Newsletter- July 2013

Newsletter- July 2013
The 26th Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod was held May 31
– June 1, 2013, at Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa.
Over 450 voting members and guests gathered around the theme
“When Hungry Hearts Find Bread”.
Sue Rothmeyer, the Executive for Administration in the Office of the
Secretary of the ELCA, served as representative from our Churchwide
partners in ministry. As the ELCA was beginning, Sue served as a lay
campus minister at Iowa State University and was elected the first
secretary of the Southeastern Iowa Synod. ELCA Global Musicians
provided music for the assembly and led worship on Saturday
Bishop Michael Burk presided over the assembly, including the
opening service of Holy Communion. In his report, Bishop Burk
talked about moving forward together so that hungry hearts will find
bread-not just literal bread, but the Bread of Life. He reminded the
assembly that each congregation will be given a poster to be displayed
in local communities of faith to serve as a reminder of our
connections and of our commitment to ending hunger in Jesus’
Cheryl Hollich, Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine, was re-elected as
the secretary of the synod. Pr. Sarah Olson-Smith, St. Paul,
Davenport; Pr. Jack Mithelman, Redeemer, Indianola; Pr. Rick
Biedermann, Bethany, Burlington; Dirk Amundsen, First, Newton;
Phyllis Chang, Zion, Iowa City; Karen Goedeken, Gloria Dei, Cedar
Rapids; and Ethan Hopkey, Holy Trinity, Ankeny were elected to
positions on the synod council.
A Friday evening banquet included special guests as the 25th
Anniversary of the ELCA was celebrated. Guests included the first
presiding bishop, Rev. Herbert Chilstrom, the two previous bishops
of this synod, Rev. Paul Werger and Rev. Philip Hougen, ecumenical
guests, Episcopal Bishop Alan Scarfe and Roman Catholic Bishop
Richard Pates. With an update on this synod’s participation in the
ELCA Malaria Campaign, advocate and internationally known
vocalist, Simon Estes performed. (This synod currently leads in gifts
from congregations to eliminate Malaria and hopes for 100%
participation by congregations). The evening culminated with a
keynote address by the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for
the World and a World Food Prize laureate.
Resolutions adopted included:
1) Clarifying the circumstances under which pastors are able to
“preside at the service uniting of any persons who are legally
able to marry in the state of Iowa”;
2) Supporting the ELCA’s “Peace Not Walls” campaign and
memorializing the Churchwide Assembly for specific actions
named in the resolution;
3) Supporting the anti-Hunger efforts of this synod, including
encouraging participation in the READing to End Hunger
Project and advocating for poor and hungry people, especially
4) Thanking all those whose efforts contributed to this assembly.
Two resolutions were referred to the synod council. (visit for full text of resolutions).
Other business included the approval of the 2014 synod budget and
minimum compensation guidelines. Jim Ellefson, synod treasurer
was honored for his 18 years of service to the synod, 12 as synod
treasurer. Jodi Schuman, Memorial Lutheran Church, Nevada, was
introduced as the newly appointed treasurer of the synod.
The 2014 Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod will be held May
30-June 1, 2014, at the Marriot Hotel and Convention Center in
Coralville, Iowa.
8:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
July 14
July 23-26
August 1
Summer Worship Schedule
Prayer time in library
Adult Forum in the counting room
Chicago Folk Service
Kingdom Rock! Vacation Bible School
SELC Churchmen will host an Ice Cream Social
Swedesburg Women of the ELCA
WELCA Calendar of Events
Wednesday, July 17
Bible Study at 2:00 p.m.
150 Years!
In 2016, SELC will celebrate its 150th Anniversary. With this kind of
a milestone, we need to start planning for how we want to observe
this event. We want to present the survey to our members in the early
fall. We would then have a presentation and discussion at our 2014
annual meeting in January. We want to celebrate what God has done
and how do we continue our mission. We are blessed with good notes
about what we did for our 125th anniversary. We also have some good
resource materials from another congregation who celebrated its
150th anniversary. We want to know what our members would most
like to see. If you have an interest in serving or want to learn more,
please contact Pastor Mark, Tom Wenstrand or another council
Altar flowers
There is an opening for altar flowers on July 28. Please contact Mary
in the church office if you are available to provide flowers on that
Social Ministry
The Social Ministry Committee met on June 18. The Social Ministry
finished two weeks of making sandwiches for the Summer Sack
Lunch Program at the Fellowship Cup. Kids Against Hunger
packaged over 2,000 meals on June 9th. The cost of ingredients to
make these meals will be paid for by donations and the Luther
League. Needs will be assessed closer to the fall regarding the Back
Pack Program. Planning is beginning for a soup lunch on October
Congregation Council and Church Finance Notes
The Council met on Thursday, June 20, 2013. May minutes and a
draft copy of the June minutes are posted in the church narthex when
they become available. Council minutes are also available in the
church office. The next regular Council meeting will be Thursday,
July 18th, at 7:00 p.m.
