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

We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors
High School Sophomore Takes the Reins
Synod Council member and highschool sophomore Kaylynn Ridgely is shown above driving the horses for the St Paul's--Rockwell City Christmas caroling outing for their December Hands and Feet of Christ project. They visited shut-ins and sang to the neighbors to the clip of horse hooves with hot cider and chocolate to warm their throats and hands. Kaylynn serves on the Western Iowa Synod Council and is also a member of the Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls Network. She is also active in cross country, track, National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, Band, Elementary Mentoring, FFA, Large Group Speech and secretary of 4-H. Thank you Kaylynn for the many ways you serve and use the gifts God has given you!
Church Speak 
In her January column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that people who have no experience with the church don’t speak our language or know our stories. She says we need to find a new language to commend the faith clearly and genuinely. Reader her column in English here  and in Spanish here.
Reach Your Goals in 2018
Many people make New Year's Resolutions but only 8% of those people complete or keep them. Instead, set goals and read below how to accomplish those goals.
What are your personal goals for 2018?
What are your congregation's goals for 2018?

In order to reach your goals you MUST have a plan!! 
1. Set goal(s) that motivate you - To make sure your goal is motivating, write down why it's valuable and important to you. Ask yourself, "If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them it was a worthwhile goal?"
2. Set SMART goals
Time Bound.
3. Set goals in writing & tell someone what your goals are
4. Make an Action Plan
5. Take the first step
6. Stick with it - Continue to completion
7. Reward yourself
Goal Setting Worksheet
Men's Retreat - "Come and Share - Build Relationships"
February 2nd - 3rd, 2018

The Western Iowa Synod Lutheran Men in Mission will be hosting their annual retreat at Lutheran Lakeside Camp in Spirit Lake. Registration cost will be $50. This includes room and meals during the retreat. The theme is "Come and Share - Build Relationships." The retreat will begin Friday, February 2nd with registration at 6:30 PM in the Upper Shalom House. The retreat will conclude Saturday the 3rd at 3 PM with a service of Holy Communion. Friday night will be filled with fun, fellowship, and laughter as men play the card game, "Man Talk."

The key note speaker for the retreat will be Pastor Alvin Erickson. Saturday, Pastor Erickson will discuss human trafficking of children, and provide instruction on how men in the church can bring awareness of and prevent this from happening to youth and children. Pastor Erickson will discuss the importance of the role dads, husbands, and grandfathers have in congregations. Saturday
afternoon, we will continue conversation in small groups with the card game, "Faith Talk."   Registration available here!!
Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls Hosting Their First Event - physical, mental and social well-being for the entire community

When: Sunday, January 7th @ 2:30 pm
Where: Western Iowa Synod Office

On Sunday, January 7th @ 2:30 P.M. Two women from SALUD will be making a presentation at the Western Iowa Synod office. Please feel free to come and learn more about this group which is active in the Storm Lake Community.
A multicultural health coalition in Storm Lake, Iowa that works collaboratively with the community towards physical, mental and social well-being.  
A community organization that does not fundraise or solicit funds for itself.  We strongly believe in collaboration rather than competition and try to serve our community by building community.
Women and men from diverse backgrounds working together to eliminate health disparities in our community.
Apply for Summer Staff at Ingham Okoboji

Have you ever wanted an opportunity to have an impact in the Kingdom of God? Join us for a summer set apart from all others to serve the Lord. Share the good news about Jesus with kids and families and have a blast at Ingham and Okoboji. We want you to join our team of friends you’ll always remember for a summer you’ll never forget!
Applications are available at
Joining Together in Prayer
Synod: Pacifica Synod, Bishop Andrew Taylor & staff
Congregation: Immanuel Lutheran, Alta, Rhonda Wykoff (TEEM)
  • Our country and leadership
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy & Rev. Kim Peterson
  • Rev. Pete Peterson & Kathy
  • Our Companion Synods
  • Those in need of clothing and food
  • Upcoming events and learning opportunities
Continuing Ed/Learning
37th Annual Rural Ministry Conference
Wartburg Seminary

March 4-6, 2018

This ecumenical conference is designed for pastors and lay leaders in rural and small town congregations.  The topic for this year is Co-operating Congregations in Mission.  We will explore a variety of newer ministry models for smaller congregations.  Our keynote speaker, Pastor Marcia Kifer, is a dynamic speaker with many years of experience in a variety of ministry models.  Our breakouts include worship for smaller congregations, and evangelism in rural areas.  Our second keynote, Mark Yackel-Juleen, has been working on multiple point and ecumenical parishes.  With the changing rural scene, new ways of thinking about how to do ministry and changing partnerships is a timely topic.  Please note our breakouts as well.  Some of you may recognize the name of Rollie Martinson.  His breakout on worship and music in small member congregations is one I will attend.  You also see with have breakouts on rural evangelism, a form of creative arts and time to engage our speakers.  I hope you will consider coming to the 37th annual rural ministry conference. - Ann Fritschel, Ph.D            Rural Ministry Flier & Registration
26th Annual Festival of Homiletics
Preaching and Politics

When: May 21-25
Where: Washington, D.C.

