11/21/17                             Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!!
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. 
Synod Events
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
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. 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:

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!! The notes from the meetings will be posted here!!
Fort Dodge Forum Early Winter Meeting

When: January 11, 2018  Canoeing the Mountains 
Leading change in the parish. 
Presenter: Dr. Nate Frambach 
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.
An opportunity to fulfill the resolution passed in June!
We lift up the following event in response to the 2017 Resolution, Encouraging a Culture of Diversity, that was passed at assembly - 

RESOLVED, that each congregation of the Western Iowa Synod engage in a historical study of the Lutheran Church to caring for immigrants, and how they could continue that ministry by becoming a “Welcoming Congregation”; and be it further

RESOLVED, that at least 65 Western Iowa Synod congregations vote to be designated as a “Welcoming Congregation.”
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!

Worship at the Center


This coming January/February, you have the opportunity to attend “Worship at the Center: Journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter.” During these days, we will worship using the services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter, and join in reflection, study, and discussion of the cross and empty tomb, baptism and the Bible—the meaning of this journey for ourselves and the world.

Come and be refreshed in your planning and leading of these worship services that are central to our worship together as Christ’s church!

January 18-20, 2018 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winter Park, Florida

February 1-3, 2018 at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas

For details of the event and to register, click here! For questions, contact BethAnn Lynch at 773-380-2590.

Western Iowa Synod Leadership Academy 2018
"Leading Change in the Heartland"
When: Saturday, February 10th; 9:30 am - 3:00 pm, registration begins at 9:00 am
Snowdate: February 17th
Where: St John Lutheran, Carroll
Cost: $20/person if registered by January 25th, 2018; $30/person thereafter
Registration will begin after January 1st!!

All leaders in the Western Iowa Synod are encouraged to join in this day of Interculturality. Anyone who affects another person's life is a LEADER!! Leading this event will be Rev. Sunitha Mortha, Director for Mission Formation in the Global Mission Unit of the ELCA and Glocal Musicians.
PEER Ministry Conference
The 2018 Peer Ministry Leadership Conference (PMLC) is a great opportunity for you or your group to grow as Christian leaders. The PMLC is a casual, group learning environment focused on participants gaining the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to not just be Peer Ministers, but also to teach the curriculum to others. We are blessed to have Lyle Griner, the author of Peer Ministry with us to lead us for the weekend.

The PMLC runs from 8:30-6:00 on February 17th and 12:30-5:30 on February 18th.
The PMLC is held at Grand View University in partnership with Luther Memorial Church.
We will provide light refreshments during the conference to keep your brains moving but participants will be responsible for finding their own meals. There are several dining options available on and near campus.

Thanks to a wonderful donor the conference is only $40 for the first person from your congregation and $20 for each additional person. This enables you to bring a whole team of staff, leaders, and youth! The PMLC is open to anyone high school age and older. Register Here!!
If you have any additional questions, please contact Angie Larson (alarson@luthermemorialdsm.org), the Director of Peer Ministry at Luther Memorial Church and Grand View University.
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!!

Faith Formation Summit

When: April 27-28, 2018

Where: Carol Joy Holing Camp, Ashland, NE

We invite you to join with other faith formation leaders and the Vibrant Faith team as we spend two days living into the how-to’s of generating and sustaining a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ for today’s world. We believe effective, transformational ministry will happen by focusing on these two key areas :
  • Transforming Relationships
  • Digital Engagement

Sponsored by the Western Iowa, Nebraska and Central States Synods!

Registration will open on January 15th!!

Faith Formation Summit Flier
Youth Gathering Registration cost goes up on NOV 17th!!!
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!!

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!!
Other Events in and around the synod
Help Ingham Okoboji with Pampered Chef

Do you love Pampered Chef?? Do you want to support the ministry of Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps? Here's your chance to do just that! Just shop through this special link: pamperedchef.com/go/inghamokoboji and when you do, Molly Lujan will donate her commission to the camp!! The final order date will be Nov. 26 all items will ship as soon as they have been ordered. ORDER TODAY or join us at this facebook group to learn more ideas on recipes and gift giving: https://www.facebook.com/groups/162988477617725.

Scandinavian Tea at Bethany Emmetsburg

The annual Scandinavian Tea at Bethany Lutheran Church, 703 Broadway, Emmetsburg will be held on Wednesday, November 29th from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. The event will feature Scandinavian foods. There will also be a bake sale. $7.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. All are welcome.
Christmas at Bethany in Spencer

Mark you calendars and plan to attend Christmas at Bethany on Saturday, December 9th, from 11-3 pm. 
Proceeds will be donated to ELCA Disaster Relief, Room-at-the-Table milk/holiday meal program, and Bethany Parish Education.


Find peace during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season by journeying to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Inwood, IA, on Wednesday, December 13, between the hours of 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.  Enter the sanctuary and listen to live piano music as you get away from it all and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the gift of our Savior.  No expectations, no talking, no service, no cost…just a moment of peace.  At any time, head to our lounge and enjoy some fellowship, Christmas cookies and hot apple cider.  We are located at 302 N. Oak St., on Highway 182, look for the life-size Nativity Scene.  Parking is on the south and east side.  Call 712-753-4804 with questions.

Christmas Mime at Bethany Emmetsburg

Christmas Mime Drama put on by youth 
Where: Bethany Lutheran Church, Emmetsburg
When: December 15th & 16th at 7 pm

Freewill Donation - For Mission Trip Summer 2018
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968