Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark on rural Iowa ministries

Northeastern Iowa
FEBRUARY 2015 • Volume 28, Issue 2
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Celebrating Renewal: Jan Hus — Bold Leadership
Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark on rural Iowa ministries
by Marcia Hahn
After 45 years of ministry — 18
as assistant to the Bishop of the
Northeastern Iowa Synod — Pastor
Darrel Gerrietts is retiring from
full-time ministry March 1. Known
for his booming voice, self-deprecating humor, thoughtful wisdom,
and faithful love of the church,
Gerrietts has been a guiding voice
for virtually every congregation and
rostered leader in this synod. His
hand in strengthening the mission
and rural ministries of the Northeastern Iowa Synod will be felt for
years to come.
“The biggest surprise that continues to amaze me is the fun I have
had when we form a geographical
parish,” Gerrietts said, referring
Please join us for a
Retirement Open House
honoring Pastor Darrel Gerrietts
for 45 years of ministry
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015
2 to 4 p.m.
Redeemer Lutheran Church
Waverly, Iowa
Brief program at 3 p.m.
to shared ministry agreements between congregations. Gerrietts has
helped more than 40 rural churches
in this synod explore and establish
partnership agreements and he has
presented and consulted with ELCA
across the country.
Pastor Darrel Gerrietts’ first call was to Redeemer Lutheran,
Washburn, where he served from 1969-1973.
“That is a territory
where the Bishop
turned me loose,”
Gerrietts said. “We
have helped folks
from all over who
want to know how
to hammer something together to
keep churches from
closing. It continues
to grow and develop
and is a continuing
wonderment to me,
and a lot of fun.”
Gerrietts’ passion for rural
stemmed from
his own background growing up on the
family farm
near Akron,
Iowa, located
Darrel Gerrietts
40 mile north of
Sioux City. The
idea to consider a call to ministry
came to Gerrietts while in high
school, so he enrolled in the pretheological curriculum at Wartburg
College to see if ministry was something he wanted to pursue. He received his BA in psychology in 1965
and then began studies at Wartburg
>> Continued on page 2
In This Issue
Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark
on rural Iowa ministries
Grateful for his ‘march in the
army of the Lord
Rostered leaders are
strengthened through mutual support
8 Disaster Response Network
10 Prayer Calendar
Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark on rural Iowa ministries
<< Continued from page 1
Theological Seminary (WTS) in
Through his four years at Wartburg
College and first year at seminary,
Gerrietts served as a camp counselor at what is now Ingham Okoboji
Lutheran Bible Camp. It was during
this time that he met his future
wife, Jeanette, who worked at the
camp as an assistant cook and later
as a counselor. During seminary,
Gerrietts also worked evenings and
weekends for the Boys Club of
Dubuque, leading activities for atrisk youth.
His third-year seminary internship
took Gerrietts to the Mental Health
Institute at Independence, where he
met each new patient who checked
in to the hospital and learned firsthand how important the church is
“Darrel received the call to the
synod office due to the wisdom
he brought from years of parish
experience, his love for Jesus and
God’s people, and his appreciation
for rural life and ministry.”
to broken lives. One after another,
the patients told Gerrietts how they
felt their lives were falling apart,
and a call to the pastor helped them
get to a doctor or a hospital for the
care they needed. They were comforted knowing that their church
families were taking care of their
own families back home, and their
pastors were going to come see
“I went into the internship as a
person in a
secular environment
and I came
away with
a greater
loyalty and
love for
the institution of
the church
of all the
people it
had helped
Darrel Gerrietts and his family during their years in Rockwell City where
get through Gerrietts served as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran and chaplain of the Iowa
Women’s Reformatory.
well City. The St. Paul’s ministry
care,” Gerrietts said. “It was a
whole different world for this young historically included calling on
inmates at the nearby Iowa State
Reformatory for Women, but Gerrietts took that a step further by
Gerrietts wasted no time beginning his life of ministry in 1969: He working with the warden to start a
chaplaincy program at the reformagraduated from seminary in May,
tory. Gerrietts served one morning
was ordained June 22, was married
a week there, where he visited with
June 28, and started his first call
inmates, set up a library, and creatat Redeemer Lutheran, Washburn,
ed a system which allowed inmates
while still on his honeymoon. He
who had earned privileges to attend
came to a community of primarworship services at some of the
ily factory workers who were feelchurches in Rockwell City.
ing threatened by recent race riots
in Waterloo, mandated busing to
“It was very cutting edge and very
schools, and new federal hiring
risky for the warden and me, and
regulations at their places of emfor the congregation, even though
the inmates were accompanied,”
Gerrietts said. “The inmates literally
“Racial tension was a major theme
joined the church. They could not
in the community and churches,
teach Sunday school, but some of
and people felt their jobs and
homes were under threat,” Gerrietts them wrote curriculum. It was very
successful for the lifers.”
said. “I recall folks were very much
troubled with that. As a farm boy,
A group of the inmates become
this was all new to me.”
Gerrietts’ second congregation at
the reformatory. “They could swear
After four years, Gerrietts decided
like troopers and it became obvito “test the call,” which brought
him to St. Paul’s Lutheran in Rock>> Continued on page 3
Northeastern Iowa Synod | www.neiasynod.org
Grateful for his ‘march in the army of the Lord’
“Darrel William Gerrietts, I baptize
you in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
On March 3, 1943. Darrel joined,
as he says, “the army of the Lord.”
