Twice monthly news update for the Western Iowa Synod-ELCA

"Let us see as you see...."
Emmanuel, God-with-us,
You come with extravagant love for all.
Come, open our hearts and turn us to the world.
Come, show us the needs of our neighbors.
Come, increase our awareness.  
Come, grow our generosity.
Come Lord Jesus, Come and let us see as you see. 
Dear Western Iowa Synod Family & Friends,
In these busy days of preparation and celebration, we give thanks for your mission support. We are church together and your generosity changes lives! Thank you for your partnership. 

As you plan family gatherings and purchase gifts for loved ones,
we invite you to consider ONE more gift

     - Make a gift to your ELCA congregation for ministry to those in your local community
       to provide food, gas, utilities, clothes and much more.

    - Donate to the ministry of 124 congregations in the Western Iowa Synod. Your gifts to the Synod       also help with disaster relief, seminary support, campus ministry, hunger network and faith formation       for all ages.

    - Help pastors in the Western Iowa Synod with a gift to "Fund the Future," an endowment fund for           pastor education debt relief.

    - Designate a gift to ELCA global partners in the Southern Diocese of Tanzania for ongoing
      ministry at the Girls School or small business loans through SACCOS.

Our deepest thanks,

Michael Jacobson,Treasurer                         Lorna Halaas, Bishop
Western Iowa Synod                                        Western Iowa Synod 

FREE Counseling Now Available
(for Rostered Leaders in Western Iowa Synod) 
Counseling for rostered leaders in the Western Iowa Synod is now available at the Synod office, Storm Lake.

Pastor-Counselor Judy Johnson, a licensed mental health counselor, serves the Synod as part-time Counselor-in-Residence by appointment only.

Free-of-charge sessions are for rostered leaders and their families, including pastors, assistant pastors, chaplains, specialized ministers and those holding leadership roles in the Synod.To make an appointment, call Pastor Johnson at 605-881-2241 or email judyj7377@msn.com. Also find this new tool on the web at Tools & Resources.

Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Pastor Johnson holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a master of divinity from Luther Seminary. Ordained in 1982, she served congregations in South Dakota through 2009, including senior pastor in Vermillion. While in Vermillion, she earned a master's in counseling from the University of South Dakota. 

Currently, Pastor Johnson also serves Lutheran and the Methodist congregations in Melvin and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at the Creative Living Center in Rock Valley.
Winds of Hope Conference
Pastors' Forum

Trinity Lutheran
401 W. 2nd St., Alta, 51002 
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 
Coffee - 9:30 am
Worship - 10 am
Forum - Following worship
Forum Discussion
Everything you wanted to know about cancer but were afraid to ask. Bring your questions!

Presenters: Deb Hinkeldey, oncology nurse, and Zena Oelrich, oncology social worker
Topic: Cancer diagnosis, treatment
and support services
Host: Pastor Denise Parrello,Trinity- Alta
Cell - 218-791-6136

Spouses of Clergy
 Gathering in Storm Lake
Jan. 18, 2020
Calling all spouses of clergy! Mark your calendars!
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Synod Office, Storm Lake
A refreshing and fun time to network with other spouses of clergy, make new friends and discuss challenges/opportunities of being a PS (preacher's spouse). Pastor-Counselor Judy Johnson will lead the event. RSVP to Julie.Cook@wisynod.org or call 712-732-4968 before 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, or sooner. Look for more details in e-Spirit.
Midnight Stillness
"On Christmas Eve, there always comes a time when everything is finally still. Once all the preparations and decorations, extra choir rehearsals and Christmas pageants, shopping and holiday parties have been completed, peace descends...."
In her December column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the mystery of the season: the expectation and longing of Advent and the true gifts of Christmas—“the helpless baby in a wooden manger, a broken man on a cross.”
Read Bishop Eaton's column in English at https://bit.ly/2OFVWp5 
and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2Rmnthp.
Lifting Hearts & Hands in Prayer
"I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; 
incline your ear to me; hear my words."
 Psalm 17:6 

Together, we prayerfully lift up...
-Pat Olson, long-time administrative assistant, Immanuel, Sioux City
-Rev. Jean McCartney, Missouri Valley
-Marilyn Berka, wife of Pastor Jim Berka
-Barbara Derby, mother of Melissa Munsen, Trinity Lutheran, Akron
Northwestern Ohio Synod & Bishop Daniel Beaudoin
Nain Lutheran Church, Newell & Scott Essing

ATTENTIONSpecialized Ministers
The Western Iowa Synod is exploring the formation of a Specialized Ministry Task force for Specialized Care settings, diaconal, AIM and other related ministries. Designed for ministers serving in specialized settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, hospice chaplains, visitation ministries, etc., the group would meet regularly at a central location. The Task Force would support specialized ministers in their roles by sharing resources, education opportunities and experiences.  Interested? Contact Pastor John Syvertson, St. Luke Homes and Services, Spencer, 712-262-5931(office), 712-260-7637(cell) or email jsyverts@hotmail.com.
Send congregational events, ministries, celebrations for consideration to
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588