Monte & I had a pleasure of representing Swedesburg
Lutheran Church at this year’s Southeastern Iowa Synod
Assembly, May 29-30, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Lutheran
Church of Hope hosted the event attended by over 445 persons, including 381 voting members. These figures do not include the many volunteers from Lutheran Church of Hope that served meals, participated in worship service and did many unseen tasks to make the event a success.
I am not sure I can adequately summarize these two days and do our experience justice. However, I can say with confidence that Monte and I both felt renewed in spirit and strengthened in faith after spending two days in fellowship with Lutherans from all over Iowa. Going to the synod assembly was a chance to learn about what our church is doing throughout the state, nation and even globally. It is a glimpse into the amazing ministry of the larger church.
Knowing that we are a part of “God’s Work, Our Hands”, in places like Des Moines, New Orleans, Chicago, Malawi,
Tanzania, Palestine…is revitalizing. We came away excited about what it means to be Lutheran, putting our faith into action, and what that excitement can mean for our own congregation.
So, instead of trying to provide all the details in one lengthy article, I present you with the “Top Ten Things Learned At
Synod Assembly”…and if you would like to hear more about any of these, please do not hesitate to ask us! We’d love to personally share our experience with you.
IN THE NAME OF JESUS. This was the theme of the
Assembly, and is a good place to start. With every small group, every speaker, every opportunity to worship, we were brought back to the idea of living, acting, loving “in the name
of Jesus”. Bishop Burk’s opening remarks reminded us that whatever our vocation, our lives are linked to our baptism in
Christ, and therefore, our lives are constantly linked to Jesus.
Being linked to Jesus means continuing His ministry- and if we look around us, the need is great, the signs are many. We are called –are privileged- to live in the name of the one who saves the world. Therefore, we are called to act, heal, forgive, reconcile, serve IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Artist and Pastor Paul Oman was the featured speaker at the evening banquet and present on the main stage throughout most of the assembly, as he painted on large canvas, creating a mural of his interpretation of “In the Name of Jesus” right before our eyes. The inclusion of art added a new dimension to how we experience the Word. It was fascinating to watch.
2017 is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and BIG things are planned for this remembrance of this historic event.
There’s already a website established for those who would like to follow this event at www.ELCA500.org. The theme for this event is “Freed & Renewed in Christ- 500 Years of God’s Grace in Action”. You can also check out the Facebook page – ELCA
The ELCA Malaria Campaign is almost fully funded.
Contributions of over $14 million towards the $15 million goal have been received. A child dies from malaria every 60 seconds, but the tide is turning thanks to this ministry, partnered with others, including 13 companion churches in Africa, to end preventable deaths from this disease.
There are 53 new ELCA congregations (globally) since the last national Assembly. We have 246 missionaries working 46 countries, including 60 young adults in mission. This number will increase to 79 young adults in 2016. One congregation in our synod closed its doors this year in Munterville.
On average, 94.2% of offerings given within the synod, are used locally, with 3% used to support the ministry of the
Southeastern Iowa Synod and 2.8% is sent for churchwide ministries.
Speaking of numbers…Monte attended a small group session regarding the Always Being Made New campaign for the ELCA, which seeks to raise $198 million in 5 years for new and expanded church wide ministries. These ministries include new/renewing/expanding congregations, hunger and poverty, global church, and leadership. Our synod has decided to set its own goals to raise monies for these important ministries that would stay in the SEIA synod. It sounds like this is in the planning/implementation phase, but stay tuned, as I’m sure we will be hearing more about the campaign later this fall.
Three resolutions were presented and passed with little discussion. Information about these adopted resolutions can be found at seiasynod.org/assembly. They covered issues regarding conflict in the Holy Land, specifically the impact of settlements, Life of Faith Initiative, and the ELCA Campaign
Always Being Made New.
This same website has several videos worth watching, including an entertaining spoof of the “Brady Bunch” television show theme song introduction the synod staff. The Assembly
Opening video is also worth watching, and will give you an idea of why we came away feeling so excited to be a part of this church.
We were reminded of the growing need for young people to join the ministry as pastors and military chaplains. All of us can encourage the youth in our congregations to consider a life in ministry. Just ask Kid Bishop! (See seiasynod.org/assembly)
And, finally, even though this is a Top Ten list, you get a bonus!
