The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Please join the mission team in prayer:
Synod of the week: Allegheny Synod, Bishop Michael Rhyne
Congregation of the week: First Lutheran West Okoboji and Pastor Bob Vaage
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • ​Pastors in transition
  • Pastors retiring or contemplating retirement
  • Synod Mission Team as they prepare for Assembly next weekend!
  • ​Safe travels for all those attending the assembly. 
  • Special guests, still awaiting passport issues. 
  • Special guests arriving safely in the states.

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.

There will not be an eSpirit next week due to the 2016 Synod Assembly starting on Friday!! We'll be back the week of the 15th!!

The Western Iowa Synod Office will be closed on Monday, June 13th!!

Tables, Tables...need a table?
Wallingford Lutheran has several long tables for sale.  
Approximately 15 or so. Make an offer!! If interested please contact Pastor Chris Lang!!  (picture to the left is not one of the actual tables)

8 days till Assembly!!

Date: June 10th - 12th.
Theme: "We Are Church Together!" 
Theme verse: Ephesians 4:11-13
Location: Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Cir., Omaha, NE 68114; Phone 402-399-9000

​Please make sure your congregation's assembly voting members are aware of this information! Thank you!

  • Reports can be found on the 2016 Assembly Website page. If you want a paper copy please print them out yourself, or save paper and access them on an electronic device. Please remember, you will only be provided a print copy of the reports at the assembly if you chose that option when you registered, the cost is $10.

  • The Assembly app is ready to download. Follow these instructions: 
    The first step is to search in the app store (not guidebook) "ELCA Organizations & Events" to download the app. Then within that app, search for Western Iowa Synod. That should bring you to the 2016 Western Iowa Synod Assembly app.

  • Youth attending assembly....youth must bring with them these signed medical forms when they come to register, or email them to Lynn prior to Thursday. Forms here!

  • Unsung Heroes!! Who are those unsung heroes in your congregation? We are asking that all voting members give some thought as to those from their congregations who should be acknowledged and bring a picture of their unsung heroes so we can display them in a prominent place. It will give us the opportunity to celebrate everyone who serves.

  • An email will go out tomorrow to all registered assembly attendees with a lot of important information. Please advise those attending from your church to watch for the email. Those who did not provide us with an email, we are hopeful your church will pass this information on to you!!

  • Please bring with you, your congregation's Hunger offering, diapers for Pottawattamie Family Services, a refillable coffee cup, a picture of someone from your congregation, and an open heart and mind.

We look forward to seeing many of you next weekend, June 10th - 12th, in Omaha!!!
From Persecution to Witness
by Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

For many months now people have been asking for some kind of statement about the persecution of Christians around the world. It seems to be a straight-forward issue. Christians are suffering in Iraq and Syria, in Nigeria and Egypt. Palestinian Christians encounter intense pressure. Christians in some parts of India are threatened. Some would even claim that U.S. Christians are under siege. Atrocities committed against Christians by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and others are regularly in the news. We hear that more Christians have been martyred in recent years than in the first three centuries of the Christian movement.
Each circumstance of violence against Christians is deeply painful. There are brothers and sisters around the world whose lives are part of the passion of Christ. People are targeted in some countries because they are Christians. But this is a complex issue. Are Christians suffering and dying as witnesses to the faith? More here...
New events will be listed here and then moved to the website!
A complete list of events and details can be found on the Events Page of the synod's website!
Upcoming Events, please help us spread the news to the members in your congregation.
 More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
Western Iowa Youth Leaders...
will be gathering again on June 16th, at the Pizza Ranch in Rockwell City at 11:30 am. Please come and join us and bring other youth leaders with you. All denominations welcome!! Please RSVP to Lynn so we have an idea of how many are coming. Thanks!
Please extend to the women of your congregation THIS COMING WEEKEND....(and in your June newsletter) an invitation to register for the Women of the ELCA WESTERN IOWA CONVENTION...
Where: St. Mark, Sioux City
When: Saturday, June 18th
This is shaping up to be a top-notch day of excellent worship, a great speaker (Rev. Cathy Malotky of GATHER Magazine), great food, breakout sessions, and MORE...
Cost: $35 for the day.....registration price goes to $40 after June 1.....
Registration (name, church, and phone #...and payment) can be sent to Carolyn Johnson, 504 W Elm, Pocahontas, IA   50574
Storm Chasers - Lutheran Night

1,000 tickets have now been sold to Lutherans for Lutheran Night on June 6th at Werner Park in Omaha! I wanted to send out an email to extend the deadline to order Lutheran Night discounted tickets. The new deadline is Sunday, June 5th by 5 PM. The only way to order these tickets is by calling me at 402-738-5126 and paying with a card over the phone. If I don’t answer, please leave a VM and I will honor the discounted rate when I call you back if the VM was before 5 PM on June 5th. The discounted rate will not be available on June 6th. People can still purchase tickets then at the ticket office, but they will be at our normal ticket office rates.  Go Storm Chasers!

Come celebrate with us 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 and we’d like to invite you to an interest meeting on Sunday, June 5th at 4pm at First Lutheran Church, West Okoboji, to discuss the details of the tour. 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
A Day for Sharpening – PRO2717
“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.”
Professor of Religion at Drake Jennifer Harvey, is leading a day long event for Iowa Conference!   Her recent book "Dear White Christians:  For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation" is the base for the event.  This book is not a comfortable read for many of us.  But it's important.  Come and see that our collaborative sins of "we" as white Christians don't just stretch across zip codes.  Our collaborative sins of "we" as white Christians stretch back through time, from generation to generation.  We both inherit and perpetuate not only sins of racial injustice but the suffering and devastation that flow from the first days of slavery in America to now in Iowa in 2016.  We both inherit and perpetuate the sins of white privilege in America.
Professor Harvey takes up the voice of a prophet, summoning us to act on a call to penance, to amend life, to make reparation for the sins of racial injustice.  The suffering and devastation of racism is ours now to repair. More info here!           SAVE OCTOBER 21st!!!!
Narrative Lectionary Planning
Pastors Jim Mossman and Lorinda Hoover (UMC) are arranging a worship planning retreat for those using the Narrative Lectionary in 2016-17
Where: The Haven House at Twin Lakes Bible Camp
When: June 20th - 21st
Time: We will start at 9am on Monday, June 20th and finish at 5pm on Tuesday.
Cost: is $10 plus food. Contact Jim at for more information.

Won’t you join us?
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story or event you would like published in the eSpirit, please email it to Lynn by Tuesday at noon!  
      Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK!!
Useful Links                                                           
Western Iowa Synod                           ELCA News                       Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
WIS Facebook                                    Living Lutheran                  Lutheran Lakeside Camp
WIS Calendar                                     ELCA Prayer Ventures      St Luke Homes & Services
Administration Matters                                                                  
Click here to add an email to the eSpirit mailing list!!