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The Harvest Iowa District West of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Iowa District West met in convention at Camp Okoboji on June 21-23, 2015.

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Vol. 13 Num. 3 Fall 2015

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In this issue:


President’s Page

p. 4

Oct. 5-6

New Worker Orientation, Camp Okoboji


p. 5

Oct. 6-7

Board Retreat, Camp Okoboji

Chaplain to Church Workers/Discipleship

p. 6

Oct. 9-10

Pre-Retirement Workshop, Fort Dodge


p. 7

Oct. 15-16

Iowa Teachers Conference, Urbandale

Education/Early Childhood

p. 8

Oct. 24-25

Junior Youth Gathering, West Des Moines

Lutheran Church Extension Fund

p. 9

Nov. 7

IOWAY Banquet, Fort Dodge

Individual Outreach With Adults and Youth

p. 10

Nov. 7

Treasurers Workshop, Webster City

Gift Planning

p. 11

Nov. 20-22

Senior Youth Gathering, Des Moines

Mission Central

p. 12

Dec. 28-Jan 4 IOWAY Mission Trip, California

Perry Lutheran Home

p. 13

Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

p. 18


WAVES - Camp Okoboji

p. 24

Jan. 16

Treasurers Workshop, Bouton

Lutheran Family Service

p. 28

April 11-12

Pastors Conference, Sioux City

Lutheran Laymen’s League

p. 30

July 9-14

National LCMS Convention, Wisconsin

Iowa District West Staff President Steve Turner

Pastor Mark Gerken

Pastor Steve Hayden

Pastor Phill Andreasen

Sally Kraayenbrink

DeAnn McCue

Roger Curtis

Jason Fuller

Sue Light

Jill Davis

Carole White

Ellie Menz

Jim Schroeder

Gary Thies

Pastor James Brammeier

Iowa District West 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B Fort Dodge, IA 50501 515-576-7666


Official Periodical of Iowa District West, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Volume 13 Number 3 Fall 2015 ISSN 1545-3154 editor: Jason Fuller proofing assistants: Sue Light and Jill Davis © 2015 Iowa District West, LCMS, Fort Dodge, IA. The Harvest is published quarterly by Iowa District West, 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Periodicals Postage paid at Fort Dodge, IA, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Harvest, c/o Iowa District West, 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. The Harvest is distributed free of charge to congregations and professional church workers of Iowa District West. Reproduction of articles is permissible with written permission of Iowa District West Editor and should give credit to The Harvest. Please contact us at the communication avenues listed if you are interested in individual subscriptions ($10 per year) or placing advertisements. Additional Communication Options Phone: 515.576.7666 E-mail: The Harvest is a cooperative effort of Iowa District West, the Iowa West LWML and LLL, Camp Okoboji, and LFS. This publication is mailed quartely in bulk to each congregation. Cover Photo by Rev Keith Schweitzer of Immanuel, Greenfield. Other Photos by Staff or from stock. Photos on LFS pages supplied by LFS; on LLL pages supplied by Iowa West LLL, Web site, or Lutheran Hour Ministries; on LWML pages supplied by IDW LWML or Web site; on WAVES pages by Camp Okoboji. Index of Advertisers and Contributors: Luther Care Services, Carole White-LCEF, and American Church Group.

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Dear Friends in Christ, There’s been a lot of conversation in the last few years at coffee shops and around kitchen tables about the accelerating changes taking place in our culture. There are times when this seems overwhelming to the minds and the hearts of Christians. It seems the media and many in the academic communities have marginalized the church so as to consider it irrelevant. This conversation could lead almost any believer to feel a little depressed and discouraged. However, I believe we are living in one of the most exciting times in the history of the Christian Church. How many of us have thought, “wouldn’t it be exciting to live at the time of Jesus?” What would it be like to witness Jesus loving and caring for people in need, people He often did not know but for whom he felt compassion? How thrilling to be there on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled the apostles with the courage to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all those gathered in Jerusalem! What a joy to be with that emerging 1st century Church sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people who were living in a pagan society, people who were given over to sensuality and hedonism! Does any of this sound familiar? Where do we begin if we want to bring the good news of Jesus to our communities? If you were to walk into any Christian book store today, you would find an entire section on how to respond to the changes taking place in this post Christian culture. I am sure some of these books provide very practical ways to respond to the challenges we see in our world, but God has already given us the only handbook we need to reach the world today. The Bible, especially the New Testament Scriptures, were written during days just like today. So while we may live in a post Christian culture, the good news is that the New Testament was written to address the same problems in a pre Christian time!

The examples I would like you to consider today are Paul’s letters to the Church at Corinth. Corinth was a leading city in the Roman Empire. It was a city of commerce and great wealth. It was a place filled with travelers. It shared a commonality with many port cities as it was also a place of flagrant immorality. In fact, the very phrase “to Corinthianize” came to mean “to practice immorality.” Due to its ancient roots, it was also a very religious community. The vast majority of the religious community was pagan. You could find cults of Egyptian, Roman, and Greek origin. Into this den of debauchery, God sent His Holy Spirit to call people to believe the Good News of Jesus Christ. Paul begins his first letter by referring to the people of God as saints, a word that literally means “holy things.” Paul views the recipients of his letters as Holy People because they have been made holy in Christ Jesus. This call to be saints in an unholy place includes you and me. We are called to be saints not by the sheer will and determination of God, but we are called to be saints by the Grace of God! The verse 1 Corinthians 1:4 reads: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” This means we are not saints because God saw something in us that was good and wholesome. Our sainthood has been given to us through faith in Christ Jesus as a gift. We are sanctified in Christ, therein, we are made Holy. The problem is, we are by nature not any different than the world around us. We are sinners and apart from Christ we are unholy. As we confess each week in the Divine Service “we are by nature sinful and unclean.” We make this confession with others, among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Why is this so important for us? Why do we confess our sin out loud and with our family and friends? Just as we speak the words of confession, we hear the words of absolution. We hear the Good News that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ, and we are set free. We have no need to try to cover up and hide from our sins. We are made holy not because of what we do, who we are, or where we live, but because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. We are made holy by His suffering, death, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit comes to us through the means of grace, calling each of us to be-

lieve in the work of Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify which means “to make holy.” The Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Word and Sacraments, calls and gathers the Saints of God together to be the Church of God. We are called to be Holy People living in an unholy place. Our world is not so different than the world of St. Paul and the congregation in Corinth. We live in a culture blessed with unbelievable affluence. We live in a sin sick culture. This world is not hidden from us. It comes into our homes on TV, in our newspapers, and through the internet. Sometimes we wish that we had lived during a different time in history. Sometimes we want to withdraw from our world and escape to a safe place. There are some who actually think this is what the church needs to be doing today. They want the church to simply step away from our involvement in our communities and protect what God has given us. That was not St. Paul’s encouragement to the congregation at Corinth. “…so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9). God has placed us in our communities, at this time in history, in this culture, to be His people. We are lacking no spiritual gift or secret knowledge to live as His people. We are called to speak His truth in Love. By the work of the Holy Spirit, we are able to share this Good News of Jesus Christ here and now. We are to share the Good News with our children, with our friends, and with all who will listen. We are called to live in the Grace of Christ Jesus until He comes again. Hear again the promise of 1 Corinthians 1:8, “…who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Always in Grace, President Steve Turner


Iowa District West

The Harvest

President Steve Turner

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Contact Pastor Steve Turner at: 515-576-7666 mailing address: 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B Fort Dodge, IA 50501

9/18/2015 2:10:55 PM

Pastor Mark Gerken

Missions News Join Jesus On His Mission!

we are enjoying.” “We have a tendency to make it complicated,” continued Finke. “It’s really not. It’s not about us. All Jesus calls us to do is to love our neighbor and look for opportunities to inject a little grace and truth into their lives.” To support one another and provide insight and accountability, Finke calls for God’s people to gather in missional communities. This might be a small group of which you’re already a part. To make living on mission intentional, there

Missionary Lifestyle Training Process. Finke will coach the members involved in living in their missional communities as they support and encourage each other in joining Jesus on His mission. Another 20 congregations are waiting in the wings to consider the Missionary Lifestyle Training Process. If you or your congregation is interested in learning more, contact Rev. Gerken, Missions and Human Care Executive for Iowa District West, at 515-570-2331. Are you ready to join Jesus on His mission?

Mission Grant Spotlight

Over 325 people representing 52 Iowa District West congregations and two Recognized Service Organizations within the District, attended one of four “Living On Mission” events sponsored by IDW the end of May. Led by Rev. Greg Finke, Executive Director of Dwelling 1:14, they heard how each child of God is called to follow Jesus. The mission is for Jesus’ followers to make disciples as they go about their every-day lives. The means to accomplish this was also given - Baptism and the Word of God. God’s grace and peace is ours in abundance. We are to share God’s grace and peace with others as we go about our daily lives. That’s the basic element of making disciples. As new disciples are made, they gather together in groups of disciples (church) to grow in faith as they study and share the Word of God and receive His gifts in the Sacraments. All so that we can go out, shared Finke, “to enjoy people and seek, recognize and respond to what Jesus is already doing in the lives of the people

are five questions you can discuss each time with one another. These are: How did you SEE God at work in your life this week? What has God been teaching you in HIS WORD? What kind of CONVERSATIONS are you having with pre-Christians? What good can we DO around here? How can we help you in PRAYER? Sent off with prayer and encouragement, God’s people then engage in “neighboring.” Neighboring is defined as “any opportunity we have to enjoy the people God has placed within our relational reach.” When asked to describe in one word what she had heard, one woman responded, “Simple.” “It’s good to know you don’t have to know everything” said another.” One pastor commented, “This should be happening in all of our homes.” As a follow-up, 10 congregations have agreed to partner with Dwelling 1:14 and Iowa District West in the

Fall 2015

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Your mission gifts have helped to plant the seed for a new ministry outreach through Trinity Lutheran Church, Cherokee. It’s an amazing story of how God provides! In 2011, while conducting the visioning process among the church’s small groups, a major focus was on what community needs the church could fill. Time and again, the answer seemed to be “a Lutheran preschool,” since the public preschool was facing space limitations and there was no Christian school of any kind within 25 miles of town. God began opening doors, literally. While in a community member’s home as part of his daily job, one member of the church shared what the church was thinking about doing. This led the community member (who does not belong to Trinity) to say, “I have a building you can use. I’ve always thought a Christian preschool would be wonderful for this community.” Once the preschool was approved by Trinity voters, the congregation established a goal of having the building completed and a director/teacher hired by April 2014. Although the building was not officially finished until June, the director/teacher began work in May, spending the summer working with DHS, the fire marshal, and other pertinent agencies to assure all the necessary regulations were met in order to open by the start of the school year. (continued on page 14) Contact Pastor Mark Gerken at: 515-576-7666 mailing address: 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B Fort Dodge, IA 50501


