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

Joining Together in Prayer
Synod of the week: 
Congregation of the week: Pray for a neighboring congregation

  • Changing hearts in the heartland
  • President Trump, administration and USA
  • Nation Immigration reform, families in turmoil at the border
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Kim and Trudy Peterson 
  • All those affected by multiple Iowa tornadoes
  • Families affected by the Branson, Missouri Duck Boat tragedy
  • The family of Paul and Haley Abbott. Their 16 year old daughter, Daisy Pippett, was killed in an auto accident on July 19th. Two younger siblings were also in the car and remain hospitalized.
Position Openings
Christian Education Director
St. Olaf Lutheran Church of Fort Dodge has an immediate opening for an interim lay minister.  This person will be responsible for oversight of education ministries; other program development will match the candidates skill-set.  This position is for the 2018-19 school year; the candidate can be eligible for a permanent position, but as yet we do not know what the final position will be.  Interested parties please call Pr. Len Halvorson: 605-359-8344.   
For the Health of It
The Abundance of Living Well - Overcoming Distractions

Stewarding our gifts wisely can be harder than it sounds. We get pulled in so many directions every day, and may have limited time, resources, and discipline. When we're faced with multiple responsibilities, it's easy to get distracted and lose our focus.

When We Don't Live Well
As imperfect human beings, we often react from a place of insecurity when faced with multiple responsibilities:
  • We overreact.
  • We lose focus and discipline.
  • We listen poorly, distracted by our own concerns.
  • We tend to act as though we, alone, are in control.
  • We compare ourselves to those around us, worried that we don't measure up.
  • We unfairly blame others
When We Do Live Well                           continue reading....
Upcoming Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at
Local Workshop for Church Musicians

Throughout 2018, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) is inviting musicians, as well as pastors and other worship leaders, to gather at local congregations for practical workshops on specific topics led by skilled practitioners. These workshops are for those who serve in congregations of all sizes and contexts, each with their own challenges and opportunities. You do not need to be a member of ALCM to attend. Additional dates, locations, and specific details are being added as they become available.

2018 Bishop's Annual Charity Golf Tournament
When: August 15th
Where: Okoboji View Golf Course
Cost: $50/person
  • 4-person best shot tournament
  • Shotgun start at 9 AM
  • Light lunch at Noon
  • $50.00 per person includes cart,
  • 9 holes of golf, and lunch.
  • All proceeds go to Church of the Damascus Road Prison Congregation foundation
  • Payment can be sent to the Western Iowa Synod Office

For planning purposes, please register by August 8th.  


Western Iowa Synod Discipleship Academy is starting soon.

Deepening our life in Christ; flowing outward in our baptismal call to Discipleship.

Do you have a desire to learn more about the Bible, Lutheran theology, God’s mission and the work of Christ’s church?

Do you wonder how you can use your God-given gifts to impact God’s mission in the    church, community and world around you?

Do you feel called to serve in a deeper and broader way?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Discipleship Academy is right for you! Classes start with a retreat on August 24-25 for Year One!!  

Watch for additional information & registration coming soon.

Pastors Fall Theological Convocation

When: September 16-18
Where: Creighton Retreat Center, Griswold

More details coming soon - Please save the date and make plans to attend!!!
Living the Sweet Life - 2018 Administrative Assistant Conference 
When: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Where: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 8301 Aurora Ave, Urbandale, Iowa
Time:  8 am - 3:30 pm ​

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey
to my mouth."  Psalm 119:130

Today’s world presents many challenges and unexpected changes. We don’t always have control over the events in our lives, but we do have control over our responses to them. Shannon Zetterlund will provide ideas for coping with any type of situation by finding the humor within ourselves. Discover how to shape a positive world by using good humor as a communication tool. ALL ARE INVITED! This is an excellent opportunity for all church office personnel (volunteer or paid), school secretaries, and office managers to rejuvenate enthusiasm for church work.

Join us as Welcoming Congregations and/or
Guardian Angels!!

As we face the plight of migrant minors and separated families, let us join together in love and in being the face of Christ.  To learn more about these vital ELCA programs and how to take part, click here.  For more information or if you have questions, please contact Cindy Wells, WIS Director Global Mission (; 712 732 4968) or Pr. Eric Alm, WIS AMMPARO Network Chair (;  712 541 5035).  
Guardian Angels Training
When: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church 
               1725 S. 60th Street, Omaha, NE 68106
Time:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm ​

Guardian Angels is an initiative of the ELCA to accompany migrant minors to immigration court.  The nearest immigration court is in Omaha.  There is not one in Iowa. The Western Iowa Synod is partnering with the Nebraska Synod to provide this training and attend court hearings.