The most important thing I learned by attending the 2015
Synod Assembly is that by affirming the connections and relationships with fellow Lutherans, it makes you feel powerful.
Together, we can do so much (are doing much) and God as great, exciting things planned for the ELCA. I can’t wait to be a part it with you.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be your representatives at the 2015 Synod Assembly.
Respectfully submitted, Emily Kann
Pastor Mark and Monte Kann attending the Synod Assembly
Recognition of 25-45 year ordinations at the Synod
(Pastor Mark is fourth from left in the back row, celebrating his 25th year.)
Sundays in July
8:30 a.m. Prayer Time
9:00 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:00 a.m. Worship
July 5 Worship with Eldon Beichter
July12 Now the Feast and Celebration
July 19 Worship with Pastor Wendell Debner
Wednesdays in July
7:00 p.m. Women’s Bible Study at the Parish Hall
(during church renovations)
June 18 & 19, 2016
It is our 150 th Anniversary celebration at SELC!
The Council met on Thursday, June 18, 2015. The next regular
Council meeting will be Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. A copy of the meeting minutes is posted in the church narthex.
Council minutes are also available in the church office.
2015 General Fund Activity (through June 22, 2015)
The church basement will be the next to experience remodeling projects. During this time, the church office will be relocated to the Parish Hall, at 201 Academy Avenue in Swedesburg. The projected date of the office move is July 1 and 2. The office phone number will remain the same as calls will be forwarded over to the Parish Hall. As usual, an answering machine will take your message when the office is closed. During the time of the remodel, it is suggested we have minimal traffic flow through the church basement. Please visit the Parish Hall for any church business during this time.
Sunday’s Prayer time at 8:30 and Adult Sunday School at 9 a.m. will also be relocated. Watch the weekly bulletins to find the location.
Please join us in welcoming these new members to Swedesburg
Evangelical Lutheran Church. They became members June 14,
2015: Kailey Gibbs, Todd Johnson, Susan Johnson, Emily
Johnson, Leah Johnson, Brooks Taylor and Renee Taylor. Look for more information in next month’s newsletter.
The Tanzania Companion Coordinators met on Tuesday, June
2, at 7:30 p.m. We looked at updates in our ministry priorities in our relationship with Ngaeni. In the area of education, two
$30,000 Rotary grants have been applied for. One for vocational training, and the other for education. We should know the outcome of these potential grants by July 1.
The Western Iowa Synod of the ELCA has a companion relationship with the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church of Tanzania. They have developed a Center for
Agricultural Development (CAD) to help small shareholder farmers. Professors from Iowa State University (Iowa State
Extension) helped with this project. Pastor Mark will try to find
out more information about these professors, and if they could be a resource for our pork farm project.
We looked at the projected costs of the pork farm, given by
Pastor Mrutu. It would cost about $2,120 for 40 hogs; $789 for transportation; $3,157.89 for the building; and $2,631 for food and medicine. Eldon will talk with area Pork Producers (Henry,
Louisa, and Washington counties) to see if they would help toward the cause. It was agreed that the building should be the first priority
Radio project – would it be more realistic to do something with the internet instead of radio? Podcasts? Pastor Mrutu will be asked about this.
The Fellowship Cup invites you to a pancake breakfast in thanks for all the support for Community Meals, Summer
Sacks, Backpack Program, Christmas adopt a family, and the
Another successful year of Vacation Bible School took place during the week of June 8 th through June 11 th as evidenced by the following pictures. We will have a VBS article in next month’s newsletter.
Come and join us Wednesday nights, 7 p.m. “Having a Mary
Heart in a Martha World.” Peggy Grothe is our fearless leader; we spend lots of time laughing while sharing our struggles in following Jesus. It is so much better to walk in faith together!
You may drop in even if you miss a week or two.
Once construction in the church basement begins, the weekly bulletins will announce where this study will meet.
The next prayer breakfast for all Churchmen will be on July 25 at 6:30 a.m., at the parish hall, 201 Academy Avenue, with hosts Ray Meth and Carl Lund. All men are invited. Pastor
Mark will lead the Bible Study.
