Don't miss out on the news, stories, opportunities and events in and around the synod that are listed below!  Please share this information with your congregational secretaries and congregational members via your bulletin, facebook page, email, etc, and invite and encourage them to attend the events as We Are Church Together!! 

Synod of the week: Northeastern Iowa Synod, Bishop Steven Ullestad
Congregation of the week: Strand Lutheran, Ann Albert
  • South Sudan
  • President & Government
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy Peterson
  • IELCH, Bishop Izani Bruch as they struggle through difficulties in structure and leadership
  • Issues and concerns of team members

In This Issue:


SAVE THE DATE! -                   Fall Theological Conference

The 2017 Tri-Synodical Fall Conference for rostered leaders will be held at the Sheraton, West Des Moines from September 24-26, 2017.  Speakers Anna Madsen and Bishop Guy Erwin will address the:  the theme “The Reformation:  What’s at Stake?  Then and Now.”  Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will also be in attendance for a presentation and to preach and preside at the Monday evening communion service.  Registration will be available on-line beginning July 1.
Youth Ministry Holy Dreaming in the Western Iowa Synod
The Western Iowa Synod's Lutheran Youth Organization is inviting all those interested in youth ministry, adults and youth, to join us for a discussion to address such things as:
  • To what is God calling us to do as a synod, with and for the youth of our synod?
  • How can we as a synod assist in raising up leaders, both lay and rostered?
  • In what ways can a synodical LYO assist in the ministry of the synod?

If you have a passion for youth ministry then please come and join us for this important discussion. Please invite others that might be interested!!

When: Saturday, April 8th; 9:30-11:30 am (those interested can go out to lunch together)
Where: Western Iowa Synod Office, 318 E Fifth St, Storm Lake
If you are planning on coming please let us know by clicking here!!
Western Iowa Synod Women's Scribe Newsletter

The Scribe has gone electronic!! From this point forward the women have decided to send out the quarterly newsletter electronically. It will be included in the eSpirit closest to it's publication date, you can find this quarter's here and there will also be a link on the Women of the ELCA page on the synod's website. 
How to Earn Wellness Dollars

If you have ELCA-Primary health coverage, follow these three steps to earn up to $400 wellness dollars by completing Portico’s Live Well Challenge. Find everything you need to get started at PorticoBenefits.org/livewell

  1. Take stock of your physical and emotional health via the health assessment ($100 wellness dollars)
  2. Take stock of your retirement readiness via Portico’s Retirement Planning Tool; at the end of step 4 in the tool, you can either implement changes or save the plan for future consideration to earn your wellness dollars ($200)
  3. Identify and work towards a positive lifestyle change, and report your progress on myPortico ($100)   Don't wait!!! Earn your wellness dollars now by clicking here!
A Call to Prayer from the Bishops
from the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

“As the Conference of Bishops, we call our worshiping communities to pray for raising up leaders for this church. We ask that the petitions of every worship service include a plea that new lay leaders, deacons and pastors be identified, invited, encouraged and supported in responding to God's call to ministry.” [adopted March 4, 2017]

At its March 2017 meeting, the ELCA Conference of Bishops claimed identifying, inviting, equipping, and supporting leaders and cultivating vital faith communities as two of the highest priorities for our work together. Active attention to these two priorities is essential....continue reading and prayers here.
South Sudan Needs Assistance
More than 7 million people in South Sudan need humanitarian assistance as a result of drought and renewed violence.

The ELCA is working with others to deliver immediate famine relief. In addition to these efforts, our church continues its long-term commitment to cultivating sustainable food security and sustained ministry with the people of South Sudan to build resilient and empowered communities. Full info in browser!
Download your congregational toolkit or make a donation to help the people of South Sudan by clicking here!
Assembly - June 9-11, 2017
Theme: We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors
Clarification for Assembly Offering and Medical initiative

Assembly Offering: money collected or designated by your congregation and brought to assembly to be given during offering at worship on Friday night or Sunday morning. This money will be split between two ministries:
1. Señor de la Misericordia, Latino Ministry in Denison
2. Thanksgiving Lutheran, Sudanese Ministry in Council Bluffs
Assembly Offering Bulletin Insert

Medical Supplies/Equipment Initiative - (comparable to our diaper drive last year) Western Iowa Synod will collect and offer medical supplies and equipment to Global Health Ministries for use in its ministry throughout the world. GHM will, in turn, seek to assist WIS in the attainment of prioritized medical equipment and supplies—as well as desired books--for the Ilembula Lutheran Hospital, Kidugala Medical Center and/or numerous dispensaries in the Southern Diocese, ELCT. How? Inform your congregational members, work with your area clinics and medical supply stores, speak with your doctors, dentist, optometrists, pharmacies and health care aids suppliers, etc. to attain good, usable medical supplies and equipment. Bring them all to the WIS Synod Assembly in Sioux City, June 9 or June 10!

