This 4-part conversation series builds on the theme of “Baptized and Set Free,” the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly theme. Watch this recorded series exploring how our baptism sets us free for living our faith in the world.


June 2 – Vocation – Rev. Dr. Ken Jones

Vocation is a central doctrine in Lutheran theology, but too few people know about it and fewer understand it. Usually people think vocation is using your talents in a satisfying way to make the world a better place. But vocation is really about death and resurrection: how you give up your life for the sake of others. What’s more, vocation has very little to do with religious activity. In fact, you already know lots about your vocations because you live them every minute of your days without thinking about. Our session will help you identify how and where that happens and then see how God is using you to create, sustain, and sanctify the world around you.

Ken Sundet Jones is an ELCA pastor as well as professor of theology and philosophy who serves at Grand View University, an ELCA college in Des Moines. He is a scholar of Luther and the Reformation, and is the author of A Lutheran Toolkit, a guide to the Augsburg Confession. He is a regular blog contributor and a speaker with He wears tweed jackets and bow ties but also knows how to muck out barns and milk cows. He’s good at cleaning toilets and bad at managing household finances. Ken and his wife Mary live in Urbandale and have an adult son who with his partner lives in Toronto, Canada.


June 9 – Public Faith – Rev. Dr. Norma Cook Everist

Following Jesus into the World: American Civil Religion and Christian Nationalism. What beliefs shape our following Jesus into the public world in our daily lives? What are the holy days, rituals, gods, and mission of ACR? How is Christian Nationalism a predominant current manifestation of ACR? We shall go deeper by exploring and discovering together our “other creed.” From the beginning, it promoted white supremacy by excluding the stories of all. We will contrast Chrisitan Nationalism with our core beliefs about Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, freeing us for our vocation and mission as individuals, synod, and church body.

Rev. Dr. Norma Cook Everist is Professor of Church and Ministry emerita, Wartburg Theology Seminary.  She has been rostered in the Southeastern Iowa Synod since the beginning of the ELCA.  As a teaching theologian, she has followed, studied, written, and taught for decades about the history and changing nature of American Civil Religion.   


June 9th - Public Faith Handout (.pdf)

June 9th - Public Faith Handout (.docx)


June 16 – Immigration – Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI)

Learn more from staff who work in immigration and refugee services through LSI. They discuss how LSI engages new immigrants and helps refugees, they discuss several programs, our Iowa context, and ways you can engage to serve our new neighbors.


June 23 – Partnering with Indigenous Peoples – Leaders from the Grand Canyon Synod

Learn more about ministry and accompaniment from Rev. Miguel Gomez Acosta, Rev. Mary Louise Frenchman, and Deacon Kate Adelman about both rural and urban ministries with indigenous people in the Grand Canyon Synod. They discuss strategies, histories, and ways to think about engaging indigenous populations in Iowa.