Synod News
An Evening to End Hunger: a conversation with David Beckman

The Southeastern Iowa Synod is hosting a special event featuring David Beckman, President of Bread for the World and a World Food Prize Laureate. The event will be held during the week of the World Food Prize on Wednesday evening, October 18, 2017, at St. James Lutheran Church, 5665 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, Iowa, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  All are invited to attend, to hear stories about and to be encouraged to feed hungry people here in Iowa and beyond.

Our LEAD experience
By Rev. Randy Kasch, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids

When our congregation entered LEAD (Living Everyday As Disciples) we discovered that LEAD is a process, a journey, one that calls for patience and trust. We have been growing into this process of congregational discernment and our LEAD team is growing to trust the process and our trust in one another.  

Benefits of the LEAD Journey:
  • Our LEAD Team is learning to listen thoughtfully and intentionally. Early on we learned that LEAD is about relationships; relationships that grow from honest conversation. We share the tough stuff of our lives, the places where we are broken, or have failed or been hurt. We listen to God through Scripture. We listen to one another’s joys and hopes. We are learning to disagree and debate ideas in a healthy way.
  • LEAD is about listening to the congregation. Through a congregation assessment tool, 150 of our members provided feedback on where they perceive our congregation to be in relation to  LEAD’s leadership landscape quadrants of Growing, Becoming, Out of Breath and Stalled. Given this information, we are now preparing a short survey to assess how our congregation relates to the neighborhood around us. We will also listen to various groups within the congregation to gain a better understanding of who we are and how the community around us is impacted by our church’s presence. We are learning about our strengths and discovering how we might grow in the years ahead.
  • The next step will be to head out into our neighborhood and again listen and foster relationships. LEAD is guiding us as we Clarify our Values. LEAD is encouraging us to Center our Faith and Hopes in Christ Jesus and with Joy, to share God’s grace in this challenging time.  We are learning to draw the circle larger.   
Thrivent Choice
By directing Choice Dollars(R) through Thrivent Choice, eligible members recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes some of its charitable outreach grant dollars among thousands of participating nonprofit organizations and congregations, including the Southeastern Iowa Synod.   

Does your organization have a Facebook page? Remember to LIKE Thrivent Financial on Facebook by visiting and encourage your friends and fans to do the same!
Churchwide News

Oct. 32 and beyond. 

By Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, this article first appeared in the October 2017 column in Living Lutheran

This is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For the past year it has been “All Reformation All the Time!” Everything Martin Luther. The really observant have branched out to Philipp Melanchthon and Johannes Bugenhagen. True believers will dress their children up as Martin and Katie for Halloween, or if they tend toward the fear factor, Johann Tetzel.

Bring in the extra brass. Fire up the choir. Sing the fight song (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”). Dress in red. Binge-watch every Luther film and documentary. (I particularly liked Joseph Fiennes as the young, hot Luther.) This is our year!

Oct. 32.

Now what?
Read the rest
Upcoming Events

Join the Southeastern Iowa Synod and The Center for Progressive Renewal for 12 months of becoming a better leader. Throughout the year there will be five in-person and online learning times simultaneously at Faith Lutheran Church - Clive and St. John Lutheran Church - Ely. Gather at 9 a.m. and learn from 9:30-11:30 a.m. An hour will be spent watching an online webinar together and end with an hour or more live question and answer session simultaneously in both locations

  • October 19: Preaching Advent
  • November 16: Boundaries with people who have no boundaries
  • January 4: Preaching Lent
  • March 8: Team Building: Challenges of incorporating young adults to your leadership team
  • April 26: Prioritizing Ministry: don't get swamped with the small stuff

Can't make one or two? Don't worry, with a one-time registration fee of $135 per person, you will have access to all five webinars for a whole year to share with your congregation's leadership teams.

Questions? Contact Pastor Erika Uthe at or call the Southeastern Iowa Synod Center for Ministry with any questions at 319-338-1273.
Register online
You're Invited
Evening Prayer service for Lutherans and Catholics Together
Special guests include Bishop Denis Madden, Bishop Michael Burk, Bishop Richard Pates. 

St. John's Lutheran Church-Des Moines
October 22
4 p.m. 
Save the Date: Reformation Hymn Festival
The River Bend Conference is hosting a Reformation Hymn Festival, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Davenport. 