And, by the grace of God, he has
marched faithfully ever since.
I have not known someone who
loves Jesus and God’s people more
than Pastor Gerrietts. I have experienced that love in his call as an
assistant to the Bishop in words and
actions of tender compassion and
in loving, direct confrontation for
the sake of the spiritual health of
people and congregations. Pastor
Gerrietts is not all that complicated.
“I have not known someone
who loves Jesus and God’s
people more than Pastor
God’s love for him means that
Pastor Gerrietts will never give up
on you, your congregation or the
church. It simply is not an option.
At both a personal and professional
level, I will miss the regular interactions with Darrel. We will be asking
him to continue to strengthen the
synod in a variety of ways. He will
continue to
“march in the
army of the
Lord.” For this
we are grateful.
Please join in
sharing appreciation to
Pastor Gerrietts at an open house in his honor
Feb. 22, 2 to 4 p.m., at Redeemer,
— Steven L. Ullestad
Bishop, Northeastern Iowa Synod
Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark on rural Iowa ministries
<< Continued from page 2
ous that many could not read, but
they were there, reading the Bible
and trying to do something,” Gerrietts said. “It was a sad thing for us
all when the reformatory moved to
Twelve years later Gerrietts answered his next call to Grace Lutheran at Tripoli. He and his family
moved there between Christmas
and New Year’s Day, just after a
snowstorm had dumped three
inches of snow every
hour all night.
“There was three feet
of deep hard snow on
the ground,” Gerrietts
recalled. “I remember
mowing the lawn the
following June around a
leftover ice drift.”
At that time Grace had
Pastor Darrel Gerrietts fries fish
during the annual Tripoli Days
fish fry. Gerrietts served parishes
in Tripoli from 1985-1996 and
was an active community
volunteer, including serving on
the Tripoli Ambulance Service.
a membership of 800 with only one
pastor, which made it difficult to
keep a pastor for very long. Gerrietts agreed to take the call if he
could create more staff. He worked
with three or four interns over the
years and eventually Grace joined
with St. John (Crane Creek), with
two pastors serving both congregations.
Gerrietts has always sought opportunities to connect with the larger
community outside of his church,
so he volunteered for the Tripoli
Ambulance Service. His pastoral
presence helped the crew learn to
debrief after difficult ambulance
calls in a constructive way that focused on sitting down and talking
about what happened, how it affected them, and how to improve if
it happened again.
>> Continued on page 6
Rostered leaders are strengthened through mutual support
by Marcia Hahn
One of the top priorities of the
Northeastern Iowa Synod is to
foster opportunities for pastors to
work collegially with one another
– through colleague groups, networks, retreats, conferences, text
study groups, and more. According
to Bishop Steven Ullestad, it is a
way of extending the support of the
office of the Bishop, without being
dependent on the Bishop.
“The relationships and accountability that rostered leaders have
with one another is why this synod
has such a healthy, vibrant roster.”
Ullestad said.
Colleague Groups
Ten synod-sponsored colleague
groups offer a forum for confidential peer support for rostered leaders
through all stages of ministry. The
groups are formed around common
interests — such as geographical location, first call pastors and interim
pastors — and are facilitated by a
volunteer leader to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share
in the conversation.
Since 2006,
Pastor Roy Ott
of Our Savior,
Osage, has been a
member of a colleague group that
originally formed
for associate pastors, but now has
Roy Ott
six members who
are associates, senior pastors and
solo pastors. Their monthly meetings open and close with a devotional and prayer, with two hours of
sharing in-between.
“What I find valuable is that I get
feedback and ideas for a different
way of reframing things,” Ott said.
“These are people who look at a
situation with a different angle and
different expectation than I do. It
helps me to know what kinds of
issues to take seriously and what
ones are problems that are always
going to be there.”
Pastor Stacey
of Glenwood and
Canoe Ridge,
Decorah, joined
the same colleague group
as soon as she
moved to the
Stacey Naean-Carlson
Iowa Synod six years ago, and she
says that was one of the best decisions she could have made.
“Right away it
gave me some
strong relationships that have
continued for
six years,” Nalean-Carlson said.
“It has been a
great way to
meet people,
feel support and
be encouraged.
We are all in
this together.
Nobody can
do it alone,
and colleague
groups are a
wonderful support and reminder of that.”
The colleague groups serve as a safe
base — away from the congregation
and community — where pastors
can share about anything they want,
knowing that what they say will be
listened to with respect and remain
confidential. Nalean-Carlson says
she appreciated sharing with group
members when she was discerning
leaving a previous congregation a
few years ago.
“’To be able to share about my
interviews and experiences and
everything factoring into my decision became a helpful part of my
discernment,” she said. “To have a
sounding board helped me realize
what I already knew.”
Pastor Jim Radatz of Zion, Dysart,
leads a small colleague group that
meets monthly in the bucolic setting of Pine Lake State Park near
Eldora. The three-hour get-togeth-
Northeastern Iowa Synod
Bishop Rev. Dr. Steven L. Ullestad – [email protected]
Assistants to the Bishop
Rev. Mark A. Anderson – [email protected]
Rev. Darrel W. Gerrietts – [email protected]
Linda J. Hudgins – [email protected]
ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission
Rev. Joelle Colville-Hanson – [email protected]
Star Editor
Marcia Hahn – [email protected]
The Star is published 11 times a year by the Northeastern Iowa Synod,
201 20th Street SW, PO Box 804, Waverly, IA 50677-0804;
www.neiasynod.org, phone 319-352-1414, FAX 319-352-1416.
