2018 Synod Assembly Recap


Philip Melanchthon

Celebrating Renewal: Philip Melanchthon — Education

Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly
June 8-10, 2018
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Some 335 voting members and visitors attended the 2018 Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly on June 8-10 at Wartburg College, Waverly, with the theme, “Celebrating Renewal: Philip Melanchthon — Education.”

Assembly events included worship and communion services, plenary sessions, forums, seminars, ministry exhibits and more. The Synod Assembly elected a vice president, secretary, synod council and committee members, and voting members for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert,

The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, an ELCA pastor and professor emeritus of Reformation history at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now known as United Lutheran Seminary), presented the keynote address, “‘More Lutheran than Luther:’ Philip Melanchthon and the Educational Reformation of the Church.”

Dr. Wengert shared about the role of education in the Reformation and in the church today. “Lutherans do not have to leave their brain at the door,” Wengert said.

The Rev. Heidi Torgerson-Martinez

The Rev. Heidi Torgerson-Martinez, director for Global Service, ELCA, in the Global Mission unit brought the churchwide report and preached at the Sunday worship service. Torgerson-Martinez presented the top 10 reasons to be an ELCA Lutheran and shared some statistics related to this synod, including $491,600 given to Mission Support in 2017 and 591 registrants for this summer’s ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston.

Bishop Steven Ullestad

Bishop Steven Ullestad preached at the Friday evening worship service about the different ways that people receive education – academic and through the learnings of life.

“We teach one another from one generation to the next with academic degrees or without,” he said. “Living in the fear/awe of God.  Guided by the Word of God, the lamp of our journey, seeking the mind of Christ and celebrating the unity of Christ.  We teach and we learn.  And we are renewed.”

In his report to the Assembly, Bishop Ullestad shared about two mentors and friends who guided him in his early years serving the church – the Rev. Dr. Ralph Quere and Rear Admiral Alvin Koeneman. Bishop Ullestad also presented a video and plaque honoring Pastor Lynn Groe for his service as secretary and friend to this synod.

Find more photos and posts from the Synod Assembly on Facebook. 



“We Are Lutheran” Video

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton talks about what it means to be a Lutheran in this 2018 Synod Assembly video, “We are Lutheran.” This video is also available in Spanish: http://bit.ly/2IE1a2H.



2018 Assembly Resources

Adopted Resolutions 2018

Election Results

Sermon by Bishop Steven Ullestad

Bishop’s Report to Assembly

Sermon by the Rev. Louise Johnson, president of Wartburg Theological Seminary

Keynote Address — “Melanchthon as Educator” by the Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert

Friday Daily News

Saturday Daily News

Sunday Daily News



More Assembly Highlights

Read more about the Assembly at “God’s Work. Our Blog,” written by the Rev. Dr. Joelle Coville-Hanson.


Worship Offerings

Offerings from this year’s Assembly will support the Companion Synod Travel Fund and the H. George Anderson Northeastern Iowa Synod Fund for Leaders.

2018 Assembly Attendance

Voting Members mmm 283
Visitors   52
Total Registered   335

Synod Assembly Dates

  • June 14-16, 2019
    Wartburg College, Waverly
  • June 12-14, 2020
    Wartburg College, Waverly


Read about 2017 Synod Assembly Read about Past Synod Assemblies