call      Not Under Call      Retired
For the Health of It
Western Iowa Synod Presents....
Spring Into Health
Administrative Assistants....It's almost Spring so let's get hoppin' to the annual Admin. Assts. gathering on...
Thursday, April 12th from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm at the Western Iowa Synod Office in Storm Lake. Cost is $30 . We hope you will make plans to join us!! You may register here!Flier Here
Pastors and Congregational leaders, it's time for you to Spring into action also.
When? Friday, April 13th at St Mark in Storm Lake. Arrive for lunch between 11:30 - 12 and programming will begin at 12:30 pm.
What are your "Dependable Strengths"? Deacon Tammy Devine will be leading us in discovering our top 5 strengths through story, identifying good experiences, and small group conversations. Cost: $10.  Register Here!        Flier Here!
What is the Mission Team Up To?
  • Conference of Bishops
  • Meetings w/pastor/leaders
  • Meetings with congregational councils
  • Preaching
  • Text Study
  • Prep for Synod Council & ABC
  • Call w/Spiritual Director
  • Youth leader network meeting
Joining Together in Prayer
Synod: Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, Bishop Erik Gronberg & Staff
Congregation: American Lutheran, Melvin and Pastor Judy Johnson
                         St Peter Lutheran, Pocahontas and Pastor Elton Jorde
  • Our country and leadership
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy & Rev. Kim Peterson
  • Rev. Pete Peterson & Kathy
  • Our Companion Synods
  • Assembly prep
  • Those affected by severe weather conditions across the country
Upcoming Synod Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at
  • March 17            Synod Council & ABC Meetings
  • March 26            Chrism Mass in Storm Lake
  • April 8-10            Spirituality Retreat
  • April 27-28          Faith Formation Summit 
  • June 8-10           WIS Synod Assembly
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry,
please send to Lynn by Tuesdays at noon!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588