Synod News
Resources for Lent 2018
The office of the Bishop has prepared resources for Lent as a way to more fully engage the synod assembly theme. Resources include:
  • worship planning resources
  • faith formation resources-engaging water projects
  • daily devotionals

We invite your congregation to take part in these activities during Lent. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Erika Uthe, Assistant to the Bishop,
Get the resources
Prison congregation featured
St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Quad Cities recently was able to visit Free Indeed the prison congregation at the Anamosa State Penitentiary below is their article about the congregation

At the piano, an inmate leads the music. Men’s voices fill the air with familiar tunes. Let there be peace on Earth, they sing. How great Thou art.

Fellow inmates take their turn at the lectern, reading the texts for the day’s worship. One man manages the projector with the words to the songs and prayers, and another helps at communion with tiny cups of grape juice.

“This is the blood of Christ, shed for you.”

Welcome to Free Indeed, a Lutheran congregation that meets for worship every weekend at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Jerry Collell is their pastor. It’s a new congregation, started this summer. About 20 or so men gather each week. As time goes on, the hope is that worshipers from the outside will come and worship too...
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Churchwide News

Church Speak

By Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the article originally appeared in the January edition of Living Lutheran 

A colleague at the Lutheran Center related this story. An unchurched friend of hers was visiting and noticed her Advent calendar. “What is Advent?” she asked. A simple question. But my colleague soon discovered it wasn’t that easy to explain Advent to someone who had never heard of it, but who also had no frame of reference for it.

My colleague talked about a season of hope, longing and preparation, about the coming of the Christ child. Noticing her friend’s puzzled look, she stopped short of talking about the eschatological and hermeneutical possibilities presented by the season.

It’s not that my colleague lacks an understanding of Advent or isn’t herself a faithful person. Nor are her communication skills deficient—she is wicked bright and funny, and relates well to people. No. She had come face-to-face with the reality that a growing segment of our population has had little or no connection with the church or any other religious tradition. They don’t speak our language. They don’t know our stories...   
Continue reaing
It's time to start your 2018 Live Well Challenge

If you have ELCA-Primary health coverage through Portico, this year's Live Well Challenge invites you to a deeper understanding of your own physical and financial health. In 2018, you (and your spouse, if you both have ELCA-Primary health benefits) can gain personalized insights to inspire next steps that are right for you — and earn up to $400 wellness dollars — as you:

  • Assess your health in a new way through personalized biometric screening

  • Strengthen your financial confidence by conducting an annual review of your retirement plan and building other healthy habits around money
Upcoming Events
conFEST 2018
conFEST is a synod-wide event to enhance and support congregation confirmation ministries by exploring churchwide connections, engaging servant learning, and creating community. For confirmation students and leaders. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the Five Gifts of Discipleship and how to live these out in their lives. 

1– 6 p.m.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

$10 per person
Register online
Nurturing Hope in Bethlehem and the West Bank
A Day with The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and Bright Stars of Bethlehem

Friday, February 23, 2018
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bethesda Lutheran Church
Ames, IA

$25 Registration Fee includes lunch
Free-Will Offering will be received for Bright Stars of Bethlehem. The day will include keynote presentations from The Rev. Dr. Raheb, workshops and worship.
Learn more and register online
Join others from congregations around the Southeastern Iowa Synod for a day of workshops given by real people making a difference in their community. Get ideas. Be inspired. Renew the church.

February 24, 2018

9 a.m.-2:30 p.m 

First Lutheran Church - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cost: $25 per person with discounts for groups of 4 or more from the same congregation. For more information contact Rev. Erika Uthe, 
Register online
Save the Date: Lutheran Day on the Hill
Thursday, February 8
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Training session at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church with Keynote Speaker, Rev. Amy Reumann, Director ELCA Advocacy

This free event, sponsored by LSI and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA, is open to anyone who wants to learn more about citizen advocacy.
Learn more and register
You're Invited
Cedar Rapids Concert: Hans Peterson and Nelson Morlock

Live at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

153 Cherry Hill Rd. NW

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Thursday, February 8, 6:30 p.m.

Free will offering

More info?

LSTC Seminary Sampler

Seminary Sampler this Spring at The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Register online for either our multi-day Seminary Sampler, Saturday, February 24th through Monday, February 26th, or for one of our Seminary Sampler Nights on Monday, March 19th or Tuesday, April, 18th.

Whether it’s for an evening or several days, you will get a taste for life as a seminary student and as a member of the LSTC community. Housing and meals are provided! Travel stipends and childcare are available.

Visit to register.

Peer Ministry Leadership Conference
The 2018 Peer Ministry Leadership Conference (PMLC) is a great opportunity for you or your group to grow as Christian leaders. The PMLC is a casual, group learning environment focused on participants gaining the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to not just be Peer Ministers, but also to teach the curriculum to others. We are blessed to have Lyle Griner, the author of Peer Ministry with us to lead us for the weekend.

February 17th- 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
February 18th 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Grand View University-Des Moines
Light refreshments provided during the conference.  Participants will be responsible for their own meals. There are several dining options available on and near campus.

Thanks to a wonderful donor the conference is only $40 for the first person from your congregation and $20 for each additional person. Bring a whole team of staff, leaders, and youth! The PMLC is open to anyone high school age and older.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Angie Larson (, the Director of Peer Ministry at Luther Memorial Church and Grand View University.
Register online
Support the mission and ministry of the Southeastern Iowa Synod by making a donation using our secure online donation page.
View the Synod Calendar Online
Mission Support Intent for 2018 

Upcoming Events

February 8

ConFEST Ankeny 
February 11

February 23

February 24
Recalling how God spoke through the boy Samuel, we pray we are attentive to the presence of God’s spirit and word in children and youth and that we help young people grow as faithful followers, leaders and servants in the body of Christ.
More prayers
Below are bulletin sized articles for copying and pasting into your bulletin

Daily Lent Devotions
Sign up for daily lenten devotions delivered to your inbox. These are written by leaders in our synod and are for everyone. Visit to sign up. 

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.