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

Trinity Moville hosts Good Friday “Walk”
Confirmation students in Moville hosted a Good Friday “Way of the Cross” walk featuring 15 pictures they chose to show us forms of human suffering paralleling stations on Jesus’ walk.  The project was inspired by the outdoor display at Lutheran Lakeside which uses posters from a meditation published by the Maryknoll Missionaries.  On Wednesdays in Lent, Trinity students in small group study facilitated by parents read the gospel accounts of Holy Week events.  Each group then chose a poster or picture for display.  With permission of Maryknoll World Publishing, a booklet was given to “Way” walkers with background for each picture and an accompanying prayer.  Three contemporary Christian songs added to the experience.  Students also read the Passion gospel in John 18-19 during a simple worship service after the walk.  Seventy members and guests participated in these Good Friday events. Submitted by Rev. Barb Spaulding
We Are Church for the Sake of the World

I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food            

    Does your church or community reach out to those who are hungry?  Are you one of the many who want to change hunger statistics in Iowa?  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.

            Are you interested in helping the Western Iowa Synod in battling these hunger issues?  Our synod is looking to form a revitalized hunger network of about 30 dedicated members who are willing to learn, be trained for advocacy, and share your own unique stories of mission.            We need YOU! 

            In fact, a 2-day retreat is already planned in early November with the ELCA Hunger Team joining us to facilitate our sharings and our learnings.

            Join us!

Through prayer and action, we can do miracles in our communities.  And we will be fulfilling a mandate from Jesus: “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink…just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  (from Matthew 25) by  Rev. Jen Henry

If you are interested in joining this network please contact Julie Cook ( or Rev. Jen Henry (

From Generation to Generation
Bethany Lutheran Church, Emmetsburg, IA- Traditionally we think of quilting as an activity for the older generation but little did we know that the younger generation just might be interested in the idea.  Three youth (pictured-Josey Saxton, Nick Saxton, and Liza Saxton) have recently had such interest in quilting and so they asked the one person they knew would help, grandma.  Teresa and Paul Saxton gave their grandchildren lessons and guidance on how to sew and how to use a sewing machine.  Their fabric came from the quilting group at church and so they began their lessons.  They created these marvelous quilts as mission quilts and they were recognized on Youth Sunday on April 22nd.   The quilts were blessed by Pastor Peter Morlock.  They want their quilts to be used by someone who needs one so on April 29th, the quilts being sent to Lutheran World Relief will be blessed along with these three quilts from these young, talented, and excited youth.  So needless to say quilting is for anyone and everyone.  What a great way to bond with their grandchildren and teach them a trade that we have so easily lost.  So it leaves each of us with a challenge.  How can we teach/share some of our God-given gifts and talents with others?

Eleven certified as Spiritual Directors - 3 from WIS

At the close of their final residency, April 16-19, 2018, eleven women received their certification as spiritual directors, celebrating the successful completion of the Spiritual Direction Ministry Formation Program at the Benedictine Peace Center of Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton.  Participants came from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota for this two-year program staffed by S. Jeanne Ranek, Director, and Ss. Doris Oberembt and Mary Jo Polak. 
Among those certified were three members of the Spirituality Network for the Western Iowa ELCA Synod, Rev. Lorna Halaas of Sioux City, Vicky Brodale of Cherokee, and Judy Reimersma of Ashton. Lorna serves as assistant to the Bishop here at the Western Iowa Synod, ELCA.   Vicky is a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cherokee where she serves on the Outreach Visitation Team and in Christ Care Small Group ministry program.  Judy is active in a number of ministries at American Lutheran Church in Melvin, Iowa.  Judy and Vicky are also graduates of the Lay School of Ministry, now known as the Discipleship Academy. 
Academic and experiential components of the Spiritual Directors Ministry Formation Program included wisdom from Christian mystics, contemporary psychological insights, skills development for direction and a supervised practicum.  Rooted in the monastic tradition, the program draws from a wide range of Christian writers from early and medieval Church through the 16th century Spanish mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Ignatius of Loyola, to more contemporary figures such as Thomas Merton.
They were part of the last cohort of Listening to the Wisdom of the Heart, a formative training program with a 25-year history that has certified over 115 spiritual directors from coast to coast.  The program will continue in a new tutorial design which offers the same rich content but can better accommodate busy schedules and needs of motivated adult learners.  The tutorial program, arranged in four segments, can be started at any time and may be spread over two years.  Each of the four terms includes a two-day residency at the Benedictine peace Center in Yankton.
More information on the program is available at  or by contacting program director, Sister Jeanne Ranek, OSB, PhD at

Vacation Bible School Service Project Ideas

Looking for a service project to incorporate into this summer’s Vacation Bible School? Assemble Kits of Care for Lutheran World Relief! There are many types of Kits to bring youth together in service to our neighbors in need:

·       School Kits: Simple school supplies, like notebooks, pencils and scissors, make a world of difference for families that struggle to afford their children’s education
·       Personal Care Kits: Basic hygiene items – soap, nail clippers, a towel – are crucial to keeping families healthy, especially after leaving their homes because of war or natural disasters
·       Fleece Tie Blankets: In a hospital room or on the hard ground, these handmade blankets provide protection and a sense of comfort

LWR has a number of resources available to help VBS leaders collect items, assemble kits and track them as they travel around the world. Visit to get started!
Assembly 2018 Information
The Western Iowa Synod Assembly is just a little over a month away!! You should have recently received an email with assembly information. Please pass it on to those attending!! There is still time for others to register!! You can find more information here!! We look forward to being with many of you as We are Church for the Sake of the World!!
Read more about the assembly in the May Living Lutheran insert here!
Preaching in Series Workshop
Create sermon series that will have your congregation faithfully fed, grateful, and alive. Walk away with new ideas, a network of forward thinking preachers, ready-to-go adaptable sermon series, and a plan for your year. 
When: June 19-20
Where: St Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie, MN
Cost: Early bird registration...$89
Who: Lillian Daniel, Karoline Lewis, Mark Hanson
Register and more information
Windows into Palestine Festival
- Minneapolis - MAY 16-19
-featured venues-
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Lord of Life Lutheran Church

Join us in Minneapolis for a 4-day celebration of Palestinian culture!