Registration for the 2018 Festival of Homiletics is now open! This year's theme is Preaching and Politics. It promises to be a nurturing, prophetic and renewing experience.

The Festival of Homiletics is a weeklong conference that brings together a wide variety of outstanding preachers and professors of homiletics to inspire a discourse about preaching, worship and culture. Preachers are invited to experience various styles and methods of preaching to renew their faith and refresh their spirits through engaging worship, lectures and workshops. Throughout the week, you will be inspired in your role of proclaiming the gospel.
Please visit our website or watch a 1-minute video to learn more about this year's festival in Washington, D.C
Register by Feb. 16 for an early bird discount! More info here
Union Presbyterian Seminary
(full communion partner)
  • January 11 – February 8:  Administration and Polity   (Thursdays)
  • February 13 – March 20:  The Christian Life (Tuesdays, skipping February 27)
  • February 22 – March 22:  Pastoral Care (Thursdays)
  • April 10 – May 8:  Mission and Evangelism (Tuesdays)
  • April 12 – May 10:  Preaching the Bible (Thursdays)
  • May 24 – June 21:  Parables of Jesus (Thursdays)
Upcoming Synod Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at
  • January 7           Learning about SALUD in Storm Lake
  • January 11         Youth leader meeting at Bethany,                                                        Emmetsburg
  • January 11         Ft. Dodge Forum at Grace Lutheran
  • January 18-25   Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • January 26-29    ELCA Youth Leader Extravaganza 
  • February 1         Youth leader meeting 
  • February 2-3      Men's Retreat at Lutheran Lakeside
  • February 3         ABC Committee Meeting
  • February 10       Leadership Academy 
  • February 15       Congregation Treasurer/bookkeepers
  • February 25       Bold Women's Day
  • March 1              Youth leader meeting 
  • March 17            Synod Council
  • March 26            Chrism Mass in Storm Lake
  • April 27-28          Faith Formation Summit 
  • June 8-10           WIS Synod Assembly

Upcoming Forums

Ft. Dodge Area Forums
January 11th, Canoeing the Mountains, Leading change in the parish. 
Dr. Nate Frambach 

Where: Grace Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge 
When: 9:30 am - coffee & fellowship
Program begins at 10 
Cost: $40 per session

New to the Synod....


Tuesday, January 16th

at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Sioux City

9:30am -  2:00 pm

9:30 am coffee

10:00 am   presentation (before and after lunch) by the Rev. Dr. Mike Kroona of

Webster City, Iowa - presenting a lectionary study on the "texts for Lent 2018"

please RSVP to David Halaas

cost: $25 (to cover mileage/honorarium for presenter) plus optional $10 lunch....

watch for announcements of future Siouxland Forums.....

What is the Mission Team Up To?
  • Learning about SALUD
  • Visiting Text Studies
  • Youth Ministry Network Meeting
  • Christ, Ft. Dodge
  • Meeting w/pastorsAMMPARO/Guardian Angel Training
AMMPARO/Guardian Angel Training
The Nebraska and Western Iowa Synods are partnering together to work for justice and love our neighbors in engaging this strategy in some specific ways. One of those strategies includes being the church in the courtroom through being trained to be a Guardian Angel for migrant minors and their families. You can learn more here! Please share this event and encourage others to attend. All are welcome!
For the Health of It
It Takes a Plan to Pay Off a Mountain of Debt
How do you pay off $63,000 in debt? For Robert and Julie Couden, it was by saying “no” 63,000 times.

Robert Couden
Hartland, Wisconsin

In summer 2014, God called me to close a remodeling company. I thought God had helped my wife and me build the company, but I was wrong. The business was holding us back. I was putting aside all of my personal goals and pushing my wife further and further away, just to please homeowners and employees. On top of that, we were piling up personal and business debt with no end in sight. ...continued here...
Financial Best Practices
for Congregations
Recently the synod office has received a few calls about the proper way to handle the finances of the congregation. Here is a resource from the ELCA website that can guide your congregation with handling their finances the proper way. Click here!
and your part in it!!
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry, please send to Lynn by Tuesdays at noon!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588