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

We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry” (Love Story).
“Forgiveness guaranteed. Repentance optional” (sign in front of a Lutheran church).

This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same date. It seems like an odd pairing—Ash Wednesday, a day of solemn repentance and honest reckoning of our brokenness, and Valentine’s Day, a lighthearted celebration of love. Do we fast and pray and commit to rigorous spiritual disciplines, or do we dive in to Champagne and chocolate? Is it a day of contrition or of abandon? Do we abstain or do we indulge? Continue reading....
Thanks to all of the wonderful advocates who traveled from across Iowa to speak to legislators on behalf of the people LSI serves! We are so grateful for your support. Together, our voices are stronger!
Stay Engaged - There are plenty of opportunities to continue advocating for Iowa children, adults, and families. Visit to learn how you can continue making an impact and building a stronger Iowa community.
Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls Celebrate -
            Bold Women’s Day – Sunday, February 25, 2018

Celebrate the bold women in your life!

Bold Women’s Day—observed annually on the fourth Sunday of February—celebrates all Lutheran women who have acted or are acting boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. Some women are bold in their unceasing prayers. Other women are bold in their service to those in need. Still other women are bold in their advocacy or through their hospitality. Whether we live out our bold story of faith in the workplace, family home or community, our faith compels us to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s all about living out our baptismal call, about being a disciple of Christ. Are you bold?

Honor and celebrate the bold women in your congregation and community with this resource on Bold Women’s Day, Sunday, February 25, 2018.

Visit for ideas to celebrate in your congregation.
This week the Senate will vote on policies that could provide protection for young Americans without legal status, also known as Dreamers. During the same voting process, Senators will also consider amendments that restrict immigration to historic lows, take away trafficking protections for unaccompanied children, make it harder for people to seek asylum, and increase border enforcement. Policies that harm children and families do not reflect our commitment to God’s call to welcome the stranger and care for our neighbor.
Join us in the coming days by calling Senators to urge them to pass legislation that protects Dreamers without harming other vulnerable people.
Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, joined faith leaders across the country in support for legislation that protects Dreamers without harming others. She called all of us “to recognize our neighbors as made in the image of God” and urged Lutherans to lift our voices in support of long-overdue legislation that acknowledges the importance of Dreamers in our communities and churches.

Lift your voice by:
Follow our ELCA Advocacy Facebook page and Twitter for last minute updates and calls to action
Call your legislator through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
Bringing the Immigration Debate to You
Follow LIRS on Twitter for a Week of Vital Advocacy
Yesterday evening, the Senate began debating a bare-bones immigration bill.
We anticipate that the Senate will put a bill on the floor and hold an open amendment process. This means that we may see amendments that will restrict immigration to historic lows, eliminate the diversity and family visas, take away protections for unaccompanied children, create obstacles for asylum seekers, and increase border enforcement.

In partnership with the faith community, and our immigration coalition partners, we are asking people around the country to take action — and that means YOU!
On days when we expect votes, we will use social media to flag key amendments for you to urge your Senators to vote for or against. Read more here...
Lutheran Lakeside Camp in Search of an Executive Director
The Executive Director of Lutheran Lakeside Camp provides management and oversight for all operations to include: implementing its vision, guiding its planning, managing its staff, practicing fiscal stewardship, fundraising and marketing. A list of responsibilities and qualifications can be found here! For More Information Contact:
Tom Egts, LLC Board President – e-mail –  or phone 563-484-9233. Applications are due February 29th. 
Item for Conference Assemblies
Thank you for taking a few moments in your Conference Assembly meeting to appoint delegates to the Augustana Association. The official function of the Association is to elect the Board of Trustees of the University. In a wider sense, we are delighted to strengthen relationships with individuals and congregations in the four synods (Southwest Minnesota, South Dakota, Western Iowa, and Nebraska) that own Augustana University.

The Augustana Association will meet on December 7, 2018 from 9:30am-1:30pm. The day includes worship, a program, lunch and a short business meeting. Travel expenses are reimbursed, including lodging if delegates must come the evening before.  

We ask that you elect six delegates to the Augustana Association at your Conference Assembly. They may be male or female, clergy or lay. We find that alumni, parents of students, and other friends of Augustana are often eager to learn more about the University and enjoy a day on campus. After your assembly elections, please send delegate names, addresses (including email), and phone numbers to Patty Grinsell (

Thank you again for assisting Augustana with this important process. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 605.274.5403.

