Synod Happenings
Events Happening in and around the Western Iowa Synod, biweekly publication

Please share this information with your congregational secretaries, leaders and congregational members via your bulletin, facebook page, email, etc, and invite/encourage them to attend the events/ opportunities to Open Doors to others!

These events can also be found on the WIS Website by clicking here!!
Please Note: If you would like an event added to this list, please email it to Lynn at least two weeks in Advance to go in this bi-weekly Synod Happenings news. 
Celebrating the Reformation - Worship Services

October 29th - St John Lutheran in Mineola hosting a Lutheran-Catholic Reformation service @ 6:30 pm

October 29th - WIS joint reformation worship w/Nebraska Synod at St John Parish, Creighton University Campus, Omaha at 2:00 pm.
    Join with others at two host sites livestreaming the event:
    St Mark Lutheran, Storm Lake - 1614 W Fifth St
    Immanuel Lutheran Church, Akron - 251 Main Street

October 29th - The Bethesda and Strand Lutheran churches will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation with a musical service  at 10:00 a. m. on October 29th. Included will be the Bethesda Bells of Joy, the Bethesda Recorder Consort,  children and adult choirs and meditations.  Bethesda Lutheran Church is located at 140th and O Avenue, Clarinda, Ia.

October 29th - 
Bethany Lutheran Church of Spencer is marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with The Next 500: A Festival of New Sacred Music on Sunday, October 29th at 4pm.
  THE NEXT 500 - A Festival of New Sacred Music

Bethany Lutheran Church of Spencer is marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with The Next 500: A Festival of New Sacred Music on Sunday, October 29th at 4pm. Singers are invited to participate in a community choir that will rehearse on 29th at 2:00 p.m. in Bethany’s  sanctuary. The concert is free and open to all. A potluck meal will follow in Bethany’s dining hall. For more info contact Stephen Baker at 


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! 1Chron.16:34

 Join us for the 2017 Western Iowa Synod

 Thankfulness Events

Two more Thankfulness events are coming up soon!! Everyone in the synod is invited to attend these events, so please invite a friend and come join us. The events will all include a Pot Luck meal. Please bring your favorite food to share with others so we can enjoy God’s abundance. Plates, cups and utensils will be provided.

At these events, we will join together in giving God thanks in song, scripture, and prayer. There will be small group discussion centered around the following three questions:
1. What are you thankful for in your congregation or family?
2. What are you thankful for about the ministry we share in the Synod?
3. What are you thankful for about the ministry we share in the ELCA?

Bishop Prois will be present for a time of discussion and giving thanks. Please come and enjoy a delicious meal with great fellowship and stories as we Give thanks to the LORD.


This is for all people in the synod, not just pastors!!
Attend the location nearest you!

*Sunday, November 5th – St. Paul’s Lutheran & Presbyterian Church, 527 Main St. Rockwell City, IA - 2:45 PM registration, 3 PM – 5 PM event, 5:00 – 5:30 PM meal

*Thursday, November 9th – Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1101 East Summit St., Red Oak, IA - 5:15 PM registration, 5:30 PM meal, 6 PM – 8 PM event
Fort Dodge Forums Fall/Early Winter Schedule Set
The fun begins at 9:30 am at Grace Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge Iowa.  Forums begin at 9:30 am with coffee and fellowship. The Program runs from 10 until noon.  A catered meal (about $8) is available to conclude the event at noon. The schedule can be found here on the left hand side of the events page.
ConFest 2017 - "Lutherfest"
ConFest is an evening for confirmation students and their leaders/pastors to come together for a time of worship, fellowship, learning and activities. 
One more opportunity to join in!!
  • Wednesday, November 1st - St Mark Lutheran in Sioux City - $50/congregation
ConFest Poster
Register Here
Okoboji Recharges

Recharges are weekend youth retreats for 4th-12th grade at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp PACKED with fun, fellowship, and growing in faith. Come discover the great God we serve, learn more about the Bible, and have a blast with others at camp! Our fall theme is Unshakeable from Psalms 62:2.  We hope you are able to join us for one of the weekend listed below! Check out more information on the theme or how you can register at www.okoboji.org/recharges

