The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Chrism Services for Rostered Leaders

Pastors and rostered leaders, please make plans to join us for one of these chrism services this upcoming week! All services will begin at 10:00 am.

Monday, March 21st at St Paul in Atlantic
Tuesday, March 22nd at St Paul in Holstein
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Congregation of the week: St John, Mineola, Rev. Luke Kuenzli
Synod of the week: Pacifica Synod, Bishop Murray Finck
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • ​Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen 
  • Rev. Lorene Glant
  • Rev. Terry Mahnke, health concerns
  • Jolene Mapel, Kay Broich's mom, whose health is failing
  • Rev. Delmar Carlson
  • Rev. Duane Olsen
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Group from WIS preparing for travels to the Holy Land
  • Pr. Ed Nesselhuf, founder of Prison Congregations of America, health concerns
  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
Grant Opportunity!!
The Western Iowa Synod Mission Endowment Committee is now accepting applications for consideration for the 2016 WIS Mission Endowment Funds. Please fill out an application and submit by April 15th!! Applications may be mailed to the synod office at 318 E Fifth St., Storm Lake, IA or emailed to Lynn at Those selected to receive grant money will be notified within a month of the due date. Thank you!! Application Here!
2016 Assembly News/Updates
84 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

Dates to Remember:
Resolutions are due on April 4th. Please mail or email them to Lynn at the synod office by this date. 

Early bird deadline date for registration is May 1st. Online registration will begin on April 1st

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
Resolution Submittal Form
Resolution Policy
Book of Faith Challenge Gathering

On April 1 Wartburg Seminary invites you to the very first Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge Gathering, an event dedicated to exploring creative, innovative, and faithful ways of teaching and engaging the Bible. The event will host as keynote speaker Dr. Diane Jacobson, former Director of the ELCA’s book of faith initiative, and will feature the year-long Bible teaching projects of selected students from four ELCA seminaries. This Challenge Gathering leads off a series of annual Book of Faith events in 2016-2019, all aimed at encouraging creative ways of faithful biblical engagement in the 21st century for the sake of the larger church. Pastors, church leaders, Bible study leaders, seminarians, and students of scripture of all kinds are most welcome to this invigorating day of dialogue. For more information and registration ($15), click here
Spiritual Direction Flier
Augsburg Fortress Webinars
Augsburg Fortress is offering webinars as a way for you to learn about many of their products; from Sunday School curriculum, to confirmation, Sundays and Seasons, and many more. What a great way to learn more about these helpful resources!! Click here for more information!!
Attention Pastors and Congregational Leaders!!
Many of you have not completed your rostered leader reports or your congregation's A&C forms. You can find all the forms here! The A&C forms can be found in the upper right hand column and to access the rostered leader reports, click on the synods tab and look for the form that fits your situation. Thank you for fulfilling this responsibility!
"We Are Church Together!"
Rev. Lissa Kahl
Sharing a meal at Our Saviours in Humboldt.
Pastor Denise greeting the members, along with Lynn.
Sharing a meal at Nain in Newell.

Welcoming New Leaders Into Our Synod

On March 13th, two new leaders were installed and welcomed into the congregations in which they were called. Rev. Lissa Kahl was installed by Rev. Jeff Ungs at Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Humboldt. Many people were there to welcome Rev. Kahl to the congregation. A meal was held following the service and great food and fellowship was enjoyed by all. 

Also installed was Rev. Denise Parrello at the Scandia Parish. This parish includes Trinity Lutheran in Alta and Nain Lutheran in Newell. A joint service was held at Nain and Lynn Egesdal, AiM installed Rev. Denise. A potluck was held following the service as they continued their celebration in welcoming Rev. Parrello to the parish. 

Please join us in welcoming these new leaders into our synod as we are church together!

Assistance Needed!!
Please help assist those affected by the Spring Storms here in the United States! Click here for more information and to donate!
eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story or event you would like published in the eSpirit, please email it to Lynn by Tuesday at noon!                                  Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK!!
Western Iowa Synod Events
Pastors and Congregational Office Administrators, please note that many of these events have fliers or posters to be hung and/or bulletin inserts that can be printed off for distribution to your congregation. Please help us get the word out about these upcoming events! More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!

A day away for all ordained women!