Wallingford is looking for a new organ....something used and in good condition. 
An Allen organ is preferred but they would consider others. 
If anyone might be looking to upgrade their organs and getting rid of their current organ please contact Rev. Chris Lang!!
The Gift of Education for the Masaai

The Western Iowa Synod Lutheran Men in Mission have given a a gift of $300.00 towards this educational opportunity and encourage others to also consider giving a gift to this great cause. 

The Masaai, a traditionally nomadic tribe whose culture, status, and wealth has been much aligned with cattle herds, is being cajoled/pressured to limit its nomadness and to live more in permanent facility and community.  This has been a MAJOR change with wide implications that this particular group is working hard to address and to adjust to.  I admire their tenacity and willingness to embrace new futures.

One of the adjustments is the role and identity of young Masaai males who no longer spend their days roaming with and caring for the herds of cattle, protecting them from dangers and leading them to food and water.  What now are they to do with their lives?  What now is to become of them?  Many of their female counterparts are now entering schools—our partner Igumbilo Lutheran Secondary School is very near this village and has approximately 30 Matebete Masaai girls in attendance, quite honestly, causing some negative rift in the community as to why girls but not boys.

In an attempt to balance this issue, 3 Matebete Masaai males have recently been identified as good candidates of secondary and/or technical education opportunities.  It is hoped their new skills will somehow come to serve the Matebete community.  Part of the challenge is the resistance by Masaai to sell any cattle and convert to cash for other opportunities—a major cultural shift at this point in time.  Therefore, there is little cash for school tuition and scholarship support is sought.

The cost for the 3 students for a year of education, which often includes room and board, is $2500.  The WIS Companion Synods Network asks that the WIS Lutheran Men in Mission consider taking this project on as part of its mission.  We would anticipate this need for 3-4 years to come for these three particular males.  We would ask you to consider making it an on-going project to include even more males in the future.  That said, any and all support is needed and welcomed. 
Reports Needed!!
Please Submit your Rostered Leader Report....if you haven't done so already!! Click below for an easy fillable form!! Under Call      Not Under Call      Retired
Submit your Parochial Report!
2017 parochial reports are due on Feb. 15. These reports are vital to the ELCA’s commitment to improving its efforts to spread the good news and are used in allocating the ELCA’s resources to synods and congregations. Did you know that the information you submit (or do not submit) in your parochial report goes into your congregation’s trend report, which is publicly available online? Seekers looking for your congregation can see not only the information you submit but also whether the congregation has submitted parochial reports. Please submit the report so that visitors can learn more about you. >More
For the Health of It
Healthy Leaders in the Heartland

Are you working towards some new health goals in 2018?

Lose weight, exercise more, drink more water, etc...

Maybe you want some assistance in finding a good daily devotion or a spiritual director.

The greatest wealth is HEALTH!! Join this Facebook group, Healthy Leaders in the Heartland and connect with other Western Iowa Synod leaders that also have health goals. Cheer one another on, network, and share resources. When you surround yourself with positive and like minded people it supports you in reaching your goals!!
What is the Mission Team Up To?
  • Conference Meetings
  • Bishop Cooking for Youth Gathering Fundraisers
  • Meetings w/pastor/leaders
  • Meetings with congregational councils
  • Leadership Academy
  • Text Study
  • Living Lutheran Articles
2018 Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy was postponed and will now be held this Saturday, Feb. 17th. There is still time to sign up for this important event as we all work together at Leading Change in the Heartland!! 

Where: St John, Carroll
Time: Registration @ 9:00; programming at 9:30 am
Cost: $30                          REGISTER HERE BY tHURSDAY AFTERNOON
Travel Opportunity
Travel Opportunity to Tanzania-Deadline Feb. 15th
Make plans to join us next summer as we take another group to visit the Southern Diocese of Tanzania. Meet amazing people and witness the many projects in which we walk step by step with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania!!
Deadline is February 15th!!
Joining Together in Prayer
Synod: Eastern North Dakota Synod, Bishop Terry Bandt & staff
Congregation: Salem Lutheran, Correctionville, Tami Groth, Deacon
  • Our country and leadership
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy & Rev. Kim Peterson
  • Rev. Pete Peterson & Kathy
  • Our Companion Synods
  • ELCA Advocacy Priorities (just released)
  • Leadership Academy
Upcoming Synod Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at
  • February 15       Congregation Treasurer/bookkeepers
  • February 17       Leadership Academy 
  • February 25       Bold Women's Day
  • March 1              Youth leader meeting 
  • March 17            Synod Council
  • March 26            Chrism Mass in Storm Lake
  • April 8-10            Spirituality Retreat
  • April 27-28          Faith Formation Summit 
  • June 8-10           WIS Synod Assembly
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