Send news for the March issue to Marcia Hahn by Feb. 12. We
welcome story ideas related to the 2015 theme, “Celebrating Renewal
— Bold Leadership.”
Articles in this newsletter may be duplicated for
use in synod congregations and organizations,
with credit to the Star newsletter.
Please notify the synod office with name and
address changes. To receive an electronic version
of the Star, rather than paper, send your request
to [email protected]
Northeastern Iowa Synod | www.neiasynod.org
ers serve as a
retreat for the
four members to
“With a small
group, there is
plenty of time and
no rush to move
on to another
Jim Radatz
topic,” Radatz
said. “We can actively listen and not
worry about time. With some members driving 80 miles round trip to
meet, it is important to devote the
time to share and listen to make the
drive time worthwhile.”
In addition, Radatz’ group members
make a point to reconnect at larger
synod events, such as the Day of
Renewal and Fall Conference. “It’s
really nice to have those relationships already in place,” Radatz said.
“We schedule time at those events
to use a room afterward to get together, since it is a neutral site.”
Text Study Groups
Each week, pastors from across the
Northeastern Iowa Synod gather in
small groups to review the week’s
Bible readings to prepare for their
Sunday sermons. The informal text
study groups strengthen camaraderie and sharing among rostered
leaders from neighboring congregations, and often serve more as a
support group than a study group.
“In my experience, we look at the
text, but many times we just talk
and share our stories,” said Pastor
Lance Kittleson of St. Peter, Toeterville and Deer Creek, Carpenter. “It
is kind of a dual purpose of study
and support.”
Kittleson has faithfully attended
the text study group at Osage since
1983, with the exception of the
times he was deployed for service as
an Army chaplain. “We have a lot of
unique perspectives while deployed,
but very few places where pastors
are safe to say what they want or
what their hearts tell them,” he
Coming out
of seminary,
Kittleson says he
gained a lot of
ideas from the
senior pastors
in the text study
group, and as a
Lance Kittleson
pastor today, he
appreciates the ideas that new seminary grads bring.
“I have learned a lot of good theology from the young pastors and
heard some things I forgot from
seminary,” Kittleson said. “At first
you wonder, and then you think
that’s pretty sharp, I better be quiet
and listen.”
Dana Anderson,
a lay leader for
Peace Lutheran
Fellowship, Parkersburg, preaches
about three times
a month when a
visiting pastor is
not available. He
Dana Anderson
attends the weekly
text study group in Waterloo to gain
a better understanding of the scriptures with a Lutheran perspective to
help develop his sermons.
“It’s nice to sit there with people
who have been preaching for 20 to
50 years and see their thought processes,” Anderson said.
The group starts with the prayer
of the day and then reviews the
gospel text, breaking it down by the
words. Anderson makes a point to
ask questions, and the pastors are
happy to answer them.
“My first look at the text is on a very
basic level,” Anderson said. “Then
we actually look at the words that
are used, and one pastor will translate it from Greek. It’s amazing the
different takes you can get on a text
by translating one word differently.
A lot of points they bring up I can
actually build upon for our congregation. They are a wealth of information.”
Earn Wellness Dollars
Members and spouses with
ELCA-Primary health benefits
can each earn 150 wellness dollars by taking the Mayo Clinic
Health Assessment online.
Follow-up activities can earn an
additional 350 wellness dollars.
If 65 percent of the eligible
members and spouses of this
synod complete the assessment
by April 30, 2015, the congregations and organizations of this
synod can earn a two percent
discount on health coverage
costs, for an estimated savings
of $36,000.
To learn more and get started,
visit https://myportico.porticobenefits.org.
Darrel Gerrietts leaves his mark on rural Iowa ministries
<< Continued from page 3
“The old system was for volunteers
in a small town fire or ambulance
crew to go out to terrible situations
with people they knew and do what
is right because of their training,
then go back and drink it away due
to post-traumatic stress,” Gerrietts
explained. “Because I had a counseling background I was able to
move them away from that so they
would be ready if another call came
Gerrietts worked in youth ministry
and the call process when he first
joined the synod staff, then moved
from youth to outreach, call process
and leadership development. He
named the three most rewarding
aspects of his work as an assistant
to the Bishop:
Gerrietts was called to serve as assistant to the Bishop in 1996, just
four years after a young Steven
Ullestad was elected to his first
term as Bishop of the Northeastern
Iowa Synod.
•Call process successes. “With my
psychology background, it is a great
joy when a match goes well with a
church and pastor in a new call. I’ll
see later how well they are doing
and that is very rewarding.”
“Darrel received the call to the
synod office due to the wisdom he
brought from years of parish experience, his love for Jesus and God’s
people, and his appreciation for
rural life and ministry,” Ullestad
•Formation. “It has been rewarding
to have a seminary grad ask me to
preach at ordination, to walk with
people who will be church leaders,
to see youth become leaders, and to
advise first-call pastors.”
•The collegiality of the staff. “Everyone here knows we’re a team and
works on it, and we get it done.”
