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

Joining Together in Prayer
Synod of the week: Northeastern Ohio Synod, Bishop                                   Abraham Allende, & Staff
Congregation of the week: Siloam Lutheran, Paullina,                                               Rev. Alan Cummins
  • Changing hearts in the heartland
  • President Trump, administration and USA
  • Nation Immigration reform, families in turmoil at the border
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Kim and Trudy Peterson   
  • Bishop Prois and the other WIS travelers in Tanzania
  • Rev. Lorna & Rev. David Halaas and family, as they grieve the loss of Lorna’s mother.
  • Everyone affected by the California wildfires
  • Victims of Chicago's shootings this weekend
  • Continued prayers for the family of Paul and Haley Abbott as they mourn the death of their 16 year old daughter, Daisy Pippett.
Position Openings
Christian Education Director
St. Olaf Lutheran Church of Fort Dodge has an immediate opening for an interim lay minister.  This person will be responsible for oversight of education ministries; other program development will match the candidates skill-set.  This position is for the 2018-19 school year; the candidate can be eligible for a permanent position, but as yet we do not know what the final position will be.  Interested parties please call Pr. Len Halvorson: 605-359-8344.   
2018 Portico Updates
my Portico is Getting a New Look!

On August 1st, we’ll be refreshing our website to give you an improved experience with easy access to your information and a mobile-friendly design.  You’ll notice the change when it turns from Orange to Blue.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
has Video Conferencing!

Beacon Health, our EAP provider, is now offering EAP video counseling to all our Portico plan members.  These licensed counselors are specially trained in offering video counseling.  Remember, you and covered family members may qualify for up to six in-person EAP counseling sessions per issue per year, at no cost to you.

Upcoming Live Webinars

  • 2019 ELCA Medicare-Primary Changes - September 10th from 2-3pm
  • Turning 65 in 2019 - September 25th from 2-3pm
  • Pre-retirement webinar 1: “Can I Afford to Retire?” - October 4th from 2-3pm
  • Pre-retirement webinar 2: “Can I Create a Sustainable Income in Retirement?” -        October 11th from 2-3pm
  • Ready to Retire - November 6th from 1-2:30pm

Register online:  
         Do you have a Parish Nursing Ministry?
Did you see the parish nurses in the hallway at assembly? They were able to use their expertise to answer questions and provide requested services.  We want to thank them for generously giving of their time to be present with us at assembly!

We are now trying to determine which congregations have parish nursing ministries in our synod, and the names of the nurses serving our members.  As we gather this information, we may be able to help organize some networking efforts across the synod.  Please send the name of your congregation, the name of your parish nurse, and contact information (email and phone) to  Carol DeSchepper.  Carol is a former parish nurse coordinator and has expressed a willingness to help coordinate networking efforts.  Send the requested information to or to Carol DeSchepper at First Lutheran Church, 1525 Three Cross Road, Milford, Iowa 51351.  Thank you. 
Western Iowa Synod Upcoming Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at
2018 Bishop's Annual Charity Golf Tournament
When: August 15th
Where: Okoboji View Golf Course
Cost: $50/person

  • 4-person best shot tournament
  • Shotgun start at 9 AM
  • Light lunch at Noon
  • $50.00 per person includes cart, 9 holes of     golf, and lunch.
  • All proceeds go to Church of the Damascus Road Prison Congregation foundation
  • Payment can be sent to the Western Iowa Synod Office

For planning purposes, please register by August 8th.  

Discipleship Academy's Annual August Retreat August 24-25

Deepening our life in Christ; flowing outward in our baptismal call to Discipleship.

Dear Pastors and Congregational Leaders:

As we uphold from scripture and in our Lutheran baptismal liturgy: the mission and ministry of Christ's church is a partnership among the priesthood of all believers.  We know how busy parish ministry can be; so we would like to work with you in helping strengthen the partnerships of ministry within your own congregations.  Rest of letter here.

                           Join us for part or all of the Annual August Retreat. 
                                                   There are 2 options.

Option 1 - Discovery Event                                                
When: August 25th                                                     
Where: Lutheran Lakeside Camp                               
Cost: $10/person or $50/carload (up to 7)                  
Time: 9 am - 2 pm                                                       

Online Discovery Event Registration Here            
or call the Synod Office at 712-732-4968             
Registration deadline is August 20th!                   

Option 2 - Register for Academy
When: August 24th & 25th
Where: Lutheran Lakeside Camp
Cost: Free w/tuition
Time: 5 pm Aug 24 - 2 pm Aug 25

or call the Synod Office at 712-732-4968
Registration deadline is August 8th!

​                                                     Brochure with class details here

Pastors Fall Theological Convocation

When: September 16-18
Where: Creighton Retreat Center, Griswold

More details coming soon - Please save the date and make plans to attend!!!
Hunger Network - We need YOU! 
A revitalized Hunger Network is emerging. As we begin to develop this network, we must acknowledge that hunger is not just a third world problem.  Perhaps you already know that one in five of our Iowa children go to bed hungry each night and that over 2000 children in Iowa are homeless each year (State of Homelessness  Symposium 2015).

