Twice monthly news update for the Western Iowa Synod-ELCA


From the Western Iowa Synod Finance Committee 
New Endowment FUND for THE FUTURE

As you may know, the need to assist our rostered leaders with debt reduction has been a topic of discussion for some time.

Now, the Western Iowa Synod Finance Committee is very excited to move from discussion to action by announcing the formation of a seminary debt reduction endowment fund, a Fund for the Future to assist ELCA rostered leaders serving in the Western Iowa Synod with seminary and other education expenses.

The purpose of this new endowment is to Germinate, Grow and Nurture rostered leaders and new pastors in the Western Iowa Synod. Everyone is invited to play a role in this new effort. Here's how....

GOT CALENDAR? Mark it...
Friday, May 1, 2020 (Evening before Synod Assembly)
This special evening will be a celebration fundraiser to Germinate, Grow and Nurture our leaders. The event will feature a great meal, entertainment along with live and silent auctions.

GOT GIFTS? Donate them...
For the auctions, we invite you to share your talents.  Be creative. Have fun. Now's the time to build, grow, bake, stitch, refinish, paint, create and donate items to auction. The more items donated the merrier the funds will be assist rostered leaders!   Invite friends, neighbors, congregations and even strangers to dine, donate and bid in support of our Western Iowa Synod pastors!

GOT PASSION? Demonstrate it...
Let us know who in your congregations is passionate about supporting rostered leaders? The Endowment Committee will make personal contact with these individuals to discuss ways they can contribute Fund for the Future with their financial gifts.

GOT VISION? Make it happen...
We look forward to partnering with all of you in Germinating, Growing and Nurturing the Fund for the Future!

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
To bring hope and light to thousands of migrants in the United States, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has launched its fifth-annual Hope for the Holidays campaign. The program collects cards and gifts for distribution at migrant detention centers across U.S. and at shelters along the border, reminding refugees they are not forgotten during the holiday season. Visit LIRS.org/Hope to access the toolkit with details and sample messages for card-writing and donate to purchase gifts for families in detention.
Western Iowa Synod Featured in Living Lutheran, November 2019

In the November Living Lutheran, members of the Western Iowa Synod tell their personal and congregation's faith journey stories. We invite you to tell your stories of living baptismal promises, stories of faith/faith conversion, stories of sharing time and talents, stories of faith lost and faith found. Drop a line (or several paragraphs) about your faith journey to paula.damon@wisynod.org.

Harvest Festival Celebration
Nov. 24
First Lutheran
716 First Street, Sioux Rapids
Worship - 11 am
Meal - Noon
Free Will Offering
All Are Welcome!


Stay updated on happenings at The Church of the Road to Damascus Congregation by reading The Flash-November 2019.

"Hear" the stories of Lutheran mission ministries in the November edition of Missional Storytelling.

Stewardship-Mission Support
From the Western Iowa Synod Finance
Committee and Bishop Lorna
Your ongoing support continues to sustain mission and ministry on college campuses in Iowa, ELCA seminaries and seminarians. In Iowa and around the world, your generous giving feeds the hungry, provides flood relief and does so much more.

We have prepared some resources for your use at Stewardship & Mission Support on the Western Iowa Synod main page: downloadable prayers and testimonials to tell the ongoing story of mission and ministry in Western Iowa. 

Feel free to post these to your congregation's website and Facebook page; use them for group discussions and/or reproduce for Sunday bulletins.
Blessings as you prayerfully
begin planning for 2020!

Dec. 15 Registration Deadline Certification 
Dec. 15j is the Registration Deadline for the new Spiritual Direction Program, which begins January 2020. Application at http://www.lr.edu/ltss/afl, select "Certification Programs” in dropdown menu.Contact Pastor Gary Dreier, Director, Spiritual Direction Certification Program, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University:
Office 803.461.3222
Cell 651.373.0743

Lifting Hearts & Hands in Prayer
"I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; 
incline your ear to me; hear my words."
 Psalm 17:6 

Together, we prayerfully lift up...
-Retired Pastor A. Pete Petersen, whose wife, Kathy, recently passed away.
-Rev. Jean McCartney, Missouri Valley
-Marilyn Berka, wife of Pastor Jim Berka
-Barbara Derby, mother of Melissa Munsen, Trinity Lutheran, Akron
Synods of Week
Indiana-Kentucky Synod & Bishop William Gafkjen
Southwestern Minnesota Synod & Bishop Jon Anderson
Congregations of Week
Immanuel, George & Rev. Sarah Deutsch
St. John's, Le Mars & Rev. Chris Meier


As seasons change, remember to update phone voice mail greetings. 

Include friendly greeting, church name and location, worship days/times, education/Bible study days/times.

TIP: Put a reminder in your church calendar "Update Voice Mail Greeting"


Women's Ministry
WHO: Women Clergy (Word & Sacrament)
WHAT: Women's Ministry
WHEN: Dec. 5, 10 am-2 pm
WHERE: Parsonage, Ringsted
DETAILS: $20 fee to support new endowment fund for seminary indebtedness. If $20  is not feasible, please still join us. Invite other women in ministry. Hope to see you there!

NEW Specialized Ministry Task Force Being Explored
The Western Iowa Synod is exploring the formation of a Specialized Ministry Task force for  Specialized Care settings, diaconal, AIM and other related ministries.

Designed for ministers serving in specialized settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, hospice chaplains, visitation ministries, etc., the group would meet regularly at a central location.

The Task Force would support specialized ministers in their roles by sharing resources, education opportunities and experiences.

Those interested in being a part of the Specialized Ministry Task Force should contact Pastor John Syvertson, St. Luke Homes and Services, Spencer, 712-262-5931(office), 712-260-7637(cell)
100,000+ U.S. children are waiting for adoption
November is National Adoption Month, a time to honor families who have opened their hearts and homes to children in need. For Lutheran Services in Iowa, this is a time to celebrate the families we support through Foster Care and Adoption and raise awareness for the hundreds of Iowa children in need of a safe, loving home. 
In 30 counties across Western Iowa, LSI Foster Care and Adoption recruits, licenses and supports foster and adoptive families to ensure every Iowa child grows up in a safe, stable environment. Learn more about supporting Iowa children in foster care at Lutheran Services in Iowa Foster Care and Adoption or email Deb Whitford, LSI director of philanthropy and church relations, at Deborah.Whitford@LSIowa.org or call 563-676-2065.

Season of Doubt
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton compares doubt to winter - it can seem long, cold, barren, isolating and lonely. But Bishop Eaton reminds us that doubt is part of faith - and God will carry us through the winter. Read more here.
Send congregational events, ministries, celebrations for consideration to
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588