Faith in Action

Faith in Action Stories Do you have photos or stories that depict the life and ministry of your congregation or community? We love being able to share Faith in Action stories of God at work in the congregations across the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Please r...
"Sharing The Weight" one blanket at a time

"Sharing The Weight" one blanket at a time

The story of Sharing The Weight began a little over two years ago when Adam and Marci Proes’s third child, David, was born. David had trouble sleeping and on most nights only slept for fifteen minutes at a time. On a good night David might sleep for a...
72 Years of Service and Music

72 Years of Service and Music

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”  Martin Luther It has been an honor to sit and talk with Ruth Lee about her family, friends, music, and life. Trying to put a lifetime of love, service, and ...
A Sobering Return

A Sobering Return

Waiting during a long layover at Washington Dulles, we checked e-mail using the airport’s free wi-fi service. It was bad news from Senegal, and we hadn’t even gotten there yet. The nine-year-old daughter of Honoré Badiane, EELS employee in Yeumbeul, where we lived for a year, had died from a severe case of malaria.
Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

Adventure on the Appalachian Trail:  Our Continuing Education Adventure - The Road Less Traveled   I had backpacked several sections of the Appalachian Trail before, so I wasn’t surprised when Pastor Bill Bernau asked me to lead a group of...

Backpack Buddies

by Minda Davison, Director for Communications When a few members of Gilbert Lutheran Church in Ames decided to participate in the READing to End Hunger book study and read Exodus from Hunger by David Beckman, they had no idea the journey the Holy...

Bike and Build: An Opportunity to Welcome

It started with a letter in the Outreach Committee’s mailbox at church. A young man had written to Seeds of Faith about his organization, Bike and Build. Members from Bike and Build, a group of thirty to forty young people, would be bicycling from the E...
Blessing of the Bible Camps

Blessing of the Bible Camps

Janelle Bidne Coordinator of Communications   The hot days of summer upon us now may not seem like a blessing, but these summer days are certainly blessed with opportunities for youth to attend Bible Camps that are supported by congregations...

Brewing Faith Perspectives at the Coffee Klatch

On Saturday afternoon, October 20, 2012, from 3 to 4 PM, at Coffeesmiths (Cedar Rapids SW), Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Cedar Rapids launched its first ever Coffee Klatch. The conversation was lively, and ranged over current events, corporate life, and how we might respond to life as people of faith.
Called to Serve

Called to Serve

  Wearing “baptismal blue” T-shirts, a crew of 100 Wayne Zion Lutheran Church members set out to perform cleanups and other tasks at various Jones County sites on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Caring and Serving Others in West Branch

Caring and Serving Others in West Branch

Bethany Lutheran Church of West Branch, IA has a long history of reaching out and caring for people in the community.  For over ten years the congregation has provided food and supplies to the West Branch Food Pantry.  Volunteers deliver the donated items and pass on the Pantry's specific food and supply requests to the congregation through newsletter articles and announcements.  Having a direct relationship with the Food Pantry staff means that their immediate or emergency needs can be quickly communicated to the congregation.
Caring for creation in Asheville, North Carolina

Caring for creation in Asheville, North Carolina

From July 28-August 1 19 youth and 5 adults from St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale traveled to Asheville, North Carolina where they worked with Asheville GreenWorks, a nonprofit group that works for conservation in the Asheville area. Below is ...

Chaplains are a source of spiritual care to patients, families, and medical staff

In the moments of sorrow and joy that accompany a person’s time in the hospital chaplains provide what the patient needs most – a source of comfort and someone who will be still and listen. In the Southeastern Iowa Synod eleven chaplains are serving und...
Covert Operation to Thank Veterans with Quilts of Valor

Covert Operation to Thank Veterans with Quilts of Valor

On Veterans' Day, St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, IA honored 37 veteran members with a special Quilts of Valor (QOV) presentation. The QOVs were handmade by 21 congregation members. The youngest volunteer quilter is 8 years old. Also, among the volunteers was an award-winning quilter. The presentation was a surprise (or covert operation) for the veterans who did not know they were going to receive quilts.
Des Moines Church Calls All Hands into Work of LWR

