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

Congregation of the week: First Lutheran Sioux City, Pastor Len Halvorson
Synod of the week: 
New Jersey Synod, Bishop Tracie Bartholomew
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Gail & Ben Schilmoeller & baby (Gracelynn Marie)
  • Carol Mahnke & family as they mourn the death of Rev. Terry Mahnke
  • Kandiss Anderson, Faith Formation Coord. at St Mark Storm Lake, and her family as they mourn the death of her son. Prayers of healing for her mother.
  • For the many synod assemblies happening this weekend around the country.
  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
Portico Health Assessment - We reached the goal and will receive the 1% discount!! Thank you to all who participated and made this possible!!
35 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

The Synod Assembly is just a little over a month away!! Next week the reports will be available on the synod's website and the Guidebook App. 

Please remember, you will only be provided a print copy at the assembly if you chose that option when you registered and the cost is $10.

Please note: The block of rooms reserved at the Marriott for the Western Iowa Synod are full. There are still rooms available at the hotel but the cost will be $109/night.

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

Companion Synod Sunday approaches!!  

The first Sunday in June--June 5, 2016--designates a time in our synod  when all are called to celebrate with joy and thanksgiving our companion synod relationships with the whole of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile and with the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania! Check out the Western Iowa Synod Companion Synod Sunday website page for worship, video, informational, etc. resources.  Check the page periodically for additions that are being developed as we speak and which we hope to post in the very near future.  

Asante sana--Thank you very much--Mucísimas gracias!
Celebrating the Life of Rev. Terry Mahnke

Memorial services were held on April 30th, for Rev. Mahnke, who was serving at Zion Lutheran Church in Rake. Many rostered leaders attended to celebrate his life. Back Row, left to right:   Jeff Ungs -  Assistant to the Bishop, Western Iowa Synod, Storm Lake; Perry Aalgaard, First, West Okoboji; Peter Rosenkvist, interim, Trinity, Estherville; David Halaas, St Mark, Sioux City; Lynn Noel - St. Paul Lutheran, Lakota, Bethany, Thompson; Mark Holmer - St. Thomas Episcopal, Algona
    Middle Row, left to right:  Judy Junkermeier - First Presbyterian, Lakota,; Edwards Breed,retired, Iowa City; Cindy Breed - Chaplain, UIHC, Iowa City; Russell Melby - retired CROP Walk Director of Iowa, Ames; Dan Kahl, Interim pastor Zion Lutheran, Rake
   Front Row left to right:  Trudy Peterson -  Immanuel Lutheran, Titonka - Kim Peterson, Good Hope Lutheran, Titonka; Lauri Boysen - United Lutheran, Ringsted, Nazareth, Armstrong;
Bishop Rodger Prois - Western Iowa Synod of the ELCA, Storm Lake; Christine Lang - Bethel Lutheran, Graettinger, Wallingford, Wallingford; Lorna Halaas, Assistant to the Bishop, Western Iowa Synod, Storm Lake; Nathaniel Hedin-Schmidt, Bethlehem, Buffalo Center; Bill Peake, First Reformed, Buffalo Center; Deb Devine, UMC, Buffalo Center and Thompson.

"Used with permission by the Thompson Courier & Rake Register, L.L.C. Copyright 2016."

Love your neighbor

In her May column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton reminds us that love of God and love of neighbor should be the way to engage society, especially during this election year. Reader her column here
Western Iowa Synod to the Holy Land: Stories of the Living Stones
A recent visit to the Holy Land by six from the Western Iowa Synod revealed much! Pictured to the right: Antoine Cummins, Becky Ahrendsen, Cindy Wells, Kay Broich, Bishop Munib Younan, Rev. Rod Hopp and Rev. Joy Gonnerman.
  • The many significant holy sites of Christ were contemplated and embraced.
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land and the ELCA Peace Not Walls were accompanied and strengthened. 
  • The socio-political realities and struggles of the region were investigated and learned.
  • Signs of oppression, occupation, and lack of human rights and dignity were observed and heart-felt.
  • The varied voices surrounding the struggles were sought and heard.
  • Many courageous people of principled conviction were met and admired.
  • Warmth and graciousness were abundant and relationship-building.
  • Many entities seeking peace and justice were identified and supported.
  • Many acknowledgements of the USA role in the region were showcased and ​called into ​​​​​​​question.
  • Signs of hope and empowerment emerged and shed light.
  • Living stones were uncovered and brought life!

The call for more ​pilgrims​ to be living stones of the resurrection--to come, to accompany and to tell the story-- ​h​as been ​extend​ed to us all and is being shared!
Yes.  The context, beauties, realities and struggles of this place—including the varied voices--are no doubt wide and complex.  Please keep that in mind as we attempt to share our experiences, raise awareness, challenge expanded thinking, and encourage advocacy for peace and justice within the gospel message. 
We encourage open dialog, questioning and accompaniment with others as we do so.  Look for us at assembly!  Additionally, the travel group offers its time and voice to share with you and your congregations or organizations about this most holy Christian place and its realities.  We are only an invitation away!  Contact Cindy Wells, Director for Global Mission with any questions, invitations or needs you may have (; 712-732-4968 Ext. 441).
SACCOS (micro-financing):  as the Western Iowa Synod strives to develop more SACCOS micro-financing groups within our companion synod relationship in Tanzania, please note that it partners with Iringa Hope (an affiliate program of the St. Paul Synod and its companion of neighboring Iringa Diocese).  To learn more this very successful program and recent developments, click here.
New events will be listed here and then moved to the website!
A complete list of events and details can be found on the Events Page of the synod's website!
Upcoming Events, please help us spread the news to the members in your congregation.
 More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!

Central College A Cappella Choir to perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE

PELLA, Iowa – The Central College A Cappella Choir will perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, 2650 Farnam St, Omaha, NE on Monday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. as part of their annual tour. 

The A Cappella Choir mission is to “combine the attributes of each member to form a community that strives to create beauty and inspire others through the universal language of music.” Come be a part of our musical community at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church. The concert is free and open to the public. There will be a free will offering. For more information, visit  
It's Concert Time!
The choirs of Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN, will be performing a free concert at Immanuel Lutheran Church in George, IA on May 18th starting at 7:00 pm. The 65 student musicians will perform a program of sacred and secular music that includes works of Luther, J.S. Bach, F. Mendelssohn, R. Wagner, C.V. Stanford, J. Stainer and others.  Adam Tecken of George is a member of the choir. The choirs are directed by Dennis Marzolf and Ann Fredrickson. Bethany is operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Ice Cream Social
May 15th, 2 p.m.—4 p.m.
Join us for ice cream, fellowship and music by DaBand!
Free-will offering. 

Emanuel Lutheran Church, 2444 N. Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
(712) 323-9665 or

Vacation Bible School June 12th -16th, 6 p.m.—8 p.m. For children entering preschool—5th grade. Join us for stories, games, crafts & more as we explore Nazareth! Join us for a cookout to kick-off VBS at 5 p.m. on June 12th! Dinner provided for participants and volunteers throughout the week at 5:30 p.m. Registration available online or by contacting the church office. Vacation Bible School is a collaboration between Emanuel Lutheran and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
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!  

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