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Synod Calendar

Fall Theological Conference
Sept. 27-29
Ames, IA

Event Registrations

The House I Live In
October 13
Southeastern Iowa Synod Center for Ministry
Iowa City, IA

November 14
Zion Lutheran Church 
Iowa City, IA
Remember in Prayer
As we talk, listen and act about the reality of racism within us and around us, we ask God to instill in us honesty, forgiveness and a dedication to the work of reconciliation that does not come easily.
Quick Links
Synod News
Pastor Russ Melby to be honored by World Food Prize
The World Food Prize announced that the 2015 Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award will be presented to the Rev. Russell "Russ" Melby during the Iowa Hunger Summit on Oct. 13. Pastor Melby is a long-time Iowa organizer of Church World Service CROP Hunger Walks, and Chair of Commission for Church and Society of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.
From 1984 until his retirement in 2014, Rev. Melby involved almost 500,000 Iowans, who together raised over 12 million dollars to alleviate hunger. A quarter of all funds raised in Iowa are returned to local food pantries, and the remainder reduces global hunger by providing emergency aid during famines and supporting families around the world to transition from dependence to self-sufficiency. CROP Hunger Walks are community celebrations that bring people from many different perspectives and faith traditions together to fight hunger in over 80 communities across Iowa.
See the rest of the press release here...

From the Synod Blog: Sharing the Bounty in the 21st Century
By Pastor Gloria Dovre
How many congregations are working on a fall stewardship program/campaign? As we look around at the browning fields and the harvest of crops, it is a natural time to reflect on God’s bounty.  Even though fewer and fewer of us live on farms, our connection to the harvest is powerful.  We don’t survive if it weren’t for the cycle of planting, growth, death and harvest.  Thank you to the farmers and gardeners among us!

If you farm, or if you’ve paid attention to farm equipment, you will have noticed that the methods for bringing in the crops has changed a lot!  I remember my Dad telling stories of hitching up the horses to pull the wagon while he and his father hand picked and husked the ears of corn.  When he began farming, he had a four row planter and an open cab tractor.  He had a two row combine.  Over the years, the size of the equipment and the size of the fields has grown.  Now combines pick up to twelve rows, and measures the moisture, yield and other information on its onboard computer! Read the rest of the article...
Churchwide News
ELCA members lend their hands for ELCA’s dedicated day of service
Equipped with paintbrushes, shovels, power tools, knitting needles and musical instruments, thousands of members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gathered across the country Sept. 13 to lend their hands in service to share God’s love as part of “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday.

The dedicated day of service provides the nearly 10,000 congregations of the ELCA with an opportunity to build on the work they do in their communities every day. Members of all ages – many wearing bright, yellow “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday T-shirts – organized and participated in a multitude of service projects. The activities included cleaning parks and roadsides, assisting at local shelters, helping with home repair, writing letters to shut-ins and military veterans, preparing meals, and delivering cookies and thank you notes to emergency responders. Although the day of service was primarily observed Sept. 13, many congregations schedule activities on other dates throughout the year. Read the rest of this article...

Refugee Sunday 2015
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) invites congregations to celebrate Refugee Sunday 2015. LIRS and the ELCA are encouraging all congregations to set aside one Sunday this year to observe Refugee Sunday, in which churches have an opportunity to observe the perilous journeys refugees undertake, to celebrate the contributions of refugees to American communities, and to educate congregations on current refugee situations.

This effort is undertaken with the full support of Bishop Eaton and a set of resources has been developed by the ELCA and LIRS in order to make it easy for your congregations to observe Refugee Sunday. Enclosed with this message is the ELCA/LIRS Refugee Sunday Kit, which can also be found online at

Right now, observing Refuge Sunday is especially important. With 4 million Syrian refugees seeking safety (2 million of whom are children), refugees are in the news and people are asking what they can do to help. This is an opportunity to educate and reach out. 
Synod Events
Children's Ministry Resource Day
The day will offer worship, workshops on safety policies and education milestones, and a panel discussion with the members of the Children’s Ministry Working Group.
The first bi-annual resource day is a perfect time to connect with other church volunteers/workers and learn a few things to take back to your own congregations. Breakout sessions include Educational Standards - making curriculum work for you, Safety Policies - how to get started, and ending the afternoon with a Q & A Panel and short worship service. 
Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., the event will start at 10 a.m., and  will conclude at 1:30 p.m.
This is a free event for volunteers, helpers, and staff involved with children's ministry within the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Lunch will be provided. 

Saturday, November 14
Zion Lutheran Church, Iowa City

The House I Live In.
Tuesday afternoon, October 13, 1pm – 4pm at the Southeastern Iowa Synod Center for Ministry.  Join us for a showing of the award winning documentary, The House I Live In, which examines how the drug war in America has helped establish the largest prison-industrial system in the world, contributing to the incarceration of 2.3 million men and women and is responsible for untold collateral damage to the lives of countless individuals and families, with a particularly destructive impact on black America.
The film examines the magnitude of the crisis at hand, its origins and its racial, economic and political dimensions.  For the past 40 years, the war on drugs has resulted in more than 45 million arrests, $1 trillion dollars in government spending, and America’s role as the world’s largest jailer. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available than ever. The House I Live In captures stories of those on the front lines, including stories from Iowa, and offers a penetrating look at the profound human rights implications of America’s longest war.

America has at last begun to take the first meaningful steps toward reform. The film promotes public awareness of the problem while encouraging new and innovative pathways to domestic drug policy reform, overcoming racial disparity, and movement toward restorative justice and rehabilitation.  Plan to stay for conversation following the film. 

To register for this free event, click here.   

Save the Date: Love Like Jesus
Love Like Jesus is an event for High School students. 
Save the Date: Confest 
Confest an event for confirmation students.
You're Invited
7th and Final Hope for the Hungry Conference
The final Hope for the Hungry Conference will be held November 7 from 9a.m. to 3 p.m. at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines. The conference topics include, current hunger issues, current work to alleviate hunger, volunteering to alleviate hunger. The conference will include panel discussions and a keynote address by Matthew Russell of Drake University.

Registration is $40 (before Oct. 23) and more information can be found at

Rise Up Together Tour
Agape*, Rachel Kurtz and Joe Davis will be performing at two southeastern Iowa congregations this fall. These dynamic performers were all part of the 2015 Youth Gathering in Detroit and are playing shows on October 16, in Cedar Rapids and October 17, in Clive. Download the flyer for more information.

Hope Leadership Conference
Strong Christian leaders are essential to the positive growth of teams, churches, organizations, communities… and the world! We invite you to join us for a conference where together we will help prepare church leaders to more effectively reach out to the world around us and share the everlasting love of Jesus Christ!  Join us for the 2015 Hope Leadership Conference! Bishop Michael Burk will be presenting at this event. 
        Thursday, Oct. 22, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm & Friday, Oct.     23,         2015, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

        Pre-conference: Oct. 21, 2015, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
        at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, IA

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2635 Northgate Dr
Iowa City, IA 52245

319-338-1273 phone
319-351-8677 fax