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Pastor Phill Andreasen

Post Seminary Applied Learning and Support (PALS) A summer event for pastors and their families of Iowa District West who have been ordained in the last three years took place August 9-11. The goal of the PALS initiative in the Synod is that newly-placed pastors and their families are assisted as they make the transition to life in the parish. In the process, pastors develop their knowledge and skills in relation to those they serve. Their wives and families are also aided and supported. In Iowa District West we have ten pastors who are able to participate in this program. They and their families have opportunities to come together and grow professionally and personally. We are excited to welcome three new families into the District: • Rev. Tom Schlund - Trinity Lutheran Church, Algona; • R e v. A a r o n a n d K a e l a Hannemann - St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ankeny; • Rev. Paul and Marie Ferderer - Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Lake City. This program has been reinstated in Iowa District West following a period of inactivity. Rev. Phill Andreasen and his wife Monica are serving as facilitators. The courses taken by the pastors offer them Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.) and require six days of class work each year. In IDW this is accom-

plished with two two-day sessions for the pastors and families and two one-day sessions for the pastors only. In addition to course work, the twoday sessions where families are involved include: time of respite, opportunities to share joys and concerns, and occasion to offer encouragement. Worship and prayer, as well as family recreation, play an important part of this time together. Thus far it has been well received by the participants. Involvement in the PALS program has been strongly encouraged by the Synod and District. The congregations where the pastors serve have been asked to be supportive as well. The value of PALS for those adjusting to parish life is invaluable. While the seminaries offer theological training, PALS provides many practical ideas and support for addressing concerns of ministry.

Lydia Resner

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will

Rev. Tom Schlund

guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17). “O Lord, grant your faithful shepherds increasing joy in their sacred callings, and give your people

Justin Whitmore’s family having a little fun with Mom while the men are in session.

increasing joy in their earthly shepherds. We pray in the name of the great shepherd of the sheep. Amen” (A Little Book on Joy – Matthew C. Harrison).

Mark and Angela Resner chat with Phill Andreasen during a meal.


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Iowa District West

Contact Pastor Phill Andreasen at: 712-330-0472 mailing address: 1710 28th St Spirit Lake, IA 51360

The Harvest

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Pastor Steve Hayden

He frees you to live on the growing edge of service and witness. This fall we provide “growing opportunities for our junior high and high school youth through our gatherings.

“Searching” Junior Youth Gathering

EYES on Youth Ministry We don’t know much about Jesus’ childhood. We have heard the story concerning His birth. We hear more about Him once He begins His public ministry. The truth is, however, we don’t really know what He was like as a child. What He did. What He liked. There is one story from Jesus’ childhood that we know; the story of Jesus’ visit to the temple at the age of 12. Luke tells us at the end of that story: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). On the trip to Jerusalem, Jesus no doubt grew in many ways. He heard more of the Word of God, which He had been studying. He learned to relate to adults on the pilgrimage and then teachers in the temple. He was challenged to question the teachers and to speak the Word to them as well. But it still seems to be an unexpected thought; Jesus, the Son of God, still grew “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” We don’t often think about Jesus needing growth, do we? But if Jesus grew in His relationships to His Father, Himself, others, and His world, should we not also be growing every day? In his book, Living on the Growing Edge, Bruce Larson describes a favorite teacher who year after year produces classes of children who are motivated to achieve and develop their potential. Her self-described secret: she tries to meet them on their “growing edge,” where they are ready and able to learn—not asking the impossible of them and therefore discouraging them, but not expecting too little of them and therefore boring them. Are you living on your growing edge? Are you growing “in wisdom... and in favor with God and men?” God knows your needs and has a plan for your growth. His Son lived on the growing edge in daily ministry and on His way to the cross, where He won the victory over Satan. God has now made you His own dear child through faith in Jesus Christ.

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Searching for something. It is not only adults who do this but our youth as well. You might say that it is a part of our human condition. Junior High students spend time searching for more than just shoes or books. They spend time searching for themselves; who are they and what will they be? They spend time searching for truth; should they believe what they see on TV, what they hear in school, what they hear from church? They spend time searching for God. The theme of the 2015 Iowa District West Junior Youth Gathering is “Searching....” The Apostle John tells us, “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Our Good News is that we do not need to search for God, He has searched for us and called us to be His own. By His death and resurrection, through His Word and Sacraments, Jesus not only searched for us but found us, saved us, and given us new life as His children.

“Hello, My Name Is…” Senior Youth Gathering

“What is your name?” In one sense, it’s a rather simple question to answer as the most common response would be that which was given when we were born - that identity shown on things such as a birth certificate and driver’s license: “My name is...” It’s in this time that we gather and are affirmed of the most important names Fall 2015

we’ve been given. Not from any person or group around us or even from ourselves, but instead from God Himself. Through Jesus, the “name above all names” and the “name at which every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9-10), we find our true and lasting identity. 1 Peter 2:9-10 will serve as our 2015 Iowa District West Senior Youth Gathering focus. With keynote speaker Audrey Duensing-Werner, various other breakout session leaders, music, worship, Christ-centered fun and fellowship, we’ll be reminded which names really matter now and eternally. “What is your name?” As we center all things on God’s Word pointing to and fulfilled in Christ alone, it’s our prayer that all can boldly and confidently respond, “By God’s grace through Christ alone, My Name Is...!” “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Join me as we live on our growing edge in God’s Word and we too will “grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” It’s God promise to us! Contact Pastor Steve Hayden at: 515-961-4321 mailing address: PO Box 174 Indianola IA 50125


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Sally Kraayenbrink

Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School Providing quality, Christ-Centered Education to Spencer and the surrounding area

God has blessed Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School in many ways. The new building is wonderful, enabling us to better carry out our God-given work of leading children to Him – encouraging them to show His love to others in all they do. When I meet former students, some now grown and on their own, there is truly a sense of blessing and joy as I see them LIVING their faith. You can tell they are Christians by their love! - Noreen Bohl, Kindergarten teacher, IGLLS Congratulations to the visionary leadership at Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School – Principal Dewey Torkelson, Pastor Paul Kaldahl, the school board, as well as the school families and members of First English Lutheran Church. God has indeed blessed the ministry of Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School.

Principal Dewey Torkelson welcomes students into the new facility.

Kindergarten teacher, Noreen Bohl, has been with the school from the beginning. I asked Noreen for her thoughts and reflections as she thinks back over the years… Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School opened in 1999 when the school’s forefathers, after many meetings and much prayer, called me to serve as kindergarten teacher. With five little children we started our school known in short as “IGLLS.” From this our unofficial mascot became “the eagle.” In an effort to promote our new Christian school, we found ways to witness by singing at area churches and community events. We always ended our “witnessing praise performances” by putting our hands on each other’s shoulders and shouting “together we’ll soar like eagles.” Since the very beginning our school days begin with “circle time.” What started as a small circle of five kindergarten students and myself in 1999 – has grown to 76 students, teachers, and staff who begin each day together in devotion, song, and prayer. This special time with our school family brings us together to know each other’s joys and needs. The students learn to speak freely to their Lord and Savior. Another great blessing is seeing former students come back to visit us on their days off from high school or college. They not only come to visit former teachers, but are willing and eager to lend a hand in classes. I feel this speaks volumes to the closeness we have encouraged as a Christ-centered school and the lessons students learn at IGLLS - serving their Lord by serving others.


Iowa District West

The Harvest

A dream became reality for Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School (IGLLS) as it opened the doors of its new facility on August 25, 2015. An educational wing added to First English Lutheran Church, Spencer, has become the new home for IGLLS. As we celebrate the new facility, we remember the Giver – giving God all glory, honor, and praise. We thank our Heavenly Father as the source of all good things. “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).

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Noreen Bohl Kindergarten teacher, IGLLS.

Radio station MORE 104.9 and Farmers Trust & Savings Bank in Spencer congratulates the 2015 Teacher of the Year…Mrs. Noreen Bohl!

Contact Sally Kraayenbrink at: 515-576-7666 mailing address: 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B Fort Dodge, IA 50501

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Carole White

Renovations in Manning

Zion, Manning underwent major renovations this summer with the help of Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s (LCEF) Laborers for Christ. Facility improvements included work on office space, fellowship hall, and Christian education areas to better serve the future generations. Zion used LCEF’s Capital Funding Services led by John Sprohl to raise funds for Phase 1 and 2 of the project. LCEF is able to provide the loan funds for the rest of the remodeling project that enables Zion to continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with their community.

Kids love to gear up for the demolition!

Demolition to make space for the new youth room.

Laborers opened up the ceiling. This will visually lead people into the sanctuary.

Outside work being done for the new entrance.

Bob Riggert flexes some muscle and helps with the demolition.

Laborers serving Zion include from left: Cal Potts, Monte Moore, Dan and Carolyn Werner, Calvin and Erma L’Heureux, Ella Mae and Charles Kroll. Not pictured: Julie Moore, and Melvin and Kay Schemm.

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Fall 2015

Contact Carole White at: 515-240-2229 mailing address: 409 Kenyon Road, Suite B Fort Dodge, IA 50501


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Ellie Menz

IOWAY News Serving in Kansas and Nebraska

The IOWAY team joined a small group from New Jersey and two teams from Minnesota, along with some members of Oswego and Parsons, Kansas to make up a strong crew of happy, hard workers. We came in as individuals who did not know each other and after a few days of sweating and working together, we were a very bonded group. Each time I lead a mission team it is always fun to see how God brings “just the right people” together for the jobs that need to be done. We go into the experience not knowing what to expect but “God has it covered.” Another thing that is interesting to watch is how often our plans change. Each night, for a week, we planned the details for the next day and each day there were changes. When looking back, we see that the changes were exactly what needed to happen. Two mornings started with heavy rains. After the rain passed, we were able to get our five teams to their projects. In the course of the week, we helped 17 families with repair and/or building projects at their homes. Most of the people we helped have health issues that prevent them from doing the work that was needed. We painted garages, decks and porches. Decks were repaired, and a roof was put over a deck. Many weeds, brush and small trees were wiped out. One house now has four new replacement windows, a new screen door, and beautiful new shrubs and flowers on two sides of the house. The people were so grateful because they are in a situation where they are unable to do the work and/ or don’t have the money to hire it done. Our team made a powerful impact in these two communities. It was a witnessing opportunity as we shopped for supplies, visited with the neighbors, etc. Most of the people we helped do not have a church home.

