The eSpirit is a weekly e-newsletter of the Western Iowa Synod
Please join the mission team in prayer:

Congregation of the week: Christ Lutheran, LeMars, Rev. Shawn Brooks
Synod of the week: Eastern North Dakota Synod, Bishop Terry Brandt
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • Rev. Terry Mahnke, health concerns; and Carol
  • ​Prayers of thanks and continued healing for Kathy Petersen wife of Rev. Arlo (Pete) Petersen and Rev. Lorene Glant, who have both received reports of being cancer free. Praise be to God!
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Rev. David Cox recovering from surgery
  • Kay Broich and her family as they mourn the death of her mother
  • ConFest participants, that the seeds planted may grow and flourish

  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
57 days till Assembly!!

Join us for service projects!!

Date: June 10th - 12th.
Theme: "We Are Church Together!" 
Theme verse: Ephesians 4:11-13
Location: Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Cir., Omaha, NE 68114; Phone 402-399-9000

Diaper Derby!!!
Providing Diapers for Lutheran Family Services!! Make plans to bring a box or bag of diapers with you to assembly or money to go towards diapers or other family needs!!!  More information will be available soon!!!

Service Project opportunities prior to this year's synod assembly!!
Holding our synod assembly in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area provides us with a plethora of opportunity to make an impact on those communities; they will know the Lutherans are in town!! Make plans to join other locals and assembly attendees in volunteering, serving and making a difference the morning of the 10th of June. Projects will finish up around noon or shortly after; in plenty of time to be ready for registration which begins at 2:00 pm. More details will be available soon!!!

Watch this area of the eSpirit for special assembly announcements and updates. Information and forms will also be available on the synod's website on the 2016 Assembly page
Has your pastor taken their health assessment yet? If not, please encourage them to do so. It is for their benefit and also for the congregation's and synod's benefit. Each congregation can earn a 1% discount on health contributions! Find out more information here!!
A NEW VISION is on the way!  A completely new and revised curriculum has been developed.  NEW VISION will come in two designs—LIKE FIRE can be used for leadership training, mission trips, with a planning committee, the call committee and as a mission school.  Brief instruction on use is included.  ALL THINGS RESTORED is a 10 week adult class/forum. Read more here.

Bridgebuilder, developed by Dr. Peter Steinke, is a resource of trained lay and clergy who assist congregations in reconciliation and healing.  The six-step process includes interviews with congregation leaders and other members, interviews with staff, gathering of information and preparation for a follow-up plan. Congregations discover solutions best suited to their context using the God given skill found within their own community. Read More here.

Can we answer the question ‘why’?
Knowing the ‘why’ is important for the church’s future directions
by Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Once for continuing education I signed up for an introduction to philosophy course at the community college. I was a music education major in college and never had any philosophy courses. Since philosophy and theology are so closely related, I thought it was about time that I became better acquainted with the Western philosophical tradition. So off I went to learn how the great philosophers have addressed the questions of human existence.
(article from the April "Living Lutheran"    
ConFest 2015-2016
BFF -"Be Faithful Friends" was the topic of last fall's and this spring's Western Iowa Synod ConFest Events. Approximately 500 confirmation students and adults attended all four events. The sites were: Emanuel, Council Bluffs; First, Algona; St John, Carroll; and St John, LeMars. Thank you to each of those sites for partnering with us and hosting these events. If your group was unable to join us for these events we hope you will be able to join us next year. This event was an opportunity for youth and adults to learn about the wider church; congregation, synod and churchwide organization and the benefits of being the church togetherr. They also had an opportunity to hear from Bishop Prois about the importance of loving others, learn about "Walk for Water" and the importance of clean water for our neighbors around the world; and raised money for "Walk for Water". Over $500 was raised from all of these ConFest events and will go towards clean drinking water for our neighbors around the world!! Thanks be to God!! More pictures can be found here! 
Pastors and Congregational Office Administrators, please note that many of these events have fliers or posters to be hung and/or bulletin inserts that can be printed off for distribution to your congregation. Please help us get the word out about these upcoming events! More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
Tools for Community Engagement  
When: Saturday, April 23rd - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Where: St Mark, Storm Lake
Cost: $10 (lunch included)

