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

Congregation of the week: Trinity Lutheran, Akron, Susan Juilfs
Synod of the week: Northeastern Ohio Synod, Bishop Abraham Allende
  • ​Congregations in transition    
  • Rev. Jim Berka, health concerns
  • Gail & Ben Schilmoeller & baby (Gracelynn Marie)
  • Carol Mahnke & family as they mourn the death of Rev. Terry Mahnke
  • Kandiss Anderson, Faith Formation Coord. at St Mark Storm Lake, and her family as they mourn the death of her son. Funeral service is Friday at 11:00 am at St Mark. 
  • Those affected by the nighttime airstrikes by Syrian warplanes
  • For the many synod assemblies happening this weekend around the country.
  • Pray for the children! For those who have been exploited and involved in sex trafficking. Prayers are even provided by Cherish All Children.
Portico Health Assessment - Just 2 more days to reach the goal and save $$$ !! 
To receive a 1% discount we need you, and your spouse, if applicable, to go in and take the health assessment! This not only benefits the synod but your congregation as well. We only have 9 days left, so log in  and take the health assessment now!! Thanks!!
43 days till Assembly!!

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

Items to Remember:

Early Bird deadline date: May 1st
Registration cost will go up on the 2nd. Register online here!

Assembly Offering - Encourage your congregation to take a special offering to bring to the synod assembly. This money will go towards the Hunger Resolution that was passed at last year's assembly. This should be brought to the assembly with your voting members, or sent in prior to assembly. We are also keeping track of poundage donated to local food pantries, so please turn in your #s of lbs.also. Flier Here.

Diaper Derby - A service opportunity also being offered is to collect diapers for the Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families. Together we can make a difference! Diapers can be brought to assembly. Flier Here.

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

Companion Synod Sunday approaches!!  

The first Sunday in June--June 5, 2016--designates a time in our synod  when all are called to celebrate with joy and thanksgiving our companion synod relationships with the whole of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile and with the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania! Check out the Western Iowa Synod Companion Synod Sunday website page for worship, video, informational, etc. resources.  Check the page periodically for additions that are being developed as we speak and which we hope to post in the very near future.  

Asante sana--Thank you very much--Mucísimas gracias!
Attention!! Congregational Treasurers!!
We are receiving checks at the synod office with no remittance forms. Each time you send a check to the synod office it should be sent with a completed remittance form.  I have attached a copy of the instructions and the form that may be copied off and filled in for each check that is mailed to the synod office. 
You may also find the remittance form and instructions on the Western Iowa Synod web-site, click here!  Remittance form here.

Please contact Kay at the synod office if you have any questions.
Hatua Kwa Hatua Tanzanian Audit produces a clean bill of health!!  We are happy to share that a recent audit of the Hatua Kwa Hatua bank accounts and activities has produced a clean audit report!  We thank BAPA Auditing services, the many Tanzanians from the Southern Diocese who assisted and cooperated in the process,  and the many from the Western Iowa Synod who contribute to our mutual  companion work which makes this audit possible.  Bwana Yesu Asifiwe (Praise be the Lord)!
Attention Young Adults!!
LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, is looking for young adults (age 21-30) with Bachelor's degrees for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer work and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2016 to the end of July 2017, our corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health insurance, transportation, spiritual direction, and a $400/month food stipend. We also offer a $1000 re-entry grant at the end of the program for moving expenses. More here...

Celebrating with Pastor Panamarow!!
Pastor Tess Panamarow (Immanuel,  Sioux City) was recently honored by Jackson Recovery Center in Sioux City with the Rudy Oudhuesden Award, to an outstanding community member contributing to "the healing power of spirituality in the lives of addicts."  Presenting the award is Jackson CEO Kermit Dahlen (a member of St. Mark Lutheran in Sioux City). Previous winners of this award are Rev Chuck Wolff and AIM Bert Burwell.
Upcoming Events, please help us spread the news to the members in your congregation.
 More information can also be found at the link by the event below or on our website here!
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 in one day! 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 call Lynn if you'd still like to register or if you have any questions! 712.299.2570                               

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!
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.

Spring Dinner @ Immanuel Lutheran, Sioux City
When: Thursday, May 5th
Time: 5:00 pm -7:00 pm
Cost: $8.50     Children 4-10: $4       Children 3 and under: Free

Menu: The original Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, bread, dessert and beverage. 
You may call 712.255.4729 if you have any questions.

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
If you have a story or event you would like published in the eSpirit, please email it to Lynn by Tuesday at noon!  

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