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

Joining Together in Prayer
Synod of the week: Virginia Synod, Bishop Robert Humphrey & staff
Congregation of the week: Our Saviors, Albert City, Pastor John Mayer

  • Changing hearts in the heartland
  • President Trump, administration and USA
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastors Kim and Trudy Peterson
  • Pastor Jeff Ung’s health
  • Pastor Chris Lang - recovering from surgery
  • Thankfulness conversations
  • Pastor Ann Klavano who is in hospice in Rochester
25 Day Photo Challenge
The “Advent Photo-a-Day Challenge” is a 25-day photo challenge (beginning Saturday, Dec. 1st) that challenges individuals to reflect upon one word or idea each day and take a picture that encapsulates that word, feeling, or emotion for them. It gives individuals an opportunity to share and participate online as we contemplate the season and draw closer to the celebration of Jesus birth. Please use the hashtag #wisAdventPhoto and even check-in at Western Iowa Synod when posting on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. We hope you will invite others to join us during this season of Advent. Printable version here!!  List will also appear on a photo on the WIS Facebook page throughout Advent.
Advent Devotions with Bishop Prois
The Word of the Lord

When: Thursday evenings beginning November 28th - Dec. 19th at 6 pm
Where: Faith Lutheran Church
708 Locust St, Odebolt

All are invited and welcome to join with Bishop Prois and others in this Advent bible study....The Word of the Lord!

Report Covers for Annual Reports
The 2018 Annual Report Cover is available for congregations.  Attached are e-files in two formats – Cover 4 pages, Cover 4pg Spread.  These are downloadable from the ELCA website also. The cover is similar to the Stories of Faith in Action cover.

If a congregation wants to order four-page hard copy, they will be available from the ELCA Distribution Center starting Monday, December 3.  Orders can also be placed with the ECIS at 800-638-3522 starting Wednesday, January 2.  For congregations needing 100 copies or less, we will again offer discount shipping for orders placed through ECIS starting January 2, 2019.
Report Cover File
4 pg Spread File
Christmas Gift Ideas
Lutheran World Relief Gifts
This holiday season provide a family with a lasting source of nutrition and income with Lutheran World Relief’s LWR Gifts! A hearty goat, a wooly sheep or a clucky hen and chicks can provide farmers with milk, eggs, wool to make warm blankets and sweaters and fertilizer for crops.

Your generous gift is meaningful in more ways than one. As these animals multiply, so will the fruits of your compassion. Families everywhere share a common desire to provide for their children and loved ones in the best way they can. Your LWR Gifts help them do just that.
Visit to learn how you can transform lives for good.
ELCA Good Gifts
As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we believe that God is calling us into the world – together. And with generous, loving hands, we can make a difference.
ELCA Good Gifts is your opportunity to provide critical support to the ministries and programs that mean the most to you and the people you love. Here's how it works:
1. Browse and choose your gift 
2. Get a card
3. Change lives
Gift of Education for Christmas
Want to join me in supporting a good cause? This #GivingTuesday through Christmas, we're raising money for scholarships for orphan and Masaai girls to attend Igumbilo Lutheran Girls' Secondary School in Chimala, Tanzania. This is located in the southern Diocese which is a companion synod to Western Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

As previous funds have been depleted, your contribution will make a huge impact on the lives of many girls who would otherwise not be able to get an education. In Tanzania they say, Education is Liberation. Whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. And on Giving Tuesday Nov 27, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations.  Checks can also be made out to Western Iowa Synod with Girls School in the memo line. Thank you for your support. Asante Sana!!
Thankful For our Ministry Together
GLOW Ministries

St Pauls Rockwell City has started a new afterschool ministry for K-5 called GLOW, reaching about 20 South Central Calhoun school children in its first few sessions. St Paul's is conducting a Sparkhouse Book Fair throughout the month of December to help gather funds for GLOW ministry supplies.

Send in your photos and stories about your congregation's ministries!!
Position Available

Director of Music Ministries

First Lutheran Church, Sioux City, Iowa, is seeking to hire a Director of Music Ministries. We are looking for a musician with prior experience to lead the music ministry of our congregation, serving as organist and/or pianist, leading adult and youth choirs.  Our Dobson pipe organ was built in 1984.  We appreciate liturgical ritual and music, we are willing to be innovative and adaptable.  Gifts for ministry include an ability to organize, prioritize and multi-task, working with a wide range of musical talent and all ages. 