Bright Stars is proud to partner with Westminster Presbyterian Church andLord of Life Lutheran Church, to provide a unique glimpse into the stories of Palestinian people through their food, film, and art!

Festival features:
Art Exhibits
Film Screenings
Cooking Demonstrations
Live Music
Palestinian soccer star
Presentations by BSB President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb... and MORE!

See a full schedule HERE
For the Health of It

Pre-Retirement Seminar

If you're over age 50 and within 15 years of retirement, our pre-retirement seminars and webinars are a great way to get planning off to a strong start or keep the momentum going. The seminar answers the important questions you may have about retirement, including:

• How much money will I need when I retire?

• What health care options will I have in retirement?

• As I approach retirement, how can I manage my investment risks?

• How can money be distributed from my ELCA retirement account to create a steady stream of income in retirement?

Date:  Thursday, May 17th (additional dates and locations are listed at:

Location:  Carol Joy Holling Camp, Ashland, NE

Time:  9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Cost:  $35/person or $70/couple. Breakfast and lunch are included.

Register online:

What is the Mission Team Up To?
  • Team Building
  • Meetings with congregation/councils
  • Sioux City Forum
  • Text Studies
  • Call w/Spiritual Director
  • Assembly Planning
  • Team meeting
  • Illness
  • Moving
  • Coach meeting
Joining Together in Prayer
Upcoming Synod Assemblies:
Bishop Donald Kreiss, Southeast Michigan Synod, May 11-12, 2018

Bishop Tracie Bartholomew, New Jersey Synod, May 11-12, 2018

Interim Bishop Donald McCoid, Metropolitan New York Synod, May 11-12, 2018

Bishop Michael Rinehart, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, May 17-19, 2018

Bishop Katherine Finegan, Northern Great Lakes Synod, May 17-19, 2018

Bishop Andrew Taylor, Pacifica Synod, May 18-19, 2018

Bishop Patricia Lull, Saint Paul Area Synod, May 18-19, 2018

Bishop Michael Burk, Southeastern Iowa Synod, May 18-19, 2018

Bishop Gerald Mansholt, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, May 18-19, 2018

Bishop David Brauer-Rieke, Oregon Synod, May 19, 2018

Bishop Craig Satterlee, North/West Lower Michigan Synod, May 20-22, 2018

  • Our country and leadership
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy & Rev. Kim Peterson
  • Rev. Pete Peterson & Kathy
  • Our Companion Synods
  • Assembly prep
  • ELCA Youth Gathering preparations
Upcoming Synod Events
More details about these events can be found on the website at

THE (third) SIOUXLAND FORUM will be:
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 5200 Glenn Ave., Sioux City
9:30 am through lunchtime conversation

9:30 am coffee
10:00 am  presentation
12 noon  lunch    
please RSVP to David Halaas via email to
cost: $20 (to cover mileage/honorarium for presenter) plus optional $8 lunch....

Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps -
Spring Spruce and Spiff

And with it, the need to get some spring cleaning done so we are ready for our first campers of the summer in just over a month!
We hope you can join us on one of the these dates for part of all of the day to help get both Ingham and Okoboji open and ready to go!

Wednesday, May 9th
Saturday, May 12th
Wednesday, May 16th

Wednesday nights would be great for a youth group service project!

Projects include:
Adopting a cabin; Raking leaves that finally came down over the winter; Cleaning up and putting in the waterfront

Got a specific skill? Give us a call! 1-800-OKOBOJI
RSVP to camp at 1-800-OKOBOJI or if you are able to join us!

Father & Kids Free Fishing Weekend
June 1-3 is a free fishing weekend for Iowa residents. Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps, along with Lutheran Men in Mission would like to invite you to make it a great weekend with you and the kids! Fishing options from the docks at camp. We are also just north of Gull Point State Park which has great fishing spots. Fishing equipment at camp is available on a first come, first served basis. We also plan to be able to take some fishing on the camp pontoon with times and signups to be arranged. Flier with more info here!
Join us this Summer!

Looking for a time to relax, create fun memories, and grow in your walk with Christ? Join us this summer at Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps! We have summer camps available for all! Check out more information at to find a program that works for you. Our Theme this Summer is "Seek First" based on verse Matthew 6:33.
There's Still Time To Register for Camp

Lutheran Lakeside has a range of programs which nurture love of God and the amazing world we live in.  What child wouldn't be amazed by the fantastic games, colorful rock climbing walls, lively forests, and beautiful lake that makes camp…well camp!  Kids are welcome to come for any length of time they find comfortable.  We have day camp options, short length programs, and even full week long adventures!  Check our and find the program that's right for you!

Bring All The Fun of Lakeside to Your Congregation
Lakeside still has weeks available for off-site Day Camps! Our Day Camps are designed to partner with your church to create a fun experience for the children of your congregation. Each Day Camp contains daily bible studies, worships, songs, games, crafts, mission projects, and more. All activities are lead by our energetic Summer Staff. For more information or to sign up for a Day Camp visit
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry,
please send to Lynn by Tuesdays at noon!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588