The 31st Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod was held May 18 and 19, 2018, at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center Coralville, Iowa.  Over 400 voting members and visitors gathered around the theme “The Water and The Witness.”

Mikka McCracken, Director of Planning and Engagement with ELCA World Hunger served as the churchwide representative providing updates and stories of the work we do together as the ELCA. Bishop Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod shared of our connections throughout the nation and in ministry. The primary business of this year’s assembly was action on the Synod Governance Proposal and subsequent election of synod council members, the synod nominating committee, the synod consultation committee, and synod discipline committee, as well as several resolutions. As well as the election of voting members to the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

Bishop Michael Burk presided over the assembly, including the Friday evening service of Holy Communion. In his report, Bishop Burk provided highlights of our shared ministry since we last gathered in assembly, providing his assessment of ways we share in “The Water and the Witness” talking about congregational vitality and outreach.

Additionally, there was an interactive learning center event on Friday afternoon which allowed assembly participants to learn about partner ministries like Lutheran Services in Iowa, Bread for the World, Peace not Walls, ELCA World Hunger, and more. There were prayer activities, artistic expression, and advocacy work.

354 voting members and 56 visitors were in attendance for elections, business matters, and resolutions. 56% of voting members were lay voting members, 62% of those were female and 38% male.

Randy Willman was elected Synod Secretary. Pastors Christian Johnson, Kathleen Wohlers, Amy Diller Guida and Gemechisa Mosa were elected to Synod Council clergy positions. Marita Rouse, Erik Ullestad, Gloria Smallwood. Ted Sturgeon, Donna Darnall, Mark Witte, Noah Aanestad, Katie Garner, Suah Borsay, and Will Negron were elected to Synod Council lay positions.

Elected to the Synod Nominating Committee were; Kristi Swanson, Pastor Nate Liedtke, John Grunwald, Doug Turley, Linda Kortemeyer, and Pastor Judy Heinrich.

Elected to the Synod Discipline Committee were; Pastor Sarah Trone Garriott, Pastor Joan Swander, Martha Bonte, and Mari Haley.

Elected to the Synod Consultation Committee were; Pastor Elaine Olson and Kathryn Bly.

Elected as voting members to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly were; Pastor Amy Diller Guida,  Pastor Zach Johnson, Pastor Dan Kuckuck, Pastor Jealaine Marple, Pastor Joel Nau, Pastor Eliezer Ortiz, Pastor Kathleen Wohlers, Madena Burman, Karrie Anne Burke, Abbie Larson, Holly Knouse, Amanda Stevenson Cosgrove, Britany Thorpe, Gideon Paul, Logan Lee, Isak Werner Anderson, Joe Obleton, and Jon Runaas. Bishop Burk and Heather Miller will also serve as voting members by virtue of their office.

Resolutions adopted included: 1) Memorial on the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women: a resolution encouraging those in the Southeastern Iowa Synod and beyond to recognize, celebrate and memorialize the contributions of ordained women. 2) Peace not walls: a resolution encouraging the synod to memorialize and urge the 2019 Churchwide Assembly and elected officials petitioning for changes in due process, and U.S. foreign aid to protect children. 3)  Preventing gun violence, a resolution encouraging individuals and congregations to address issues of gun violence in worship, education, and public discourse. 4) A courtesy resolution of thanksgiving for the assembly and various ministries of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.

Other business included the approval of the 2019 synod budget and minimum compensation guidelines. Congregations and rostered leaders celebrating anniversaries were celebrated. The synod assembly offering, a culmination of the “The Water and The Witness” buckets project was designated to water-related ministries of the ELCA. More than $60,500 was given by congregations and individuals.

Videos and photos of the event will be posted as they become available in the upcoming weeks.

The 2019 Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod will be held May 10-11, 2019, at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Assembly Summary Bulletin Insert:



Actions by the Assembly:

Resolutions Adopted: 
Elections Results:
Pre-Assembly Materials 

  • General Information
  • Maps
  • Rules
  • Schedule
  • Information about Speakers

  • Vice President Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Mission Spending Plan
  • Financial Information
  • Commission Reports
  • Conference Reports
  • Partner Organization Reports
  • Nominations

Section 5

  • Constitution Report
  • Synod Governance Proposal (learn more on the webpage for this proposal)
  • Report of Reference and Counsel Committee
  • Resolutions
  • Proposed Changes to Minimum Compensation Guidelines

Recap of  2017 Synod Assembly – God So Loves the World

See the full recap of the 2017 Synod Assembly here.