District News

Luther film to air on PBS Sept. 12

“Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World,” the full-length feature film that premiered in selected theaters in February, is set to air nationally on PBS on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. Central time.

Congregations still may arrange screenings of the film at their local theaters. Visit NewLutherMovie.com for information on how to host and promote a screening, as well as resources including a sample bulletin insert, poster, artwork, and the movie trailer.

Funded by Thrivent Financial, the film dramatizes the events that shaped Luther and examines the questions he wrestled with, such as “Who am I?,” “What is my purpose?” and “How do I get right with God?”

Included are insights and commentary from LCMS theologians and historians.

LERT Chain Saw Certification

YOU are invited!Spread the word!

Saturday, September 9, 2017
Registration begins at 8:30 AM
Training starting promptly at 9 AM

Training will be held from 9 AM - Noon at the new Discover Center at Camp Okoboji, 1531 Edgewood Drive, Milford IA.

Lunch will be served at noon.  We will then cut down some trees. This is the “practical application” of the training course which will be from 1– 4 PM.

PLEASE register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/chainsaw_certification or call me at 515-370-1159.  Register soon as class size is limited because of the “hands on” afternoon session.

The training and meals are FREE to you.  If you wish to stay at Camp either September 8 or 9, the lodging is FREE (Each participant is welcome to one free night’s lodging courtesy of Camp Okoboji).

The instructor will be Ed Boerman from Illinois. He works with Lutheran Church Charities in Illinois to certify volunteers who wish to operate chain saws.  I asked Ed if a participant should bring their own chain saw.  He replied, “If you have a chain saw and safety equipment (chaps, hard hat, eye protection, gloves) bring it.  I will bring extra safety equipment and chain saws to share.  Also encourage those who do not want to actually operate a chain saw but still want to be part of the team to come. They are just as important to the crew as the chain saw operators.”

NOTE:  I know that most of you who are interested in the certification are already very skilled at using a chain saw.  This certification is required by FEMA if you are working at a site where they are present. Of course, if FEMA is not present at the site where we are working, you are welcome to use your chainsaw without receiving the certification.

Please contact Ellie Menz (515-370-1159 or ellie@iowadistrictwest.org) with questions.

Sponsored by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company/American Church Group (through the District’s Group Partnership Program)

Pastoral Conference | September 25-26, 2017

The next Iowa District West Pastoral Conference will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 8301 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale on September 25-26, 2017. Our conference presenter will be Dr. Mark Rockenbach on the topic, “Full of God’s Grace and Mercy.” See schedule and biography. Also, please make a special note to take a look at Tuesday’s agenda. We will be serving lunch and be reconvening from 1-2:45 pm for a discussion led by Pres. Turner on a proposed revision of the District Handbook and realignment of circuits.

Letter | Agenda | Speaker Bio | Registration Form | Presidents Reception | Pastors Wives

Leadership Coaching

Who should attend this Training?

Professional church workers: Pastors, School Administrators, DCE's who desire to be more effective with those they lead.

  • Those who are new to coaching or those who may have been coaching but are looking for coach specific training.
  • Those who are looking for a more servant-hearted approach to leadership.
  • Those who are looking for practical ways to empower and develop those with whom they serve.
  • Those who are looking to be even more productive.

For additional information on the type of coaching that will be taught, view the videos on the Transforming Churches Network website or contact Rev. Mark Gerken at 515-570-2331 or Mark@iowadistrictwest.org.

Click here to pay and register online! | Click here for schedule and more information

Iowa Lutherans For Life Essay Winners

Lutherans For Life of Iowa is pleased to announce the winners of Iowa Lutherans For Life Essay Winners.

Max Raymond, St Paul's Lutheran, Council Bluffs - Middle School

Anne Raymond, St. Paul's Lutheran, Council Bluffs - High School

Their essays have been forwarded to the National level where they will be considered along with the essays submitted around the country.

It is truly a joy to see how our young congregation members are informed and can express themselves on these life issues.  Our hope is that by sharing these essays with our congregations more young people will be encouraged to become informed and speak for life.

Church Secretarial Conference

This is an excellent opportunity for all church office personnel (volunteer or paid), school secretaries, and office managers to relax, refresh and rejuvenate enthusiasm for church work.

Registration fee is $40 (includes all materials and catered lunch)

Register before September 1, 2017, and take $5 off your registration fee!

Letter | Brochure

Church & Clergy Finance/Treasurer Workshop

Why Attend?

Practical help. This workshop provides simple, straightforward help relating to clergy tax and church treasurer issues.

Bottom line: You get the tools you need to put an end to costly mistakes!

Guest speakers: In November, CPA Karen Sansone will be the speaker. She is the LCMS Tax & Compliance Director and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Robert Joy will be the presenter in January. He is a CPA specializing in clergy taxes and has many years of experience handling finances in the church.

What is the Cost?

FREE (for the first time ever)! Thanks to our ministry partnership agreement, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company & American Church Group are sponsoring the workshops. A light lunch is provided by Lutheran Church Extension Fund and Carole White.

How Do I Register?

Complete the registration form or go online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/treasurer_workshop. Please register at least five days prior to the workshop.

Ordination Anniversaries – 2017

We share with the leadership of our congregations the names and ordination dates of Iowa District West pastors who will celebrate “special” ordination anniversaries during 2017. Congregations are encouraged to observe these ministry milestones with an appropriate celebration.

If we have erred or failed to include someone who is observing an anniversary this year, please contact Jill Davis at the District office.

We rejoice and give thanks to God with these gifts to His Church.

IDW Planned Program Bible Studies

The Human Care Committee shares the following Bible studies to help carry out resolution 2-04 from the 2015 district convention: Resolved, that the congregations, schools and other ministries of Iowa District West be encouraged to incorporate at least one intentional act of Christian mercy into their annual ministry plans with the goal of serving especially the citizens and institutions of their local community.  May it make your congregation aware of the opportunities in your local community to share God’s mercy.

Leader Guides | Participant Guides

Transitioning Leadership

Preparing Congregational Leadership for Ministry with Christ.

Ministry Excellence Fund - Education Debt Assistance

The purpose of this Fund is to provide assistance to rostered pastors and professional church workers in Iowa District West in addressing financial issues which undermine the effectiveness of their ministries

Scholarship Announcement

The Student Financial Aid Committee is pleased to announce that scholarships in the amount of $1,000 are available for any student from a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation in Iowa District West who is currently a full time student at one of the synodical universities. This scholarship is for non-church work students (provided by the District’s Kouhns Endowment).