Over 940 youth and adults of the Southeastern Iowa Synod gathered under the theme “Citizens With The Saints,” the centerpiece of this year’s ELCA Youth Gathering held in New Orleans July 18-22, 2012.  In addition to mass gatherings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome each night, the gathering welcomed over 33,000 ELCA members focused on three core practices — Discipleship, Peacemaking and Justice.

Small group discussions part of Discipleship Day

The Southeastern Iowa Synod met together on Saturday, July 21 for Practice Discipleship, the largest gathering of the synod at one time and in one place. The day began with a Service of Holy Communion where Bishop Burk was present to preach and preside. Following worship, participants moved into small groups for interactive learning around the seven faith practices. At the conclusion of the learning time, congregation groups were sent into the city for a Practice Discipleship Tour, an afternoon discipleship Lab, putting into practice what they have learned on the streets of New Orleans. Over 170 adults and youth volunteers made the “synod day” a great success! Please note the list of key leaders below.

Other highlights of the week included:

  • Participants raised more the $406,000 to support the water projects of ELCA World Hunger around the world. ELCA youth and their congregations delivered their offerings at the 100 Wells Challenge exhibit.
  • 33,000 ELCA youth and adults were dispersed throughout New Orleans, engaging in nearly 400 service opportunities that ranged from painting a high school to rebuilding community libraries.
  • Participants engaged in multi-sensory opportunities that invited them to reflect on God’s value for everyone, particularly those who are marginalized by society; discern how they can participate in the church’s efforts to express this love and actually practice peacemaking.
  • Click here for videos, photos and more from the Gathering


Southeastern Iowa Synod Practice Discipleship Planning Team


Pam Larabee-Zierath, AIM, Gloria Dei Lutheran, Iowa City

Kelsey Bausch, Synod Intern

Core Planning Team Members


Ellen Rothweiler, St. James Lutheran, Johnston

Emcee/Stage Director


Jake Bouma, Faith Lutheran, Clive

Worship Music Director


Anne Williams, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Ankeny

Worship Sacristan


Bishop Michael Burk; Pastor Erika Uthe, St. John Lutheran, Ely; Anthony Howland, Zion Lutheran, Davenport; Marissa Heinzerling; Holy Trinity Lutheran, Ankeny; Daniel Stone, Faith Lutheran, Marion

Worship Leaders



Maria Consamus and  Nikki Adolphson, Gilbert Lutheran, Gilbert; Tyler Baars, Taylor Mandsager and Hannah Creamer, Zion Lutheran, Muscatine

Discipleship Day Emcees


Erik Ullestad, Windsor Heights Lutheran, Windsor Heights

Synod Gathering Coordinator and Musician


Pastor Eric Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop

Synod Gathering Coach


90 Small Group Leaders

40 Communion Assistants

18 Ushers

8 Scripture Readers

7 Musicians


THANKS to everyone involved!


The 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held in Detroit, MI

Fore more pictures from the Southeastern Iowa Synod Youth visit the synod’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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