Dec.15, 2016
In This Issue:

Important Links:
Visit our WebSite
Don't miss out on the many great stories, opportunities and events in and around the synod that are listed below!

Please share this information with your congregational members and invite them to attend the events!! 
Light three candles to watch for Messiah...
Daily Advent Devotions...
are available each day on the Western Iowa Synod website or via Facebook. We not only encourage you to read them but to share with your congregational members and friends. 

Synod of the week: Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Mark Narum
Congregation of the week: Grace Lutheran, Primghar, Marcia Young, AiM & Lynn Egesdal, AiM

  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastor Tess Panamarrow
  • Pastor Paul Johnston
  • Pastor Lorene Glant
  • Wanda Norris,and Pr. Arlyn and family--continued struggles with cancer
  • Dee Vaage and family as they mourn the death of Rev. Robert Carl Vaage
  • First Lutheran Church of West Okoboji
  • Kathy Petersen, continued health concerns
  • Pastor Chris Lang, back issues
  • Ester Kitunda as she contemplates her future
  • Syrians in Aleppo under siege
  •  Coptic Christians in Egypt killed in Cathedral bombing...and other Christians being persecuted in the the ELCA Advent prayer for today reads: "We are reminded this Advent of the coming of Christ and that Christ is already here, present with those bearing the cross of injustice in our communities. Keep awake.
  •  Ewalt family from St Mark Storm Lake, whose son passed away
Thank you from the Vaages

The Vaage family would like to extend our deepest gratitude for you kind words, thoughtful gifts, supportive prayers and humble service towards our family following the unexpected death of our beloved husband and father, Pastor Bob Vaage. We were inspired by how our congregation and the entire community came together to honor his life. A special thank you to Bishop Rodger Prois and Pastor Perry Aalgaard and for their words of comfort and to all of the area pastors who lovingly flanked the sanctuary during the ceremony. We felt your love surrounding us. Bob would have loved the common goodwill evident that day. It is our prayer, and surely Bob's desire, to have us live in the victory of Jesus' resurrection and that we continue to build a living hope that can never be taken away! Soli Deo gloria! DeeAnn, Jonathan & Michea, Christopher and Erik Vaage
   ELCA December Advocacy Update is Available Here!
Staying Healthy Over the Holidays
The holidays are one time of the year when you really want to feel your best. But they're also a minefield of health woes, from cold and flu bugs to party hangovers. Beyond getting the flu vaccine, there's a lot you can do to help your body weather the season. This is how to keep healthy—and merry—as you shop, travel, and celebrate.
Welcoming our New Leaders
On December 13th, eleven leaders attended our New to Synod gathering at the Western Iowa Synod Office. You may notice that a few of these faces are not new to the synod; however they are new to the role in which they are serving. Front row, L  to  , Kandiss Anderson, who will be serving as a TEEM candidate at Our Savior's, Rock Valley;  Rev. Dan Kahl serving at Grace in Ft. Dodge; Rev. Zech Andersen serving at Immanuel in Forest City; Rev. Denise Parrello serving at Trinity in Alta and Nain in Newell; Rhonda Wykoff, TEEM candidate serving CHRISM ministries. Back row, L to R, Rev. Erik Alm serving at Immanuel in Akron; Susan Juilfs, TEEM candidate at Trinity, Akron; Rev. Jeff Alvestad serving as interim at Northboro & Shenandoah; Shari Schwedhelm, intern serving at Faith in Onawa and Soldier, Soldier; Gary Zeman "Z", serving in a specialized ministry at Lutheran Lakeside Camp; and Rev. Cole McCormick serving at Trinity Lutheran in Estherville. Please join us in welcoming these leaders!
Bishop Eaton and Other ELCA Leaders Visit Chile
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton visited EPES and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH). She was accompanied by the Executive Director of Global Mission, Rev. Dr. Rafael Malpica, and the Director for Latin America and the Carribbean, Rev. Dr. Raquel Rodriquez. Read more here...
Companion Synod Trips Planned for 2017
It's that time of year to start planning your trips for 2017!! There will be two opportunities to travel offered through the Western Iowa Synod. One will be to the Southern Diocese of Tanzania in the Summer and to Chile next Fall. If you have never been to one of our companion synods, then this is a great opportunity for you to go. We hope you will pray about this and make plans to join us. Applications and more info can be found here!
Spirituality Retreat for Clergy

Dates: January 8th-10th
Location: Lutheran Lakeside
Theme: Food for Life

Cost depends on overnight accommodations - see website
To register please contact Pastor Lorna Halaas 
Room reservations should be made directly to the camp at 712-336-2109
More information on this event can be found here!!
Peace Not Walls:
                         the Holy Land Kaleidoscope
Join us for a day of learning and growth of perspectives as we accompany our brothers and sisters in Christ seeking security, peace and justice for all people in the region! The region encompassing the very life and ministry of Jesus Christ our Lord!

When: Saturday, January 21st; 9 am - 3 pm
Where: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 300 E Bow Dr, Cherokee
Cost: Depends on number of people attending from your congregation
(range from FREE to $25/person)
Flier & more info
Register Here
Lutheran Men in mission annual retreat – Lakeside Lutheran Camp February 3-4

Coming soon: Lutheran Day on the Hill 2017
Join LSI and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA for Lutheran Day on the Hill in Des Moines on February 21st! This day is essential for giving voice to those who are not heard, for seeking social justice and for empowering people to exercise their right and responsibility to be part of the legislative process. For more information and/or to participate, please contact Pastor Ungs at
Winter/Early Spring ConFest Events:

Theme - "You Belong"
Wednesday, February 15th @ Trinity, Moville
Wednesday, February 22nd @ Zion, Gowrie
Events begin at 5:45 pm with a light supper, programing starts at 6:30 pm
​​​​​​​Registration will begin on January 5th!!
"Serving the Church Together"
2017 Western Iowa Synod Leadership Academy

When: Saturday, February 18th              
Snowdate: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 or 4 pm
Where: St Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge
For all congregational members!!

Please Join us For the Installation of Pastor McCormick at Trinity in Estherville
Trinity Lutheran Church would like to extend an invitation to all  for the installation service for their new pastor, Pastor Cole R. McCormick.  Worship will begin at 2:00 PM, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall. 

Rostered leaders are invited to robe and should gather in the multi-purpose room at 1:30 pm, "white" will be the color for the day.  We look forward to seeing you on January 8th.  If you have any questions, feel free to call Deb in the church office at 362-3335. 
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968