Financial Report
2013 General Fund Activity (as of June 25)
Ministry Expenses
Mission Support Submitted
General Fund Balance as of June 25 is ($2,975.31). Thank you for all
gifts to the church and for your support of the important mission we
share in!
Evangelism Committee
The Evangelism Committee met on June 4, 2013. Highlights of the
meeting include: discussion that postcards have been sent to visitors,
to thank them for coming to our church; attendance books have been
ordered; we will provide ice cream to VBS children and invite parents
and families to join them on the final night; the Pizza, Popcorn and
Movie event has been postponed until the winter; a hayride has been
planned tentatively for October 6 after church; discussed the need for
more seating outside for the Coffee Cart, and we discussed publishing
a new picture directory.
Kids Against Hunger (KAH)
Luther League assisted with the Kids Against Hunger by packing
meals on Sunday, June 9th following worship. They packed over
2,000 meals! The cost of ingredients to make the meals will be paid
for by donations and the Luther League.
Churchmen Ice Cream Social
You are invited to an ice cream social on Thursday, August 1 st.
Serving starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Swedesburg Parish Hall. The event
is sponsored by the Churchmen of the Swedesburg Evangelical
Lutheran Church. Homemade ice cream and other treats will be served.
Freewill donations will be used to help local charities such as the
Fellowship Cup, Tolson Community Action Center, Henry County
Habitat for Humanity, Christamore Family Treatment Center, and
Henry County Foods Resource Bank. Everyone is invited for an evening
of fellowship and ice cream!
Small Group Bible Study
Small Group Bible study will be meeting on the 10th and 31st during
the month of July. Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Swedish Pancake Breakfast
The Swedish Heritage Society will sponsor one more pancake
breakfast this year on July 6th. 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! The cost is $6 per ticket.
Please join us for food and fellowship.
Birthday Card Shower
LaVonne Hinkle will be celebrating her 80th birthday on July 31st. The
family is requesting birthday cards for a card shower. Please send
cards to: LaVonne Hinkle, 206 East Pine, Winfield, Iowa 52659-9716.
Purposeful Parenting
July is Purposeful Parenting Month, a great time to remember the effort,
commitment and love it takes to be a positive parent and role model for a
child. Children look to their parents for guidance, care and love and it is
important to recognize the role purposeful parenting plays in the
development of a child’s mental, social, emotional and physical self.
Lutheran Services in Iowa recognizes that sometimes parents need
assistance in getting ready to become a parent for the first time or when
struggling to work through difficult family situations. LSI’s early
childhood and family centered services promote positive parenting
through education, counseling, family meetings and support. Through
these services, LSI builds on strengths to enhance the emotional,
psychological and physical well-being of both parents and children,
preventing child abuse and neglect and helping to keep families together.
With knowledgeable and loving parents in a safe environment, children
can go on to reach their greatest potential and pass these skills on to
their children creating generations of positive parenting. For
information on Lutheran Services in Iowa, visit Visit
us on Facebook at “I wasn’t ready, but I
had to be for her. She’s my main priority now.” Inside LSI’s HOPES
House in Muscatine, 16-month-old Rylee is a blonde-haired blur of
toddler curiosity, flitting from one toy to the next. Her mom, 18-year-old
Sarah, never imagined she would be parenting as a high school senior,
but she wouldn’t trade her daughter for anything.
