"Joyfully called as servants to accompany congregations and leaders in God's mission: 
Praying. Encouraging. Serving. Equipping. Stewarding."  Eph 4:11-13
  • Floods in southeastern USA
  • Families and crew members of ship lost at sea
  • Family members of Doctors without borders killed in US recent attack on hospital
  • Synod of the week: South Carolina Synod, Bishop Herman Yoos 
  • ​Congregation of the week: Corwith, St. John's
  • Brian Campbell prayers for health concerns
  • Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen prayers for health concerns
  • Chris Prois who is recovering from shoulder surgery
  • Students at Umpqus Community College in Oregon
  • Congregations in transition
  • Men and women serving in armed forces
Before Oct. 30, your organization must select an ELCA-Primary health benefit option to provide in 2016 and enter that selection on EmployerLink, even if you want to continue with your current option or your plan members currently waive ELCA-Primary health benefits.
​To get started, visit EmployerLink. You’ll find information to help you and other decision-makers in your organization select an option.
Plan members will enter their 2016 benefit elections Nov. 2 – Nov. 30.
Remember: it helps if both sponsoring employers and plan members complete the Annual Enrollment process early, so that Portico can offer better service during Annual Enrollment.
​Have any questions?
Contact Portico Customer Care
Kwa Jina la baba, na la Mwana, na la Roho Mtakatifu
(In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…​)

Pastor Ben serves at St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Storm Lake, Iowa. Pastor Ben McIntire and his wife Monica recently returned from visiting they're companion congregation in Lupembe Tanzania.
In his word's "This opportunity helped us broaden our knowledge of the culture and people of Tanzania, as well as our perspective on many things like the Christian mission and community, poverty and hunger, world politics and policies, and even economics."

Please follow Pastor Ben's blog (PB & J, Pastor Ben & Jesus) about him and his wife's experiences and what they learned, saw, the people they met, and what a visit to Africa was like for first time travelers.
​Throughout October you’ll be able to read chapter-by-chapter of the experiences.
PB & J Blog
2015 Humanitarian Award will be presented to the Rev. Russell “Russ” Melby
The World Food Prize announced this morning that the 2015 Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award will be presented to the Rev. Russell “Russ” Melby, a long-time Iowa organizer of Church World Service CROP Hunger Walks during the Iowa Hunger Summit on Oct. 13.

From 1984 until his retirement in 2014, Rev. Melby involved almost 500,000 Iowans, who together raised over 12 million dollars to alleviate hunger. A quarter of all funds raised in Iowa are returned to local food pantries, and the remainder reduces global hunger by providing emergency aid during famines and supporting families around the world to transition from dependence to self-sufficiency. CROP Hunger Walks are community celebrations that bring people from many different perspectives and faith traditions together to fight hunger in over 80 communities across Iowa.

“Rev. Melby and CROP Hunger Walks are tremendous proof of the belief, shared by Dr. Borlaug and Governor Ray, that the struggle to end hunger should bring together people of all perspectives and walks of life,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of The World Food Prize. “By working together and building on our great humanitarian heritage, Iowa can eradicate hunger from our state and rise to the greatest challenge in human history – feeding the estimated 9.7 billion people who will share our planet by 2050,” the Ambassador added.
We are Church growing in faith! The domestic hunger network of the Western Iowa Synod would like to know what your congregation is doing to help eliminate hunger. You may recall the resolution that passed at 2015 Synod Assembly which read:

“RESOLVED, that the Western Iowa Synod Global Mission/Hunger and Domestic Hunger Networks challenge the church of Western Iowa to collectively DOUBLE its 2014 ELCA World Hunger secondmile giving of $166,250 to $332,500, AND to collectively gather and donate 100,000 pounds of food or its monetary equivalent to area food banks in our synod between the culmination of this 2015 WIS Assembly and the end of 2016 fiscal year, Jan. 31, 2017.”

