Dec.22, 2016
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
from the WIS Mission Team
WIS Mission Center Hours - The Mission Center will be minimally staffed with varying hours over the holidays as many team members will be on vacation.  Please call ahead if you need to stop by. Thank you for understanding. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
In This Issue:
Important Links:

Don't miss out on the many great stories, opportunities and events in and around the synod that are listed below!

Please share this information with your congregational members and invite them to attend the events!! 

Synod of the week: Companion Synods - Southern Diocese of Tanzania & IELCH Chile
Congregation of the week: Your own congregation

  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastor Tess Panamarrow
  • Pastor Paul Johnston
  • Pastor Lorene Glant
  • Wanda Norris,and Pr. Arlyn and family--continued struggles with cancer
  • Dee Vaage and family as they mourn the death of Rev. Robert Carl Vaage
  • First Lutheran Church of West Okoboji
  • Kathy Petersen, continued health concerns
  • Pastor Chris Lang, back issues
  • Ester Kitunda as she contemplates her future
  • Syrians in Aleppo under siege
  • Chris Prois, healing for broken ribs
  • Those traveling over Christmas
  • Those experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one
Introducing a Simpler Approach to Health Care 
If You Have ELCA-Primary Health Benefits:
It’s time to prepare to use your ELCA health benefits in 2017.

  • Watch for Your New Portico Health ID Card
For 2017, your new Portico Health ID card will replace the Blue Cross and Express Scripts cards in your wallet today. Show your Portico Health ID card at the doctor and pharmacy starting Jan. 1. Also, if you’re enrolled in the fitness center discount, show your new card at the gym in December or your first visit in January to continue receiving your monthly discount.
  • If Applicable, Watch for a New SelectAccount Debit Card
If you have a SelectAccount debit card that expires Dec. 2016, you’ll be mailed a new one to access your personal wellness account, health FSA, or HSA.
  • Call Portico Care Coordinators by Quantum Health, Starting Jan. 1        More info here...
Joining Together to Raise Funds for
                                the Church of the Damascus Road

Ron Hayden, president of Thrivent, presented a check to Rev. Paul Stone after a fundraiser for CoDR. Together with Thrivent they raised almost $2,500 in one night! Thanks be to God!!

The fundraiser was a soup supper which was held after the children's Christmas program. It was held at St. Paul's Lutheran and Presbyterian Church in Rockwell City. It was such a success they have been asked to make this an annual event! 

We Are Church Together! Amen!
Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation Trip 

Where:  Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Institute of Art  (MIA)
When:  Tuesday, January 10
Hands of Hope Conference, WIS, invites you to join in on this Reformation opportunity!

MIA marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 theses with an unprecedented collection of paintings, sculpture, gold, textiles and works on paper that have rarely, or never, been seen outside of Germany.

Join this trip by signing up by January 3rd.  Cost is $90 and includes trip to and from MIA on a luxury coach and ticket into the event.  Pick up stops will be determined after that date.

Flier with more information can be found here!

Please advertise in your congregation!  For more information or to make a reservation contact Trinity in Webster City at (515-832-2220).
Spirituality Retreat for Clergy

Dates: January 8th-10th
Location: Lutheran Lakeside
Theme: Food for Life

Cost depends on overnight accommodations - see website
To register please contact Pastor Lorna Halaas 
Room reservations should be made directly to the camp at 712-336-2109
More information on this event can be found here!!
Peace Not Walls:
                         the Holy Land Kaleidoscope
Join us for a day of learning and growth of perspectives as we accompany our brothers and sisters in Christ seeking security, peace and justice for all people in the region! The region encompassing the very life and ministry of Jesus Christ our Lord!

When: Saturday, January 21st; 9 am - 3 pm
Where: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 300 E Bow Dr, Cherokee
Cost: Depends on number of people attending from your congregation
(range from FREE to $25/person)
Flier & more info
Register Here
Lutheran Men in mission annual retreat – Lakeside Lutheran Camp February 3-4
Coming soon: Lutheran Day on the Hill 2017
Join LSI and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA for Lutheran Day on the Hill in Des Moines on February 21st! This day is essential for giving voice to those who are not heard, for seeking social justice and for empowering people to exercise their right and responsibility to be part of the legislative process. For more information and/or to participate, please contact Pastor Ungs at
Winter/Early Spring ConFest Events:

Theme - "You Belong"
Wednesday, February 15th @ Trinity, Moville
Wednesday, February 22nd @ Zion, Gowrie
Events begin at 5:45 pm with a light supper, programing starts at 6:30 pm
Registration will begin on January 5th!!
"Serving the Church Together"
2017 Western Iowa Synod Leadership Academy
When: Saturday, February 18th              
Snowdate: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 or 4 pm
Where: St Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge
For all congregational members!!
Please Join us For the Installation of Pastor McCormick at Trinity in Estherville
Trinity Lutheran Church would like to extend an invitation to all  for the installation service for their new pastor, Pastor Cole R. McCormick.  Worship will begin at 2:00 PM on January 8th, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall. 

Rostered leaders are invited to robe and should gather in the multi-purpose room at 1:30 pm, "white" will be the color for the day.  We look forward to seeing you on January 8th.  If you have any questions, feel free to call Deb in the church office at 362-3335. 
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968