“I was scared,” she said of learning she was pregnant. “But I’m happy I
have Rylee.” A friend at Sarah’s teen parent group told her about LSI’s
HOPES program, and before Rylee was even born, Sarah started meeting
with Angela Dieckman, an LSI family support worker. Angela helped
Sarah prepare for how life would change, sharing everything from child
development information to a listening ear. “I like it that I have a
support system and people who care about her,” said Sarah. “I’m not on
my own.” If teen parenting wasn’t daunting enough, Rylee’s 3D
ultrasound revealed other challenges; a cleft palate that will require
surgery every year until Rylee is 18. She had her first operation at just six
months, with Sarah’s family and Angela supporting the mother and
daughter through it all. “When I saw her after surgery, I started crying,”
Sarah said. “I was in shock. It completely changed the way she looked.”
Rylee’s journey has inspired Sarah to pursue a medical career of her
own, one she began last summer by earning her certified nursing
assistant certificate. “I want to be a radiologist, but I’ve heard it’s really
hard,” she said. “When has that ever stopped you?” Angela replied with a
smile. “Do you realize what a great thing you’ve accomplished? All the
odds that were stacked against you? Like the statistics that say most teen
parents either don’t end up keeping their kids or don’t do a good job with
their kids or enter into a life where they don’t go very far? You’ve proven
those wrong.” Sarah smiles. “I wasn’t ready, but I had to be for her. She’s
my main priority now.”
Request for Acolyte Assistance
If you are able to assist with acolyte duties during worship for July 14
or 28, please let the office know. There is one opening on each of
these dates. Your name will be placed in the bulletin for the week that
you are available to assist. The office needs your name prior to noon
on Friday for the following Sunday. Please call Mary at 254-2216 or
email her at
Leadership Event
Luther League sponsored 7 students. There was a day filled with
workshops. Another day was spent with service projects at an
elementary school. Worship, fellowship and good food filled out our
Women of Faith
at the Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
August 23 and 24, 2013
Friday 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
God can do anything – Luke 1: 37 NCV This is the theme for the
Women of Faith event this year. If you are interested in this
opportunity please contact Peggy Grothe 319-759-8080. We will stay
at a hotel in Des Moines on Friday night. You can attend both days or
one day. For more information there are posters on the front door
and back door bulletin boards.
Library Donation
Steve and Kris Emerson donated a book to the church library. The
title of the book is To God Alone the Glory. The book was written by a
good friend of theirs, Scott Thomas, who Steve has been friends with
since their days at Luther College.
At age 55, Scott felt called to become a pastor. He enrolled in
seminary and began the process of becoming a pastor. Unfortunately,
shortly after making this decision, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung
cancer. Rather than feel sorry for himself, he continued to spread the
Good News via CaringBridge. This book is a compilation of the daily
writings that Scott, his wife, and two daughters posted to the
CaringBridge website as Scott fought, and eventually lost his battle
with cancer.
Scott was a good friend who had a great sense of humor, loved life
and clearly loved the Lord. This book conveys those qualities and
Steve and Kris think it will be an inspirational read for anyone who
chooses to read it.
August Newsletter Deadline
The deadline to have your group meeting times and activities or other
items listed in the July newsletter is Thursday, July 25, at noon.
Submit any items: schedules, pictures, articles, calendars or activities
to Mary McLerran in the church office at 254-2216 or email the office
at Please note that you may now
website It is located under “calendar”, then
To Jared and Kirsten (Brown) Peck who were
married in our church on Saturday, June 8th.
David A. Taylor died Friday, June 7, 2013.
David was the son of Virgil Boyd and Helen Elaine (Mackland)
Taylor. He grew up in Treynor and graduated from Treynor High
School in 1972. He was a member of Swedesburg Evangelical
Lutheran Church and the National Association of Social Workers. He
liked trains, comic books, the Iowa Hawkeyes and playing with his
dogs. Survivors include his wife, Nancy; two children, Hannah Taylor
and Joe Taylor, both of Mt. Pleasant; his mother of Treynor; two
brothers, Michael (Kay) Taylor and William (Becky) Taylor, all of
Council Bluffs; and two sisters, Patricia (Richard Martin) Taylor of
Omaha, Nebraska, and Pamela Taylor of Council Bluffs.
to those who assist with the folding of the bulletins and those
who assist with distributing the paperwork for the church
to everyone who assisted in packaging the food for Kids Against
to Susan Hult and Laura Hult for providing beautiful music in
Deb’s absence.
Pray For . . .
the family of David A. Taylor.
