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: Northern Illinois Synod, Bishop Jeffrey Clements
Congregation of the week: St. Paul, Atlantic, Rev. Gran Van Lishout
  • South Sudan
  • President & Government
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy Peterson
  • Rev. Tonna Parsons
  • Synod Assemblies beginning around the US
  • Synod Assembly prep for Western Iowa Synod
  • Rebecca & Rich Sheridan (DEM, Nebraska Synod) - new baby
  • Family of Rev. Al Hermeier, who passed away on April 4th. Al previously served at St Olaf in Fort Dodge before leaving the ELCA. 
  • Continued --->
In This Issue:

Important Links:


  • Families as they grow and move into new situations, children, spouses, parents, and grandparents. 
  • Colombians (mudslide victims), Venezuelans (worsening everything conditions), Russia (metro bombing), Syrians (Chemical weapon use)
Items to Keep in Mind as We Approach Holy Week!!
  • Make sure your congregation's web site is up-to-date with service times, office hours, upcoming family events, etc. Keep this information on the homepage, so visitors don't have to seek for it.

  • Create a simple visual graphic with service times that can be shared via social media. Send this graphic out through your newsletter so others can share it.

  • Check your signs to make sure they're clean, read-able, and accurate. This includes entrance/exit/parking signs outside, and signs inside directing to the nursery, restroom, church office, etc.

  • Make sure your service times are visible to those driving/walking by (a banner, updated sign, etc)

  • Double check worship material for 'insider' language or language that assumes familiarity with the worship service. This may include making sure the full Lord's Prayer and Apostle's Creed are printed, etc.

  • Clearly announce things that may be assumed (fellowship hall location, Sunday School, Easter Brunch time, etc)

  • Don't worry about translating holiday visitors to regular worshipers. Treat everyone like they are coming home for family dinner and you're just happy to see them and catch up.

A Blessed Holy Week to You All!!
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!!
Get Fit With Your Furry Friend!!

Live Healthy Iowa has gone to the dogs! Well, not completely, but we have created a challenge to get you out and active with your pet during Iowa's cool, Spring weather. 

During this six-week challenge, you and your canine companion can stay active and healthytogether by tracking your daily walk, run or play time. Compete with others in your community and across the state!

The challenge kicks off on April 17. More info and Register @ www.livehealthyiowa.org
Falling and Not Afraid

In her April column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the questions of life after death and what the Scripture says about heaven. She admits that she doesn’t know what comes next in life—but she does know that it’s in God’s hands. Read her column in English here or in Spanish here!
Assembly - June 9-11, 2017
Theme: We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors

May 1st is the deadline date for early registration!!! That's just 25 days away!! Don't wait, after May 1st the registration cost will go up by $15 per person. If you don't pre register the cost at the door is $200!!

Please remember, each congregation can also bring a youth and a young adult voting member!! This is besides the regular adult voting members.

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. Here are the scheduled Chrism Masses for the Western Iowa Synod, all will begin at 10 am:

Friday, April 7          St. Paul, Treynor
Monday, April 10     Immanuel, Akron
Tuesday, 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!

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.
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!!
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