An expanded job description is posted on the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians ( website.  Interested individuals should review the job description and submit a resume and references to Pastor Kristine Stedje, or 712 239 3942.
Attention Women's Groups
We here at Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Inwood made a church cookbook some years past, and ordered too many copies.  We have lots left over.

Do you have a supply of unsold church cookbooks also?   If so, let’s trade.  

All of us know at least a few collectors of church cookbooks and others who would also like one.  Respond to me, Pastor John Wolf, at the address and we will get the trade done in time for Christmas.
2018 Portico Updates
Only a couple days left!!  Complete Your Live Well Challenge

Don’t leave money on the table – Portico plan members and spouses with ELCA-Primary health benefits have until Nov. 30 to complete Portico’s 2018 Live Well Challenge and earn up to $400 wellness dollars. These wellness dollars help you pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, mental health, and dental costs. Learn more at
Upcoming Events in and Around the Synod
More info can be found on the website at
Western Iowa Synod Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 8th

WHERE: Western Iowa Synod Office
318 E Fifth St, Storm Lake
TIME: 9 AM - 2 PM

Come and enjoy the Festival of Trees sponsored by our congregations and Networks, vendors and crafters with goods on display and for purchase, demonstrations throughout the day, and of course refreshments. Come for some Christmas Spirit, Shopping and Fun!!                        
Open House Poster
Open House Bulletin Insert
Scandinavian Tea at Bethany in Emmetsburg
WHAT:   Scandinavian Tea
WHEN:  Wednesday,  November 28th, 1:00 - 3:30 pm
WHERE:  Bethany Lutheran Church
                 703  Broadway  Emmetsburg  

Tickets:  Adults  $7.00     Children:  $2.00
Scandinavian Foods are served by waitresses in costumes.       
There is also a bake sale.
Outreach Nights at Okoboji Bible Camp for Youth

Who: 6th—12th graders, their youth leaders, and/or parents
Where: Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, 1203 Inwan St., Milford
When: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
How much: $3 per person to cover food costs

2018-2019 Dates/Game
                                                                    March 3rd-Hoonting
Dec. 2nd- "Silent" Night Game                    April 7th-Dodgeball
Jan. 6th- Gargoyles                                     April 28th-Secret Agents
Jan. 27th-Winter Games                             More info here                     

Blue Christmas Worship

"While this is the season of bells ringing, carols wafting and expectations that you will have a “Merry Christmas,”  we know that Christmas is difficult for many. Those who are suffering grief, estrangement, illness, loneliness may not feel particularly merry.  The Blue Christmas service recognizes that this time of year can be… well… blue.

So, on Saturday December 15 at 5:30 pm, Immanuel Lutheran Church (315 Hamilton Blvd, Sioux City) will hold a blue Christmas worship service for those who find Christmas a struggle.  There are no expectations on those who attend. It is a service of candlelight, quiet contemplation, prayer and the wonder of love for all of humanity.

If you know of someone who is struggling with this time of year, needs to feel less alone, wishes for a place to worship without judgement please tell them of this service. It is for them.

Contact Pastor Joy Gonnerman at or 507-298-0959 for more information"

Journey to Bethlehem Lutheran Church

302 North Oak Street, Inwood, IA

When: Wednesday, DECEMBER 19th,  6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Enter the sanctuary, sit anywhere and listen to live piano music
as you relax, let go of the stress, pray, or meditate in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

No cost, No talking, No expectations, No stress -just a moment of Christmas Peace

At any time during the evening, enjoy Christmas cookies and hot apple cider in the church lounge.  Come and go as you wish.     Flier Here

Hope in the Heartland
Imagining Our Future as Small Congregations
This conference will be most helpful for congregations with up to 100 people in worship on a weekly basis. 
This is an 8 synod event with 21 gathering sites
When: February 2nd, 10 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Various location sites to be announced, one will be First Lutheran, Algona
Cost: $50/congregation, plus $10/person for lunch
For details and registration visit:             Flier here!!
2019 Continuing Education Opportunities
A list of continuing ed opportunities can be found on our website by following this link. As new ones are received they will be posted here first and then moved to the website. 
Save the date!!
Lutheran Day on the Hill    Feb. 19th, Des Moines

Cross+Gen Conference      March 16th, Sioux City

WIS Leadership Academy      April 13th

Western Iowa Synod Assembly      May 3-5, 2019

Churchwide Assembly      August 5-10

Tri Synodical Fall Convocation      Sept. 22-24

For a list of upcoming events thru Sept. 2019 click here!!


eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry, please send to Lynn by Monday morning @ 10 am.!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588