Jared and Kirsten as they begin their married life together.
friends and loved ones experiencing health concerns.
ELCA missionaries Rev. Brian and Christine Palmer in Liberia.
Thank you for your continued support of the Fellowship Cup. It is so
great to be able to share and assist our neighbors together. You have
been a true blessing for us and others.
The Fellowship Cup
Dear Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church: Thank you so much
for allowing us to use the space in front of the church and the lawn
around Parish Hall for our Run/Walk/Bike/Trike event in Swedesburg.
The two locations worked perfectly for what we had planned. I think the
event was a success and those that attended had a good time. The
response and involvement from the Swedesburg and Olds communities
has been great! Hopefully we can try this again next year and have better
luck with the weather. Thanks again for your support of this fun
community event.
Kelly Carr, Healthy Communities Coordinator
Dear Swedesburg Church Family,
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this time. We
greatly appreciate it. You all have been so kind and helpful, we cannot
express our gratitude enough. Thank you all again and may God bless
and keep you all
The Taylor Family Nancy, Joe, Hannah
Thank you for the support, help and food for Steve and our family.
However, we are facing more challenges ahead. Steve will have open
heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic at the end of July. The office will be
covered, but if you can continue to pray and support us it will be most
appreciated. The family expects to stay in a hotel while Steve is in the
hospital. Any gift cards for restaurant meals or gas would be most
helpful. One note of good news, Mathew successfully finished his first
year of dental school at the University of Iowa and has three years
Mary Wettach and family
New friends
Lip-smacking snacks
Amazing experiences Wild games
Surprising adventures Incredible music
Kingdom Rock! Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School will take place at the parish hall on Tuesday,
July 23rd through Friday, July 26th from 5:30 p.m. until 8:15 p.m.
each evening. This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock: An Epic
Adventure Awaits! Supper will be served each evening starting at
5:30 p.m.
We have a lot of fun at VBS. VBS is a fantastic Christian outreach to
the youth of the community. The more help we have, the more
successful we’ll be.
The following two pages of this newsletter contain copies of the
Vacation Bible School volunteer form and student registration form.
Please feel free to tear these out and return to the church office. These
forms can also be found on our website at
under the “get connected” tab. If you would like any additional
form(s) mailed to you contact Mary in the office. Full-size forms may
also be found in the narthex of the church.
We are offering VBS at no charge to all students, which means
donations make a BIG difference! Monetary donations are welcome
and may be placed in the offering plate noted with “VBS”.
Vacation Bible School July 23rd-July 26th
5:30 PM Supper/6-8:15 VBS
I would like to help:
 Before VBS: Setup/Decorating/Food Prep
 Teaching a session (Games, Bible Story, Crafts)
 Helping at a station (Games, Bible, Story, Crafts)
 Guiding a group from station to station
 Music (Singing or leading)
 Being an actor in skits
 Registration table (5:15-6:15 each night)
 Extra set of hands/Anywhere
 Serving Food/Kitchen Help
 I am willing to make a cash/check donation
Name: _____________________________________________
Phone: _____________________________________________
Email: ______________________________________________
Please return form to Swedesburg church office. Cash donations may be placed in
the offering plate with “VBS” noted on the memo line or envelope. God bless you
for your support of this children’s ministry!
*We are offering VBS at no charge to all students, which means donations
make a BIG difference!
Vacation Bible School Registration Form
(one form per child)
Child’s name: _________________________________________________
Date of birth: _______________________ Last grade completed: ______
Name of parent(s): _____________________________________________
Street Address: ________________________________________________
City: _____________________________ State: _________ ZIP: ________
Home telephone: (_______) _____________________________________
Parent/caregiver’s cell phone: ____________________________________
Home email address: ___________________________________________
Home church: _________________________________________________
--------------------------------------------------Crew number or name (for church use only): _______________________
Allergies or other medical conditions: ______________________________
In case of emergency, contact: ______________________
Phone: _________________________________________
Relationship to child: ______________________________
email Return to Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church 1897
140th Street, P. O. Box 88, Swedesburg, Iowa 52652-0088.
July 14 Chicago Folk Service
July 21 Worship with Baptism
July 23-26 Vacation Bible School---register
Worship begins at 10 a.m.
Everyone is welcome!
1897 140th Street
P. O. Box 88
Swedesburg, IA 52652