Des Moines Church Calls All Hands into Work of LWR

By Ellen Hanusa Wonderlin One March Saturday, Zoe Lawson, 9, and her sister Ivy, 7, tagged along with their mother MeLissa to a quilting bee in the basement of Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines. It was a first in a series of activities geared toward...
Encouraging Youth to Explore and Grow in their Faith

Encouraging Youth to Explore and Grow in their Faith

The Southeastern Iowa Synod Children and Youth Leader Network is made up of children and youth ministry workers and lay volunteers who have a passion for walking with the young people in our synod, and sharing the amazing love of Christ with them. Ignite...
Feeding Hungry People One Garden at a Time

Feeding Hungry People One Garden at a Time

Written by Minda Davison, director for communications “When a church has a garden in their lawn, it is an outward reflection of the light of God. Our lawns are about doing God’s work. Our lawns are about feeding hungry people. And there is no gre...
Fighting Hunger with Backpacks

Fighting Hunger with Backpacks

One evening each month at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, you'll find an assembly line of members filling sacks of food that will be placed each Friday in backpacks of children that attend nearby Karen Acres Elementary School.  The recipients ...
From Nicaragua to Iowa: Youth Speaking Against Violence

From Nicaragua to Iowa: Youth Speaking Against Violence

Since 2010 Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Iowa has been taking spring break trips to Nicaragua. In 2010 and 2012 we visited a town on the north side of Lake Managua known as San Francisco Libre, where we worked with a remarkable group of young adults called La Red de Jovenes Contra Violencia/The Youth Network Against Violence . The group was first formed in 2008 by United Methodist missionary Nan McCurdy of Managua under the auspices of the Women and Community Association of SFL.  
God's Work. Our Hands...Life Skills

God's Work. Our Hands...Life Skills

There has been some sawdust flying around the basement of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Indianola, on Wednesday afternoons this fall, and we have not been under construction or renovation.  Now, we have sewing machines whirring and quilt blocks hanging on bulletin boards in our education wing, and it is not from our regular Monday morning quilting group.  No, all of this activity is part of what we are calling our “God’s work.  Our hands.” Activity, which is a new part of our Faith Formation program this year.
Grow Gracefully

Grow Gracefully

Janelle Bidne, Coordinator of Communications Contributors: Russ Finkler, member, Grace Lutheran Church, Davenport, IA Rebecca Wiese, diaconal minister, Grace Lutheran Church Davenport, IA In the beginning, there was an idea and the idea was "to...
Like a good neighbor Trinity is there

Like a good neighbor Trinity is there

Many of us have seen State Farm Insurance commercials with the line, “Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.” Like a good neighbor, Trinity Lutheran Church in Marshalltown seeks to be a hospitable and gracious presence in our community. On the...
Lutheran Campus Ministry: Nicaragua 2012

Lutheran Campus Ministry: Nicaragua 2012

Mas o menos! More or less. Our hosts in Nicaragua taught us that no Spanish vocabulary is complete without these necessary words. Everything is mas o menos , more or less. And, one more very essential word for communicating in Nicaragua is chunche , which means thingamabob or doohickey. With these simple phrases one can communicate all that is needed. Asked how you are doing? Wave your hands up and down in a balancing gesture and say, "Mas o menos ." Can't remember the name of that tool or object you need? Just point and say, "El chunche, por favor ." What we learned in Nicaragua is that you don't have to know a lot of words to communicate well, you just need a lot of heart and a good sense of humor.
Mindful of the planet

Mindful of the planet

Environmental Team changes hearts and practices at St. Paul On Lenten Wednesday evenings, downstairs in the Fellowship Hall at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, a dozen or so people scrape and wash plates during the congregational meal. On...
New Ministry: Bring a Helmet

New Ministry: Bring a Helmet

It began with a simple post on Facebook and a mention in the church's bulletin. Going beyond the doors of the church it took to the streets and the Des Moines area. Now, in numbers and interest, the group is growing. It is the new ministry group at St....