At the end of each day, we returned to the air-conditioned church for a short rest and showers. Each evening was filled with eating and a fun activity. Meals were provided by church members. Devotions and a leader’s team meeting to get set for the next day completed the evening. Part of our team became T.V. news “celebrities” on two different channels. It was an amazing opportunity to share our Christian witness as to why we were doing the work. Seventeen IOWAY missionaries returned August 9 from Omaha. We were tired and a bit sore, but felt great about the opportunities God had given us to serve others. It was a full weekend starting with our meeting point at the hotel in Omaha. We got organized and headed out with two-way radios, directions and our faithful lead driver, Jodi Korth. Our first stop was Assure Women’s Center. We were very impressed with their amazing ministry. We toured the facilities, learned about their outreach, and delivered MANY supplies to them. We collected baby items, quilts, and clothes and gave them to the Women’s Center. Over 70 new quilts and afghans were donated along with uncounted other items.

We hit the streets of Omaha and went to “Takin’ It To The Streets” outreach to feed the homeless there. We were met with Bobby Dofner’s smiling face and big hug. He is totally amazing and has a heart for God and the homeless in Omaha. Before we went, we asked how we could help their ministry. Bobby said they could always use men’s clothes, hygiene items and backpacks. We DELIVERED! We served supper, visited with the homeless, and cleaned up. On the way back to the hotel, we made a Walmart stop and spent $390 on hygiene items and diapers for the next day. (Part of it was Thrivent Choice Dollars at work.) Up early, we hit the streets and served at Open Door Missions. We formed an assembly line and packed 241 boxes (50 pounds each) of non-perishable


Iowa District West

The Harvest

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(continued on page 15) Contact Ellie Menz at: 515-370-1159 mailing address: 807 W South St Jefferson, IA 50129

9/18/2015 2:11:10 PM

Jim Schroeder

An Opportunity to Share Christ If you have spent any time at Camp Okoboji within the past ten or more years, you most likely have seen Bruce and Lori Gamble at work for the Lord. Lori is presently the Program Director at Camp Okoboji and Bruce maintains the Camp’s facilities. For both of them Camp Okoboji provides a great opportunity for ministry. Lori recalls her teenage years spent at Camp Okoboji with fondness. “My camp experiences are what primarily led me to my vocation in becoming a Lutheran school teacher and then a Director of Christian Education.” Lori grew up in Alta, Iowa and graduated from Concordia-St. Paul in 1982. She worked for a number of different schools and churches until the Lord placed her as Director of Christian Education at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sioux City. It was there that she met fellow member and Sioux City native Bruce Gamble. They were married at Redeemer Lutheran Church on February 2, 2002. Now that the Lord had brought these two Christians together, He had work for them to do. Taking a leap of faith, Lori accepted a call in 2002 to be Program Director at Camp Okoboji and the couple moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa. It was a big change for them but they were not afraid of the opportunity God had provided. Bruce and Lori knew that God would continue to be with them as they trusted in the words of Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. This verse continues to be one of Bruce’s favorites. Bruce also understands the important ministry of sharing “Jesus at the Lake.” “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of all this.” Since he started working and volunteering at Camp in 2002, Bruce has seen first-hand what a great ministry Camp is for children, youth, and families.

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God continues to provide Bruce and Lori with opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ with their community. Bruce runs his own business “Bruce’s Home Repair.” Besides serving major clients like Camp Okoboji, he also serves homeowners and condo owners in the Iowa Great Lakes Area. Lori is also a Mary Kay consultant. Here she continues to share her faith with women and provides gift baskets and certificates for Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School. They both are members of Christian Motorcyclists Association and enjoy spreading God’s love wherever they travel. “God has given us all that we have. He has given us the responsibility to be good stewards of what He has given us,” says Lori. “We feel that because of what God has done for us by sending His Son to die and rise for us, we want to ensure that others have the opportunity to hear the Gospel message.”

Bruce and Lori Gamble

Bruce and Lori decided it was time to do some Christian Estate Planning. They called on Gift Planning Consultant Jim Schroeder for advice. “Jim came to our home and helped us set up our Christian Estate Plan,” says Bruce. “He walked us through the steps we needed to take and is always available to help us make adjustments as we see fit.” “As we worked through the planning process we found that it wasn’t that hard to do and Jim does a great job of walking with you,” explains Lori. “It doesn’t take a lot of time and will help ministry continue in the place or places you have a passion for.” Fall 2015

With Jim’s assistance, Bruce and Lori were able to complete their Christian Estate Plan. It wasn’t hard for them to select a ministry to include with their gift. “We chose Camp Okoboji as the ministry to support because of the experiences that we have both had in the past,” says Lori. Bruce continues, “Camp Okoboji provides great opportunities to share the Gospel, but in order to keep the programs and ministry going it needs financial support.” As every child of God knows, serving the Lord does not mean that life always comes easy. That is why it is so important to know God and His Word and to cling to His promises. Lori’s favorite Bible verse (and also her Confirmation verse) is Psalm 27:1 (ESV): The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? “This verse has been a rock for me through many different trials as well as a great comfort in times of distress.” Bruce and Lori want their family and others to know they value the opportunity to help others and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “We understand that God has placed us in various ministry areas and given us opportunities to share His love,” says Lori. “We want our family to know that our faith is the most important part of our lives and living a life that is God pleasing is part of who we try to be.” Providing opportunities to proclaim the Gospel of Christ through Christian estate planning is one way to do just that. They encourage you to consider your own Christian estate plan to further the Lord’s work here on earth. It is a great opportunity and it’s just waiting for you! If you would like more information on planning your estate contact Jim Schroeder at 515-490-7371 or email Jim. (This article on Christian estate planning in Iowa District West was written by Kristin Kaldahl of Spencer, IA.)

Contact Jim Schroeder at: 515-490-7371 mailing address: PO Box 337 Laurel, NE 68745


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Gary Thies

Mission Central News Annual volunteer meeting is a huge success!

ics, bakers, meat suppliers, plumbers, printers, advance publicity people and volunteer cleaning staff...just to mention a few! These volunteers came from all over the Midwest to be a part of “telling people about Jesus.” We can never repay these dear volunteers for their wonderful help for the Lord Jesus.

God bless you, Don and Maureen, for your faithful service and love for the Lord Jesus and HIS mission of telling people of our Savior Jesus!

Amazing event for two missionaries

Don & Maureen Gettner

On July 18, 2015, we had the honor and privilege of gathering together with many members of the volunteer staff (now 69 members!) at Mission Central. It was a time for us to say THANK YOU to all of these dear NOT NORMAL people that the Lord has sent to us.

At the recent annual meeting of Mission Central volunteers, Dr. Donald Gettner and his wife Maureen were honored for their 21 years of faithful service to the Lord Jesus through their work of printing our agreements, and for providing the advance publicity for all scheduled events. None of these volunteers are paid; but the Lord will indeed pay them. Pictured you see the gathering and the catered meal provided for them. It was a time of sharing with the volunteers how the Lord has blessed Mission Central this past fiscal year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015). This past fiscal year was the greatest in the 21 year history of Mission Central!

What a blessing to welcome a HUGE crowd of visitors to Mission Central on August 8, 2015. NOT NORMAL people from Columbus, Omaha, and Utica, Nebraska and Aurelia, Iowa came for the entire day. They came to hear two wonderful missionaries, Sharon Owens, Peter and Joanna from Macau in southern China, and Rev. Tom Aadland from Kenya.

Pictured is Sharon and her children in front of our Boss, and also Rev. Aadland in the same position. They came and reported to a huge crowd that filled

What a JOY and blessing to have 17 volunteer secretaries, 5 volunteer pilots, in addition to carpenters, lawn mowers, electricians, video photographers, cameramen, cooks, presenters, mechan-

This special couple drove all the way from Mason City, Iowa to be a part of this wonderful day! Don indicated that he and Maureen have provided nearly four million copies of the “Official Adoption Agreements” in their 21 years of faithful service, providing those agreements at absolutely no cost!

Contact Gary Thies at: 712-882-1029 mailing address: 40718 Hwy E-16 Mapleton, IA 51034


Iowa District West

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(continued on page 14)

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Pastor Max Phillips

Perry Lutheran Home Getting Your Feet Wet in Assisted Living

“Getting your feet wet” is an old expression that represents a gradual and orderly transition from something to something else. When going swimming we most often enter the water slowly to test the temperature and let our bodies get used to the change. When it comes to aging, transitions are often disorderly and anything but gradual. Autumn is one of those seasons when aging parents and adult children begin to wonder about the upcoming winter. Recently a neighbor of mine rode over on his lawnmower and asked me what it would take to get a tour of our Perry Lutheran Home Spring Valley Assisted

Living campus. He told me he shuddered at the thought of Mom spending another winter alone out on the farm. That’s a story I hear frequently…50 and 60 yearold children worrying about 80 & 90 year-old parents still living independently but becoming more and more fragile. Perhaps this is the year to “get your feet wet” with assisted living. Why not consider a month-long “staycation” at a nearby assisted or independent living home for those 31 days of the winter you expect to be the worst? You might be surprised at what you experience! Assisted living arrangements are many and varied. They differ from a

traditional nursing home in that you go on with most of your normal household duties. You take care of yourself. You prepare some or all of your own meals. You do your own laundry. You keep a car if you like and keep up your church and community affiliations, etc. And for the duration of your stay you get to rest in a secure and protected environment no matter what the weather chooses to do. This presents an opportunity not only to miss the worst of the winter and its potentially isolating storms, it also allows you to do some good for others. Think of the mission opportunities you could have to share Jesus with others and to grow in your faith through Bible studies, prayer groups and service projects, perhaps even encouraging your own pastor to become involved in ministry there if he isn’t already. You’ll have plenty of time to socialize with neighbors and maybe renew old acquaintances. And you don’t have to do any of it if you don’t want to. The price of a month away in assisted living is likely about what you’d spend on renting a house in Florida or Arizona for a month of winter. Quite a few folks realize significant savings by shutting their house down for a month and avoiding the highest utility bill season. And you’ll also be able to learn about the privileges and struggles of assisted living by just “getting your feet wet.” Staying safe and active during the worst of winter will help you avoid accidents and injuries that could necessitate an instantaneous transition that will be difficult for everyone. Start thinking (continued on page 15) Contact Perry Lutheran Home at: 515-465-5342 mailing address: 2323 Willis Ave Perry, IA 50220