After advising so many through the
years, Gerrietts jokes that
he now faces
sheer terror
as he is about
to begin retirement. He
doesn’t have
any set plans
except to do
Darrel Gerrietts,
some traveling
Wartburg Theological
with his wife
Seminary Grad, 1969
and spend more
time with their four children and
their families, especially the newest
grandchild due to be born this
spring in the Twin Cities. He also
plans to continue in some part-time
ministry, though he won’t say how
“An awful lot of people have made
my work possible,” Gerrietts said.
“Now I will have to restructure my
daily life in a way I never had to
think about before, and I am thankful for that.”
Join the Lutheran Day on the Hill advocacy event
Monday, March 9, 2015
Des Moines, Iowa
Join Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) and the three
Iowa synods of the ELCA for Lutheran Day on the Hill
Monday, March 9 in Des Moines.
This advocacy day gives voice to those who are not
heard for seeking social justice and empowers people
to be part of the legislative process.
The day’s schedule includes guest speakers, stories
from individuals served by LSI, advocacy training, lunch
and an opportunity to talk with legislators at the Iowa
State Capitol about human services issues and the critical needs of children, families and individuals.
This event is free to all participants. Transportation options (charter buses or shared rides) are also available
so participants do not need to drive. Registration is
open until March 5. Those who register by Feb. 22 will
receive a T-shirt.
Lutheran Day on the Hill is planned in partnership with
the Iowa synods of the ELCA and made possible in part
by an ELCA Domestic Hunger grant.
Register online at www.LSIowa.org/LDH or call 866584-5293.
Northeastern Iowa Synod | www.neiasynod.org
Rural Ministry Conference set for March 1-3
March 1-3, 2015
Wartburg Theological Seminary,
Dubuque, Iowa
The 34th annual Rural Ministry Conference, sponsored by Wartburg
Theological Seminary’s Center for
Theology and Land, is set for March
1-3, 2015, with a focus on “Practicing Care in Rural Congregations and
This ecumenical conference is an
opportunity for leaders in rural communities and congregations to gain
insight and inspiration and network
with others active in rural ministry.
The keynote speakers will be Dr.
Jeanne Hoeft, who will present about
“The Role of the Rural Church in
Mental Health,” and Dr. L. Shannon
Jung, who will speak on “Where is the
Grace of Caring in Rural America.”
Five workshops will be presented:
“What do we do before and after a disaster” by Rev. Catie Newman; “Introduction to Parish Nursing” by Bethany Speece; “Guns, Crime, and Safety”
by Hoeft; “Locating Grace in the Midst
of Inequality: A Dialogue” by Jung;
and “Confronting Deep Change” by
Bishop Mark Narum. Dr. Matthew R.
Schlimm will serve as the Bible study
leader and the Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan
will be the plenary speaker.
All sessions will take place at the Best
Western Plus Hotel in Dubuque. Registration deadline is Feb. 27. To learn
more and to download a brochure
and schedule, visit www.wartburgseminary.edu/template_Centers.
Portico offers pre-retirement, financial seminars
Youth Gathering
Sunday, March 8, 2015
4 - 6 p.m.
Spirituality Center at Bremwood
Waverly, Iowa
Sunday, March 15, 2015
4 - 6 p.m.
Decorah Lutheran Church
Decorah, Iowa
Adults planning to attend the
2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in
Detroit are invited to attend an
informational meeting to learn
• Tips for traveling with teens
• Gathering program and
• About Detroit
• Security
Portico Benefit Services, in collaboration with Ernst & Young, will offer
one-day seminars on retirement
and financial planning at various locations throughout 2015. Certified
Ernst & Young financial planners
will share information and answer
questions. Visit the websites listed
below to learn more.
Pre-Retirement Seminar
Get Answers to Your Difficult Retirement Planning Questions
• How can I reduce my debt?
• How much money will I need for
• How do I choose investment
fund options in the ELCA Retirement Plan?
• How much life insurance do I
need for myself and my family?
Mileage Rates
Learn more at www.irs.gov/uac/
• How much money will I really
need in retirement?
• How can I create a lifetime
income that I won’t outlive?
• What steps can I take to ensure
a smooth transition into retirement?
Early/Mid-Career Financial Wellness Seminar
Learn How to Minimize Debt, Optimize Assets, and Customize a Strategy for Retirement
Check for
more details
to be posted
online at www.neiasynod.org/
The Internal Revenue Service 2015
standard mileage rates for the use
of a car, van, pickup or panel truck
will be 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in
Disaster Response Network
Spread the Word, not the flu
While we aren’t experiencing a
pandemic flu outbreak just yet,
many public facilities like hospitals,
nursing homes, and other care facilities have either altered their care
procedures or closed their doors
to visitors in order to protect their
clients and the public. Short of
canceling worship services or asking
everyone to wear face masks, how
do we respond?
ary that I stand
at the back of the
sanctuary and
shake hands as
people leave. In
support of the
worship decision to not shake
hands during the
passing of the peace, I currently
greet people without shaking hands.
The first step is obvious: If you are
sick, stay home! The second is just
like it: Wash your hands regularly.
Pastors who have symptoms may
want to let others distribute the
communion bread on Sunday. As
leaders, our actions should be for
the best interests and health of the
Another major gathering time is
the fellowship hour before or after
worship. We haven’t been able to
crack that code here at St. Peter,
but people now know they don’t
have to engage in forced interaction
with others — they can even make a
beeline for the door, if they choose.
One practice that requires some
thought is the “passing of the
peace” during worship. Here at St.
Peter the flu has been extremely
bad, so we decided to suspend
shaking hands during January.