The next Bible study will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday
August 22. Pastor Mark Youngquist will be the study leader.
The WELCA would welcome any donations of sheets. They prefer flat, but can use king or queen fitted sheets. The sheets should be stain free. Donations may be brought to the Narthex
(entryway) of the church.
If you can sew, WELCA is looking for someone to sew prequilted baby quilts. (Finish up by putting on back and finish edge.) You may contact Betty Molander if you are available.
If you have garden flowers available to decorate the altar, please feel free to sign up to provide flowers. Sunday, July 5 and 12 are still available, as well as some other future dates. You may call
Mary in the office at 254-2216 to see which dates are still available.
The date of Sunday, March 13, 2016 has been set for next year’s
Spring Brunch. Put it on your calendars!
There is a continuing need for size 3 diapers for SELC's food pantry. You are also encouraged to bring in coupons that you are not using, and have these available in the food pantry.
The committee's next meeting will be Thursday, September 17, at 5:30 p.m.
Did you know that you may listen to our weekly worship service on the church website: www.swedesburglutheran.org.
Click on “Online Directory and Media”, and then select “Launch
Media Player”. Click on the weekly service you wish to listen to.
We continue to update the site so you can enjoy special past and most present services.
You may also enjoy listening to our service on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. on the radio at 105.5 KILJ FM.
Each monthly newsletter is also available on our website: www.swedesburglutheran.org. Click on calendar, and then click any month to read it.
Send any comments regarding your feedback to Mary McLerran in the church office. Telephone 319-254-2216, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via
Thank you so much for helping to plan and put on this year’s
S.O. Fun Day. We had a great location in front of the Parish
Hall. Thank you also for the generous donation. We keep this event at no cost to participants and your donation helped make that possible.
I look forward to working with you again next year to plan another great event! You can view pictures from this year at facebook.com/HealthyHenryCounty. Thank you again for helping put on this fun community event.
Kelly Karr, Coordinator
Healthy Henry County Communities
Because of Federal Privacy Laws (HIPPA), if you or a member of your family are hospitalized and would like to Pastor to visit, you must contact the church. You can reach the church office at
(319) 254-2216, or Pastor Mark at (319) 631-8564.
The church provides its members with a subscription to The
Lutheran. If you do not currently receive a copy and would like to, please contact Mary in the church office. We would be glad to provide you with a subscription to this magazine at no cost to you.
The church office will be closed on July 3 for the July 4 th holiday. Regular office hours will resume Tuesday, July 7.
As a social ministry organization of the ELCA, Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) is so thankful for your partnership in ministry!
This month we also want to give special thanks for the many congregations who have made LSI a focus of a “God’s work. Our hands.” project.
Past “God’s work. Our hands.” projects have included donations of tools and handmade totes for dads enrolled in our early childhood programs, plus children’s books, towel bundles, school supplies and backpacks. LSI has also been blessed to receive
“noisy” offerings, special offerings and proceeds from yard work or luncheons. Some Sunday School classes and youth groups
have also encouraged youth at LSI’s Beloit and Bremwood
Residential Treatment Centers through quilts and letters.
We thank you for your witness of God’s love and your service! If you are interested in ministering to those served by LSI and would like to know more about current needs, please contact
Deb Whitford, LSI director of philanthropy and church relations, at deborah.whitford@LSIowa.org.
LSI is proud to be an affiliated social ministry organization of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Learn more at www.LSIowa.org and www.facebook.com/LSI.iowa.
Helping Makayla See “Anything is Possible”
Things are looking up for 18-year-old Makayla. “Now is the happiest I’ve been,” she said. “Things are getting better.”
Makayla was 15 years old when she had her son Levi. Makayla hasn’t seen her mom in ten years, and more than a year ago her dad took his own life. Yet somehow Makayla always has a smile on her face. “People always complain about things, but you’re the only one who can change them,” she said. And she has changed things – with some help from LSI’s early childhood services.
“A lot of families – especially teen moms – they don’t have parents they can talk to. That’s where we can go in and be very helpful,” said Julie, an LSI family support worker. “Levi was six months old, and I didn’t know it was okay for babies to still be in diapers at that stage,” Makayla said. “And I was pretty excited that I could give him table food.”