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Fall 2015


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Missions (continued from page 5) Due to the fact that the building was not available for tours or public open houses during the critical spring enrollment time, many parents had already committed their children to other

preschools by the time Trinity’s preschool was certified by the fire marshal. Thus, the first year’s class had only five students. But on the positive side, the smaller class enabled more flexibility with establishing a school routine, being able to more quickly address unexpected “hiccups” along the way, and greater relationships and communication with the students and their parents. The church has been diligent in recruiting students for the 2015-16 school year. By January, word-of-mouth had resulted in 14 students committed for the upcoming year (five from Trinity and nine from the community). More were anticipated once advertising was done in the community. In addition to meeting a community need, the preschool also met its main goal of teaching children about Jesus. From weekly “Jesus Time” chapel to daily incorporation of the Lord and His work into their learning and experiences to memorizing Bible passages, the children have learned of Jesus’ love. As an added bonus, two families who were previously inactive in any church began to attend Trinity and have joined the congregation! Where are the opportunities in your community to share the truth and love of 14

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Christ? Begin making plans now to apply for a District mission grant due March 1. Applications can be downloaded from

“Although we knew this day was coming, it came a little sooner than we had anticipated,” shared IDW Mission Executive Mark Gerken. “Nevertheless, God is never caught off guard and is already leading us to some possible manpower resources.” “We are extremely grateful for the faithful years of service that both of these pastors have provided. Rev. Konkel has served in IDW since his ordination in 2001 and Rev. Keoouthai even longer than that, the last nine of them as an ordained pastor,” continued Gerken. “What I’m really excited about are a couple of Laotian layman who have been leaders in the congregation and are interested in exploring becoming licensed lay deacons.”

Retirements Impact Mission Outreach

Mission outreach in Iowa District West is undergoing an adjustment due to the retirement of two key leaders. Rev. Dennis Konkel, deaf ministry, and Rev. OneChanh Keoouthai, Laotian ministry, recently announced their retirements.

Rev. OneChanh Keoouthai

Whether it be reaching the deaf or Laotian in your own community or partnering with another congregation that is doing so, contact Rev. Gerken if interested. Deaf, Laotian, Hispanic, or Anglo the mission field is right outside your church door!

Mission Central (continued from page 12)

Rev. Dennis Konkel

Both Konkel and Keoouthai retired in August, with Konkel relocating to Maryland to be closer to family. Iowa District West

the entire Ministry Center. At the end, several people including two pastors, Rev. Lemke from Aurelia and Rev. Lenz from Omaha, came forward for a special prayer for the missionaries. It was again, one of those special days when people went home CHANGED AND TRULY NOT NORMAL. The Harvest

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Abiding Produces Fruit

Perry Lutheran Home (continued from page 13)

about “getting your feet wet” by visiting nearby assisted living homes this autumn and finding out what the opportunities might be for spending a winter month in a home-away-from-home. If you don’t

want to do this for yourself, do it for your “worry-wart” children who fret every time a winter weather watch is issued. May God bless all your transitions!

IOWAY (continued from page 10) food. They distribute 700 of those each week. We enjoyed a tour and had lunch in their center. We met amazing people and delivered numerous needed items. It was hot and we were happy to be in our air-conditioned vehicles to go to our next stop. We went to Heartland Hope

what we could do as a team to continue our outreach to Heartland Hope Mission. We came up with a plan, and you will be hearing about it as it develops. Please pray for each of these four ministries. They are all Christian-based and don’t accept government funding.

Mission. This is an amazing place with dedicated Christians who love Jesus and love others. We were oriented on their ministry and worked with 55 families who came in for clothing and food. It was like a grocery store. Each family, depending on the number in their family, could select a given number of food items in each main section (meat, bread, fruit, canned food, etc.). We ended the day with devotions, singing, brain-storming and planning

If you’d like to learn more, Google their websites and/or contact me. On Sunday, we worshipped at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Gretna, Nebraska, where Jodi Korth, IOWAY board member, is the organist. Join IOWAY on Facebook! “Like” our page and stay updated on IOWAY. Enjoy photos of both mission trips at

Fall 2015

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God calls us to live lives of abundant fruitfulness (good works— thoughts, attitudes, or actions that glorify God). The key to bearing fruit is found in the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel where Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and we the branches. As the Vine provides nourishment to its branches, Jesus fills, sustains, and empowers us. It is the connection we have with Jesus, the Vine, that makes our fruit possible. Jesus said, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit…” (verse 5). By God’s grace, we understand that, through our own power, we are unable to bear fruit. Because it is Jesus Who enables us to be fruitful, we can bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit in our lives, thus bringing glory to our Heavenly Father (verse 8). God’s Word refers to the connection between the vine and branches and our connection with Jesus as “abiding.” Through His holy Word and Sacraments, Jesus abides in us, stays with us, and makes Himself at home with us. Through His holy Word and Sacraments, we stay in touch with Him, remain attached to Him, and receive life and power from Him. His life-giving Word abides in us, making us fruitful, like healthy branches on a good vine. If our connection with Jesus is severed, it is because we have caused the separation. Jesus will “never leave [us] nor forsake [us]” (Hebrews 13:5). The fruit that we bear is not only made possibly by our abiding in Jesus, it indicates that we have been and are in union and communion with Jesus. Our fruit is Jesus working in and through us. Our fruit is seen as we share the Gospel with others and introduce neighbors, friends, and co-workers to Jesus. Through faith we understand that our efforts to advance the Gospel are both a responsibility and privilege. The more we “abide” in Jesus, the more we will share our time, talents, and money with God by serving and witnessing and giving to others. Each and every day we are given opportunities to bear fruit. Some acts of service may be as small as opening the door for others or they may be as big as spending the entire day or several days helping someone in need. It may be giving money sacrificially to help others in need. Through faith, by God’s grace, we can be ready and willing to bear fruit, bringing glory to God through our faithful and fruitful lives. 15

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Iowa District West

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Fall 2015


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Iowa West District Officers President VP Gospel Outreach and Special Focus Ministries VP Organizational Resources and Christian Life Secretary Financial Secretary Treasurer Junior Counselor Senior Counselor Nominating Chair Christian Life Vice-Chair Christian Life Chair Mission Servants Vice-Chair Mission Servants Chair Leader Development Vice-Chair Leader Development Chair Structure Editor Archivist-Historian Archivist Vice-Chair Parliamentarian Information Technology

Name Ann Carrick Jane Morris

Home Town Dexter Clarinda

Email Address

Sharon von Qualen

Carroll 712.790.7345

Patty Treimer Jennifer Clark Debbie Rouse Rev. Chadric Dietrich Rev. Max Phillips Nancy Bruns Sharon Hamann Jane Shever Julie Carstens Kim Meyer Brenda Dryer

Hartley Des Moines Curlew Rockwell City Bouton Jolley Correctionville Battle Creek Spencer Pleasant Hill Jewell

712.363.3991 515.577.8426 712.261.4867 712.297.7708 515.676.2289 712.297.5224 712.373.5507 712.898.3076 712.262.4309 515.265.2932 641.420.3556

Kate Kaiser Marilyn Kuehnast Julie Coy Dorothea Bochmann Annette Gebert Marilyn Schroeder Christine Schultz

Glenwood Humboldt Ames Mapleton Hartley Boone Algona

712.527.3604 515.332.3535 515.509.7187 712.881.1324 712.728.2757 515.433.0365 515.295.4951

Ann Carrick LWML President

Ann-notations Update to Windows

A recent update was put through to all computers using Windows 8.1, thankfully it went through without any problems. (Do you know what she’s trying to say here?) Isn’t it amazing that our computers need updates especially with all the information that is stored on them. Some people believe that as long as you read it on the computer, it must be true. But, yet, when given the true Word of God in the Bible, people dispute that message. Imagine the revisions that would be done to the Bible if men or women were writing it. We know that we have the 18

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Officer List


inspired Word of God in the Bible. We have received different versions but the message remains the same. We can put our trust in the words provided and know that we can believe each and every word. Just like our recent experiences with the National Convention – we don’t come home and keep that event to ourselves. We share it with others who might not have been able to be there, or even if they were there we each experienced different things. Similar to times when we are in Bible study, we each glean something different from it but it is still all the same word. The message that is provided to us in the Bible must also be shared with others. The convention verse “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV) gives us the assurance that we need. God will give us the words and the opportunities if we just keep our eyes open for the chance to share. Blessings to all of you as we share God’s Word with others. To God be the glory! Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

Phone 515.789.9504 712.303.7142

Rev. Max Phillips Sr. Counselor

A Converted Billboard

Just outside the District office building in Fort Dodge, a billboard has been converted. It hasn’t gone from pagan messaging to Christian truths. But it has transformed from a stationary fixed message to a brightly lit electronic rotating message board. There was a time when every billboard championed a single message for a fixed period of time. That time is rapidly changing as are the times in general. There was a time when messages, principles and creeds were fixed and didn’t change or revolve. Today we know that change is the norm. We see it in marriage, in new definitions of family, and even in self-identification. Incoming freshmen in some colleges and universiThe Harvest

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ties are no longer asked their gender, they are asked to choose an identity. In other words, do they identify as male, female, both or neither? More than ever people are choosing to identify as spiritual, but less than ever are they choosing to identify as religious. We live in a world of change. In my career and ministry, I learned that the key to thriving in these times is to change what needs to change and to hold fast what shouldn’t change. Change is not an either “all in” or “all out” proposition. We should carefully analyze what we can and should change while staying anchored to what doesn’t. What doesn’t change is truth. The truth by definition is not changing; it either is or is not. We hold the ultimate truth which both defines and destines us. That truth is Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected as the only salvation possible and necessary for sinners. This is the truth just as sure for the Apostles as it is for the LWML. While the definition of marriage, family, and self from a worldview may change many more times, God’s truth as proclaimed in His Word and Sacraments will not. On the other hand, there are some things we need to change because we have the truth of Christ in us. We need to continue to strive to reach and serve people in our witness as a people transformed. We need to find new and better ways to organize our efforts taking advantage of new methods of communication and calculation. We can meet differently and use time wisely. And we can love more. Quite truthfully the LWML and our individual societies probably should look different somewhere down the road because we’ve changed how we do things to meet the times. But what won’t change is why we are the LWML. It will always be because of Christ Jesus and His gracious truth for every lost sinner and our desire to serve Him. There was a time when Christians held firm to what we believe. Dear sisters in Christ, it is still that time and will be forever! See you in church! Pastor Phillips “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