Monday, April 4 at Lutheran Lakeside.
Coffee is ready at 9:30.
Morning prayer at 10:00
11:00 Avis Davis will gather us for guided meditation and painting project!
12:30 Lunch
1:30 Tai Chi
3:00 Sending prayers and on the way home.
The cost is $30 for the day.  Includes coffee, goodies, lunch, art supplies, and room rental.
Please RSVP to by April 1.
If you wish to come to Lutheran Lakeside on Sunday evening to stay overnight arrangements can be made with the camp office @ 712-336-2109.
ConFest 2016 Will be Here Soon!!

April 6th - St John in Carroll, 6:00 - 8:15 pm
April 13th - St John in LeMars, 6:00 - 8:15 pm

April will be here before we know it!! Make plans to bring your confirmation students to a fun filled, worshipful experience, with other confirmation students from around the synod. They will get a glimpse of what it means to be church together and learn what it means to "Be Faithful Friends". This is a repeat event of last fall, so if you attended one of those, please let others have opportunity to attend one of these events.

Registration is OPEN !!
Space is limited, so please register early!!
Register Here
ConFest Poster
PLAN - IT Event
This event is primarily for youth leaders, however many pastors and leaders can benefit from planning out their year of ministry. A one day event = better planning = better ministry!

“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

While many adults over the age of 50 are thinking about retirement, everyone approaches this important stage in life differently. Some spend a lot of time in the planning stage, while others start planning with just months to spare. No matter where you are in the process, Portico’s day-long pre-retirement seminar can help. And, the good news is we’re coming soon to your area!
Take advantage of this opportunity and join us! We look forward to seeing you there.
Location:              Bethesda Lutheran Church
                                1517 Northwestern Ave
                                Ames, IA 50010
Date:                     Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time:                     Registration begins at 8:30AM, Seminar runs from 9:00AM-6:00PM
Registration:        Register here!
Register today! Once registered, Portico will email you an invoice for $35 per person. Please make your check out to Portico Benefit Services. Either mail the check to Portico or bring it to the seminar. To see other seminar locations and dates, go to the Events Calendar page on myPortico.  Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
Experience the Larger Church 

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.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, Sept. 11, when congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will again have the opportunity to participate in “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday and celebrate who we are as the ELCA – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

If your congregation cannot participate Sept. 11, please consider another time. The 2016 dedicated day of service will also mark the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. 

“The world can be a dangerous place. But there are some who, when disaster strikes, run toward the danger. These are first responders, firefighters, police and EMTs, who live out their baptismal vocation in service to their communities in times of intense need. They do God’s work with their hands.”
                                                                                                         – ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Other Events of Interest
Meatball Supper
Monday, April 4, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Fellowship Hall
(302 N. Oak St., Inwood, IA  51240)
Supper Flier
GROUP - Ministry Training Event
What:  Leadership Training; all denominations welcome!
When:  Saturday, April 2 from 8:00am-3:30pm
Where:  Bethlehem Lutheran Church
            - 300 E Bow Dr, Cherokee
All trainings are led by Group Publishing Staff

To Register: call Bethlehem Lutheran Church 712.225.4969
Registration fee includes lunch!
Stepping UP to Staffing & Supervision
How in the world can a pastor supervise "Volunteers"?
Here's an answer...Come and hear Susan Beaumont!

WHO do volunteers and employees report to?
HOW do job descriptions get formed?
ARE there differences between supervising employees & volunteers?
CAN a committee supervise employees & volunteers?
Sponsored by the United Church of Christ. More info here....
PSST Retreat: “Resiliency in Pastoral Ministry”

This event will be Thursday, April 14 – Friday, April 15 at the Green Lake Bible Camp, Chrysalis House. Please see attached flyer for retreat schedule, registration costs and speaker info. This event is designed for pastors serving in settings with other pastors.
Registration deadline is April 6, 2016. 
Questions about registration, please contact Kristin Bakeberg at the synod office, 507-637-3904.
Retreat Flyer
4th Annual Faith Conference
Saturday, April 23rd    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota
The theme for the day is "Lutheran Convictions for Creation Care". There is no cost for this conference and all are welcome. More info here....
Useful Links                                                           
Western Iowa Synod                                 ELCA News                          Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp
WIS Facebook                                            Living Lutheran                   Lutheran Lakeside Camp
WIS Calendar                                             ELCA Prayer Ventures       St Luke Homes & Services
eSpirit Newsletter Archive                        ELCA World Hunger
Administration Matters