2019 Synod Assembly Recap


Katherine von Bora was a former nun who married Martin Luther. Their marriage was based on equality and mutual love of the church and family, setting a new standard for Protestant domestic life and faith in the home.

Celebrating Renewal: Katherine von Bora Luther — Faith at Home

Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly
June 14-16, 2019
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Some 330 voting members and visitors attended the 2019 Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly on June 14-16 at Wartburg College, Waverly, with the theme, “Celebrating Renewal: Katherine von Bora Luther — Faith in the Home.”

Assembly events included worship and communion services, plenary sessions, forums, seminars and ministry exhibits. Voting members elected Synod Council and Nominating Committee members.

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn “Kit” Kleinhans

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn “Kit” Kleinhans, Dean, Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, presented the keynote address about “Katie Luther: Reformer’s Wife and Reformer.” Kleinhans said that Martin Luther lived in a world of theology, so he was fortunate to marry Katie who became a mid-manager entrepreneur. Katie was a skilled manager who took on many responsibilities running their large household centered on family and faith. Kleinhans asked the assembly, “How will you go forward opening more possibilities in the home?”

The Rev. Brenda Smith

The Rev. Brenda Smith, program director for ELCA Faith and Book of Faith, brought greetings and a report from the churchwide organization. Smith said that it is important to focus on faith in the home because growing in faith is a life-long journey. She shared that in 2018 the Northeastern Iowa Synod gave $430,035 to Mission Support and more than $94,000 for Lutheran Disaster Response. She gave an overview of some of the accomplishments of the churchwide organization over the past year and some of the topics that will be discussed at the Churchwide Assembly in August.  

Bishop Steven Ullestad

Bishop Steven Ullestad preached at the Friday evening worship service about faith in the home, including the blended family of Mary and Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus. “It had to be a home that taught the faith,” Ullestad said.

In his report to the Assembly, Bishop Ullestad talked about change occurring in the church, how leaders are servants of the people, and how disruptive innovations can change organizations and the church. “We need not be afraid because we know of the ultimate disruptive innovation: the pregnancy of Mary, the birth of Jesus,” he said.

Find more photos and posts from the 2019 Synod Assembly on Facebook.



For Such a Time | ELCA Synod Assembly 2019 Video

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares what it means to be called, “For such a time as this,”
in her 2019 message to ELCA Synod Assemblies. 

ELCA Annual Report – 2018 in Review Video

ELCA “2018 Year in Review” video presented at synod assemblies in 2019.




2019 Assembly Resources

Adopted Resolutions

Election Results

Sermon by Bishop Steven Ullestad

Bishop’s Report to Assembly

Churchwide Report by the Rev. Brenda Smith

Slide show from Churchwide Report

Sunday morning sermon by the Rev. Brenda Smith

Friday Daily News

Saturday Daily News

Sunday Daily News



ELCA Annual Report

Download the 27-page “God’s work. Our hands. ELCA 2018 Annual Report.” 


Katie Luther: The Morning Star of Wittenberg

Seminars & Forums

The following learning opportunities were presented during the 2019 Synod Assembly:

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  • Mission Goals for 2020 Budget
  • Review of Compensation Guidelines
  • Strong Women of the Reformation
  • Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action
  • The Five Gifts of Discipleship
  • Stamina for Your Soul: Cultivating Spiritual Practices That Foster Good Health
  • Bishop Election 2020 — What Makes This Election Different?
  • Cultivating Vitality
  • Are You Called to be a Rostered Minister in the ELCA?
  • Stand with Immigrants: Join the AMMPARO Network
  • Women, Politics & Faith
  • Companion Synod — Hungary
  • Namibia: God’s Work in Red Sand
  • Accompaniment 101
  • Disaster Preparedness for Congregations
  • Electronic Giving
  • Recognizing and Manageing Farm Family Stress
  • Home is Church, Too
  • How Can the Racial Justice Advocacy Network Help Your Congregation?
  • What is the Abdelkader Project and How Can You be a Part of It?
  • Lutheran Men in Mission

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.


2019 Assembly Attendance

Voting Members mmm 284
Visitors     46
Total Registered   330

Upcoming Synod Assemblies

June 12-14, 2020
Wartburg College, Waverly

June 11-13, 2021
Luther College, Decorah

Past Synod Assemblies

Read about the 2018 Synod Assembly Read about Past Synod Assemblies