November 3-5: 6th-9th grade
November 10-12: 6th-9th grade
November 17-19: 9th -12th  grade
Recharge Flier
Youth Leader Network Meetings
Youth leaders from around the synod will be gathering together monthly for a time of learning, sharing, and supporting one another. All adults who work with youth are invited to join us. The next few meetings will be from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. We will attempt to use Facebook live or record our meetings so that others can participate. Meeting locations after December have not been set yet. If you would like to host one in your area please contact Lynn. We could even possibly meet over an evening meal for those who serve part time and are not available during the day. The dates, locations and topics chosen are listed below:

November 2nd - Bethany Lutheran in Spencer - Communication/Advertising
December 7th - Bethlehem Lutheran in Cherokee - Fundraising/Service Project Ideas
January 11th - TBD - Volunteers: recruiting/equipping
February 1st - TBD - Youth Gathering/Mission Trip
March 1st - TBD - Boundaries/Self Care/Health
April 12th - TBD - Curriculum
May ?

Youth Leaders, please also join the Western Iowa Youth Ministry Network page on Facebook!!

Healthy Congregations Event in Omaha

When: November 10-11, 2017 
This event is a follow-up to the Peter Steinke presentations in May of this year.  The upcoming event will be led by the Rev. Leigh Beasley Gillis, a trained facilitator with Healthy Congregations, Bridgebuilders, and other congregational programs.  This event will focus upon congregations that are addressing conflict, that may want to be proactive about managing conflict, and how to work through various issues.  Leigh has been trained by Pete Steinke, is a seasoned and experienced pastor and church executive.  Event flier here!

When: Saturday, November 11; 9 am - 2:30 pm
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 315 Hamilton Blvd., Sioux City
Cost: Free
Over 35 tables of goods to browse and/or buy!! From handmade crafts to Christmas cookies, floral bouquets, Door Prizes, etc!! You won't want to miss this!!
Safeguarding God's Children Training

Safeguarding God’s Children, is a training for all church personnel who regularly work with or around children or youth. 
When: Saturday, December 2nd; 10 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Bethany Lutheran Church, Emmetsburg
Cost: $5 to cover lunch
Register Here
AMMPARO/Guardian Angels Training
When: January 13th, 9:30 - 4
Where:St Thomas Lutheran, Omaha
The ELCA’s strategy to Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) was envisioned after witnessing the plight of children who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. 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! More information and registration here!
When: Jan. 21-24, 2018
Where: Washington, D.C.
What: ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering
Learn about ELCA hunger initiatives, the upcoming Farm Bill and realms of advocacy as you meet with Iowa Senators and Representatives to uplift wise and moral policies that help all to be fed. Two per synod are invited with all major event costs covered by the ELCA and/or the Western Iowa Synod.  Participants are expected to serve on the WIS Global Mission/Hunger Network thereafter as we strive to increase awareness, advocacy and action in our synod on hunger issues.  Interested participants are to contact Cindy Wells, WIS Director of Global Mission, by Nov. 3 to submit their name for consideration (cindy.wells@wisynod.org712-732-4968 Ext. 441).  
Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course
This Parish Nursing course is being offered February 5th - March 26th, 2018 on-line, followed by two days on-site. The purpose of this educational event is to prepare the nurse to initiate and maintain a faith community nurse ministry within a given congregation and to function in the leadership role for the faith community's health ministry.  For more information regarding contact hours contact: Paula Lubeck, paula.lubeck@avera.org or 605-322-3384
Youth Gathering Registration cost goes up soon!!!
ELCA Youth Gathering June 27 - July 1
Is your congregation taking youth to Houston in 2018? If so registration is now open!! It's an awesome opportunity and formative opportunity for the faith of our youth!! Getting Ready materials are also available....check it out here along with many other resources!!

If your group is interested in or planning on using synod busing, please contact Lynn ASAP with your congregation & city and the number of youth and adults!!
Nurturing Hope in Bethlehem and the West Bank
Where: Bethesda Lutheran Church 1517 Northwestern Ave., Ames
When: Friday, February 23, 2018 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
A Day With The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb And Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Mark your calendar and make plans to attend!!  Flier here!!

Travel Opportunities for 2018

Tanzania, Southern Diocese - July 15th - August 15th (approx. dates)
Holy Lands - Two opportunities - April 1-16 or April 16-28
More information and applications can be found here!!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968