In order to accurately track totals for our Synod, we need you to respond by telling us how many pounds of food or how much money your congregation has donated to area food banks and pantries. To make it easy for you, we ask that you give us your totals since Synod Assembly in one of three ways:
1. Call the Synod office @712-732-4968, and give your totals to Jen OR 2. E-mail your totals to jeff.unges@wisynod.org OR 3. Mail your results to Western Iowa Synod, 318 E. 5th Street, Storm Lake, Iowa, 50588
Wartburg Seminary Sunday was held on October 3 at St. Mark in Sioux City. Pastor Dave Assmus  (right) and Pastor David Halaas.  Congregations in the Synod are encouraged to contact Pastor Assmus to host a "Wartburg Seminary Sunday."
What an awesome sight it was! Amazed by the skill and talent to create such a beautiful functioning piece of art. The pictures do not even serve them justice. Of course us ladies think one would be perfect in the Synod Office.

James has been doing this "All his life" we were told by Barb. As you think of clocks you think of tick-tock noise, but these produce such a tranquil, relaxing, peaceful feel. The clocks are mechanically weight driven. He creates Floor, Wall, Table and Suspended clocks. His tallest creation was 30ft tall and he also has one displayed in the Westin Hotel. He has received numerous rewards and was featured on the front cover of Wood Magazine appropriately titled Master of Time and Space. 

Here is a link to James Broden Timeshapes web site. I encourage you to check it out.
James Borden the husband of Pastor Barbara Kopperud from Trinity Lutheran Church of Sibley had his work of Timeshapes on exhibit at The Pearson Lakes Art Center in Spirit Lake. 

The last day of Fall Convo, Barb shared with us that her husband's James Borden, Timeshapes kinetic sculpture clocks were on display. So as curious as we were, a few of us from the Synod went to check it out.
Thanksgiving is coming in October this year! Well, at least it is in the Western Iowa Synod as we give thanks to God in our annual Thanksgiving event. But shouldn't Thanksgiving be more than just one day? Last year, the Synod sponsored the first ever "Thankfulness event" where people throughout the Synod came to hear stories of how God is doing wonderful things through the church. We gave Thanks for all that God has done and continues to do because of the generosity of members. This year, the Synod is offering 8 opportunities for you to come and learn about the ministries that are being done in the Synod and throughout the church because of your generosity. Join us in giving thanks for all that God is doing through the church! Mark your calendars and attend the thankfulness event closest to you! Watch for more details coming soon about the meals and contests!
**** Please note the Algona time is 10 A.M. to 12 P.M.****

For Dates and Times and Locations, please click here!

2015 - 2016
BFaithful Friend
                                                            . Oct. 14th: Emanuel, Council 
                                                               Oct. 21st: First, Algona​

...and in the Spring:
April 6th: St John, Carroll
April 13th: St John, LeMars

This year we will be offering 4 locations for our Confirmation Festival which is for confirmation students grade 6-9: 2 in the Fall and 2 in the Spring. The meal and registration is from 5:45 pm - 6:30 pm w/ program to follow from 6:30 pm - 8:15pm. Cost: $5/person

Registration is limited at each location.
Register Here

Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church of Sibley, IA

has available one more $3,000“Educational Debt Reduction Scholarships” in 2015 for pastors in their first years of ministry in the Western Iowa Synod.  If you would like an application form or more info,contact Trinity at pastorbarbk@hickorytech.net.  Applications are due in by October 15, 2015, to be awarded by November 15, 2015.  Those who have applied in the past may re-apply.
Social Media Sunday, October 25 #sms15
On Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2015, churchgoers across the country are going to be on social media, sharing what is going on in church that day.  

It is no coincidence that this is also Reformation Sunday.  One of the key tenants of the Reformation was getting the word out about God’s grace to everyone.  Martin Luther did this by nailing his thesis to the door, translating the bible into the language of the people, preaching, writing and distributing pamphlets. We follow in his footsteps by sharing the good news on social media.

Social Media Sunday began in 2013 with Carolyn Clement at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tarriffville, CT encouraging more use of social media by church members.   It is now an ecumenical movement.  

The purpose of this day is to
Encourage those in church who haven’t tried social media to give it a try
Encourage churches who are using social media to expand and explore more ways to use it for outreach and to build community
To demonstrate the power of social media to share the message of the gospel beyond the church building.

Even if you haven’t done much (or anything) with social media in your congregation, most folks in your pews have a smartphone.  