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Sharon von Qualen

VP Organizational Resources and Christian Life

“Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling” (LSB 826) is many times the favorite hymn when the emphasis for the Sunday is missions. As we sing the first stanza we think of those people who have gone to the foreign missions fields and are spreading the news of Christ. We sit in our pew and think this hymn just speaks to those people. We will support their mission with our dollars and prayers; and we then will be answering the Lord’s call. We evaluate ourselves and say the missionary or pastor has the skill to tell others about Jesus and this is who God is calling. Then we start singing stanza 2 and suddenly it is not the trained church worker that God is calling. He is calling each one of us. We don’t have to speak like angels or preach like Paul. We just need to tell them about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be the one speaking through us. The line that touches my heart is: “you can lead the little children to the Savior’s waiting arms.” As a mother reading a Bible story to her children or as a Sunday school teacher, we are leading children to Jesus. In Stanza 3, the author states that we may not be the one standing high on Zion’s wall but with our prayers and bounties we too can answer our Savior’s call of who will go and work today. We can be the support person for spreading the Gospel. Think of the skills you have and use them for the Lord. Computer skills for the Lord? Designing web pages for your church, helping a missionary with their electronic communication, or being the tech expert for Bible translators are some of the possibilities. Organizational skills are always needed

as the church makes plans for VBS, new programs to invigorate the membership, or evangelism outreach. In addition to our monetary contributions, we all have special talents we can use to support the spreading of the name of Jesus. In stanza 4 we hear the strongest statement, “let no one hear you idly saying ‘there is nothing I can do.’” As church membership dwindles we like to think that there is nothing we can do and we try to avoid thinking about it. There are too many other pressures in the world today and I don’t have time or energy to be answering God’s call of “who will go and work today”? We should gladly take the task He gives us and say “here am I, send me.” This hymn was written by Daniel March who lived from 1816-1906. The words still touch our hearts today. Each and every one of us is a missionary and our directive is “just tell them about Jesus.” Please read or sing the words of this hymn and let them touch your heart. Hark, the voice of Jesus crying, “Who will go and work today? Fields are white and harvests waiting-Who will bear the sheaves away?” Loud and long the Master calleth; Rich reward He offers thee. Who will answer, gladly saying, “Here am I, send me, send me”? If you cannot speak like angels, If you cannot preach like Paul, You can tell the love of Jesus, Yo u c a n s a y H e d i e d f o r a l l . If you cannot rouse the wicked With the judgment’s dread alarms, You can lead the little children To the Savior’s waiting arms. If you cannot be a watchman, S t a n d i n g h i g h o n Z i o n ’s w a l l , Pointing out the path to heaven, O ff ’ r i n g l i f e a n d p e a c e t o a l l , With your prayers and with your bounties You can do what God commands; You can be like faithful Aaron, Holding up the prophet’s hands. Let none hear you idly saying, “There is nothing I can do,” While the multitudes are dying And the Master calls for you. Take the task He gives you gladly, Let His work your pleasure be; Answer quickly when He calleth, “Here am I, send me, send me!”

“Here am I, send me, send me!” Fall 2015


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I feel blessed to be able to serve you in my position because it allows me to see first-hand how passionate all of you are to serve the Lord through mission work. The amount of donations brought to Convention and the amount of work that was done through the Servant Activities at Convention was mindboggling. As I write the word “mindboggling,” I wonder why I’m so surprised at what the LWML ladies (and gentlemen) can accomplish. The love we all have in our hearts from the Lord was so evident as box after box

after box of donations were put on the semi-trailers to be hauled away to those in need. God is so good! As a reminder, please take a minute to visit these websites (,,, and www. for more information about mission projects that you can do yourself and/or that you can do with the ladies in your society. God has given all of us the talents needed to do His work and there is so much work to be done. The need to expand God’s kingdom has never been greater and we are all able to do something no matter how young or old. It’s imperative that we all get involved. Speaking of getting involved, listed below are some of the many donations the IWD Zones made from Nov. 2014 to May 2015. The ladies of the LWML always come through for the Lord! Donations are reported twice a year.

The next deadline is November 15, 2015 for all donations made from May 15, 2015 through the beginning of November 2015. Please keep track of all the items you donate and be sure to turn in those numbers to your society President. In turn, she will tally up the donations from everyone in your society and report the numbers to the Zone Mission Servants Chair using the LWML Iowa West District Donations Form. It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since I became the Vice Chair of Mission Servants. I’m really looking forward to the next two years as I watch how our mite dollars from the societies in the IWD will impact the 2015-2017 National LWML Mission Grant goal of $2,000,000. Just think how many people will have the awesome opportunity to hear the Gospel through our mission work! Praise God!


Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

The Harvest

Kim Meyer

Mission Servants

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9/18/2015 2:11:27 PM

Nominating Committee Chairman by Nancy Bruns Kate Kaiser

Leader Development Now that national convention has passed, it’s time to shift our focus to District convention next June; and with that comes a renewed call for Young Women Representatives (YWR)! Your leader development committee is challenging each of our twenty zones in Iowa West District to fill their two YWR spots for District convention. The theme of our District convention next year will be “Generations of Grace.” As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our District, what better time could there be to set a record and fill every single spot for young women representatives? Please be thinking and praying about women from your congregation or society who you could approach about applying to be a YWR. (Be sure to explain to them what a YWR is and does.) If you have questions about who qualifies to be a YWR or if you need an application, visit http:// Applications should be sent to your zone president. Our hope is to have all 40 spots filled by the spring District board meeting in February, though the registration deadline will not be until the end of March. “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

Christ. We are enjoying, too, reaping the benefits of attending the convention and are looking forward to continuing our service in the LWML

The 2015 National Convention in Des Moines has drawn to a close and now we are planning for our IWD LWML Convention at Camp Okoboji in June 2016. At the convention, we will elect several new officers. Will you be one of them? The nominating committee will be calling and corresponding with people to fill the slate. If you are one of those contacted, please give it your prayerful consideration. The deadline is October 31, 2015. The committee needs candidates for: VP for Servant Resources and Christian Life, Secretary, Treasurer, Pastoral Counselor, and nine candidates from nine different zones for the Nominating Committee. Psalm 31:15 says, “My times are in your hands.” Is it your time to serve Him? If you are willing to be a candidate for one of these offices please contact: Nancy Bruns 1679 200th St. Jolley, IA 50551 712-297-5224

LWML Web Site

Your Sisters in Christ, Breanna Wetzler and Sarah Sunderman

Thank You We want to give a big THANK YOU to all the ladies of Iowa District West for allowing us to serve as the Young Women Representatives at the LWML National Convention in Des Moines this summer. We helped SOW the Word of God through servant events and the encouragement to reach out to communities here and around the world. We were NOURISHED in the Word of God at Bible studies and song. We were inspired and motivated to go out into the kingdom and REAP followers of

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Please be sure to visit for Bible Studies, Devotions, News, the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly and so much more. Fall 2015


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2015 Fall Rallies Circuit Adair Boone Carroll Cherokee Council Bluffs Denison Des Moines East Des Moines West Emmetsburg Fort Dodge Humboldt LeMars Mapleton Northeast Northwest Sac City Sioux City Spencer Southwest Storm Lake

Date Sept 26 Sept 26 Oct 3 Sept 26 Oct 3 Sept 17 Oct 24 Oct 25 Sept 24 Sept 6 Sept 9 Oct 3 Sept 17 Sept 15 Sept 30 Sept 21 Oct 3 Sept 29 Oct 24 Sept 28

Time 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 8:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m.

Place Zion, Atlantic Trinity, Boone Immanuel, Lidderdale St. John, Paullina St. Paul, Council Bluffs Zion, Denison Peace, Des Moines Gloria Dei, Urbandale St. Luke’s, Cylinder Mt. Calvary, Eagle Grove Immanuel, Rockwell City St. Paul, Ireton St. John’s, Battle Creek St. John, Burt Peace, Rock Rapids Trinity, Odebolt Concordia, Sioux City First English, Spencer Trinity, Shenadoah St. John, Storm Lake

Theme/Speaker Pastor Max Phillips Barb Koch, Orphan Grain Train Eileen Westrum, MOST Ministries National convention report Rev. Richard Merrill Rev. Peter Wegner, Bible study Kellie Markey, Dorothy’s House, DM Trinity-Algona Quilting Group Jim Schroeder Pastor Luke Timm, Living Faith, Clive Rev. Henry Witte, The Shield of Faith Missionary Donna Meyer Wanda Pritzel, LFS Rev. Mark Gerken Susie Leffers, Orphan Grain Train Larry Joines with Mercy Meals Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School Karen Killion, “In the Steps of Luther” Panel of National Convention attendees


Jane Morris

Vice President Gospel Outreach and Special Focus Ministries 2012-14 Grants with open balances Grant Amt Operation Barnabas Campership Program 14,000.00 W.I.S.H.E.S. 20,000.00 Total $34,000.00

Requested & Paid


4,325.33 14,500.00 $18,825.33

9,674.67 5,500.00 $15,174.67

2014-2016 IWD LWML Grants: Mission Central Funding Assistance for Two Missionaries - $10,000 PAID IN FULL Financial Aid for Iowa District West Seminary Students - $25,000 PAID $12,500 Camp Okoboji: Ginny DeWall Dining Hall Updates - $20,000 PAID IN FULL Orphan Grain Train Iowa West Branch - $20,000 PAID $10,000 Mercy Meals of Siouxland - $20,000 PAID $9,036 Family Ministry Retreat Center, Fort Dodge - $25,000 PAID IN FULL Tanzania Sewing Center - $5,000 PAID IN FULL Deaf Ministry in Iowa District West - PAID $1,750 Phil’s Friends - $7,844.06 PAID IN FULL All updates and totals are as of August 15, 2015


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Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

Does this bring back childhood memories of a mother’s shocked face as she looks at something you may or may not have known you were doing wrong? I had such a moment, and this particular instance I did know I was in the wrong. My mom is a hairdresser and had a practice mannequin head from her beauty school days. It bothered me that it had such long bangs (my youth and immaturity not understanding that it was all the better to practice on). One day a friend and I decided to free “Abigail” of her long bangs. As you can imagine, it did not go well. First cut - crooked, next corrective cut - more crooked. Moments later, poor Abigail was left with1/2 inch bangs - picture a variation of a mullet. You don’t know just how bad I wish hair could be glued back in place! The damage was done, and I felt horrible. Now, let’s look at this question from a different and more positive perspective. As we have reached the half-way point in our District biennium, I’d like to review what has been going on with our grants. So far, our mite giving has helped to support two Mission Central missionaries (to South Korea and Uruguay), renovations for the dining hall at Camp Okoboji, Phil’s Friends reaching out to cancer patients, improvements

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to the Family Ministry Retreat Center in Fort Dodge, and sewing and Gospel teaching for women in Tanzania. Partial payments have supported Mercy Meals of Siouxland (preparing meals for the hungry), Orphan Grain Train (shipping costs), and Pat Monroe (deaf ministry). Funds are still waiting to help financially support men from our District going to seminary. What have you done?!?! When those mites of yours get put into action, connections will be made that enable the Holy Spirit to start to work in turning an unbeliever to Christ. That is the ultimate goal, for sure! A lot of our mite giving, servant event efforts, ingathering items, and outreach end-results are not known to us. Luckily, our gracious Heavenly Father does know. It’s amazing what He has done and continues to do through LWML. Thank you ladies for all you do, on every level - locally, in our District, and nationally. May God continue to bless your efforts. Please keep praying that He reaches many, many people through these grants.