Through prayer and action, we can do miracles in this synod.  And we will be fulfilling a mandate from Jesus: “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink…just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  (from Matthew 25)

Are you interested in helping the Western Iowa Synod in battling these hunger issues? The ELCA Hunger Team will be facilitating a retreat Nov. 2-3 at Lutheran Lakeside Camp.  We need about 30 dedicated people willing to learn, train, advocate, and commit to 1 year.  Prayerfully consider being a part of this work!   

When: November 2-3                                                  
Where: Lutheran Lakeside Camp                               
Cost: $25               

        More Information Here                                Retreat Registration Here
Join us as Welcoming Congregations and/or
Guardian Angels!!

As we face the plight of migrant minors and separated families, let us join together in love and in being the face of Christ.  To learn more about these vital ELCA programs and how to take part, click here.  For more information or if you have questions, please contact Cindy Wells, WIS Director Global Mission (; 712 732 4968) or Pr. Eric Alm, WIS AMMPARO Network Chair (;  712 541 5035).  
Guardian Angels Training
When: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church 
               1725 S. 60th Street, Omaha, NE 68106
Time:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm ​

Guardian Angels is an initiative of the ELCA to accompany migrant minors to immigration court.  The nearest immigration court is in Omaha.  There is not one in Iowa. The Western Iowa Synod is partnering with the Nebraska Synod to provide this training and attend court hearings.

You do not have to be an ELCA member nor speak Spanish to participate as a Guardian Angel, but you do need to attend the training.  Guardian Angels must be able to attend court hearings during the weekday, generally from either 9-11 am or 1-3pm. 

Other Events
Two August Events at Ingham Okoboji Bible Camps

What: Ingham Okoboji's Golf Classic
When: August 18, 2018
Where: Okoboji View Golf Course

Our annual Golf Tournament is a great way "fore" you to spend some time with family and friends, work on your putting, and support the ministry of IOLBC! A little friendly competition, great food, and free t-shirts make our Golf Tournament a great time of fellowship.

Golf and Dinner Package:                                         Dinner Only:
2:00 pm Shotgun start                             OR            Join us for supper at 6:00 pm for 
$90.00 per person,                                                    $25 per person
or sign up a two-person team ($180.00),
or a four-person team ($360.00).

Go to for more information.


What: Annual Hog Roast
When: August 26, 2018
Where: Ingham Lake Bible Camp, Wallingford

Join us for the annual Hog Roast and Pie Auction at Ingham Lake Bible Camp! Thanks for the help of the Ingham Auxiliary and other great volunteers, the Hog Roast is a great time to come and celebrate a great summer of ministry at Ingham Okoboji, and enjoy a delicious meal. Meal is served from 4-6 pm, with our annual pie auction at 6 pm.

Faith for Energy Equity Workshop
(an Iowa Interfaith Power & Light event)

Energy equity” is when all people are able to access safe and affordable energy.
Unfortunately the most vulnerable members of our communities at home and around the world are being hurt first and worst by our inequitable energy economy. The good news is, there are more equitable pathways forward, and your faith community can help lead the way to a better future.

Faith for Energy Equity is a workshop for faith leaders in Iowa to connect with one another and to imagine practical ways we can work together to ensure safe, clean, and affordable energy for everyone in our communities.

Through conversation we will begin to build collective action to improve the quality of life in your community.  You will leave inspired and empowered to share your learning with your faith community!

When: August 27, 28,or 30 2018
Where: 3 Sessions-register for location nearest you
Time:  9:30 am - 12 pm, followed by lunch
Cost: Workshop & Lunch free of charge

Important: Pre-registration is required.

SIOUX CITY: Monday,  August 27.  Register Here
DES MOINES: Tuesday, August 28. Register Here
WATERLOO: Thursday, August 30. Register Here

Living the Sweet Life - 2018 Administrative Assistant Conference 

When: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Where: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 8301 Aurora Ave,               Urbandale, Iowa
Time:  8 am - 3:30 pm ​

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey
to my mouth."  Psalm 119:130

Today’s world presents many challenges and unexpected changes. We don’t always have control over the events in our lives, but we do have control over our responses to them. Shannon Zetterlund will provide ideas for coping with any type of situation by finding the humor within ourselves. Discover how to shape a positive world by using good humor as a communication tool. ALL ARE INVITED! This is an excellent opportunity for all church office personnel (volunteer or paid), school secretaries, and office managers to rejuvenate enthusiasm for church work.

Addiction & Faith Conference
September 28-30, 2018
Bloomington, Minnesota

Addiction in every form, including the current opioid problem, is ravaging our world. ​
​How will we as people of faith respond?


God's Work. Our Hands. Opportunity at Lutheran Lakeside
We are having a God's Work Our Hands day at Lakeside on September 9th. We are inviting all congregations, families, or individuals to come to camp and help with projects. The day will conclude with an evening meal open to all. More info on the flier, click here!!

Confirmation Renewals
Confirmation is an incredible time of spiritual growth, self learning and scriptural engagement for young people. Here at Lakeside, we are blessed to be able to work with church leaders across the state to create an engaging and fun weekend for youth! Campers participate in 3 days of bible studies, worships, games, team building, and so much more! It's an incredible chance to take a break from the technology driven world we live in, get back to our roots, and renew our love for God and one another.
WHEN: OCTOBER 19-21, 2018 & MARCH 8-10, 2019

eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry this summer,
please send to Julie by Tuesdays at noon!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588