You do not have to be an ELCA member nor speak Spanish to participate as a Guardian Angel, but you do need to attend the training.  Guardian Angels must be able to attend court hearings during the weekday, generally from either 9-11 am or 1-3pm. 

Addiction & Faith Conference
September 28-30, 2018
Bloomington, Minnesota

Addiction in every form, including the current opioid problem, is ravaging our world. ​
​How will we as people of faith respond?


God's Work. Our Hands. Opportunity at Lutheran Lakeside
We are having a God's Work Our Hands day at Lakeside on September 9th. We are inviting all congregations, families, or individuals to come to camp and help with projects. The day will conclude with an evening meal open to all. More info on the flier, click here!!

Confirmation Renewals
Confirmation is an incredible time of spiritual growth, self learning and scriptural engagement for young people. Here at Lakeside, we are blessed to be able to work with church leaders across the state to create an engaging and fun weekend for youth! Campers participate in 3 days of bible studies, worships, games, team building, and so much more! It's an incredible chance to take a break from the technology driven world we live in, get back to our roots, and renew our love for God and one another.
WHEN: OCTOBER 19-21, 2018 & MARCH 8-10, 2019
Hunger Network - We need YOU!                    

A revitalized Hunger Network is emerging. As we begin to develop this network, we must acknowledge that hunger is not just a third world problem.  Perhaps you already know that one in five of our Iowa children go to bed hungry each night and that over 2000 children in Iowa are homeless each year (State of Homelessness  Symposium 2015).

Are you interested in helping the Western Iowa Synod in battling these hunger issues? The ELCA Hunger Team will be facilitating a retreat Nov. 2-3 at Lutheran Lakeside.  We need about 30 dedicated people willing to learn, train, advocate, and commit to 1 year.  Prayerfully consider being a part of this work!   

More information and the online registration will be available on our website soon.

"This Changes Everything"
ELCA Youth Gathering 2018 Highlights
Mountaintop Experience 
The ELCA National Youth Gathering was a great mountaintop experience for youth and the adults who accompanied them. Can you imagine worshipping with 31,000 mostly young people?  I could feel the Holy Spirit moving among us and helping us praise God and be together as the church.  Their energy was contagious. 

We were motivated by dynamic speakers who shared their faith stories and what God has done, and is doing, in their lives.  I would encourage you to follow the links included with this note to experience personally the messages of love, grace, and hope conveyed by the presenters.  Whatever apprehension about the content of some of the speakers quickly dissolved as we were told of God finding them in dark places and leading them into the light.  

We also had opportunities to serve in Houston neighborhoods as we cleaned houses damaged by hurricane Harvey, worked with children in schools, beautified yards and witnessed to the love of Jesus.  Then came the Interactive learning displays that opened the eyes of many to what the ELCA is about throughout the world. This is a big church that makes a significant impact in many places.

I give thanks for all those who supported the trip by prayer and financial backing.  

Bishop Rodger Prois
All recordings below

Synod Day-
At the Western Iowa Synod Day, Bishop Prois challenged the youth to go back home and do some radical random acts of kindness for others. To be a sign of HOPE for other people!! Here are some of his suggestions: 
  • Cookie Canvas a neighborhood (bake cookies w/youth, deliver to neighborhood)
  • Directory phone calls - call the members in your directory and ask how you may pray for them
  • Join the quilters group
  • Flash mob at the mall with Christian songs or Christmas caroling
  • Deliver meals on wheels and then sit down and eat with them
I'm sure you can add to this list!!!
Encourage your youth to continue living out what they heard and learned at the gathering now that they are back home. Throughout the week we heard how God's call, love, grace and hope changes everything!! Your youth are changed, send them out into the world to be God's love, grace and hope to others. This Changes Everything!!!

Share your pictures, stories, and ideas....Email them to Julie at!!
Bishop makes it on the big screen
Leaders on Synod Day!!
St John's LeMars - Donating hair
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry this summer,
please send to Julie by Tuesdays at noon!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588