The Story of the Sad and Lonely Mite with Nowhere to Go

Once upon a future, there is a mite that is given. He is given in love and hope to help someone needing to know the lifesaving news of Jesus. The mighty mite is ready and happy to get to work. However, as soon as he shows up at the District convention, he is surprised to find that there are no grant proposals to vote for; there is no work for him to get started on. He becomes sad and lonely. LWMLers, please don’t let this tale become reality. Please get your grant proposals in by October 31st- it will be here before you know it! Everything you need is located at (go to the “Ministry Partners“ tab, move your cursor to “LWML,” then slide over to “Mission Grants” and click). There are guidelines, blank forms, and a sample proposal. Not a computer user? You can contact me for the same information and/ or questions (712-303-7142 or Email or mail them to me for submission. Creating grant proposals is not as hard and difficult as you may think. You might even realize it was so easy, that you find yourself creating two or three more! Please give it a try so we can get those mighty mites in action!

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Mites and Memorials In Memory of: Ann Laabs Cleva Herzberg Cliff Carlson Curtis Blume Darlene Jensen Delores Swanson Diane Billheimer Donald Rutz Dons Carlson Emma L. Grill Esther Jungemann Evelyn Braunschweig Gen Haviland Greta Ullerich Harold Bockmann Jr Ina Jean Ulmer Jerry Matzdorff Jim Christensen Jo Ann Jacobson Joan Blume Joseph A. Eyer Joyce Radke Kathy Reynolds Leona Nothwehr Letha Otte Lorna (Bremer) Lenderts Marilyn Klockow Mary Anne Webber Marylou Bishop Melvin Baker Orva (Jean) Mills Pat Easton Rose Swalve Ruth Anderson Ruth Knippel Sandy Moench Sharon Brown Verna Mammenga Vernie Boomgarden Wilma Falk In Honor of: Diana Troester (District Mites) Total in memory of/in honor of $1,215.00

Zone Society Mites Adair Boone Carroll Cherokee Council Bluffs Denison DM East DM West Emmetsburg Fort Dodge Humboldt Le Mars Mapleton Northeast Northwest Sac City Sioux City Southwest Spencer Storm Lake Total Mites

1,781.89 2,459.17 1,320.19 199.00 1,687.28 1,434.62 1,082.68 1,279.67 918.67 1,460.55 1,749.43 527.85 1,010.01 1,170.78 1,591.07 1,381.69 791.76 1,507.43 1,608.03 2,014.75 $26,976.52

Special Gifts 2015 LWML National Convention Given by Kathryn Sprecher Joan Blume - In memory of Noisy Mites - St John’s, Audubon Prayer Service - LA Pilgrim, Lake City Prayer Service - Sac City Zone Purse Auction - Humboldt Spring Rally Sock Mites - St John’s, Audubon - Carroll Zone Soupless - St John’s - Audubon Spring Rally - Adair Zone Spring Rally - Boone Zone Spring Rally - Emmetsburg Zone Spring Rally - Le Mars Zone Spring Rally - Mapleton Zone Total Special Gifts $1,649.52 Total Memorials/Mites/Special Gifts $29,841.04 Respectfully Submitted, Jennifer Clark LWML IWD Financial Secretary

IMPORTANT! Societies - please send your mites to your zone treasurer as you have always done. If you have memorials, honorariums, or special gifts, please send them directly to Jennifer Clark at PO Box 35905, Des Moines, IA 50315. Thank you. Fall 2015


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Doug Kading

From the Desk of Doug Kading Executive Director The 2015 year of Outdoor Ministry at Camp Okoboji was begun under the Program Theme “GEMS” (God’s Eternal Mercy Saves) based on the text from Lamentations 3:22, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.” For 75 years, ministry at Camp Okoboji has been a gem to individuals and families, schools and teachers, congregations and pastors, children and youth, mothers and fathers, men and women. Ask anyone who has spent time at Camp Okoboji about their time away from home and work, responsibilities and daily routine, and they will tell you that this is one of those places which God provides where they can truly be refreshed and refueled for ministry to their family and their congregation, to their co-workers and their neighbors back home. God indeed has provided the ministry and the location for people to gather in His name outside of their church and community to be strengthened in their relationship with Him and in their relationship with one another. He has used recreation and friendly competition, His Word and Christian fellowship, music and crafts, workshops and speakers, conventions and family reunions, summer employment and volunteerism to bring people together with the purpose of educating and strengthening them in their faith. It is not a substitute for home or congregation, but rather it is an extension of the ministry which takes place in the church and in the home. God is eternal and He wants all people to hear His Word and to know the salvation which is available to them in Christ Jesus. Camp guests hear His Word and get hands-on opportunities to express their faith and how it relates to work and family, to grief and heartache, to children and grandparents, to husband and wife. God is merciful and He demonstrates 24

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His mercy most effectively in His Son Jesus Christ. He brings the good news of His mercy in the Scriptures and He encourages individuals who know about His mercy to share it with everyone around them. God uses His people to take the Scriptures to others who are weakened in their faith by the troubles and fears of this world in order to encourage and assure them that He is merciful, even when it does not seem evident in their lives or in what is happening around them. Sometimes it is a person near and dear to them and sometimes it is someone across the continent or from another culture in another part of the world who ministers to them. God saves His people through the sacrifice of His own Son. Christians know that and they wish to share it. There are occasions when they need to be reminded of His salvation themselves. God has been bringing people together on the shores of West Lake Okoboji not because it is a beautiful place, but because He wants them to know that they are not alone. He can place people at the foot of others whom He has prepared to bring His message into their lives. God has provided Camp Okoboji, every congregation and every school in Iowa District West, and every Christian home as open doors for individuals to walk through so that they might see Jesus in the hearts and lives of His people. GOD’S ETERNAL MERCY SAVES! LAMENTATIONS 3:22

have resulted in pledges and gifts of nearly $700,000. This means we are close to the half-way mark of the initial $1,400,000 goal. The first goal is to fund, build and complete the Crafts portion of the building. It is felt that this portion would best serve the mission and ministry of Camp and its guests. It is also felt that once underway, it would serve as motivation to continue raising funds for the second portion. The second goal is to build and complete Hauck (the housing portion of the building. 2. $250,000 Camp Board Challenge A large undesignated gift was recently given to Camp. It came from an estate that was left to an Iowa District West congregation. They were aware of the family’s love and commitment to Camp Okoboji and were moved to give a generous portion of it to Camp. The Camp Board of Directors decided to designate $250,000 of the gift to the Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI project as an encouragement and challenge for congregations and individuals to step up and match the amount within the next eight months. Meeting the challenge would nearly raise the funds needed to begin building the first goal of the campaign. The Crafts portion would make an immediate impact on Camp programs. It is hoped that congregations and individuals will step up and help us meet this challenge as soon as possible.

1. Nearly Half-Way to First Funding Goal! The early stages of the campaign

3. All IDW Congregations Have Been Invited to Participate Nearly half of Iowa District West congregations attended Camp Okoboji’s Annual Meeting in April. They were the first to be invited to participate in Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI. There initial response is highlighted below. At the IDW Convention held at Camp in June, the delegates heard the Discover story. The following resolution was passed. “Be it resolved, That the delegates of the Iowa District West congregations gathered in Convention give thanks to God for the blessings of Camp Okoboji and the partnership between the Camp and the District; and be it further Resolved, That the congregations of Iowa District West be encouraged to support Camp Okoboji’s future vision during the campaign by hosting a Camp Okoboji Sunday and by prayerfully and financially

Camp Okoboji

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Paul Golke

From the Desk of Paul Golke Ministry Advancement Director Discover CAMPaign Top Ten News List

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Artist rendering of the proposed Discover building at Camp Okoboji.

supporting the campaign with special and/or budgeted gifts to the campaign over the next three years; and be it finally Resolved, That each congregation of the District encourage the camp ‘owners,’ the individual congregation members of Iowa District West, to experience ‘Jesus at the Lake’ at Camp Okoboji by participating in the campaign with their individual prayers and financial support.” The District backed their encouragement with a $75,000 gift to cover initial expenses of the campaign. It is hoped that a vast majority of IDW congregations will heed the invitation to support Camp Okoboji in this endeavor. 4. Congregations Responding Well to Campaign Camp Okoboji has been truly humbled by the amazing response of several congregations to the campaign. Several congregations initially contacted to be part of the campaign have taken their role as “Owners” of Camp very seriously. Several have taken proposals to their voters meetings and have been met with very positive responses. Some increased the pledged amount from their original proposal. There seems to be a strong desire among congregations to see Camp move forward with a project that will directly benefit and serve the next generations of their membership. Additionally, they see their role as stewards to their members to continue to

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offer the amazing Outdoor Ministry of Jesus at the Lake, which is Camp Okoboji. 5. Camp Friends Stepping Up With Pledges and Donations Another exciting aspect of Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI has been sharing the project with Camp families and friends. Much of the needed funding is going to come from those who already know the blessings of Jesus at the Lake. This will be a difficult task as they are spread out across the country. A strong effort was made to share the Discover story each week this summer with families as they came to Camp. It was mostly an initial information sharing process. As families head home and continue to discuss their involvement, we pray the Lord continues to move in their hearts; that families will be moved to join us in support of our efforts.

ward. Most comments have been very positive as to the need, focus and scope of the project. Many are comforted that no other existing buildings will have to be removed. Some have questioned the roofing change from other Camp buildings, but are encouraged by the new look that it will give to Camp. Heads nod approvingly when it is mentioned that a breakthrough moment in the design phase came when the architect “stacked” the dorm portion into two-stories rather than one very long and costly design that threatened the Exodus and Manasseh Cabins.