Here is what we have in our bulletin: “Because we value gathering
as a community to worship and
our health too, we will for the time
being no longer pass the peace
during worship services.”
Another alternative to passing
the peace is to place travel-size
hand sanitizers in every pew. After
shaking hands, can come the
passing of the sanitizer bottle — a
fun addition to a worship! Other
options lean toward the “camp
worship” style: bump a rump,
pound a fist, nod your head, touch
elbows, point fingers ET style, etc.
Get creative!
Another practice is the shaking of
hands after worship. It is custom-
The bottom line points to a truth
that we must wrestle with: We
gather as a community. This means
people will still hug each other and
I will still shake a lot of people’s
hands on Sunday mornings, both
before and after worship services.
So what else can we do in this time
to promote healthy behavior?
A good resource for ideas is the
Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. They are a
part of the Department of Health
and Human Services USA. One
of their publications, A Guide for
Community and Faith-Based Organizations and Leaders, offers insights
on how to be a community that
helps prevent the spread of flu and
other germs when groups of people
gather. This and other resources
can be found on their website at
— Pastor Ron Mathews
Disaster Response Network
Everyday Steps to
Protect Your Health
Cover your nose and mouth
with a tissue when you
cough or sneeze. Throw the
tissue in the trash after you
use it. If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into
your shoulder or elbow
instead of your hands.
Wash your hands often with
soap and warm water for at
least 20 seconds, especially
after you cough or sneeze. If
soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based
hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes,
nose or mouth. Germs
spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact
with sick people.
If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least
24 hours after you are free
of fever without the use of
fever-reducing medications
like acetaminophen, aspirin
or ibuprofen. This step is to
help stop the spread of the
virus to others.
Source: A Guide for Community
and Faith-Based Organizations
and Leaders
For more disaster response resources,
visit the Northeastern Iowa Synod
Disaster Response web page at www.
Northeastern Iowa Synod | www.neiasynod.org
1-2Event, ELCA Youth Ministry Network, Dearborn,
5Meeting, Interim Colleague Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
6-8Event, “One Year to Live” Men’s Retreat, Ewalu,
Strawberry Point
10 Meeting, Assembly Planning, Wartburg College,
Waverly, 4-6 p.m.
11-13Event, Lilly Youth Theology Network (LYTN)
Consultation, Indianapolis, Ind.
12 Conference Call, First Call Theological Education
Executive Committee, 10:30-12 noon
14 Conference Call, Compensation Committee, 10 a.m.
15 Meeting, LYON, 2-4 p.m.
15Assembly, Three River Conference, Fredsville, Cedar
Falls, 2 p.m.
19Meeting, Endowment Fund Investment Committee,
9-11 a.m.
19Meeting, Deans & Chaplains, 2-4 p.m.
20-21Event, Candidacy Retreat, American Martyrs,
Cedar Falls
22 Open House, Rev. Darrel Gerrietts Retirement,
Redeemer, Waverly, 2-4 p.m.
1-3Event, Rural Ministry Conference, Wartburg
Theological Seminary
5Meeting, Interim Colleague Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
5Meeting, Youth Ministry Network, Holy Trinity,
Dubuque, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
8Meeting, LYON, 2-4 p.m.
8 Youth Gathering Informational Meeting, Hanson
Spirituality Center at Bremwood, Waverly, 4-6 p.m.
9 Event, Lutheran Day on the Hill, Des Moines
14Meeting, Synod Council, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
15 Youth Gathering Informational Meeting, Decorah
Lutheran, Decorah, 4-6 p.m.
21Meeting, Resolutions Committee, 9-11:30 a.m.
26Event, Day of Renewal, Nazareth, Cedar Falls,
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
28Meeting, Synodical Women’s Organization Board,
8:30 a.m.-12 noon
2Meeting, Interim Colleague Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
9Meeting, Youth Ministry Network, Zion St. John,
Sheffield, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
12Meeting, LYON, 2-4 p.m.
14Meeting, Assembly Planning, Wartburg College,
4-6 p.m.
19-21Event, First Call Theological Education Retreat
7Meeting, Interim Colleague Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
7Meeting, Youth Ministry Network, Decorah area,
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
16Meeting, Synodical Women’s Organization,
8:30 a.m.-12 noon
Melinda McVey McCluskey, Salem, Lake Mills, Feb. 8
Rev. Melinda McVey McCluskey, associate pastor, Salem,
Lake Mills, Feb. 8
Rev. Jennifer Edinger, Unity of the Cross Parish, Ryan,
Feb. 8
Rev. Grant Woodley, co-pastor, First, Dows, pending
Rev. Nicole Woodley, co-pastor, First, Dows, pending
Rev. Jennifer Bohls, senior pastor, St. James, Mason City,
Arlington, St. John; Elkader, Hope (Littleport);
Strawberry Point, St. Sebald; Volga, St. Paul (One in
Faith Lutheran Parish)
Belmond, Trinity, Rev. Alan Schulz, interim
Cedar Falls, St. John (staff), Rev. Duane Miller, interim
Coulter, Nazareth and Hampton, St. John
Decorah, Good Shepherd, Rev. April Ulring Larson, interim
Garnavillo, St. Paul
Hawkeye, Trinity, Rev. David R. Nelson, interim
Waterloo, Trinity, Rev. Paul Nelson, interim
West Union, Zion, Rev. Nancy Larson, interim
Alta Vista, Zion and Lawler, Immanuel (Crane Creek),
Rev. Vincent Fricke, interim
Belmond, St. Olaf and Renwick, St. Paul (All Saints
Calmar, Calmar and Decorah, Springfield, Rev. Phillip Olson, interim
Charles City, St. John
Clermont, West Clermont
Decorah, St. John’s and Hauge
Elgin, Elgin & Elkader, Highland
Elkader, Bethany
Farmersburg, St. John and McGregor, First
Garner, Faith (Miller), Rev. Joel Dahlen, interim
Lake Mills, Salem, Rev. Peter Soli, interim
Leland, Our Savior
Postville, St. Paul
Waterloo, St. Ansgar
Rev. Kathryn Gerking, transferred to South-Central
Wisconsin Synod
Rev. Marion Pruitt-Jefferson, on-leave from call to family
Rev. Stephen Brackett, Assistant to the Bishop,
Northeastern Iowa Synod
Rev. Joan Haug, retired, transferred from Southeastern
Iowa Synod
Springfield, Decorah
Rev. Stephen
Engelstad, St. Ansgar
Rev. Joyce D.
