Three years ago Pastor Jeff Ungs, Director of Evangelical Mission of the Western Iowa Synod, brought a gift of 100 flood recovery buckets during the flood in Greene, Clarksville, and Shell Rock.

The next summer the Northeastern Iowa Synod collected 300 buckets during the Synod Assembly.

They only stayed in storage a few weeks until flooding in Sumner one summer and Mason City the next almost completely depleted our supply.

This spring,  the Northeastern Iowa Synod Disaster Response Network announced that while it had intended to ask congregations to once again bring flood recovery buckets to the Assembly, there was a more immediate need for buckets and a real danger of additional severe flooding.


On April 3, Western Iowa requested a gift of 100 flood recovery buckets.  Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Asbury led by Pastor Paul Amlin and Youth Worker Nicole (Coco) Lyons, already had a goal of donating 40 buckets to celebrate their 40th anniversary. However, instead of 40 the congregation donated 74.

On April 3, Pastor Kyle Barton, Disaster Response Network facilitator, drove to Lord of Life and picked up those buckets and then to Grace Lutheran Church in Tripoli where Pastor Scott Duffus and the congregation maintain another cache of buckets.

The confirmation class took a break from their studies to form a “bucket brigade” to move the buckets from the basement to where they could be loaded.

On April 4, one day after the request, Pastor Barton delivered over 100 Flood Recovery Buckets to the Western Iowa Synod Office.

The danger isn’t over and there is still need for buckets to be ready to go.  Congregations around the synod like St. Peter, Toeterville, St. Peter, Greene, Big Canoe, Decorah, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Waverly, Zion, Oelwein and others are filling more buckets so we can be ready to help when the need arises.

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.


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