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

Congregation of the week: St Luke, Sioux City, Rev. Jay Denne
Synod of the week: Rocky Mountain Synod, Bishop Jim Gonia
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • ​Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen 
  • Rev. Lorene Glant
  • Rev. Terry Mahnke, health concerns; and Carol
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Group from WIS traveling in the Holy Land
  • Elijah Ungs
  • Rev. David Cox, having surgery today
  • Rev. Steve Hetzel retiring on April 10th
  • Rev. Jerry Crow

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
2016 Assembly News/Updates
71 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

Dates to Remember:
  • Resolutions are due on April 4th. Please mail or email them to Lynn at the synod office by this date. 
  • Early bird deadline date for registration is May 1st.
  • Online registration will begin on April 1st
  • Rostered Leader Pre Assembly Gathering - June 10th, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

Watch this area of the eSpirit for special assembly announcements and updates. Information and forms will also be available on the synod's website on the 2016 Assembly page
Grant Opportunity!!
The Western Iowa Synod Mission Endowment Committee is now accepting applications for consideration for the 2016 WIS Mission Endowment Funds.  These funds are to be used for children and families in need and for worthy mission projects. Please fill out an application and submit by April 15th!! Applications may be mailed to the synod office at 318 E Fifth St., Storm Lake, IA or emailed to Lynn at Those selected to receive grant money will be notified within a month of the due date. Thank you!! Application Here!
You are invited to attend an ecumenical "Women of Faith Event" at First Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 24th at 4:30 p.m. The program features stories from real women of faith in our neighborhood and will culminate with an evening meal catered by Tweeters of Okoboji, followed by humorist and effervescent speaker, Jenny Herrick, who traveled halfway across the world with 45 other clowns on a trip led by the "real" Patch Adams, whose life was made into a movie and was portrayed by Robin Williams. Bring a friend, a neighbor, an aunt, a grandma! Bring a carload! Enjoy fun, faith and fellowship with other Women of Faith! Tickets are on sale in the First Lutheran Church office for $13 or by contacting Jane Kruse  Dinner seating will be limited, so get your tickets early!  Nursery service available upon advance request. (Event is hosted by First Lutheran Families in Service. )  
This event will offer participants, both clergy and lay persons, who are serving their neighbors in Jesus‘ name, time for personal renewal, spiritual practices and discernment, high quality education and Bible study, and Spirited worship. Speakers include Former Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Mark Hanson, Ginger Anderson-Larson, Dr. Diane Jacobson, and Dr. Winston Persaud. More info here....
If you are church that uses a Gestetner copier, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City has 3 boxes of ink (CPI 2) and 1 roll of masters (CPMT 9) to give away. May be picked up in Forest City.​ You may contact them at (641) 585-3152.
"We Are Church Together!"

We Celebrate with Immanuel!
Travis Beck, Worship & Music Minister, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City, was Commissioned and Installed as an Associate in Ministry (AiM) by Bishop Rodger Prois at a special service on March 13. Please include Travis and Immanuel in your prayers as they celebrate and continue ministry together!
LSI is Compassion in Action
Compassion in action is not a hand out. It’s not a hand up.
It’s all hands in together.
When generous LSI donors, staff, volunteers and churches pair their compassion with the strengths of those we serve, beautiful outcomes are created: children grow up in healthy homes, families become stable after crisis, refugees are welcomed and people with disabilities are empowered to live their own definitions of meaningful lives.
With your help, LSI is able to make a huge impact in Western Iowa by reaching out to hundreds of  Western Iowa families that otherwise may not have the opportunity to receive life changing services.  More here...
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!                                  Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK!!
Western Iowa Synod Events
Pastors and Congregational Office Administrators, please note that many of these events have fliers or posters to be hung and/or bulletin inserts that can be printed off for distribution to your congregation. Please help us get the word out about these upcoming events! More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
WIS Events: (click on this link for more information on each event)
  • April 4th - A Day Away for Ordained Women @ Lutheran Lakeside
  • April 6th - @ St John, Carroll, ConFest, for confirmation students & leaders
  • April 13th @ St John in LeMars, ConFest, for confirmation students & leaders
  • April 23rd - Tools for Community Engagement, St Mark, Storm Lake
  • April 30th - PLAN-IT Event - For Youth Leaders and Pastors - plan out your program year of ministry in one day. Better planning = Better Ministry!
Tools for Community Engagement  
When: Saturday, April 23rd - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Where: St Mark, Storm Lake
Cost: $10 (lunch included)

This workshop is intended to equip us with ways (and the will) to listen to and embrace what our neighbors and other community members have to offer. Further, we will discover how it is that we might join with those neighbors to do the will of God in the world, starting in our immediate communities. It's a great idea to bring others from your congregation with you. That way you'll enjoy a shared experience and be able to more readily "hit the ground running" upon your return to your ministry setting. 
Register Here!                              Bulletin Insert
PLAN - IT Event
“Making it up as I go” or “Flying by the seat of my pants” is not making for successful ministry. PLAN-IT:    Better planning = Better Ministry
Plan your whole program year! Come by yourself or bring a team! 

Location: St John Lutheran, Carroll
Date: April 30th
Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Cost: $20/person (meal included)      Team of 3 or 4: $50

Please email Lynn Egesdal with any questions!                                
Register Here
Plan-it Flier

Pre-Retirement Seminar

Location:      Bethesda Lutheran Church
                      1517 Northwestern Ave
                       Ames, IA 50010
Date:             Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time:             Registration begins at 8:30AM, event 9:00AM-6:00PM
Registration: Register here!  

Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today. More Info...​      The synod is looking into the possibility of a synod bus going to this event!! Please watch for more information. A letter from the secretary of the ELCA!
Other Events of Interest
GROUP - Ministry Training Event
What:  Leadership Training; all denominations welcome!
When:  Saturday, April 2 from 8:00am-3:30pm
Where:  Bethlehem Lutheran Church
            - 300 E Bow Dr, Cherokee
All trainings are led by Group Publishing Staff

To Register: call Bethlehem Lutheran Church 712.225.4969
Registration fee includes lunch!
Stepping UP to Staffing & Supervision
How in the world can a pastor supervise "Volunteers"?
Here's an answer...Come and hear Susan Beaumont!

WHO do volunteers and employees report to?
HOW do job descriptions get formed?
ARE there differences between supervising employees & volunteers?
CAN a committee supervise employees & volunteers?
Sponsored by the United Church of Christ. More info here....
PSST Retreat: “Resiliency in Pastoral Ministry”

This event will be Thursday, April 14 – Friday, April 15 at the Green Lake Bible Camp, Chrysalis House. Please see attached flyer for retreat schedule, registration costs and speaker info. This event is designed for pastors serving in settings with other pastors.   Registration deadline is April 6, 2016. 
Questions about registration, please contact Kristin Bakeberg at the synod office, 507-637-3904.
Retreat Flyer
4th Annual Faith Conference
Saturday, April 23rd    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota
The theme for the day is "Lutheran Convictions for Creation Care". There is no cost for this conference and all are welcome. More info here....
Useful Links                                                           
Western Iowa Synod                                 ELCA News                          Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
WIS Facebook                                            Living Lutheran                   Lutheran Lakeside Camp
WIS Calendar                                             ELCA Prayer Ventures       St Luke Homes & Services
eSpirit Newsletter Archive                        ELCA World Hunger
Administration Matters