Synod News
Synod Assembly
Information and registration are available online for the 2019 Synod Assembly to be held May 10-11, 2019 at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. See the webpage for registration, lodging information, information on submitting resolutions, and more. 
See more
Transitions in the Office of the Bishop
The Rev. Eric Carlson, who has served as Assistant to the Bishop since December 2008, has been called to be Senior Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Clive, Iowa. Working diligently and well as part of a team striving to strengthen connections throughout the Southeastern Iowa Synod, Eric has concentrated on strategic planning, as well as on ministries related to governance, faith formation, and global relationships.

Pastor Carlson will be completing his service on the staff of the Southeastern Iowa Synod on the last day of February 2019. As he returns to the ministry of Word and Sacrament within a local community of faith, we are grateful that he has agreed to continue with planning and implementation of the upcoming synod assembly. 

Since this transition first became a possibility, Bishop Burk has been thinking about how best to address the needs that are most likely to emerge. He will share his plans with the synod council at their February meeting. 

For Eric Carlson’s ministry in and on behalf of this synod, thanks be to God. With deep gratitude we prepare to bid him farewell and godspeed.
Churchwide News 
A New Question
By Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, this article originally appeared in Living Lutheran Magazine
What is to be done? Our congregations are growing older and smaller. At least 40 percent of our congregations have an average weekly worship attendance of 50 or less. ELCA membership decreases by 70,000 people a year, or roughly the loss of a synod per year. Clergy retirements outnumber new candidates for ministry. Financial pressures and building maintenance create stress. There is a dearth of people in their 20s and 30s in our pews. How do we change this? How do we reverse the trends?
Continue reading
Webinar: Legal Checklist for Congregations
Congregations can be vulnerable to legal issues and liabilities related to corporate status, taxes, property, insurance and abuse prevention. Many of these problems can be avoided by using an ELCA-prepared checklist of key issues for congregations to address. In a free webinar at 12 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, Feb. 21, the ELCA legal staff will discuss this checklist and best legal practices for congregations. The webinar should be of particular interest to rostered ministers and lay congregational leaders and staff, including congregation council members and officers, church administrators, and pastors and deacons.
Register by Feb. 15
Register online
Upcoming Events
Lutheran Day on the Hill
Join us on February 19, 2019, for Lutheran Day on the Hill.  The morning will include a keynote address from Mikka McCracken from ELCA Hunger, and break out sessions on the three issues that will serve as the focus for conversations with legislators. 

Chartered buses will be stopping in Iowa City, and Newton. This opportunity is offered at no cost to attendees and includes lunch. Lutheran Day on the Hill has been made possible in part through a domestic hunger grant from ELCA Hunger. The three Iowa ELCA synods and Lutheran Services in Iowa are enthusiastic partners in this effort.
Register online
Thursday Webinars
Join us online through your computer phone or tablet for a quick discussion on making a difference in your community with Pastor Carina Shiltz of St. John Preston. All are welcome!

Thursday, February 14, 2019
12:00-12:45 pm
Learn more and register online
Children and Youth Network Meeting
The Children & Youth Ministry Network meeting will be on Thursday, March 7th in Grinnell. Join other staff and volunteers who work with children and youth in their communities. Sign up to share a favorite best practice/resource/event with others.
See more and RSVP
You're Invited
Rural Ministry Conference at Wartburg Theological Seminary
Building Resilience Among Leaders & Communities
Where leaders in rural communities and congregations gather to gain insight and inspiration, to network and neighbor that our ministries might be empowered. This ecumenical conference includes worship, keynote speakers, workshops, and Bible study, and offers participants a unique opportunity to network with others who are active in and concerned about rural ministry. March 3-5. See more
Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
To report your congregation’s mission support intent for 2019. 
Download the fillable PDF
View the Synod Calendar Online

Pray for our seven ELCA seminaries, that their faculty and staff are strengthened, inspired and sustained in their work of preparing men and women for public ministry in a multitude of contexts and communities here and around the world.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin

Stewardship Snippet
Feb. 17, 2019 
Luke 6:20 – Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is
the kingdom of God.”

Why are the poor “blessed” and entranced into the kingdom of God? Emphasizing how wealth can be an obstacle to discipleship, Luke’s gospel challenges us to rethink our relationship to money. What does this passage say to you?

Announcements that appear in this newsletter may be copied and reproduced by congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in whole or in part without permission. Please credit authors if they are credited within this newsletter.