The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Synod of the week: North Carolina Synod, Bishop Tim Smith
Congregation of the week: Bethany Lutheran, Kimballton, Sam Jacobs

  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • For graduates and their families
  • ​Pastors in transition
  • Pastors retiring or contemplating retirement

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
SMILE! Synod Picture Directory of Rostered Leaders
It has been several years since the Western Iowa Synod has had a Rostered Leader Picture Directory. We have arrange for Lifetouch to be at the Pre-Assembly event on June 10th at St John Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs. This will be the best opportunity to capture the largest number of our rostered leaders. We strongly encourage the rostered leaders to attend this event, especially this year, as we work towards creating this directory. 

If you recently had a picture taken with LifeTouch, that picture may be used. If you are unable to attend the Pre-Assembly event or even stop by to get your picture taken, you may submit a recent one. You can send a digital format to Julie at with your name and congregation you are serving. Thank you for assisting us in this project! If you have any questions, please call or email Julie.

15 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!

  • Many displayers and vendors will be present at this year's assembly. Check them out here!

  • 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. The guidebook app will be available soon. 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.

  • Unsung Heroes!! Who are those unsung heroes in your congregation?From Bishop Prois's article in the May Living Lutheran Insert: "To lift up these heroes who labor in congregations, or for the synod, I am suggesting that we do something intentional at the assembly. I am 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."
What is Spirituality?  How is it related to faith?  What do spiritual directors (or companions) do?  How can they help my ministry?  How can they benefit our congregations?  For answers to these questions and more, stop by the Spirituality Network Exhibit at the Synod Assembly.  For now, here is an annotated bibliography of resources that you might want to check out.
All these resources can be purchased online through Amazon.  Remember to log in at and choose Western Iowa Synod as your charity to help out the synod as well!  See you, June 10-12 at the Assembly!
Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Ordination

​Pastor Cameron Liebenow is being recognized as he celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination. Bishop Prois, on his way to his uncle's memorial service in Minnesota, stopped by to visit and present Pastor Liebenow with his anniversary of ordination certificate as he will not be able to join us at the synod assembly. Congratulations Pastor Liebenow!!
Special Guest Opportunities

Our international guests from Tanzania and Chile will be arriving soon!! Besides being in attendance at the Western Iowa Synod Assembly, there are several opportunities for you to come and meet, greet, share, commune, worship, learn, converse, and enjoy fellowship abound.  In particular, those congregations in companion congregation relationship are targeted for invitation, however everyone is welcome.

Please consider the following options, listed here, and inform the site of choice’s lead contact person listed of your attendance plans and numbers by June 13.

Please also remember, Companion Synods Sunday on June 5, resources here, and we invite you to share your pictures, stories, activities, etc. with Cindy Wells after the celebration event! Bwana Yesu Asifiwe! Praise the Lord!
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!
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
"The People and Places of Palestine: witness to an (un)holy land"

When: Thursday May 26, 7:00 pm
Where: The Kaleidoscope Factory, Pocahontas

If you are curious about the stories behind the one sided reporting and politics of the land of Israel and Palestine please join Pastor Joy Gonnerman and Cindy Wells as they share the stories and images of the Palestine that is hidden behind the occupation.  Hear about the leaders from within the people, life in a refugee camp, checkpoints and water restrictions, the blatant human and civil rights violations and the resilience and hospitality of a people who feel forgotten by the world.  

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a Palestinian Jew and the Palestinians still living in his land were the first witnesses of his birth, the ministry, life, death and resurrection. They are the living stones crying out to be heard.  Come and see!

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!  
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