The Office of the Bishop equips and supports leaders and congregations to be witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Office of the Bishop exists to oversee the proclamation of the gospel and to serve with and among the many ministry partners of this synod. On behalf of the Office of the Bishop, the synod staff is focused on accompaniment with congregations and leaders.
The Office of the Bishop:
- Seeks to be present with and among the congregations and leaders of this synod,
- Works intentionally with congregations during times of transition and crisis,
- Convenes people for mutual support, fostering health and wholeness,
- Facilitates congregational renewal,
- Builds connections between local congregations, other ministry partners and the wider church.
Rev. Amy Current is a pastor in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has served the Southeastern Iowa Synod in the office of bishop since 2020. She is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, MN (B.A.) and Wartburg Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Prior to her role as bishop, Current served as vice president for admissions and student services at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. She also served in various leadership roles at Wartburg Seminary including director for financial aid and stewardship formation, director for public communications, and interim director of the Center for Youth Ministries. Born and raised in North Dakota, Amy was honored to serve as pastor of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church in Harwood, N.D., as pastor of Golden Ridge Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D., and Congregational Lutheran United Church, Gardner, N.D.
Bishop Current serves on the boards of Grand View University, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Wartburg College, and Unity Point Health – Des Moines.
Bishop Current is married to Rev. Dr. Samuel Giere, who serves as professor of biblical interpretation at Wartburg Theological Seminary. They have two children, Isaac and Shonagh Current Giere. The family has two miniature Australian shepherds, Archie and Otis.
Bishop Current enjoys reading novels, kayaking, snowshoeing, walking, sharing meals, lingering in conversation, watching tv, and exploring through travel.
Download photos of Bishop Current
(permission for use granted to congregations and partner organizations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod)
Pastor Dan Kuckuck
Assistant to the Bishop for Leadership and Congregational Transitions
Rev. Dan Kuckuck is a pastor in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has served an assistant to Bishop Amy Current in the Southeastern Iowa Synod since 2021. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia (B.A.) and the University of Chicago (M.Div.), with a graduate certificate in Spiritual Direction from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.
Pastor Kuckuck manages the areas of mobility and call process, rostered minister leadership, wellness, and support, provide leadership and support for synod youth ministries, and clergy coaching. As Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Kuckuck will also be visiting and accompanying congregations of the Southeastern Iowa synod.
Prior to serving in the Office of the Bishop, Kuckuck served as pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, Iowa since 2013 and as a pastor in residency at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, IA. He has also served on many synod committees and as a synod dean. He is a trained ELCA Coach and has also served as a consultant with LEAD, a coaching and consulting ministry. Dan has also served congregations in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Chicago, Illinois.
Pastor Kuckuck is married to Minda Kuckuck, a communications professional in Des Moines. They have two children, Olivia and Zoe, a 90-lb Labrador named Luna, and a 16-year-old Forest Cat named Ditto.
Pastor Kuckuck enjoys cooking for others, baking bread, running absurdly long distances, watching sci-fi television shows and movies, traveling, and hanging out with his family in the backyard on sunny days.
Contact Rev. Kuckuck about
- Congregational Transitions and Call
- Interim Ministry
- Pulpit Supply
- Children, Youth and Family Ministry
Deacon Jodi Schuman
Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy and Operations
Deacon Jodi Schuman began serving as Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy and Operations on April 6, 2021. She is responsible for supporting and relating to synod candidates and the candidacy committee, facilitating the work of synod governance, synod council, and Synod Assembly, and managing synod projects, operations, and events as well as visiting and accompanying congregations of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.
Commissioned as an Associate in Ministry in 2016, Deacon Schuman was previously called to Memorial Lutheran in Nevada, IA, where she had served since 2007. She was part of the Southeastern Iowa Synod’s Macedonia Table in 2011 and 2012 and served two terms as Synod Treasurer from 2013 until accepting this call. Before joining Memorial’s staff, Schuman worked as a science and technology teacher. She has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Wyoming and attended Iowa State University for teacher certification.
Deacon Schuman has been married to her husband, Bill, since 1987. They have an adult daughter, Amanda, who lives and works in the Minneapolis area. Home life centers around their papillon, Gidget, and cooking and sharing wine with friends.
Contact Deacon Schuman about
- Synod Events and Assembly
- Synod Council
Pastor Erika Uthe
Director for Evangelical Mission / Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational Vitality
Pastor Erika Uthe was called as the Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) and Assistant to the Bishop in 2016. In her role as Director for Evangelical Mission, Pastor Uthe accompanies leaders and congregations to become the church God is calling us to be, equipping congregations with the tools to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in their own contexts and becoming communities of grace, inclusion, and love. Her portfolio includes vitality, stewardship and evangelism, anti-racism, justice, mission support, and First Call Theological Education.
Prior to serving in the Office of the Bishop, Pastor Uthe served at St. John Lutheran Church in Ely, Iowa after graduating Wartburg Theological Seminary. Erika continues to reside in Ely with her husband, Russ, and two daughters Frankie (10), and Charlotte (7). There you can find Erika spending time with family and friends, gardening, and participating in Rock Your Life, her long-time online health and wellness community.
Contact Rev. Uthe about
- Stewardship and Mission Support
- Anti-Racism Network
- Congregational Renewal and Vitality
- First Call Theological Education
Amy Van Dyke was called to serve in August of 2021, Amy provides administrative financial support to the Office of the Bishop and oversees the administration of synod finances, insurance, coordination of payroll, and personnel records. She tends to financial relationships with partners like FreeIndeed, campus ministries, churchwide ministries, and the Mission Investment Fund. In addition, she provides support with budgeting, mission support tracking, and investments, along with annual audit coordination. Amy brings financial experience from both private and non-profit sectors including working in congregations. Amy is married and has two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, attending her children’s activities, reading, and gardening.
Contact Amy about
- Congregational Finances
- Mission Intent and Support
Administrative Assistant for the Office of the Bishop
Amber Jackson-Elwer began serving as Administrative Assistant to the Office of the Bishop in September of 2021. She is responsible for general office work, providing hospitality, and administrative support for the Bishop and all Office of the Bishop staff.
Amber enjoys connecting with people. She is delighted to be making those connections in her role at the synod office. A graduate of Grand View University and deep-rooted Lutheran, she can often be found hiking and exploring with her family.
Contact Amber about
- Synod directory
- Event Registration
- Meetings and Schedules
- General Questions
Val Harlynn began serving the Southeastern Iowa Synod in August of 2014. As Associate to the Bishop for Communications, Val oversees synod communications including the synod website, social media, newsletters, and sharing stories of ministry. Additionally, she supports the Office of the Bishop staff and consultation with congregations in the areas of IT and online presence. She also leads in the areas of anti-hunger, advocacy, social justice, and disaster response.
Prior to serving the Office of Bishop Val served several congregations, parachurch, and nonprofit organizations and is a graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Val resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wife Emily and a menagerie of pets. Full of wanderlust, she can often be found on an ultra-low-cost flight with just a backpack to go camping, hiking, reading plaques, and visiting museums.
Contact Val about
- Synod Website and Emails
- Congregation and Synod Storytelling
- Congregation Communications and Technology
- Anti-hunger Ministry
- Social Justice and Disaster Response