6. Building Comments Very Positive to Design and Layout A large banner with a visual concept of Discover, along with its floorplan, hangs on the outside of the Crafts building. Booklets for the campaign have made their way across the district. These items have generated much discussion and many comments as to the use of the building and its design and placement. Building projects evolve over time and the input from these conversations will be shared as the project moves for-

7. Camp Guests Touring Crafts and Hauck Share Comments An eye-opening experience by several Camp guests this summer has involved giving tours of the Hauck and Crafts buildings. Many had never stepped foot in them, while others had not for many years. A common response has been that these two buildings have needed to go for some time. Others commented on the limitations of the Crafts building. Some reminisced about sleeping on bunk beds in Crafts and using the bathrooms (shoulders would shudder as they talked). The musty and moldy smells from both buildings were also evident on touring faces. Overall, they see the Discover project as highly-needed and timely. It would be great if we could package their

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encouragement and support to those who have not visited the buildings.

Camp’s website ( Thank You!

8. Discover - Not the only Project Camp Okoboji is not just focusing on Discover. Plans are also underway in several other areas. We invite you to support any or all of these projects over and above your annual ongoing support. Camp would like to replace the Samuel and Ezra Cabins with ones similar to the other replaced cabins. It would be a much needed improvement to the lake front cabins. Some initial funding has been set aside for their replacement. Plans are also underway to remove the garage next to the Dining Hall and build a picnic shelter in its place. This will be a perfect place for families to gather, cook-out and enjoy the view of Emerson Bay. It will also be a short distance from the swim area in order for families to keep an eye on swimmers as well as provide a handy nearby restroom facility. The John Shelter overlooking the lake near the Dining Hall is also scheduled to get a new look. It offers a wonderful look-out over the lake and a great place to enjoy a picnic.

10. Chapter Yet To Be Written This campaign will go through several more chapters before its completion. We look forward to sharing the Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI story with you as it unfolds. We also look forward to partnering with the many congregations, families and organizations that will be needed to complete Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI.

9. YOUR Participation is Needed! The main goals of this page are to first inform you on the current status of Discover CAMPaign OKOBOJI. This is an amazing journey for Camp Okoboji. It has never undertaken a project of this size and scope. The future plans for Discover will impact current guests and set a trend for future generations of Camp guests. The Camp Board of Directors is looking decades down the road as to what the needs of guests will be and how Discover will be able to adapt and meet them. It is truly an exciting time in Camp’s long and blessed history. Second, this page is to encourage everyone who reads it to consider joining this amazing journey. Even if you have never been to Camp Okoboji, you can help us meet the needs and goals of this campaign. We are asking everyone for three things: • Pray for the success of the campaign. • Support this project verbally and financially. • Share this program with others and invite their involvement. Look for campaign updates on 26

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Relationships were renewed by many campers who hadn’t seen their Camp friends since last summer! Family Retreaters gathered together and shared special memories, some came back after being gone for several years and were reunited with old friends. There were many who came to the All Staff Reunion. Many memories were shared, stories were told, a lot of laughter and a few tears! Surely the Lord is in this place!

Lori Gamble

From the Desk of Lori Gamble Program Director

Upcoming Events!

Summer is over! Not by calendar standards, but by the standards of what is happening now at Camp Okoboji. I am reminded of Ecclesiates 3:1 which says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” We have completed another season of children, youth, families, and adults and yet there are still activities coming up and activities yet to be planned. There were thousands of people at Camp this summer: some for short times, some entire weeks, and yes some even for two or three weeks – and why? Because the Lord is surely in this place!

Mark your calendars and watch the website for all upcoming events at Camp Okoboji. In September we will host the Iowa District West Lutheran Schools for our Outdoor Education Retreat. Students in grades 4-6 come to learn about creation, science, arts, writing and more in an outdoor setting. We again will have the Prairie Ecology Bus from Lakefield, Minnesota come down and share awesome information about God’s creations. Brian Young will also be with us and will share some great science with the students in very innovative ways – lots of hands-on learning! A Bible study will be led by DCE Bonnie Kabrick from First English Lutheran Church in Spencer. Students will also enjoy outdoor games, crafts, and what God has blessed us with here at Camp Okoboji! LADIES! Don’t forget to register or buy your tickets for the Fall Women’s

Camp Okoboji

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Retreat and Kathy Troccoli concert. Remember, signing up for the retreat includes your concert ticket. You don’t need to do both. If your schedule does not allow you to attend the entire retreat, you can order your tickets at www.itickets. com or call Camp’s office to reserve your spot. The concert is open to the public (both men and women). Looking way ahead, the dates for the Family Ice Fishing Retreat are January 29-31, 2016 and C.H.A.O.S. (Christians Hyped About Our Savior), our junior high student event, will be February 26-27, 2016. We welcome DCE Tim Kightlinger as our Bible study leader this year.

Camp Auxiliary News

by Donna Gadbury The Camp Okoboji Auxiliary was begun in 1988 by a few women. The organization had 10 members and no money, but they were armed with the faith that God’s will be done through their service. Their first project was sewing new shower curtains at a cost of $300. They vowed to use all their treasures and time to give to God’s ministry at Camp Okoboji. Their stated purpose was “to serve as helpmates to the Board of Directors of Camp Okoboji, to Pray for, Promote and Participate in God’s ministry at Camp Okoboji.” The auxiliary meets four times a year with the Board of Directors. Officers are elected during their meeting at Camp’s annual meeting which is usually in April. Fundraising efforts have ranged from selling Camp Boji Bears made from the original Camp wool blankets to crafts made from old booster chairs and windows from the dining hall to selling prints of Camp scenes including the old bridge and chapel. Each year during Lent the Auxiliary asks congregations to collect can refund money to contribute to their “Cans for Camp” project. The auxiliary has purchased many items for Camp with these monies, most notably new pillows, blankets and mattresses each year. Their first quilt auction was held in 1994. In the past 21 years, the quilt auction has brought in over $522,000 with the help of Thrivent funds and many congregations that provide quilts or donations for this project. There are also crafts for sale at the quilt auction. These monies have helped Camp with everything from renovating cabins and

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the dining hall, to purchasing washers and dryers and playground equipment, and resurfacing the parking lot. What began in 2003 as a “small fundraiser” to help raise the remaining funds to rebuild the laundry and shower facility has turned into a successful annual event. A silent auction of Theme Baskets at the annual meetings has brought in $54,900 to date. LWML societies in IDW are asked to contribute these items. The auxiliary provides six camperships each year which pay for a week at Camp – Cub Week, Jr High Week, Youth Week, or Adventure Camp. Applications - which include a letter from each child explaining why he/she wants to attend camp - are accepted until Easter each year. At their annual meeting the week after Easter, members read through each application and choose six youth to receive a paid week at Camp.

Greetings from Camp Okoboji’s Volunteer Corner

Things have changed over the years! No longer is the Camp Board of Directors comprised entirely of men and the Camp Auxiliary made up entirely of women! With women on the board now, some of the husbands have joined our organization. We enjoy having a male perspective on our projects. Thank you gentlemen! The auxiliary strives to support, promote and expand the Camp Okoboji ministry. We pray that SERVICE in God’s Kingdom is always our purpose and that everything we do brings praise and glory to God. If you are not currently, but would like to be, associated with the Camp Okoboji Auxiliary, contact secretary Donna Gadbury at bdgadb@gmail. com for information. Be ready to be part of an exciting ministry!

by Kimberly Warnke When I accepted position of Volunteer Coordinator at Camp Okoboji in January 2014, I knew it was going to be a great opportunity for me to serve the Lord and His people. Being a volunteer myself has been a rewarding experience for me. As a child, I never had the opportunity to attend church camp, so I marvel at all the work and activities that go on at Camp Okoboji. And, to think that Camp Okoboji is 75 years old this year! What a blessing we have received from our Lord here on West Lake Okoboji! When I see the positive interaction between adults and youth at Camp Okoboji, it makes me smile. I have thought many times, “What a great place to meet Jesus at the Lake and people who love and serve Him!” As Volunteer Coordinator, I have had the opportunity to work with some very special volunteers of various ages and abilities. These people are great examples of how to serve the Lord with gladness. Our volunteers are invaluable. Camp Okoboji relies on volunteers to help keep costs down. They willingly give of their time and expertise. We have had a lot of fun working together on various projects, and we are continuing to make connections with some great volunteers! Volunteers are making a difference at Camp Okoboji; and I feel honored to be a part of this great team of volunteers. If you would like to be a volunteer at Camp Okoboji, please give us a call at 712-337-3325 or contact us via our website at ( and we will get you signed up. In closing, we are looking forward to seeing many of you at our Fall Volunteer Weekend October 1-4. Mark your calendars today! Remember you can make FREE reservations to stay at Camp Okoboji while you help us clean up Camp. Give Kellie a call at 712-337-3325 and make your reservations now! Our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is currently planned for November 14. Please watch your mail or our website ( for more information and be sure to RSVP. A big THANK YOU to each of our volunteers for willingly sharing your time, talents, and enthusiasm at Camp Okoboji. May God bless you in every way!

