Don't miss out on the many great stories, opportunities and events in and around the synod that are listed below!  Please share this information with your congregational members, invite and encourage them to attend the events!! 

Synod of the week:  Northern Great Lakes Synod, Bishop Thomas Skrenes
Congregation of the week: Bethany Lutheran Emmetsburg and Pastor Peter Morlock
  • President Trump, new administration, USA in time of transition
  • Congregations in transition
  • Immanuel Lutheran, George
  • Rostered leaders in transition
  • Pastor Paul Johnston 
  • Pastor Lorene Glant
  • Pastor Chris Lang - continued back pain
  • Wanda Norris
  • Peace trends in Israel/Palestine as world leaders convene this week
  • Storm Lake community as it strives to follow-through with Love Our Neighbors measures
  • Thankful for Linn Grove mission efforts--$10,000 for a well in a desolate area where their companion congregation is!
  • Prayers of thanks for Ester Kitunda's good test results.
In This Issue:


Religious Leader Scholarships

The Church Mutual Insurance Company is offering fifty $5,000 scholarships for those who are enrolled in advanced degree programs in preparation for church service. April 15th is the application deadline. For details, visit www.churchmutual.com/cmcares-scholars


Need Some Quiet Retreat Time?

Consider taking some quiet retreat time at the Benedictine Peace Center in Yankton. You may choose to meet with a spiritual director or make a private retreat. Contact us at BenedictinePeaceCtr@mtmc.edu or 605-668-6292 to schedule a time frame that works for you.

For more information, go to www.yanktonbenedictines.org/center.


Luther and the West Reformation Course
The course is called “Luther and the West” and offers an educational resource for this year’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The course is taught by Christine Helmer, who is an internationally known Luther scholar, and Professor of Religious Studies and German at Northwestern University in Evanston, USA.

This course is about the impact that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, had on major ideas in the history of the west. You will encounter ideas such as freedom and slavery, biblical interpretation and anti-Judaism, politics and economics. In addition to Luther, you will meet important thinkers, such as Baruch Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, and Martin Luther King Jr. The course includes 36 video lectures by Professor Helmer, in addition to many texts by Luther and others that you can download for free. You can connect with other learners in discussing the course material.

If you are interested in using this course as a resource in your community could you please post the following links in forums that may be shared with pastors and church leaders in your community?

The promotional video provides information about the course; click here.  

The course link here.     The bitly URL is     http://bit.ly/2ki9OFe

A podcast interview can be found here!

Grant Applications Being Accepted
The Western Iowa Synod Endowment Committee is ready to accept grant applications for 2017. The grants are designed to support grass root programs and projects which need an assist to birth an idea for community based ministry or help sustain current ones. The grants can range from $100 to $2,000. Hands on participation by the applicant congregation is important. No large agencies need apply. Application here
Rostered Ministers Gathering Transportation
On the way - together!!!
We hope you are making plans to attend the Rostered Ministers Gathering on August 7th - 10th, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are planning to attend and are interested in carpooling or synod transportation please let Pastor Lorna Halaas know as soon as possible. This will be a great event and we encourage all rostered ministers to consider going!! What a great gift this would be for your pastor!! Early registration: March 1 - May 31, 2017 More info about the event here!
Earn up to 400 Wellness Dollars

If you have ELCA-Primary health coverage, follow these three steps to earn up to $400 wellness dollars by completing Portico’s Live Well Challenge. Find everything you need to get started at PorticoBenefits.org/livewell

  1. Take stock of your physical and emotional health via the health assessment ($100 wellness dollars)
  2. Take stock of your retirement readiness via Portico’s Retirement Planning Tool; at the end of step 4 in the tool, you can either implement changes or save the plan for future consideration to earn your wellness dollars ($200)
  3. Identify and work towards a positive lifestyle change, and report your progress on myPortico ($100)
Congratulations to Rev. Anna Speiser

Last week, Rev. Speiser was officially approved as a Board Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. She is serving as chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. She is pictured here with her husband Pete and their daughter.  Congratulations and God's blessing as you continue your service as a chaplain.
Chrism Mass for Rostered Leaders
- Mark Your Calendars
April 7      St. Paul, Treynor
April 10    Immanuel, Akron
April 11    Grace, Ft. Dodge

Lutheran Day on the Hill 2017
When: February 21st
Join LSI and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA for Lutheran Day on the Hill in Des Moines on February 21st! This day is essential for giving voice to those who are not heard, for seeking social justice and for empowering people to exercise their right and responsibility to be part of the legislative process. More information and registration here! Questions - contact Pastor Ungs at jeff.ungs.rev@wisynod.org.
Luther Birthday Concert

What: Luther Birthday concert with Bruce Perry from Grace in Ft. Dodge
Where: Salem Lutheran in rural Correctionville
When: at 2:30 p,m, followed by coffee and goodies. 
All are invited  
Mardi Gras Celebration at Emanuel
in Council Bluffs
Emanuel Lutheran Church will be hosting their annual Mardi Gras Celebration on Sunday, February 26th from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall. This event is open to the public.

The event features live music by Da Band, New Orleans inspired food, a photo booth and activities for children. There will also be a silent auction, with a variety items available for bid. A Mardi Gras parade will take place at 5:30 p.m.

This is the fourth year for this event. There will be a free-will offering which goes towards youth attending camps, mission trips and the ELCA National Youth Gathering. All are invited to come in masks and costumes or just as you are. Flier with more information here!
Crafting Retreat
Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps - March 3-5
If the winter has brought on a bad case of cabin fever for you, we'd like to offer you a chance to get out of the house for a weekend of crafting, creativity, and laughter at our spring Crafting Retreat!  Registrations are now open!  So grab a friend, some crafting supplies, and make your way to our Okoboji site for the weekend. We hope to see you there! For more information go to http://www.okoboji.org/crafting-retreat or give us a call at 1-800-OKOBOJI.
Retreat Flier
Reformation Tour to Germany

Pastor Olaf Roynesdal, East Side Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD, is hosting a 10-day Reformation Tour to Germany May 23—June 1, 2017 as part of the 500th  Anniversary of the Reformation. Cities/towns to be toured include Berlin, Juterborg, Wittenberg, Torgau, Leipzig, Eisleben, Erfurt, Eisenach, the Wartburg Castle, Mainz and Worms. The deadline for registering is March 1, 2017. For more information you may email him:Olaf@eastsidelc.org
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!
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!
And Many More Upcoming Events:

36th Annual Rural Ministry Conference, March 5-7. 2017

Wartburg Seminary is hosting the 36th Annual Rural Ministry Conference entitled “Crisis and Conflict”, March 5-7, 2017. For more information, visit www.wartburgseminary.edu and click on the “Learning for Life Events” tab.

Considering Your Call, discernment retreat, March 10-12, 2017

Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA is hosting a weekend discernment retreat, March 10-12, 2017, for those considering a call to public ministry.  Travel cost assistance is available.  For details, contact Matthew O’rear at MOrear@wartburgseminary.edu or call (484) 343-2882.

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

“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