This workshop is intended to equip us with ways (and the will) to listen to and embrace what our neighbors and other community members have to offer. Further, we will discover how it is that we might join with those neighbors to do the will of God in the world, starting in our immediate communities. It's a great idea to bring others from your congregation with you. That way you'll enjoy a shared experience and be able to more readily "hit the ground running" upon your return to your ministry setting. 
Register Here!                              Bulletin Insert
PLAN - IT Event for Youth Leaders and Pastors
“Making it up as I go” or “Flying by the seat of my pants” is not making for successful ministry. PLAN-IT:    Better planning = Better Ministry
Plan your whole program year! Come by yourself or bring a team

Location: St John Lutheran, Carroll
Date: April 30th
Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Cost: $20/person (meal included)      Team of 3 or 4: $50

Please email Lynn Egesdal with any questions!                                
Register Here
Plan-it Flier

Pre-Retirement Seminar

Location:      Bethesda Lutheran Church
                      1517 Northwestern Ave
                       Ames, IA 50010
Date:             Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time:             Registration begins at 8:30AM, event 9:00AM-6:00PM
Registration: Register here!  
Questions, please email Kelsey Bode, Portico Events Coordinator,
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we invite you to attend the Grace Gathering, in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. This will be an opportunity to experience the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today. More Info...​      The synod is looking into the possibility of a synod bus going to this event!! Please watch for more information. A letter from the secretary of the ELCA!
St. John Lutheran Church, Sioux City
First Lutheran Church, West Okoboji
4th Annual Faith Conference
Saturday, April 23rd    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota
The theme for the day is "Lutheran Convictions for Creation Care". There is no cost for this conference and all are welcome. More info here....
You are invited to attend an ecumenical "Women of Faith Event" at First Lutheran Church, West Okoboji on Sunday, April 24th at 4:30 p.m. The program features stories from real women of faith in our neighborhood and will culminate with an evening meal catered by Tweeters of Okoboji, followed by humorist and effervescent speaker, Jenny Herrick, who traveled halfway across the world with 45 other clowns on a trip led by the "real" Patch Adams, whose life was made into a movie and was portrayed by Robin Williams. Bring a friend, a neighbor, an aunt, a grandma! Bring a carload! Enjoy fun, faith and fellowship with other Women of Faith! Tickets are on sale in the First Lutheran Church office for $13 or by contacting Jane Kruse  Dinner seating will be limited, so get your tickets early!  Nursery service available upon advance request. (Event is hosted by First Lutheran Families in Service. )   
Hip-Hop Outreach Coming to Atlantic
St. Paul’s is pleased to announce that International Christian rapper, dancer, and storyteller AGAPE* will be performing in Atlantic on 
April 28th, 5:30pm at the YMCA. 
All ages are welcomed to come share this exciting experience with us! Love offering accepted

AGAPE* (pronounced a-gá-pē) has performed for hundreds of thousands of youth across the US, and in eight different countries. He has recorded six CDs and has recorded with critically-acclaimed producer Ant (Atmosphere, Brother Ali) as well as Chris Brown's producer Ra Charm. Agape has shared the stage with the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Toby Mac, David Crowder, Tony Campolo, and Gospel giant Kirk Franklin.
AGAPE* connects with his listeners in a way that they really "get it". His energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop, find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. His passion is to bring together people of all backgrounds and let them know about God's love for the whole world. This is "AGAPE*"!  If you would like to hear more about AGAPE you can visit the following links or call St. Paul's in Atlantic @ 243-3678

Central College A Cappella Choir to perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE

PELLA, Iowa – The Central College A Cappella Choir will perform at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, 2650 Farnam St, Omaha, NE on Monday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. as part of their annual tour. The A Cappella Choir, a 60-voice auditioned collegiate ensemble, performs regularly in Iowa throughout the academic year, and also around the country in locations like St. John the Divine in New York City and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The choir tours internationally every four years. Recent tours have included Brazil, Italy and China. As a collegiate choir with a rich choral tradition, their eclectic repertoire ranges from classical 15th century to contemporary and gospel selections.

The A Cappella Choir mission is to “combine the attributes of each member to form a community that strives to create beauty and inspire others through the universal language of music.” Come be a part of our musical community at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church. The concert is free and open to the public. There will be a free will offering. For more information, visit  
This event will offer participants, both clergy and lay persons, who are serving their neighbors in Jesus‘ name, time for personal renewal, spiritual practices and discernment, high quality education and Bible study, and Spirited worship. Speakers include Former Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Mark Hanson, Ginger Anderson-Larson, Dr. Diane Jacobson, and Dr. Winston Persaud. More info here....
eSpirit Submissions
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