Sandberg, Waverly
Luther College,
Rev. David D.
Cedar Falls
Rev. Bryan C.
Lagerstam, Osage
Rev. Patricia L. Shaw,
Rev. Stephen P.
Brackett, Postville
Rev. Burton L.
Everist, Dubuque
Mrs. Joyce J. Rohde,
Zion, Castalia
Wartburg College,
Cedar Falls
Rev. Donald L.
Feuerhak, Cedar Falls
Ms. Jean P. Rieniets,
Rev. Roger
McKinstry, Marion
Lutheran Services in
Iowa, Des Moines
Middle East
St. John American,
Cedar Falls
Rev. Robert Ericson,
Cedar Falls
Rev. Alan R. Schulz,
Rev. Edward W.
Amend, Cedar Falls
Lutheran Youth
Cedar Falls
Rev. Dr. Mark D.
Johns, Decorah
Doris Kampfe,
Beryl Sand, Virginia,
Rev. Scot McVey
Clear Lake
Rev. Bryan L.
Robertson, Decorah
Rev. Dr. Richard
Simon Hanson,
Ms. Mildred Dieter,
Rev. Diane
Harpers Ferry
Rev. Dr. Ramona S.
Bouzard, Waverly
Rev. Rose Marie
Nack, Osage
Rev. Jeffrey R.
Hansen, Ridgeway
Mosaic, Omaha, NE
Cedar Falls
Synodical Women’s
Bishop Steven L.
Ullestad, Cedar Falls
St. Paul, Cedar Falls
Rev. Darrel W.
Gerrietts, Waverly
Rev. Kevin T. Jones,
Mason City
Pastor Marlyn Hansing
Pastor Marlyn Hansing died Nov.
12, 2014, at the age of 93. He was
ordained June 3, 1951, and served
as pastor of Westby, Comertown
Parish, Westby, Mont.; Harlowton
Parish, Harlowton, Mont.; Faith,
Hoyt Lakes, Minn.; Our Savior,
Radcliffe, Iowa; St. John’s, Waukon,
Iowa; Bethany, Kelley, Iowa; and as
visitation pastor at Trinity, La Crosse,
Wis. He retired June 1, 1990.
He is survived by three children and
four grandchildren. Expressions of
sympathy may be sent to Rebecca
McCaughey, 5412 Kellogg Ave.,
Edina MN 55424-1603.
Phyllis Burri
Phyllis Burri, an associate in
ministry, died Jan. 13, 2015, at the
age of 76. She was commissioned
Dec. 10, 2006. She served as a
parish secretary at First Lutheran,
Decorah Lutheran and the Burr Oak
and Hesper Lutheran Parish, all in
Decorah. She retired June 29, 2010.
Her memorial service was Jan. 31,
2015, at First Lutheran, Decorah.
She is survived by a sister and two
brothers. Expressions of sympathy
may be sent to Jim Burri, 1812
Aspen Dr., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.
Pastor Paul Hasvold
Pastor Paul Hasvold died Jan. 19,
2015, at the age of 81. He was
ordained Aug. 20, 1967. He served
as pastor at East Koshkonong
Lutheran, Cambridge, Wis., and
Good Shepherd Lutheran, Decorah,
prior to his retirement July 1, 1998.
A memorial service took place
Jan. 24, 2015, at Good Shepherd
Lutheran Church, Decorah. He is
survived by his wife, Carol, and two
sons. Expressions of sympathy may
be sent to Carol Hasvold, 738 Ridge
Road, Decorah IA 52101.
Good News
February 2015
Volume 28
Number 2
As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and
empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one
another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the
church, the society, and the world.
June 19–20 will be here before we
know it! Please put on your
COLLEGE, Fort Dodge
FRIDAY, JUNE 19 (1:00 pm) through
SATURDAY, JUNE 20 (4:00 pm)
Some of you remember the 2000 Tri-Synodical
convention hosted by SE Iowa Synod women at
Iowa State (Ames) and when our synod hosted the
2006 Tri-Synodical convention at Wartburg
College (Waverly). This year the Western Iowa
Synod is hosting us in Fort Dodge.
If you have attended either of the other TriSynodical conventions, you know how special
they can be!
Because of larger numbers of women
attending, we are able to plan beyond our “usual”
● Rev. Wyvetta Bullock from our ELCA
churchwide office will be our keynote speaker.