Of Newsletters and Congregations

Over the past four and half years, I’ve had the joy of reading newsletters from congregations across the synod.  Whether they arrived from the post office, in my e-mail, or posted on the congregation’s website monthly; each newsletter was an opportunity to connect with a congregation and share in their celebrations and challenges.  One of the many delights I found in reading newsletters was finding out the variety of unique ways congregations expressed their faith and God’s love.  Here is a small sampling of what was shared in newsletters.
Pillow Ministry

Pillow Ministry

Elaine Haugen, Minister of Care Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Ankeny  I arrived at John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines with a bag of pillows from our Pink Ribbon Ministry to drop off at the infusion center. They followed me onto the elevator, ...
Project 66: A Glimpse of the Holy Bible Through Mosaic Art

Project 66: A Glimpse of the Holy Bible Through Mosaic Art

Written by Minda Davison, Director for Communications For Dana Leahy, Project 66: A Glimpse of the Holy Bible through Mosaic Art has been a 7 1/2 year journey that has deepened her appreciation for the Bible: its stories, its characters, its mysteries,...
Pumpkin Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations

Pumpkin Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations

Earlier this fall, the people of Palestine Lutheran Church in Huxley, Iowa were looking for a project to raise money for the high school youth group (called R.O.C.K. for Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom) to use for mission trips and service projects.  Little did they know, the project they ultimately undertook would raise more than two times their goal of $2500 and involve congregation members ranging in age from three to over eighty.
Razing a Roof, Raising a Roof

Razing a Roof, Raising a Roof

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids “I'm getting inquiries about what church I belong to that would actually re-roof a member's house,” noted St. Stephen’s, Cedar Rapids, member, Dave Marner. St. Stephen’s members did indeed re-roof his house...
Rich in Spirit Amidst Poverty at Pine Ridge

Rich in Spirit Amidst Poverty at Pine Ridge

If you’ve heard about the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwest South Dakota, chances are you know that it has one of the highest unemployment rates and is in one of the poorest counties in the USA.  While poverty and unemployment are prominent parts of the story of the Oglala Lakota people who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation, this is certainly not their whole story.  Lakota people have always maintained a sense of heritage through their dynamic language and culture.  They are kind, generous, and thoughtful people with many stories to tell and much wisdom to share if we just listen.
Rummage sale provides community service and seminarian support

Rummage sale provides community service and seminarian support

Submitted by Linda Cook, St. Mark Lutheran Church The annual rummage sale at St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, Davenport, provides more than an opportunity to buy a vase for 25 cents. It serves as a social platform for the congregation, supports...

Serving Sticks Ministry

Purling, counting rows, and knitting are not a part of the typical service ministry for church youth groups.  However, what started as a simple one-time project for a confirmation class at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge, Iowa has grown into a full ...
Sharing God's Love of Animals through Animal Ministries

Sharing God's Love of Animals through Animal Ministries

In the bible, God created animals before he created people and when Our Lord and Savior Jesus was born it was in a stable with animals.  Animals in the bible go on to be associated with The Holy Trinity with God sometimes referred to as the great “lion” of J...
Spring Break at Pine Ridge

Spring Break at Pine Ridge

    Gathering each morning with fellow students for coffee and conversation over scripture is not the average routine for a college spring break.  However our group from Iowa State Lutheran Campus Ministry did just that before heading ...

Take and Bake Ministry

In the midst of work, practices for a particular sport or fine art, and running errands; it’s hard to find time to make a wholesome evening meal for the family.   St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes, Iowa has stepped in to help with the “what’s for din...
Tanzania: Experience a New Rhythm

Tanzania: Experience a New Rhythm

In our travels throughout the Pare Diocese we saw God’s Word spreading in gracious and generous ways. Written by, Pastor Cathy Daharsh, Gilbert Lutheran Church I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to travel to the Pare Diocese i...
Wrestling with the Lord

Wrestling with the Lord

By Russ Lackey, Campus Pastor at Grand View University From the bottom to the baptismal fount, Eric Thompson knows what it is like to reverse position in wrestling and in life. Thompson is a senior Liberal Arts major at Grand View University...
Young Adults in Global Mission Part III

Young Adults in Global Mission Part III

This year there are three Young Adults in Global Mission serving around the world from the Southeastern Iowa Synod. This is part three of our three part series on their ministry. See Part One   See Part Two About Young Adults in Global Mission ...
"God's Work. Our Hands." Day of Service

"God's Work. Our Hands." Day of Service

“Come all you people! Come now and serve the Lord!” This past Sunday congregations from across the Southeastern Iowa Synod donned bright yellow t-shirts and went out into their communities as part of the ELCA's first “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday in...

