Bi-Weekly eNews for members and friends of the Western Iowa Synod
WIS Resources:

Joining Together in Prayer
Synod of the week: St Paul Area Synod, Bishop Patricia Lull & Staff
Congregation of the week: Ascension Lutheran, Coon Rapids

  • Changing hearts in the heartland
  • President Trump, administration and USA
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastors Kim and Trudy Peterson
  • Pastor Jeff Ung’s continued healing
  • Pastor Chris Lang - recovering from surgery
Plea For Your Partnership and Support

Dear Church Members and Pastors of Western Iowa Synod ELCA,

We are at a crossroads and crisis in the Western Iowa Synod. Bishop Prois has informed us that in order to meet our missional and ministry obligations for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2019 income to the synod in January needs to be $199,000. We are at a crossroads because there is a real chance, we will renege on commitments we have made to God, to the church, and to the world. If we do that, ministry will fall short, the world will be less as a result of the absence of that ministry, and the Gospel will not be proclaimed as....full printable letter here

New Year Reflection from Bishop Eaton

Happy New Year! In this reprint of her January 2017 column in Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the new year: “Here is where the gift of grace ... helps us make sense of our lives and resolves the stress of New Year’s resolutions—it acknowledges that we are broken and does away with the false hope or the intolerable burden of our being able to make ourselves right.”    Read the complete article by selecting one of the following: English Version          Spanish Version
Rostered Leader Report Forms Due January 30th!!
It's that time of year for rostered leaders to fill out their annual report forms and submit them. You can find those forms here. Please fill out the appropriate form that describes your call and return to Lynn ( by January 30th. Thank you!!  Click here to select form.
Synod Praise Band Looking for Members

The Synod’s praise band participates in worship at Assembly and other events.  Would you like to join us?  The First Annual Band Retreat is scheduled for January 27-29 at Lutheran Lakeside Camp.  Contact John Wolf ( for more information or to sign up.
Thankful For Your Ministry
Vacation Bible School Comes to Friendship Haven
Rev. Jennifer Osheim-Owen hosts week-long session Rev. Jennifer Osheim-Owen, Friendship Haven’s Spiritual Care Coordinator, recently held a week-long bible study for Friendship Haven residents. Approximately 35 residents chose to attend the bible study that covered a host of topics centered around the theme, “Be Well.” Pastor Jennifer used a wellness wheel to cover six areas... read more here
Loyola Brings Comfort and Wholeness
One of the definitions of prevention is not only to stop or prevent a particular behavior, but also to provide a sense of comfort and wholeness.
Jackson’s new therapy dog, Loyola, does just that. “They don’t care what you’ve done,” said Joy Gonnerman, Jackson Recovery Centers Prevention Specialist, and Loyola’s Partner. “They see the person, not the crime. And I think that helps the kids look at themselves differently too.”
Meet 3-year old Loyola. She’s Jackson Recovery Center’s first-ever... continue reading
Or...provide coloring or doodling pages for the adults. Connect it with the readings for the day to make it even more meaningful for those visual learners and for those who just need to keep their hands busy!!
Ideas for Worship
Here's an idea your congregation might want to try. Knitting while you worship. Keep your hands busy while you listen to the word and message. Then pray along during the prayers for the person that will receive the item. 
Positions Available

Director of Music Ministries

First Lutheran Church, Sioux City, Iowa, is seeking to hire a Director of Music Ministries. We are looking for a musician with prior experience to lead the music ministry of our congregation, serving as organist and/or pianist, leading adult and youth choirs.  Our Dobson pipe organ was built in 1984.  We appreciate liturgical ritual and music, we are willing to be innovative and adaptable.  Gifts for ministry include an ability to organize, prioritize and multi-task, working with a wide range of musical talent and all ages. 

An expanded job description is posted on the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians ( website.  Interested individuals should review the job description and submit a resume and references to Pastor Kristine Stedje, or 712 239 3942.
Part-time Administrative Assistant

Where: Trinity Lutheran, Moville, IA
Prepare church bulletins, reports and other tasks as assigned. Computer skills required. 10-15 hours per week. Pay dependent on qualifications.
Please leave a message at 712-873-3327 or email questions to
Apply for Summer Staff at Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps
Join a team of believers committed to sharing the good news of Jesus with youth and families of all ages! Our summer begins with two weeks of staff training starting on May 25. It is followed by nine weeks of camp, ending on August 11. Make a difference in the lives of others this summer!
Apply at or encourage someone to apply who would be the perfect fit! Check out our website or email Dan Antoine at with any questions or for more information.
2018 Portico News
Healthy Meeting Starters

Get your committee, staff, or council meeting off to a grace-filled start by taking time to center your thoughts and connect with God and one another. This set of three healthy meeting starters was created by ELCA Wellness Manager Tammy Devine.