● All three synod bishops will lead Bible studies
● There will be more interest session topics to
choose from.
● Each synod will conduct their own business
meeting at 3:45 Friday afternoon, but in
different locations.
● And what an opportunity to worship with 300
Lutheran women (our goal)!
Every active unit contact person will receive a
packet of materials:
● Registration forms for delegates, alternate
delegates, others
Synod Convention Scholarships
Motion/Resolution form
Nomination Form—Synod Board Positions
Nomination Form—2016 nominating committee
These forms can also be found on our website,
Who Will Your Delegate and Alternate
Delegate Be?
Every active unit should be represented by a delegate,
who could be your president, vice-president, contact
person or another interested leader. Use the registration
form and support your delegate and alternate by paying
their expenses. It is important that you register your
delegate by the date provided so that delegate
information can be sent to them prior to the convention.
What makes you an active unit? This past year your
congregational unit must have a leadership team, regular
meetings/events and share offerings with our W-ELCA
synod and churchwide.
How Can You Encourage More Women to
Start early! Be excited about the opportunity to attend
this larger convention. Encourage women who have
never attended to use the convention scholarships
available. Have copies of both the registration and
scholarship forms with you to hand to anyone who shows
interest. Organize carpooling and sharing motel rooms. It
is a great way for women to get better acquainted. Of
course, one-day registration will be available too.
Are There Issues/Actions That You Would
Like Addressed?
It is time we bring issues and propose actions to resolve
concerns that you would like to have addressed by the
synod board, resolutions committee and convention. This
is your opportunity to make changes in our organization.
Please put this on your board agenda, spend time
Apr. 11
Apr. 11
Apr 25
May 2
Jun 19-20
Nov. 7
Spring LWR In-Gathering for Clusters C
(Jubilee), E (Tree of Life) and H (Three
Rivers) at Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar
Riverside Cluster Spring Retreat, St. Olaf
LC, Belmond
Upper Iowa River Cluster D Spring
Gathering, Hauge & St. John, Decorah
LWR Pickup, Olson’s Explosives, Decorah
Iowa Tri-Synodical W-ELCA Convention,
Iowa Central Community College, Ft.
Fall LWR In-Gathering for Clusters C
(Jubilee), E (Tree of Life) and H (Three
Rivers) at Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar
discussing this using the Motion-resolution form.
Since we have had no resolutions for several years,
let’s get serious about coming up with changes in our
synod policies, stewardship projects, or operational
changes that come from the grass roots.
Will You Encourage Leaders in Your Unit
to Serve at the Synod Level?
We need interested unit leaders to move into
positions on our synod board. The positions of
president, secretary and several board positions will
need to be filled at our convention. They are elected
for a two-year term and can be re-elected for two
additional years. We hold six meetings a year on
Saturday mornings at the synod office in Waverly.
Serving during our convention is also an expectation.
Mileage and expenses are reimbursed through our
synod budget. It is an opportunity to learn so much
about our organization and make lifelong friendships
with women we would never know otherwise. (I
speak from my experiences!) As a unit, you will also
benefit as you will have a person who is readily
available to answer your questions. Personally ask
someone whom you would like to see on our board.
With her permission, submit her information using the
nomination form. Or provide her with a nomination
form and keep reminding her that you will be
disappointed if she does not complete it.
We also need five women who are willing to be
elected to our nominating committee. This is a shortterm commitment to filling the 2016 ballot with
interested, committed women. It involves an
organizational meeting and contacting women who
have been suggested to you. Use the nominating
committee form to let us know you would be
Submitted by Gloria Tollefson, NE IA W-ELCA synod
You are invited
To a reception honoring Rev. Darrel Gerrietts for over
45 years of active ministry. It will be held on
February 22, 2015 from 2–4 pm at Redeemer Lutheran
Church in Waverly. A brief program will begin at
3 pm. You might want to consider a gift to “NE Iowa
Synod Fund for Leaders” in his honor. Letters of
appreciation can be sent to Linda Hudgins at the synod
office, who will include them in a book of memories.
From Rev. Steven Ullestad, Bishop, NE Iowa Synod,
From Lutheran Services in Iowa
We were so pleased to receive your generous
contribution of $900. Your gift will help Iowa children,
families and adults access resources to achieve their
goals and improve their lives, such as parenting
education therapy, English as a Second Language
classes or family crisis support, to simply name a few.
Thank you for being LSI’s partner as we respond
together in Christ’s love through compassionate
service!Chris Andersen, Vice-President of
Advancement and Church Relations
NEIA Women of the ELCA website:
Good News
Editor Jan Harbaugh
P. O. Box 68
Renwick, IA 50577
[email protected]
Articles are due the 1st of the month for the next month's
newsletter. Please put WELCA in your subject line. (You can
also send paper copies by “snail” mail.)