Fall 2015


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Rev. Max Phillips Executive Director

A Message from the Executive Director A Half Story: God Opens Doors

The fact that God opens doors is only half the story. He also shuts them. Perhaps you’ve seen this in your own life, where He has taken you out of something that was frustrating and not working and brought you into something different. We have certainly seen that in your Lutheran Family Service ministry. For many years we have maintained an office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It made perfect sense given that it is Iowa’s second most populated area and the number of LCMS Lutherans there to serve is large. We were anchored by good counselors who were established in what they did and were well known throughout the LCMS and Christian community. After illnesses, retirements, departures for oth-

er jobs and a transfer to heaven our Cedar Rapids counselors are no more. Despite our continuing efforts to replace them, we have not yet been successful and our office sits vacant. It is increasingly clear to me that God has closed a door. However, in place of that one closed door He has opened three others. We have been blessed to begin a new counseling practice in Grinnell where we haven’t served onsite before, with a wonderful and dedicated wife, mother and experienced therapist, Cassie Beltz, as our LFS presence. As you would expect, she is doing great work in bringing clinical help to those in need through a Jesus lens. The second door is opening in Davenport, Iowa and it is an exciting thing to behold. Last year we developed a partnership with a Davenport area pastor and laywoman who joined us to be trained as “Marital First Responders.” Out of that single event a partnership grew and soon it expanded to include other congregations and pastors. God led us to two gifted LCMS individuals who were established in the area and who are excited about bringing Christian counseling and other LFS services to the greater Quad Cities area through LFS. God opened the door further through another LCMS laywoman who very generously supplied a perfect office location for us.

It’s What We Do Where can you go for help when the burdens of this life become unbearable? Where can you send a friend who is experiencing a crisis in their marriage or family life? Who can you trust to walk you through options when your unmarried daughter shares that she is pregnant? Where can you get help with all of these and many more with confidence that the person who is there to help also shares your same beliefs about life, marriage, faith and family? Lutheran Family Service exists as an extension of the LCMS church’s ministry in Iowa District West to provide professional, Christ-centered support for the members of our own family of faith as well as for those in Iowa communities who aren’t a part of that family. If you or someone you know needs help, call us. It’s what we’s why

we’re here. Gifts from individuals, organizations and congregations combine with income-adjusted fees collected from those served to support this mission here in Iowa. No government funds are sought or accepted so as not to compromise our intentionally Christ-focused mission. Your partnership this fall is needed and appreciated. If you feel directed by the Spirit to support this work as part of your stewardship plan for managing the resources God has entrusted to you, we’d love to hear from you. LFS is able to receive and use Thrivent Choice designations, 401K distributions, employee match or gifts directed through United Way campaigns, direct and deferred gifts to meet our annual budget. May God bless you as you help others who need to experience His love, extended through LFS!


Lutheran Family Service

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In Des Moines, LFS recently left our long-established office space on Hickman Road because God has allowed us to grow our services and our staff. Our new office space at 6200 Aurora now accommodates all of our Des Moines counselors, providing safe and quiet space for each to meet with the individuals, couples and families they serve. It also serves as the head of our counseling and adoption work, with our Director of Counseling Services and our Director of Pregnancy Counseling and Adoption working from there. Through it, we are growing our connections to LCMS and other churches who want to refer and rely on a Christ-centered organization such as ours for supporting life, marriages, families, and individuals in need. What an exciting blessing it is to see new doors opening in Des Moines, Davenport, and Grinnell. Please join me in praying that they be mighty outposts for leading with Jesus in these communities. God may or may not close doors for good, but he certainly does open them for good! In Christ Jesus,

Coming Soon: Changing Look...Unchanging Mission

Our mission to walk with those who are hurting and be there for them as God has been there for us remains unchanged; but we’re working on a new logo that better communicates our work and mission. Prepare to say goodbye to the old logo and anticipate the unveiling of a new logo and look for Lutheran Family Service coming later this fall!

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1st Vice President Rev. Dr. Herbert Mueller to Speak at LFS Annual Meeting

Plan now to join with other Lutherans and special guests from the Synod and Iowa Districts East and West for a special celebration on the grounds of the Lutheran Ministry Center (former orphanage), 230 9th Avenue North, Fort Dodge on Saturday, October 3 beginning at 11:30 a.m. We will gather for food, fellowship, tours of the home, entertainment, and a brief annual meeting as we celebrate the ministry that God has entrusted to us through LFS. The Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller, 1st Vice-President of the LCMS, will bring a special message about mercy work through the church, human care ministry, and the current state of challenges to religious liberty in our country. No charge! No preregistration required! No reason not to come! See you there!

Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller

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LFS Partners with St. Paul Lutheran Church, Carroll and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, West Des Moines to Support Caregivers

LFS’ Toni Larson leads discussion of caregiver support at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Carroll.

With over 63,000 people in Iowa living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is likely that all of us know someone who is providing care for someone suffering from this devastating condition for which there is no cure. A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that approximately 134,000 people in Iowa provided 152 million hours of such care (unpaid) in 2013. Caregiving is often very demanding and stressful. Caregivers often underestimate the amount of time and energy required, as well as the impact on their work, social and family commitments. In partnership with area Lutheran congregations, Lutheran Family Service staff is providing support to caregivers through educational events such as the one hosted by St. Paul Lutheran Church in Carroll recently and through a 6-week educational program called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” that helps caregivers build the skills they need to take better care of themselves as they provide care for others. The next “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” program will be held at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in West Des Moines on September 9. Through these outreach efforts participants learn to minimize potentially negative impacts of caregiving by learning how to take care of themselves, identifying and reducing personal stress, communicating feelings, needs and concerns to family members

especially in challenging situations, dealing with emotions and change, and mastering caregiving decisions and tough decisions. LFS counselor and caregiver educator, Toni Larson, LISW, has been impressed with the positive responses received from participants. She says, “I have been humbled by the responses of participants who share they believe the class was very helpful to them in their current circumstance.” Participants commented on the helpfulness of the tools they learned to use and the encouragement they found from group leaders as well as fellow group members. In addition to recent work in Carroll and West Des Moines, LFS staff will be sharing caregiver support information through a workshop at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Schaller on Sunday afternoon, September 13, “Discussing End of Life Issues from a Christian Perspective,” and at an ElderCare Workshop at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Eldora on Saturday, September 26. Contact the LFS office at 515-573-3138 for more information about these upcoming opportunities. If your group or congregation is interested in partnering with LFS to bring a caregiver support event or “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” group to your community, contact Wanda Pritzel at 515-573-3138 or



9/18/2015 2:11:38 PM

Mark Astleford

Greeting from the LLL District Board Greetings in the service of our Lord! On July 18 I found myself being elected to the position of President of Iowa District West LLL. Eight years have passed since I last held this position and a lot has changed during that time. When I was first elected to this position in 2003, it was the first convention after the election of the Rev. Paul Sieveking as President of Iowa District West LCMS. The Rev. Steven Turner was elected as the new President of Iowa District West LCMS just before I was elected to my third term. Iowa District West LLL is very appreciative of the support that President Sieveking provided us during his term as District President and we wish him the best in his retirement. We also congratulate President Turner and look forward to working with him as well. A lot of changes have happened with Lutheran Hour Ministries since I last held office. Pastor Gregory Seltz has become the latest voice to give sermons on The Lutheran Hour as the Speaker. The bylaws of the Lutheran Laymen’s League have changed with elections of the Board of Directors performed now via the internet. I am sure that most of you have heard of and know of The Lutheran Hour. There are other Lutheran Hour Ministries programs that I would like to make you aware of. These include the Regional Outreach Conferences, MISSION U, and The Men’s Network. • Regional Outreach Conferences (ROC), have evolved and are very successful in permitting more people to attend and become informed about what Lutheran Hour Ministries is doing. There is still time to register and attend the remaining ROC to be held November 13-14, 2015 in Orlando, FL. For more information go to: • MISSION U is Lutheran Hour Ministries’ personal witness training program. Through onsite seminars at your church, it is designed to give

A major area of Christian outreach for Iowa West LLL has been the booth that Iowa District West and Iowa District East LLL have been sponsoring and manning in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair. It seems that each year it is a greater challenge to man this

booth (one of the very few Christian booths at the Iowa State Fair). Part of this is from the pressures of people who would rather not see a “Christian” booth at the Fair and also due to the difficulty of finding people willing to take a shift to help at the booth. The reality is that if we fail to be able to man the booth, it will be removed and most likely would not be able to return. So, if you believe that it is important for us to have a presence for the Lord in front of the million plus people who attend the Fair annually, and are willing to act on that belief, we could really use your help! Please contact John Tews (260-441-8994) if you are interested in volunteering. The final topic I want to share with you is the Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study being planned for November 7, 2015 at Memorial Lutheran Church in


Lutheran Laymen’s League

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Iowa State Fair booth.

your congregation the tools and training to confidently embark on your mission: reaching people with the real news of Jesus Christ. For more information go to: http://www. • The Men’s Network has provided multiple Bible studies for men’s groups as well as church groups. It is also a place to learn of men’s retreats and Bible study groups. For more information visit http://www.

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Ames. There is pre-registration in order to help plan the meal. Our morning agenda Registration Breakfast Opening Devotions 2 - 45 min sessions

8:00 to 9:00 8:10 to 8:45 8:55 to 9:14 9:15 to 10:00 10:15 to 11:00 Closing Prayers 11:00 Invitation to a Spring Breakfast Dismissal

Orphan Grain Train News We are happy to announce a new Iowa East Branch OGT. It is located in an old school house in Clemons, Iowa. It is called Central Iowa Branch. They are starting to accept donations now. This location will help contributors in the eastern part of Iowa. Iowa West Branch in Ida Grove will continue as we have been doing for 23 years. The Norfolk office has announced that each branch will receive $5,000 in matching funds from a special donor. These funds will be distributed in the months of October and November. More information on this will be sent to the churches. Elroy and Barb Koch Iowa West Branch OGT Phone 712-675-4818

New Bible Study

Our Speaker: Rev. Jonathon Conner. Topic: “How To Wreck Your Marriage” Make plans now to come to Ames on Nov. 7 to spend the morning at Memorial Lutheran Church with your son(s) and / or grandson(s) for the Men’s Breakfast! Students, invite your dads, your uncles, your grandpas…… God Bless all of you. God’s Will be Done! Again, I encourage you to keep Lutheran Hour Ministries, our congregations, our church workers and especially our pastors in prayer. There are many challenges and pressures in our Church that our pastors are facing. Yours in the Service of our Lord, Mark Astleford Iowa District West LLL President Men’s Breakfast Bible Study Pre-Registration Form November 7, 2015 Memorial Lutheran Church | 2228 Lincoln Way | Ames, IA 50014 | Phone: 515-292-5005 Name ___________________________________________________

Amount $_________________

Address ____________________________________________________________________________ City_____________________________ State_______ Zip_______ Phone ___________________________________ $12 Pre-Registration $15 at the door

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Fall 2015


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The Harvest - Fall 2015  
The Harvest - Fall 2015