Synod News
In This Together Blog: #MeToo
By Rev. Erika Uthe

In the wake of yet another scandal surrounding sexual harassment and assault, a maelstrom has taken social media using the hashtag #metoo. It is a way in which individuals can self-identify being a victim of sexual harassment and/or assault – some do so along with story, others with the brave, courageous, and damning #metoo stark and lonely on the screen, and still (more) others who have not yet found voice, chosen not to give voice to, or are otherwise incapable of posting such a revelation for the world to see. What has made this social media movement so powerful is the sheer number of women and men who have posted #metoo.

Yet we are not helpless to the reality that, for too many, is a daily occurrence. As people of faith we are called to stand with and act on behalf of those who have no voice, to call out the evil of sexual violence, and to continue to reform culture – both within the church and in larger society. We would be remiss to turn a blind eye to the stained history and unfortunate reality of the church on matters of sexual abuse. Certainly, people of faith have been complicit in both abusing and silencing victims. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not a denomination immune to the brokenness of sin and yet I am proud to be part of a church body that fully and unapologetically enacts a zero-tolerance policy on matters of sexual misconduct with all rostered ministers.
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Our LEAD experience
By Rev. Dan Kuckuck, St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Urbandale

For years at St. Stephen, there has been a feeling of standing at the threshold of something new. There’s been an awareness that things were going to be changing, but we haven’t exactly been sure how or in what ways. When I arrived as pastor at St. Stephen four years ago, standing at this threshold was an implicit assumption about the next years of ministry. “Take the next step” was the theme of the call process that year, and we’ve been working out our steps ever since.

When the Synod invited congregations to be a part of LEAD, we recognized that they might be strong partners in helping St. Stephen take that next step. More than anything else, LEAD has helped us understand what it actually means to take a next step as a whole congregation. Rather than a select few members setting the course with another congregational to-do list, LEAD encourages patient faithfulness on everyone’s part: reading scripture, intentional prayer, group reflection, shared conversation.
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Upcoming Events
Children and Youth Ministry Network Event
The Southeastern Iowa Synod Children/Youth Network is made up of adults who have a passion to walk with young people in Christ's mission for the sake of the world! The purpose of the network is to make connections with people in children/youth ministries and to share ideas and resources to enhance various ministries in congregations and throughout the synod. Whether you are full-time, part-time, a rostered leader, staff, or volunteer, you are welcome.
Join us for a networking, fun, and a presentation by Rev. Nathan C.P. Frambach, Professor of Pastoral Theology, Wartburg Theological Seminary on “Being Church, Now & Then: What the church of the future might look like…perhaps?” The presentation (and conversation) will be (hopefully) a musing, imaginative, forward-looking thought experiment about what “being church” and living God’s mission might look in the future (and the future may be now).

Thu, November 2, 2017
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Southeastern Iowa Synod Center for Ministry 
Iowa City
Register online
Rodney Bluml Ordination 
Rodney Bluml will be ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament on Monday, October 23, 2017, at 6:30 PM at Faith Lutheran Church, 115 Boyson Road, Marion, IA.  All rostered ministers are invited to process.  The color of the day is red.  

Rodney will be serving as pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Anamosa, Iowa.
Lynn Banderob Ordination 
Lynn Banderob will be ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 10:00 AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 3634 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA.  All rostered ministers are invited to process.  The color of the day is red.  If you plan to attend please respond in one of the following manners:
FaceBook Event: RSVP Online
Phone/text:  319-319-4799

Lynn was a candidate through the Southeastern Iowa Synod and will be serving Peace Lutheran Church, Ryan; and St. John Lutheran Church, Dundee in the Northeastern Iowa Synod.
You're Invited
Reformation Hymn Festival
The River Bend Conference is hosting a Reformation Hymn Festival, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Davenport. 

This event will include a piece sung by the joint choir, compiled by the area church choirs, led by John Hurty of Augustana College.  Please mark you calendar and join us for the Reformation celebration. For questions or more information contact
Stacy Christianson at or Karen Ullestad at

Reformation 500 Festival-St. John's Lutheran Church and Grandview University

Singing Heritage | Sustaining Faith

Reformation Roots | Fruitful Seeds

Reformation Weekend 2017 -- October 27-29

Why not celebrate with worship, education, and music on Reformation Weekend October 27-29, 2017! We invite you to celebrate the 500th anniversary by:
Join a massed choir concert on Sunday, October 29 to sing J.S. Bach's Catata #80 A Mighty Fortress, and other works, OR
Participate in educational sessions and worship on Friday, October 27, OR
Expand your understanding of the Reformation with educational sessions on Saturday, October 28, OR

Cost:  Friday and Saturday -- $30, Single day -- $20

Sunday Concert is Free-will Offering

Learn more and register online
Cedar Rapids area 500th Anniversary

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation! You are invited to our Cedar River Conference Reformation Hymn Fest, Sunday October 29th, 4:00 PM at First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids. Local Lutheran choirs will lead us in song and thanksgiving.  The Hymn Fest will be followed by an Octoberfest Meal: Brats, Sauerkraut, hot dogs for the kids, turkey dogs, baked beans, German potato salad and German chocolate cake.  Please mark your calendar and join us for this special festival event!


In a time when many immigrants face uncertain futures, how can faith communities be sources of compassion, support, and action?

A half-day teach-in for people of faith to learn about current issues related to immigration, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), temporary protected status, and sanctuary. The lectures and panel discussion (10-11:30am) will be webcast live and available on demand after the event.

October 28, 10am-1pm 
Sponsored by Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street in Manhattan)

Free and open to all.

Learn more
Augustana College-Rock Island

Plan to attend also a Four-part book discussion on Radical Lutherans, Lutheran Radicals, ed. Jason Mahn  (Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon, 2017).

Mondays – Nov. 13, 20, 27 and Dec. 4,  4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Wilson Faculty Center  

Free food and drinks will be served

Each week the group will discuss a chapter of the book, so reading in advance is suggested. Discussions will be led by the book’s author, Dr. Mahn. Books can be purchased on Amazon or in The Augustana College Bookstore. Reservations are also requested for this second book discussion, again by emailing

Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty area 500th Anniversary events

Oct 29 - 9:15 a.m. - Prof. Glenn Ehrstine will speak at GDLC (Iowa City) during Adult Forum about "Luther vs. the Pope in the Reformation Media Campaign." The words and images used by both sides were designed to get an emotional response from the public.

For more information on any of these events contact Chris Schlotfelt:

Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
View the Synod Calendar Online

Children/Youth Ministry Network: November 2, Synod Center for Ministry, Iowa City
Pray for the Spirit to stir our wisdom and vision as a church that we will move into the future with a commitment to God’s work in the world, growing the church, equipping new leaders, serving our neighbor and excitement for sharing the gospel in creative ways we have yet to imagine.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin


October 29: 

Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. ~Romans 3:27

The verses remind us that our stewardship practices are a response to the gift of faith and not a condition of receiving faith. We are freed from the burden of trying to do enough, be enough, believe enough. It allows us to practice radical love and extravagant generosity.

See the full month of Bulletin Resources on Stewarship

Announcements that appear in this newsletter may be copied and reproduced by congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in whole or in part without permission. Please credit authors if they are credited within this newsletter.