Synod News
"God's Work. Our Hands". Sunday
Congregations all over Southeastern Iowa participated in the national day of service. Inter-religious services were held in Cedar Rapids, meals were packed in Vinton, roadsides were cleaned up, first responders were served.  We'd love to see your photos and read your stories. Send images and stories to Val Harlynn, so that we can put together what happened around our synod during this day of service. 
VBS Ministries
Congregations all over Southeastern Iowa participated in outreach and ministry through Vacation Bible School. This summer more than 8000 participants attended VBS in our synod. 

Read more and see photos
Churchwide News
How Will People Know? 
By Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
This article originally appeared in Living Lutheran
On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the voting members of the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly received the document “Declaration on the Way.” More than 99 percent of us affirmed this significant ecumenical statement in which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have achieved agreement on 32 issues regarding communion, ministry and the church, declaring that these are no longer church dividing (page 16). Fifty years of ecumenical dialogue in the United States and around the world led to this point. When asked if declaration was a step closer to eucharistic sharing between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, Bishop Denis Madden, Catholic co-chair of the dialogue task force, answered, “Yes.” There were tears of joy. The assembly responded with a standing ovation. 
Read the rest
Strong Center Open Door-ELW
In this 10th anniversary year of the publication of "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," you are invited to attend an event focusing on Lutheran worship in our current context.
Pastors, musicians, lay leaders, and worship committees: whether you have extensive experience with ELW, are exploring it for the first time, or use other materials for your community’s worship, you will find a place at these gatherings.

We will open anew the gifts of God at the strong center of worship in word and sacrament. We will explore how to open more widely the doors that welcome the world to these gifts and the doors that send us with these gifts into God’s beloved and needy world.
See more
Upcoming Events
Children's Ministry Fall Resource Day
Gain skills, knowledge and resources as you meet with church professionals and volunteers from around the synod who specialize in children’s ministry. Saturday, October 8th, 9:30AM-2:15PM at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. Cost is $12, lunch is included. 
Register Online
Clergy Taxes and Year-End Financial Responsibilities  
October 20, 2016 from 9: 30am – 12:00pm This event is for Clergy and Congregation Treasurers. Conversation facilitated by Robert Joy, CPA, financial, and tax advisor with 22 years of experience in church and clergy taxes.  Held at the Synod Center for Ministry, Iowa City. This is a free event. 
Register Online
Starting the conversation about race...
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has called for ‘deep conversations’ about race.   But where do we begin?  Join others from the Southeastern Iowa Synod on Thursday, October 6 from 10:30 – 2:00 at the Synod Center for Ministry in Iowa City.  We will watch the webcast from Bishop Eaton and ELCA Vice-President Bill Horn, where they share their personal stories as a model for our conversation. 

Bishop Eaton casts a vision for the church that is both hopeful and embraces the theology of the cross.  Together we will explore ways in which congregations can become the neighborhood where God has placed them; as well as support communities that are hurting. 
Clergy are welcome as well as any members of your congregation that you would like to invite. Lunch will be provided. $10 per person to help offset the cost of lunch.  
Register Online

Fall Theological Conference
The annual Southeastern Iowa Synod Fall Theological Conference will be held September 18-20, 2016, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport.  The theme will be “Drawn to the Light of God: What we can Learn about Discipleship, Leadership and Witness from the Gospel of John” Our speaker for this year’s event will be Dr. Karoline Lewis, Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary. 
Learn more
You're Invited
My Neighbor is Muslim
Norma Sisson and Retired Pastor Russ Melby will be co-facilitating an Adult Forum at Bethesda, Ames, on September 18, 25, October 2 and 9 on the topic “My Neighbor is Muslim:  Exploring the Muslim Faith.”  Our primary text booklets will be My Neighbor is Muslim: Exploring the Muslim Faith and What is the TRUTH About American Muslims? 

Both booklets are free to anyone who asks.  My Neighbor is Muslim is available from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:  Tel.(844) 230-2736 or visit
“My Neighbor is Muslim: Exploring the Muslim Faith" was developed by Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. 

What is the truth about American Muslims? is published by Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center, and may be ordered by calling 202-292-6288  or by e-mail at  

You may request a course outline Russ and Norma constructed by e-mailing
Jr. High Lock-In at UNI
The Middle School Lock-In (open to students in your middle school ministry and the grades you consider to be middle school) is sponsored by the partnership of the Lutheran Student Center at UNI in Cedar Falls and the Northeastern Iowa Synod Lutheran Youth Organization. It will be held October 14-15thThe registration deadline is September 30th. This year, each student will receive a t-shirt if registered by September 30th. Shirts are for youth only; we will have a special gift for the adults attending. The cost for the event is $35 per youth for congregations whose registrations are received (including payment) by September 30th. After September 30th, the cost of the event will be $45. You or other adults are welcome to accompany your youth at the lock-in free of charge.
More information and registration
Reformation Tour in Germany
The Rev. Dr. Ritva Williams of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa would like to invite you to join a Reformation tour to Germany from May 30 - June 9, 2017 with an optional extension to Prague. This tour features sites imperative to the Reformation or to Martin Luther's life, alongside a broader context of Germany past, present and future. For the tour cost and a full tour description visit the link below.

All are welcome.
Questions? Contact Sarah Nolte at

More information
Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
View the Synod Calendar Online

Sept. 18-20
Davenport, IA

Children's Ministry Resource Day
Oct. 8
Cedar Rapids, IA

October 20
Synod Center for Ministry
Iowa City

October 6
Synod Center for Ministry 
Iowa City
Our congregations are blessed with Sunday school teachers and Bible study leaders committed to faith formation, witness and connecting God’s word with daily life. We ask God to help us affirm their faithful service and cultivate their skills.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin

VBS Report
This summer more than 8,000 children attended VBS programs across our synod. They engaged in service projects, worked with other congregations and more. Pray that the seeds planted this summer grow.  

Sept. 11 Day of Service
Sept. 11 was the ELCA's "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday. Congregations all over southeastern Iowa packed food, collected item for shelters, made blankets, served first responders and more. 
Announcements that appear in this newsletter may be copied and reproduced by congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in whole or in part without permission. Please credit authors if they are credited within this newsletter.