NEIA Women of the ELCA Treasurer
Nancy Poppe
2656 Gilmore Ave
Ionia, IA 50645
[email protected]
Contact Women of the ELCA at:
773.380.2730 or 800.638.3522, ext. 2730
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4189
Living Faith
Dear F ellow Soul Shapers, If you k now me, you know that even with my deep Scandinavian roots, I am not a fan of snow, ice, and winter in general. So not surprisingly by this time of the year I am tired of the long dark nights and being stuck inside all the time. I am going to g uess that others may be feeling the same way. So this month’s issue of Living Faith @ Home will seek to pass the faith while finding a cure for “Cabin Fever”. Being s tuck inside and snow bound is the perfect opportunity to spend some time as a family. And any time the family is gathered is a great time to the faith. pass on Blessings on the Journey, Elayne Werges, Diaconal Minister
Cross Roads Lutheran Parish & Nora Springs Osage
Baptismal Promises
Live with
them among
Have a Swap and Share Night
IDEA: Build family relationships by sharing with each other what is important to them. ACTIVITY: Each person is given several hours to plan what they will do. Some examples: tell a joke, play the piano or other musical interment, conduct a sing –a-­‐
long, display a talent/no talent, tell a story, give each member of the family a compliments, play a favorite game together, give a homemade gift, give each member a hope you have for them, tell about a favorite memory. Gather as a family and let everyone have a turn. Be sure to express appreciation after each person is done. Have a great time together.
This information has been prepared for you by the
Iowa Synod-Home Life Network
for use by families and local congregations. For more ideas about how you can pass on faith in your homes go to:
If you have a comment or suggestion for future newsletters or are interested in joining the Home-Life Network
please contact the synod office. Find us on Facebook!
Have an Island Beach Party
to Celebrate Family
Meal Time: Choose foods you would eat at the beach….. Like fish
sticks and fruit kabobs. Wear leis. Get out the picnic baskets, beach
blanket, and set up a picnic in the living room. Make a campfire with
paper towel centers and twinkly Christmas lights. Play beach music
or find a track with the sounds of the beach.
Play Beach Games like Go Fish or have a Shell Hunt (hide shells
around the house and have everyone hunt for them. Set up a beach
You can find
Beach Stories in
in Your Bible in
these places:
John 21:4-14
Luke 3:21/
Matthew 3:13-17
Luke 9:10-17
Matthew 14:22-33
mini golf course. Make Sand Clay.
• Talk About: Baptism- talk about the day each of you were baptized
and how Jesus was Batpized too.
Talk about Water-We need water to sustain life. Some don’t have
enough water- for some amazing resources including videos go to
For the Sand Clay You Will Need:
2 cups of Sand
1/2 - 1 cup of White Glue (add slowly until desired consistency is achieved)
1/2 - 1 cup of Cornstarch
A mixing bowl, spoon and space to play (this is messy!)
Shells, cookie cutters, any other modelling tools you wish to use.
What to Do: Mix the sand and cornstarch together, then add the glue slowly, and mix together,
until it starts to combine. You may find it goes to a breadcrumb like mixture, if this happens its
fine, you just need to knead it together into a dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more glue, or
even a splash of water if your sand was very dry. If it feels too sloppy, add a little more
cornstarch. Play away or roll into desired shapes and let dry. Coming Up….Shrove Tuesday is February 17
Mardi Gras begins on January 6th and continues until the day before Ash
Wednesday. Celebrate the season of Epiphany by observing the traditions of Mardi Gras.
There are many resources available online to explore the history and traditions of the
seasons. Here are afew quick ideas you can do. make Pancakes, remember the poor, make
Pretzels, have a King’s Cake, Have a parade, make masks, wear beads, look up the meaning
behind the colors of Mardi Gras-gold, green, and purple. Let th e good tim es roll!
caring for God’s earth in northeast Iowa
The Northeastern Iowa Synod Care of Creation Network uses this newsletter to call attention to
community and environmental issues, eco-problems, earth stewardship, and global concerns.
Building projects are opportunities to add energy efficiencies
by Pastor Beth A. Olson
Smart use of God’s resources is something many strive
for. In a building project, there are lots of choices that
need to be made, and some of those choices can seem
pretty forward-thinking. It can take some convincing to
invest in some of the less-traditional construction methods. That was the case David Voigts, facilitator for the
Northeastern Iowa Synod’s Care of Creation Network,
heard about when he recently visited St. Timothy in
those that are contemplating building, paying attention
to the environment and the energy-smart resources
makes sense, both in the short-term and in the long
run, and that goes right along with our charge to be
good stewards of all God has given.
The congregation built a new facility in the mid-1980s.
“We had a hard time finding someone who could bring
our vision of energy efficiency to life initially,” said longtime member Allen Schneider. But the building crew
persevered, and now the congregation sports a number
of energy-efficient features.
Notable to Voigts and Fred Abels, of Holland, was the
usage of a Trombe wall in the construction. Trombe
walls are designed to collect and save heat, something
the concrete walls of St. Tim’s do pretty well.
The congregation also makes great use of its bank of
south-facing windows for a passive solar gain, especially
in the winter. In the summer, the extended overhang
helps, also, by not getting the building so hot the air
conditioning has to run constantly.
When the current facility was built, the congregation
also built it into a hillside, and so they have a berm on
the north side that gives great insulation. “Good insulation was also important to us,” said Schneider, who
noted that the congregation used 16” of ceiling insulation. Another feature of the congregation is the use of
sensors and auto-timers on the lights in the restrooms.
Not all congregations are in building projects, but for
St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, Hudson, gains passive solar heat
through its south-facing windows and Trombe wall. The church
is built into a berm on the north side, which helps insulate the
Share about your energy stewardship!
Tell us your congregation’s story of energy stewardship so
we can share it with others in our synod. Your story could
inspire others to take a step for energy stewardship.
Contact the synod office to make contact with the Care of
Creation Network.