Julie shared child development and parenting information with
Makayla, but most importantly, she boosted Makayla’s confidence. “I tend to see a lot of teen mothers, and this is one
I’m super proud of,” Julie said. “She’s always had it in her. Now she’s in an environment where she can grow.”
Makayla is now a high school graduate, has a job and plans to study early childhood education. She is a woman of hope. “I like my mindset now,” she said. “I feel like anything is possible.”
Thank you so much for all of the positive support, especially with my graduation, I greatly appreciated the devotion book and card!
Thanks, Beth Wells
I would like to thank the congregation for the gift of the
Apple iPad Air tablet! I really appreciate being remembered in this way for the anniversary of my ordination. I am truly blessed to be serving God, and you, at Swedesburg!
We have an opening for communion assistant on July 12. If you are available, please contact the church office.
New siding on the Parish Hall
Pastor Mark will be on vacation June 20 - July 10. Please keep
Pastor Mark and his family in your prayers as they are on vacation.
Please join the Swedish Heritage Society for food and fellowship as they serve one more Swedish pancake breakfast on July 4. It will be at the Swedesburg Parish Hall, 201
Academy Avenue, Swedesburg, Iowa. From 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, potatis korv, homemade rolls, juice and coffee will be served at the Parish Hall! Cost is
$6 per person.
We wish to offer these couples a happy anniversary:
We wish the following people a very happy birthday on their special day:
1 Jim Lauer
4 Sherry Honts
5 Alexander Lackman
7 Richard Anderson
8 Khloe Beichter
9 Tracy Hill
10 Kris Kelley
20 Dean Craig
Laura Lindeen Craig
21 Roger Beckman
23 Travis Waterhouse
24 Jean Caboth
25 Kaci Chacon
26 Mary Wettach
27 Audrey Peterson
11 Drew Diers
12 Allie McArtor
14 Joe Lauer
15 Gail Smith
16 Brooke McArtor
17 Jim Lauer
18 Kate Crawford
28 Elizabeth Graber
30 Janet Erickson
31 Kenna Chacon
19 Derek Mullin
Please help the church office update their records by submitting any birthday or anniversary corrections. Thank you .
Throughout the year we will be praying for all our church members. Each week we will be praying for about five church families. Please pray this month for:
Carlos & Carol Lugtu, and Olivia
Carl & Maribelle Lund
Michael & July Marshall, Lance and Austin
Brent & Amanda Martin, Robert, Parker & Jessica
Tina Martinez, Angelina and Nicholas Soderquist
Kenneth & Brooke McArtor, Katelyn, Kristina, Tanner, and Allie
Bob & Josie McClure
Michael & Dawn McClure, Karli and Izzy
Michael & Patricia McDowell
Bill & Linda McGohan
David & Melissa Merrifield, Mackenzie and Rylee
Ray & Ruth Meth
Joel & Megan Mickey, and Mina
Kenna Nicole Chacon was baptized into the Christian faith on Saturday, June 13. Kenna’s parents are Nikki a nd Kaci
Chacon. Grandparents are Randy and Chris Morgan.
Sponsors are Josh & Kelly Morgan.
AFFIRMATION OF BAPTISM:
Nine members of SELC made public affirmation of the promises made at their baptisms and were confirmed on
Sunday, May 10th. Please pray for and support these sisters and brothers in Christ: Anna Beckman, Aaron
Bodenham, Tyler Craig, Bryant Holtkamp, Sabrina
Moody, Quinn Scarff, Nathan Rauenbuehler, Hallie
Sandeen, and Rory Wagner.
Betty Carlson and her family as Bob (Robert) Carlson passed away on June 3.
ELCA missionary Rev. Brian Palmer in Liberia, supported by this congregation. Pastor Brian has been temporarily re-assigned to Cameroon.
for Bishop Mjema of the Pare Diocese, Bishop Rev. Elisa
Mrutu and people of Ngaeni Lutheran Parish, our partner congregation in Tanzania. friends and loved ones experiencing health concerns.
to all the volunteers that provided assistance preparing sack lunches at the Fellowship Cup during the first week of
June. to all the teachers and volunteers who made the Vacation
Bible School a success once again this year. to all volunteers who made the S.O. Fun Day a great day!