The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Congregation of the week: Our Saviors, Rembrandt, Rhonda Wykoff
Synod of the week: Northern Texas - Northern Louisiana Synod, Bishop Kevin Kanouse
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Struggles, oppression in Israel/Palestine
  • Gail & Ben Schilmoeller & baby (Gracelynn Marie)
  • Earthquake victims, Ecuador and Japan
  • Those affected by floods in the Houston, Texas area
  • For the 8 synod assemblies happening this weekend around the country.

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
Portico Health Assessment - We're Almost There!!!
Help us reach the goal!! Just 19 more need to fill out their assessment!

The Western Iowa Synod is getting close to the goal of 65%!! To receive a 1% discount we need you, and your spouse, if you have one, to go in and take the health assessment! This not only benefits the synod but your congregation as well. We only have 9 days left, so log in  and take the health assessment now!! Thanks!!
49 days till Assembly!!

Date: June 10th - 12th.
Theme: "We Are Church Together!" 
Theme verse: Ephesians 4:11-13
Location: Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Cir., Omaha, NE 68114; Phone 402-399-9000

With our theme of "We are Church Together" we will have several special guests, from ecumenical partners in ministry, our partner synod, and our companion synods of Tanzania and Chile. Joining us, besides those listed at the right will also be Bishop Dave Brauer - Rieke from our partner synod, the Oregon Synod, Bishop Scarfe (Episcopal), Bishop Trimble (Methodist), and Pastor Pleva (UCC) are those confirmed at this time.

Watch this area of the eSpirit for special assembly announcements and updates. Information and forms will also be available on the synod's website on the 2016 Assembly page
Attention!! Congregational Treasurers!!
We are receiving checks at the synod office with no remittance forms. Each time you send a check to the synod office it should be sent with a completed remittance form.  I have attached a copy of the instructions and the form that may be copied off and filled in for each check that is mailed to the synod office. 
You may also find the remittance form and instructions on the Western Iowa Synod web-site, click here!  Remittance form here.

Please contact Kay at the synod office if you have any questions.
The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is only 2 years away!! Start planning now!!

In 2018 thousands of youth and adults will be gathering in Houston, Texas to experience what it means to be Church Together. Last year there were just under 300 youth and adults that attended from the Western Iowa Synod, and I am confident that we can send twice that number to Houston. I hope you will encourage your youth to take part in this great experience! There are other ways to get involved too: opportunity to be on the planning committee, pray for those planning, pray for those who will attend, pray for Houston, donate towards a scholarship for a youth to attend, be a mentor or prayer partner for someone attending. We have several youth and adults that are willing to come and talk to your congregation about this great opportunity and the impact that it had on them and the city of Detroit in 2015. Please contact me, Lynn Egesdal, if you would like someone to come and speak, and I will make arrangements for someone to be there!! More about the gathering here!
Upcoming Events, please help us spread the news to the members in your congregation.
 More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
Tools for Community Engagement  
When: Saturday, April 23rd - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Where: St Mark, Storm Lake
Cost: $10 (lunch included)

This workshop is intended to equip us with ways (and the will) to listen to and embrace what our neighbors and other community members have to offer. Further, we will discover how it is that we might join with those neighbors to do the will of God in the world, starting in our immediate communities. It's a great idea to bring others from your congregation with you. That way you'll enjoy a shared experience and be able to more readily "hit the ground running" upon your return to your ministry setting.  Please call Pastor Jeff Ungs to register, 712-732-4968.                   
PLAN - IT Event for Youth Leaders and Pastors
“Making it up as I go” or “Flying by the seat of my pants” is not making for successful ministry. PLAN-IT:    Better planning = Better Ministry
Plan your whole program year! Come by yourself or bring a team

Location: St John Lutheran, Carroll
Date: April 30th
Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Cost: $20/person (meal included)      Team of 3 or 4: $50

Please email Lynn Egesdal with any questions!                                
Register Here
Plan-it Flier

Pre-Retirement Seminar

Location:      Bethesda Lutheran Church
                      1517 Northwestern Ave
                       Ames, IA 50010
Date:             Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time:             Registration begins at 8:30AM, event 9:00AM-6:00PM
Registration: Register here!  
Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today. More Info...​      The synod is looking into the possibility of a synod bus going to this event!! Please watch for more information. A letter from the secretary of the ELCA!
A NEW VISION is on the way!  A completely new and revised curriculum has been developed.  NEW VISION will come in two designs—LIKE FIRE can be used for leadership training, mission trips, with a planning committee, the call committee and as a mission school.  Brief instruction on use is included.  ALL THINGS RESTORED is a 10 week adult class/forum. Read more here.

Bridgebuilder, developed by Dr. Peter Steinke, is a resource of trained lay and clergy who assist congregations in reconciliation and healing.  The six-step process includes interviews with congregation leaders and other members, interviews with staff, gathering of information and preparation for a follow-up plan. Congregations discover solutions best suited to their context using the God given skill found within their own community. Read More here.

Hip-Hop Outreach Coming to Atlantic
St. Paul’s is pleased to announce that International Christian rapper, dancer, and storyteller AGAPE* will be performing in Atlantic on 
April 28th, 5:30pm at the YMCA. 
All ages are welcomed to come share this exciting experience with us! Love offering accepted

AGAPE* (pronounced a-gá-pē) has performed for hundreds of thousands of youth across the US, and in eight different countries. He has recorded six CDs and has recorded with critically-acclaimed producer Ant (Atmosphere, Brother Ali) as well as Chris Brown's producer Ra Charm. Agape has shared the stage with the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Toby Mac, David Crowder, Tony Campolo, and Gospel giant Kirk Franklin.
AGAPE* connects with his listeners in a way that they really "get it". His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop, find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. His passion is to bring together people of all backgrounds and let them know about God's love for the whole world. This is "AGAPE*"!  If you would like to hear more about AGAPE you can visit the following links or call St. Paul's in Atlantic @ 243-3678
Spring Dinner @ Immanuel Lutheran, Sioux City
When: Thursday, May 5th
Time: 5:00 pm -7:00 pm
Cost: $8.50     Children 4-10: $4       Children 3 and under: Free

Menu: The original Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, bread, dessert and beverage. 
You may call 712.255.4729 if you have any questions.

Central College A Cappella Choir to perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE

PELLA, Iowa – The Central College A Cappella Choir will perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, 2650 Farnam St, Omaha, NE on Monday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. as part of their annual tour. The A Cappella Choir, a 60-voice auditioned collegiate ensemble, performs regularly in Iowa throughout the academic year, and also around the country in locations like St. John the Divine in New York City and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The choir tours internationally every four years. Recent tours have included Brazil, Italy and China. As a collegiate choir with a rich choral tradition, their eclectic repertoire ranges from classical 15th century to contemporary and gospel selections.

The A Cappella Choir mission is to “combine the attributes of each member to form a community that strives to create beauty and inspire others through the universal language of music.” Come be a part of our musical community at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church. The concert is free and open to the public. There will be a free will offering. For more information, visit  
This event will offer participants, both clergy and lay persons, who are serving their neighbors in Jesus‘ name, time for personal renewal, spiritual practices and discernment, high quality education and Bible study, and Spirited worship. Speakers include Former Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Mark Hanson, Ginger Anderson-Larson, Dr. Diane Jacobson, and Dr. Winston Persaud. More info here....
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