Click here to access the assembly webpage!!
Chrism Mass for Rostered Leaders
What is a Chrism Mass?
A Chrism Mass is a service held during Holy Week and presided over by a synodical bishop. At this unique liturgy, the blessing of oil is coupled with a renewal of vows for rostered leaders. The traditional day for this service is Maundy Thursday (when some traditions believe the first ordinations took place). In some places (especially in geographically large synods), bishops make provision for several chrism masses throughout the synod to enable all rostered leaders to participate. Here are the scheduled Chrism Masses for the Western Iowa Synod, all will begin at 10 am:

April 7      St. Paul, Treynor
April 10    Immanuel, Akron
April 11    Grace, Ft. Dodge

Following the Chrism Mass, we invite those interested, to eat together at a local restaurant!
Spring Fling Administrative Assistant's Gathering
When: Wednesday, April 19th, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm
Where: Western Iowa Synod Office
318 E Fifth St, Storm Lake
Who: Church Administrative Assistants
Cost: $20 on or before April 10th, $25 after April 10th
Pastors and Council Presidents, Administrative Assistant's Day is Wednesday, April 26th, why not register and send your admin. asst. to the Western Iowa Synod's Spring Administrative Assistants Gathering the week before. It will be a great day of learning, laughing, sharing ideas, and enjoying the fellowship of one another!! 
Flier w/registration
Register On-line Here

Boundaries Workshop for Rostered Ministers

When: Thursday, April 20   10:00 – 4:00

Where: Boulders Conference Center – Denison, Iowa

Cost:  $35

As people who work with people, we know the importance of relationships. We also know that healthy relationships depend upon clear and respectful boundaries. Rostered ministers especially need thoughtful and consistent training around boundaries because of the variety of their relationships. The ELCA requests that each synod review boundaries and expectations with rostered leaders every three years. If you have questions please contact Rev. Lorna Halaas at Lorna.halaas.rev@wisynod.org.  or Register Here!

The Fort Dodge Forum Spring 2017 Schedule
The Forum meets at Grace Lutheran Church, Fort  Dodge. 

Forums begin at 9:30 am with coffee and fellowship.  The program runs from 10 until noon.  A catered meal (about $8) is available to conclude the event at noon.The Forum costs $40 per session, payable at the time of the forum. Join us for another year of learning together as we strive to lead our congregations into God's future. Complete schedule can be found here!
Rostered Ministers Gathering - Registration is Open
August 7-10, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia
Early Registration is March 1- May 31 @ $245 (includes meals but not lodging)
Registration June 1- July 23 @ $295  (includes meals but not lodging)  More info here!
Faith, Science, and the Freedom to Serve
5th Annual Faith Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Speakers: Dr. Philip Clayton and Rev. Siri Erickson
This year's Faith Conference will explore the creative alliances being built between religion and science in order to address the world's most pressing challenges. More info and registration here!
Interim Ministry Education Opportunities
June 1 we will hold a one-day Advanced Training in Transitions event in Santa Ana, CA.  This event will be held at the offices of the Pacifica Synod.  The event is co-sponsored by the Pacifica Synod (ELCA), the Pacific Southwest District(LCMS), and NALIP.   

ANNUAL CONFERENCE  on June 22-24, 2017 and....
Several dates and locations for Basic Education for Intentional Interim Ministry, the dates and locations can be found at the link below.
For details on these events check their website at www.nalip.net
57th Summer Institute for Church Leaders with Rev. Dave Daubert
When: July 10-13, 2017
Where: Gettysburg Seminary
Cost: Depends on option you choose
Renewal in our Congregations through Spiritually Grounded Change to be Re-Rooted in our Communities. More info and registration here!

July 21-23, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN
The BOLD GATHERING is a weekend for men to come together to learn, to worship, to network, and be equipped to BOLDY live out their faith! We are proud to announce our friend and artist who will be at the BOLD Gathering! William Butler, nationally known artist!!
ELCA Women's Gathering
The Tenth Triennial Gathering
When: July 13-16, 2017
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn
Theme: "All Anew"

*If you are interested in transportation to the Women's Gathering a bus has been secured and will make stops in Atlantic, Carroll, and Storm Lake. If you would like to participate please contact one of the coordinators as soon as possible!! More information and contact information can be found here!!
Okoboji Outreach - Hoonting
For 6th - 12th graders
When: Sunday, April 2nd - 5 - 8 pm
Where: Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
Cost: $3 for food
This is an evening of worship, food, fellowship and FUN!!  Contact Dan at dan@okoboji.org or 1-800-OKOBOJI to RSVP or with questions!!
And Many More Upcoming Events:

25th Annual Festival of Homiletics, May 15-19, 2017

“Preaching on the Borders” is the theme for the 25th Annual Festival of Homiletics, which will be held in San Antonio, TX,May 15-19, 2017. Presenters include: Rob Bell; Nadia Bolz-Weber; Barbara Brown Taylor; Walter Brueggemann; Adam Hamilton; Rolf Jacobson; Bishop Craig Satterlee; Will Willimon; and more.  For details, visit www.festivalofhomiletics.com or call (651) 523-1645

WIYLDE, June 11-14, 2017, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
High school youth from ELCA congregations are invited to the Wholly Iowa Youth Leadership Discipling Event June 11-14 at Luther College in Decorah. This annual camp is designed to help high school youth learn how to become future leaders of the church. WIYLDE offers three tracks designed to give in-depth knowledge and training on a particular type of leadership. The teens will meet in small groups to discuss and put into action what they learn.  More info here!

“Rise, Remember Well the Future,” July 10-13
Celebrate the treasures of the last 500 years and look to the future and God’s covenant of faithfulness in all that is yet to be. Opening worship will be held at Saint Olaf College, site of the constituting ALCM convention in 1986. In plenaries led by Chad Fothergill, Daniel Schwandt, and Mary Louise Bringle, we will reflect on the changing role of the cantor—the leader of the church’s song—as we move confidently into a future blessed by our heritage and full of many changes in the church and its music. More info and registration here...

ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering, August 7-10, 2017

The first ever ELCA Rostered Leaders Gathering will be held in Atlanta, GA, August 7-10, 2017. The theme will be “On the Way Together” and will feature worship, education and fellowship. For details, click here; or call 1 (800) 638-3522; ext. 2552.
Quick Links
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 
712.732. 4968