This event will include a piece sung by the joint choir, compiled by the area church choirs, led by John Hurty of Augustana College.  Please mark you calendar and join us for the Reformation celebration. For questions or more information contact
Stacy Christianson at or Karen Ullestad at

Reformation 500 Festival-St. John's Lutheran Church and Grandview University

Singing Heritage | Sustaining Faith

Reformation Roots | Fruitful Seeds

Reformation Weekend 2017 -- October 27-29

Why not celebrate with worship, education, and music on Reformation Weekend October 27-29, 2017! We invite you to celebrate the 500th anniversary by:
Join a massed choir concert on Sunday, October 29 to sing J.S. Bach's Catata #80 A Mighty Fortress, and other works, OR
Participate in educational sessions and worship on Friday, October 27, OR
Expand your understanding of the Reformation with educational sessions on Saturday, October 28, OR

Cost:  Friday and Saturday -- $30, Single day -- $20

Sunday Concert is Free-will Offering

Learn more and register online
Cedar Rapids area 500th Anniversary

Landmark Worship Service Among Catholics and Lutherans Following a worldwide initiative, Catholics and Lutherans in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area will gather for a landmark common worship at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. The service will start at Immaculate Conception. Halfway through participants will walk across the street and finish at First Lutheran Church. Refreshments following.

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation! You are invited to our Cedar River Conference Reformation Hymn Fest, Sunday October 29th, 4:00 PM at First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids. Local Lutheran choirs will lead us in song and thanksgiving.  The Hymn Fest will be followed by an Octoberfest Meal: Brats, Sauerkraut, hot dogs for the kids, turkey dogs, baked beans, German potato salad and German chocolate cake.  Please mark your calendar and join us for this special festival event!

Augustana College-Rock Island

Plan to attend also a Four-part book discussion on Radical Lutherans, Lutheran Radicals, ed. Jason Mahn  (Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon, 2017).

Mondays – Nov. 13, 20, 27 and Dec. 4,  4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Wilson Faculty Center  

Free food and drinks will be served

Each week the group will discuss a chapter of the book, so reading in advance is suggested. Discussions will be led by the book’s author, Dr. Mahn. Books can be purchased on Amazon or in The Augustana College Bookstore. Reservations are also requested for this second book discussion, again by emailing

Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty area 500th Anniversary events

The following events are planned for ELCA churches to highlight the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:

Date TBD - at Holy Trinity (North Liberty), screening of the film, "Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World"

Oct 21 - Table Talk with Martin and Katie at Zion (Iowa City), will include a German meal and a discussion

Oct 22 - Worship with Martin and Katie at Zion (Iowa City) at 8:15 or 10:45 and stay for a discussion after the last service

Oct 22 - 9:15 a.m. -- artist, Diego Lasansky, creator of the "Junker Jorg" prints, will speak on Oct 22, 9:15 a.m. at GDLC (Iowa City) during Adult Forum, to describe his printmaking process and the inspiration for the print. "Junker Jorg" is the alias used by Martin Luther when he was in hiding at Wartburg Castle in 1521.

Oct 29 - 9:15 a.m. - Prof. Glenn Ehrstine will speak at GDLC (Iowa City) during Adult Forum about "Luther vs. the Pope in the Reformation Media Campaign." The words and images used by both sides were designed to get an emotional response from the public.

For more information on any of these events contact Chris Schlotfelt:

Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
View the Synod Calendar Online

An Evening to End Hunger: October 18, St. James Lutheran Church, Johnston

Incite: October 19, multiple locations, online and in-person.

Children/Youth Ministry Network: November 2, Synod Center for Ministry, Iowa City
As the media and our attention are drawn to and distracted by situations unfolding daily in the world, pray that we never forget or neglect the places of ongoing struggle and conflict, people in great need who live beyond our communities, and communities working to recover from disasters – natural and human made.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin


October 22: 

For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. ~Isaiah 45:4-6

As part of the body of Christ, we are called to steward the good news. It is easy to feel inadequate or want to leave it the ministry professionals, but it is a call of stewardship for all believers. The scripture provides comfort, then, that God does not expect us to have all the answers. God will arm us so that others will come to know God. Be bold in your stewardship of the good news.

See the full month of Bulletin Resources on Stewarship

Announcements that appear in this newsletter may be copied and reproduced by congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in whole or in part without permission. Please credit authors if they are credited within this newsletter.