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: Greater Milwaukee Synod, Bishop Paul Erickson
Congregation of the week: St. John, Council Bluffs, Rev. Jon Benson & Rev. Ben McIntire
  • South Sudan
  • President & Government
  • Congregations in transition
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Rev. Trudy Peterson
  • Synod Assembly prep for Western Iowa Synod
  • IELCH Chile - Rev. Izani Bruch
In This Issue:


Dear friends in Christ,

I write as we are to begin the walk through the three days known in the church as Triduum, a remembrance of the days that changed how God relates to the world.  This is a time for us to ponder on the wonders of God.  We hear of an ending to Christ’s earthly ministry, an unfair trial with a capital punishment sentence, and then true victory over death. It was/is unfathomable affection, devotion, and willingness to endure great suffering, but we are left with the question, why did he have to die? 

The Apostle Paul gives us some clues in his letter to the Colossians: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, … and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” Col 1:15-20


As I understand it, if God were to find a way for creation to escape the punishment of the law, God had to change and bring about reconciliation.  God changed by taking on the form of a man, and upending the justice system, not only for humankind, but for all things.   Jesus received what he didn’t deserve, and those that should suffer won’t.  Yet we cling to the old law and cry that the guilty must pay. We cannot see God’s salvation story as ours to carry out in our dealing with others or the rest of creation.  I pray that with the remembrance of Christ’s death and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection we might find a way to embrace a new reality in the world;  we no longer live for ourselves.  Those philosophies that espouse self-determination and ‘me first’ attitudes essentially say that Jesus did not have to die.  Rational individualism is an extreme example of a culture (or person) turned in on itself, and can only see the law.  The cross of Christ, for those who believe, is a visible reminder that God so loved the world that he was willing to do the extreme and allow grace to establish a new order where care for the other is before self. 

When you proclaim, “He is risen, He is risen indeed!” this Easter time hopefully will see it is a public pronouncement of your willingness to live into a new way of existence where forgiveness is given before it is sought. 

Have a blessed Easter!

+Bishop Rodger Prois

Cross+Gen Ministry Tour Coming to the Area - 3 Opportunities

Join Dr. Rich Melheim, curator of the Cross+Gen Movement, to explore the future of faith formation in the Post-Television, Post-Sunday School, Neo-Google World.

Invest a day with Cross+Gen ministry curator, Rev. Dr. Rich Melheim. Explore the fun, depth and blessings of transforming the church at the core through Cross+Generational ministries. Leave with a plan to engage every age and stage of life in strengthening the church week-by-week, night-by-night, and cell by cell in 2017. Church leaders serious about exploring this systemic change are encouraged to bring a task force of staff, board chairs, worship teams, parents and key volunteers from every age group. To give you a break if you’re serious about transformation, Rich is actually charging LESS if you bring a full team.Churches that come with teams of 8+ will pay nothing for registration, and only $10 a person for lunch and snacks!

3 Opportunities near the Western Iowa Synod:
Where: Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls (909 W 33rd St)
When: Thursday May 11th
Time: 8:45 - 5, registration begins at 8:00.

Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Omaha NE (2725 N 60th Avenue)
When: Friday May 12th
Time: 8:45 - 5, registration begins at 8:00.

Where: Des Moines - Location to be announced soon!!
When: Saturday May 27th
Time: 8:45 - 5, registration begins at 8:00.

Cross+Gen Tour Flier information here!!                                Online info here!
What Blinds You?
By Deacon Tammy Devine
ELCA Wellness Manager
April 2017
"And their eyes were opened..." Matthew 9:30a

The two blind men following Jesus were physically unable to see, yet they were able to identify him as the Son of David as he drew near to them. Did their disability make them weak, downtrodden, or timid? No. With confidence, they asked Jesus for mercy. Their faith matched their boldness and they were healed.
As a young member of 4-H, I learned a lesson while showing my Hereford steer. Inexperienced and worried I wasn’t properly showing my animal’s qualities, I focused on my steer instead of the judge. Three times the judge motioned me into the first place circle. Three times I missed the signal. I was blinded by my lack of confidence. While I got a blue ribbon, I was most saddened by the disappointment on my dad’s face. He knew that by my inattentiveness, I had missed being named Champion.
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering
Whether You're Planning on Going, Thinking About Going, or Wondering How You can Participate.... this meeting is for you!!!

The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is only 14 months away!! If you haven't started planning, now is the time!! Do you have questions or want to hear why you should take youth from your congregation? Do you want to hear about opportunities for transportation? Then plan on attending one of the informational meetings that is planned for May 6th.

Informational Meetings
Saturday, May 6th
St. Paul, Holstein - 9:30 am
Christ Lutheran, Ft. Dodge - 2:30 pm

The Synod Coordinators for the gathering are Kim and Tracy Gayer from Inwood. 

The Official Gathering Handbook is a great resource for all your planning for the 2018 Youth Gathering in Houston.

This handbook covers everything from Pre-Gathering planning, experiences and expectations at the Gathering, and how to process and share your post-Gathering experiences. Having trouble budgeting? The Handbook has sample budgets! Don't know where to begin with your group covenant? It's got you covered! Whether this is your first Gathering, or your 14th, there's something for everyone in the Handbook. 

Advocacy as Easter Hope
ELCA Advocacy, Washington D.C.

EASTER: The Easter message “Jesus is Risen!” is an invitation to a new hope. It declares the Good Friday landscape of shadow, suffering and death as a persistent, but not a final, reality. Easter proclaims God’s power to write a new future for our lives and our world, a reality marked by love that transforms and reconciliation beyond what divides us. Advocacy can be an act of this Easter hope, witnessing to the God of resurrection when we speak to new possibilities for our life together. Lutherans highlight this hope in the descriptions below, as we speak to the suffering in the South Sudan, advocate for climate justice and give testimony for just and humane policies towards migrants and refugees. 
Assembly - June 9-11, 2017
Theme: We Are Lutheran: Opening Doors

May 1st is the deadline date for early registration!!! That's just 11 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!!

  • If you or your organization would like to have a display table, please fill out a request form and register.​​​​​​​
Click here to access the assembly webpage!!
There's Still Time to Join Us!!!
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: $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

Register Now!!!

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!

Invitation to a Storm Chasers Game
from Andy Baker
As we prepare for the start of our season, I wanted to reach out and let you know that we are excited to be hosting our Lutheran Night 2017 celebration at the ballpark on June 5th! We are very excited for this year’s Lutheran Night, as we recognize the 500th reformation of the Lutheran Church!

Outfield Box Seats - $7
Infield Box Seats - $11

We will have special appearances throughout the game from important Lutheran figures, so sign up now to secure your spot! For any ticket purchases or questions on tickets, please give me a call at 402-738-5137 or send me a reply email to andyb@omahastormchasers.com.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Storm Chasers, and I am excited to host you on our Lutheran Night in 2017 at Werner Park.
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.
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