What would your congregation do if you unexpectedly received a large bequest?  While your first thought might be that this would the best thing that could happen to a congregation, experience has shown that without a plan, gifts like this can derail a congregation’s mission faster than the problem of lack of funds can. Or […]

The problem is real and it is urgent! ELCA pastors in the Northeastern Iowa Synod are retiring at an alarming rate.  In fact, only 27 of our current pastors are under the age of 50.  This means that while our congregations are already feeling the effects of the clergy shortage this problem will accelerate to […]

Chick Lane wrote a wonderful book entitled “Ask, Thank, Tell.”  He encourages congregations to ask the members for financial support, thank them for that support and then tell them what kind of great ministry was made possible by that gift. I have never heard anyone say “I gave that organization money now I hope they […]

 Christmas decorations are going up, Christmas songs can be heard at the store, Christmas cards are being mailed, so I guess you know what time of year it is… It’s time to plan for Lent. You should have recently received the “Action Guide for Congregations” from ELCA World Hunger. This guide has lots of ideas […]

Throughout this year, the theme of this Synod’s events and publications will be “bold leadership.”  Today I write to thank you for the “bold leadership” that you have shown in stewardship last year. Mission Support from congregations to the Northeastern Iowa Synod increased again in fiscal 2014 and the cost of Synod administration came in […]

Every fall, ordained pastors, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, and spouses to come together with colleagues for a time of relaxation, refreshment and learning. This year’s presenter was the Rev. Dr. Mark Allan Powell, New Testament professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and author of more than 100 articles and […]