"God's Work. Our Hands." Reflections

Serving at Ronald McDonald House Reflection written by Ashley Schabilion. As part of "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday, Gloria Dei and Lutheran Campus Ministries served a noon brunch and evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City.  I ...

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday 2014

On September 7th, all over the country ELCA congregations put on yellow shirts and picked up shovels, serving spoons, sewing needles, and hair nets to serve their neighbors locally and globally. Around the Southeastern Iowa Synod congregations joined...
Bethlehem Lutheran and Vinton packages 26,000 meals

Bethlehem Lutheran and Vinton packages 26,000 meals

Written by Marta Bauer, member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Vinton, IA partnered with Outreach, Inc . to organize a food packaging event for "God's work. Our hands." day of service on September 7. It was amazing...
St. Paul Lutheran in Ottumwa supplies Hope House

St. Paul Lutheran in Ottumwa supplies Hope House

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ottumwa collected food, household supplies, and money on Sunday, September 7th for the residents of Hope House located in Agency, Iowa. Hope House is part of First Resources Corporation and is a residential treatment center...
St. Stephen Lutheran, Urbandale, feeds 240 kids

St. Stephen Lutheran, Urbandale, feeds 240 kids

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday was celebration of who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. On Sunday, September 7, 2014 St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, Iowa joined...
Wyoming and Olin provide clothing, toolkits

Wyoming and Olin provide clothing, toolkits

  Written by Pr. Ginger Anderson                 The Hands of God’s people worked prior to Sunday, September 14, when Zion, Wyoming and St. John, Olin, celebrated God’s Work Our Hands. We acknowledge that most of our ELCA friends d...
Burlington churches supply food pantry, clean up, and blankets

Burlington churches supply food pantry, clean up, and blankets

Written by Amanda Stevenson We had a great turn out for our God's Work. Our Hands. day of service on Saturday, September 6th. There were over 60 people representing the 5 ELCA churches from Burlington (Bethany, Faith, Messiah, Peace & Trinity)....
Lisbon serves and cleans at several sites

Lisbon serves and cleans at several sites

Written by Tara Ellison A small but mighty group of 50 Seeds of Faith members from Lisbon, IA, gathered for a short worship service on Sunday morning, September 7th, then divided and conquered to help clean and restore the community for their 2nd...
Quad Cities area drive stocks seven food pantries.

Quad Cities area drive stocks seven food pantries.

Written by Linda Cook, member at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport From a single can of green beans to shopping carts full of soup, pasta and cereal, I watched donations pour in from people out doing their weekend shopping at grocery stores...
"God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday 2016

"God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday 2016

On Sunday, September 11, congregations around southeastern Iowa gathered not only for worship but in a day of service. Many congregations also reflected on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. These congregations participated in “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunda...
Alternative Christmas Market

Alternative Christmas Market

A time for celebration and giving back Minda Davison, SEIA Synod, Director for Communications Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas Day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Advent is also a time marked with...
Faith Works Mission Team serves community in Asheville

Faith Works Mission Team serves community in Asheville

Faith Lutheran Church, Andover recently sent 27 youth and adults on an intergenerational mission trip to Asheville, NC where they partnered with The Timothy Project and Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry. This was Faith Lutheran’s third i...
Find Somebody to Love: Mission in Joplin, MO

Find Somebody to Love: Mission in Joplin, MO

Brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short… For the present form of this world is passing away.  ( 1 Corinthians: 29a, 31b) Late in the afternoon on Sunday, May 22, 2011 an EF5 tornado swooped down upon the city of Joplin, Missouri, changing lives in that community forever.  Seven thousand homes and businesses were destroyed and countless others were severely damaged.  The death toll would eventually reach 160, with nearly 1,000 seriously injured. 
Gloria Dei provides shelter, hospitality, and meals in Cedar Rapids