On this Sunday, instead of asking folks to turn off their phones, ask them to take out their phones or tablets and tweet a line from the sermon, take a selfie of themselves at church, or a photo of a page in the hymnal, or kids at Sunday school, or coffee hour, and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or even Snapchat) with the hashtag #SMS15.  And then check out that hashtag yourself and see who all has participated.
It can be that simple.  Or you can go a little farther.  

Here are a few ideas:
  • Make a large cut out of Martin Luther and have a selfie-booth.  
  • Have a help desk staffed by youth to help people set up a twitter account and tweet
  • Have little Luther cut outs and have kids in Sunday school pose him around the church to snap photos and post on social media
  • Have people write out short (149 character) prayers and hand them in, then tweet them from the church twitter account
  • Have a social media workshop before the event to help folks learn how to use social media to share the Gospel.  (Hint:  I am available to come and lead those.)

Be sure to use the hashtag #SMS15 for all your posts.Hashtags are what bring everyone around the country together.  Check out our YouTube Channel for Social Media How-tos. 

This is a great day to see how churches and church folks around the country are using social media for outreach and community building.  I look forward to seeing your church on social media, Sunday, October 25!

Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson
Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA
“The Fire Within”
Works by Fred Kaemmer
Glass Artist

Exhibition Dates and Location
October 22 – December 15, 2015

Opening Reception
Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Artist Talk 7:00 PM

Talk Tuesday with the Artist
Tuesday, November 10, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities 
3000 Fifth St NW
Bigelow Chapel
New Brighton, MN 55112

[Fred Kaemmer at work] As a glass artist, Fred Kaemmer is fueled by faith. Faith in the extreme heat to blow glass, faith in trying unorthodox techniques and faith in the serendipity that occurs when creating elegant art. The results are brilliant, exquisite reflections of the sacred.
“It is this balance between serendipity and control that is at the core of my work and motivates me to try new things.”
There is no charge for these public events, but registration is requested. You may also schedule a group tour of the exhibition by contacting 
Sheryl Schwyhart,  sschwyhart@unitedseminary.edu or call 651.255.6159.
SACCOS (Micro Financing)
(Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations)
Tues, Oct. 27, 2015   
First Lutheran Church         
1525 Three Cross Road, West Okoboji
6:30-7:00  light meal
7:00-8:00  program

Contact Cindy Wells with expected number of attendees 712-732-4968 Ext. 441
All are Welcome!  See you there!
For More Information

Region 5 Global Mission and World Hunger Gathering
Shalom Spirituality Center - Dubuque, Iowa
October 29-3, 2015
Sponsored by: ELCA Global Mission and ELCA World Hunger

This event is for individuals, congregational ministry teams, synod leaders, and any and all interested in receiving training, forming collaborative networks, and sharing/learning about ministry in the areas of:
Companion Synod Ministry
ELCA Global Mission, missionaries and mission personnel
ELCA World Hunger
Local congregation based hunger and poverty ministries
ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission alumni and any potentially interested young adults
More Info
Jr and Sr High
Youth Gatherings
at Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp

​Nov. 13-15: 6th-9th grade
Nov. 20-22: 9th -12th grade

Christian faith begins with God’s gracious gift of salvation through believing in Jesus Christ. However, it was never intended to remain just a set of ideas or beliefs. God gives us gifts, talents, time, and resources so that we can serve the people around us. This Recharge will both energize and equip youth to discover their gifts and passions, and give practical ideas for ways they can get out into the world and Do Something!
Register & Information
Travel to the Holy Land....
The Western Iowa Synod Peace Not Walls network warmly invites you to join in its transformational travel opportunity to the Holy Land...

Travel Logistics/Parameters:
Dates:  March 27, Easter Sunday evening (likely late evening flight from Minneapolis or mid-late afternoon flight from Omaha)- April 10,2016 (tbd)
Cost: approximately $3,500-3,700 per person
More Information
2016 Youth Mission Trip to Tanzania

​Have you ever thought about or dreamed about going to Africa? If so, here is an opportunity you don't want to pass up!!

​It's time to apply now!!
More Information Here!!!