1. Forgiven & Sent engages our bodies in prayer
2. Quieting Body & Mind guides us to be present
3. Name Your State helps us share our state of mind
Upcoming Events in and Around the Synod
More info can be found on the website at
Homecoming at Our Saviour's, Humboldt

When: Sunday, January 13th, 4-6 pm
Where: Our Saviour's Lutheran Church
1212 Sumner Ave S, Humboldt

This is Christ's Church.
There is a place for you here!
A celebration of the ministry that Our Saviour's has been involved in plus games, prizes and a meal. For more information email:
Let Go of What Has You
When:January 20-22nd
Begins at 6 pm on the 20th and ends at noon on the 22nd
Where: St Mark Lutheran, 5200 Glenn Ave, Sioux City
Cost: $225; preregistration required
This 3-day experience will provide you with an opportunity to:
  • Become aware of unhelpful patterns that you find yourself repeating
  • Identify the origins of those patterns
  • Begin to heal the wounding that is the source of maladaptive behavior, so that other choices can be made
Questions or to register, contact Rev. Judy Johnson, LMHC at
The Living Waters Conference
of the Western Iowa Synod will convene the Annual CONFERENCE ASSEMBLY
on Saturday, January 26, at 12 noon.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 600 Court, Sioux City
a noon lunch will be provided....please RSVP your attendance to David Halaas, Conference Dean
Hope in the Heartland
Imagining Our Future as Small Congregations
This conference will be most helpful for congregations with up to 100 people in worship on a weekly basis. 
This is an 8 synod event with 21 gathering sites
When: February 2nd, 10 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Our Savior's Lutheran, Sioux Falls and First Lutheran, Algona
Cost: $50/congregation, plus $10/person for lunch
For details and registration visit:                        Flier here!!
Faith Fest for 6th - 8th Graders
Augustana Faith Fest is a weekend retreat opportunity for 6th- to 8th-grade youth and their adult leaders and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10, hosted by students at Augustana University. This year’s schedule includes service projects in the Sioux Falls community, interactive workshops, games, crafts and more!
This year’s theme, “Fruit of the Spirit,” is based on Galatians 5: 22-23. Together we will explore what it means to live out God’s values of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our everyday lives.
Our special musical guests will be Tangled Blue, a dynamic duo eager to lead our worship through song.
The registration fee of $50 per youth covers the cost of two meals, a Faith Fest t-shirt (for youth participants only), lodging at the Elmen Center on campus, and all program expenses. Adult leaders are free of charge. Each congregation attending Faith Fest is asked to send at least one adult leader per ten youth to participate in all of the weekend’s activities. Payment is due with registration and is 50% refundable in the case of cancellation. More info and registration here!

Church Safety and Security Workshop

Group will be hosting a full-day safety and security workshop in Marion, IA on Saturday, February 16, 2019

This is a highly practical, hands-on training for churches who want to develop and improve upon their safety and security plans. The training will focus on instilling core principles of church safety and security while also providing opportunities to put them into practice through scenario staging and role playing.

Click here for a printable flier that provides additional information about the training. Participants can register here!

White Privilege Conference in Iowa
As we embrace Changing Hearts in the Heartland, we encourage your participation at the White Privilege Conference that will surely deepen your awareness and response to the others around you.  This is a national event, with 2-3,000 attendees, and phenomenal speakers and workshops. It originated in Iowa and has grown incredibly. It returns to Iowa this year in honor of its 20th anniversary, making this a wonderful opportunity for we in the Western Iowa Synod to partake! More information and to registration can be found here.
Cross+Generational Ministry Lab

Saturday, March 16th

Snow date - Saturday, March 23rd

9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Registration @ 9:00 am

St. Mark Lutheran Church

5200 Glenn Ave, Sioux City

At this event you will....

Experience Cross+Generational relationships 

Explore various models and tools for Cross+Generational ministry

Equipped to lead Cross+Generational interaction

Event Flier
Register Here

What is the NEXUS Institute?

The NEXUS Institute is a free, week-long, on-campus institute that brings together 10th-12th grade students from around the country to dig deep into theology with Christian professors and speakers. This institute, which students must fill out an application to attend, helps students think theologically, live in Christian community with our college mentors, and consider their call in ministry. This year’s theme is…

Jesus: Old, New, & Now.

We want to bring up future Christian leaders who understand the gospel and live its truths. We will dive deep into the Old and New Testaments to see the gospel at work, and we will learn how to carry the gospel NOW!


How much does NEXUS cost?

FREE! NEXUS is part of the High School Youth Theological Institutes and is made possible through a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation. The only cost to you is the cost of transportation to Des Moines (should a student need financial assistance for travel costs, please contact us ASAP).


Where can I learn more about the NEXUS Institute?

Brochure Site:

Grand View Website:

2019 Continuing Education Opportunities
A list of continuing ed opportunities can be found on our website by following this link. As new ones are received they will be posted here first and then moved to the website. 
Fort Dodge Area Forum
January 10 - Pr. Judy Johnson, Pastors and Co-dependency 
February 14 - Dr. Martin Lohrmann, Lent
March 14 - TBA
April 11-  Dr. Nate Frambach, TBA 
May 16*-  Dr. Alan Padgett, Science and Christian Theology 

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 $45 per session, payable at the time of the forum. If you have questions or want more information please contact Pastor Mike Kroona at
2019 Minister's Conference
Revitalizing Congregations by Growing Leaders
January 21-23
Pastors, deacons, youth ministers, lay leaders and all church professionals in leadership roles at a church will not want to miss the 2019 Minister's Conference! During this 48-hour gathering of leaders, you will have the chance to add to your ministry tool belt with colleagues from across the region. Additionally, it can count for 10 hours of continuing education credit. More info here...
Save the date!!
Lutheran Day on the Hill    Feb. 19th, Des Moines

Cross+Gen Conference      March 16th, Sioux City

Gathering for Region 5 Deacons      March 31 - April 2nd

WIS Leadership Academy      April 13th 

Western Iowa Synod Assembly      May 3-5, 2019

Churchwide Assembly      August 5-10

Tri Synodical Fall Convocation      Sept. 22-24

eSpirit Submissions
If you have a story, article or pictures to share from your congregation's ministry, please send to Lynn by Monday morning @ 10 am.!
Western Iowa Synod
318 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588