Gloria Dei provides shelter, hospitality, and meals in Cedar Rapids

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25: 35 In the fall of 2012 members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids committed themselves, and...
God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday 2015

God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday 2015

This month congregations around southeastern Iowa gathered not only for worship but in a day of service. These congregations participated in "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday, a day of service with other ELCA congregations around the nation. Below are some...
Gourd bless this pumpkin patch: Pastor’s challenge yields money for charity

Gourd bless this pumpkin patch: Pastor’s challenge yields money for charity

This story originally appeared in the Telegraph Herald. In the spring of 2010, pastor Shane Koepke, of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in La Motte, Iowa, issued a challenge to every member of his church council. “I gave them all $20 and them to mak...
Linda's Story

Linda's Story

This is Linda Masuku’s story of how God’s grace accompanied her as she fled her home in South Africa in search of safety in Swaziland as a refugee, and then led her to Grinnell, IA and St. John Lutheran Church through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Ser...
Memorial Lutheran Church partners with students in Nevada

Memorial Lutheran Church partners with students in Nevada

Memorial Lutheran Church in Nevada, Iowa has partnered with their community to create quilts and care kits for Lutheran World Relief. Recently, some members of the congregation had the opportunity to speak about their ministry with some local elementary ...
St. Mark quilters create works that comfort the community

St. Mark quilters create works that comfort the community

Hundreds of quilts created at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport, tenderly wrap babies, comfort the sick and provide warmth and a reminder of God’s love to Quad-Citians from all walks of life. Candy Bates, a St. Mark member, established “Quilters 4 C...
This little piggy...

This little piggy...

In the summer of 2015 Peace Lutheran Church in West Burlington had a barnyard in their church building. As a rural congregation the parishioners were no strangers to dealing with lots of animals. The “Passel of Pigs” project soon had forty-one pigs in ...
Young Adults in Global Mission 2015: Part II

Young Adults in Global Mission 2015: Part II

This year there are three Young Adults in Global Mission serving around the world from the Southeastern Iowa Synod. This is part two of our three part series on their ministry. See Part One here... About Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) The...
Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 1

Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 1

YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION (YAGM): HOW IS THE CHURCH RAISING UP MISSIONARIES TODAY? Rev. Janelle Osbeck, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA In August of 1965 my parents, Rev. Ronald and Marilynn Hays, were commissioned at St....
Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 1

Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 1

This year there are three Young Adults in Global Mission serving around the world from the Southeastern Iowa Synod. We’ll be doing a three-part series on each of these young leaders so we can in prayer for them as they minister in different contexts. ...
Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 2

Young Adults in Global Mission: Part 2

YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION (YAGM):  A YEAR OF SERVICE Written by Rev. Janelle Osbeck, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Des Moines, IA  Anastasia Osbeck, daughter of Rev. Roger and Rev. Janelle Osbeck, and JohnDaniel (JD) Engelhardt, s...

Newsletters and Publications

The office of the Southeastern Iowa Synod produces three main newsletters. Mission Link: An electronic bulletin insert sent quarterly to congregations highlighting the ministry programs and resources available to congregations through the Southeastern...

Publication Archives

The Lutheran Supplement Mission Link

Photo Gallery

Facebook Photo Albums

Video Gallery

2014 ConFEST Synod Assembly: Picture Slide Show Synod Assembly: Opening Worship Synod Assembly: Bishop Burk's Report Synod Assembly: Vice President's Report Synod Assembly: Presiding Bishop Eaton's Report Pt. 1 Synod Assembly:...

Ask the Bishop

Ask the Bishop, is a column that responds to the questions and topics that are important to our work together of bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to our communities in the Southeastern Iowa Synod. If you have a question you would like to have considered ...

Love Like Jesus Makes a Difference

Love Like Jesus Makes A Difference The Southeastern Iowa Synod and Grand View University sponsored a service leadership event for high school youth June 20-23, 2013 in Des Moines.  Love Like Jesus engaged close to 60 youth and adults from across ...