2021 Synod Assembly


New Bishop Elected

Kevin T. Jones elected bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod

Congratulations to the Rev. Kevin T. Jones, Mason City, who has been elected to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place June 12 during the online Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly.

Jones was elected on the fifth ballot, with 168 votes. The Rev. Stacey Nalean-Carlson, pastor of Glenwood and Canoe Ridge Lutheran Churches, Decorah, received 118 votes.

The bishop-elect has served as pastor to Youth, Families and Education for Trinity Lutheran, Mason City, since 2014. Prior to that, Jones served as pastor for Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Marion, from 2001-2014 and as pastor to Blair Lutheran Churches, Blair, Wis., from 1993-2001. 

A graduate of Dubuque Senior High School, Dubuque, Jones received his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in 1986 and his Master of Divinity degree from  Luther Northwestern Seminary, St Paul, Minn., in 1993. Jones currently serves as chair of the Northeastern Iowa Synod Candidacy Committee, is a member of the synod’s Consultation Committee, and is vice president of the Ewalu Camp & Retreat Center Board of Directors.

Jones will take office Sept. 1. His installation is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Trinity Lutheran, Mason City, and online.


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Bishop Installation

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
2 p.m.


The installation of the new Bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod will take place 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City and will be livestreamed on the synod Facebook page. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will be present to install the new bishop. Watch for more details to come.

Assembly Resources

  • Pre-Assembly Reports — Reports from Northeastern Iowa Synod networks, committees and partner ministries.

Assembly Worship Service Video

An expanded version of the synod assembly worship service is available for congregations to use in their worship services, if they wish. The service features Bishop Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl preaching and special music. 


The video, sermon transcript and order of service can be downloaded from the synod’s Sermon Video Library


The video can also be viewed through the Northeastern Iowa Synod YouTube Channel.


Bishops Forum Video

Recorded April 27, 2021, in a live forum.
Three retired bishops share their insights on the leadership qualities needed for a bishop.


The Northeastern Iowa Synod uses an ecclesiastical ballot for the election of the Bishop. At the Assembly, voting members will submit the name of an eligible minister of Word and Sacrament of the ELCA. The first ballot is considered a nominating ballot, and everyone who receives a vote is listed on the second ballot, except for those who withdraw. The number of nominees decreases on subsequent ballots until one nominee receives the required majority of votes. (See box.)


The Synod Assembly offering is a vital funding source for synod ministries designated by the Northeastern Iowa Synod Council. This year’s offering will support these ministries:


FUND FOR LEADERS — provides scholarships for seminarians from the Northeastern Iowa Synod. Scholarships totaling $89,982 were given to nine seminary students in 2020.


COMPANION SYNOD TRAVEL FUND — helps cover travel expenses for guests from companion synods in Hungary and Namibia to visit the Northeastern Iowa Synod. 


BISHOP CRISIS FUND — used at the discretion of the Bishop to directly aid individuals and families within the synod territory in times of need. Aid may include providing food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance, moving or transportation expenses, or other assistance.



Gifts to the Assembly offering can be made online through the donate button below or by sending a check to: Northeastern Iowa Synod, 201 20th St. SW, P.O. Box 804 Waverly, IA 50677-0804. 





The Synod Assembly will include designated time to honor the milestone anniversaries from 2020 of women being ordained in the ELCA:

  • 50th anniversary of U.S. Lutheran churches’ decision to ordain women
  • 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first women of color
  • 10th anniversary of the ELCA’s decision to officially ordain people in same-gender committed relationships.


This video features women who are rostered ministers of Word and Sacrament from the Northeastern Iowa Synod to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women.

Men who are rostered ministers of Word and Sacrament from the Northeastern Iowa share a message of support for their women colleagues, to celebrate 50 years of faith ministry alongside one another.

Letter of Support for Female Rostered Ministers — 
Nearly 60 male pastors from the Northeastern Iowa Synod signed this letter of support for the care and concern for their female rostered colleagues and to celebrate 50 years of ministry alongside one another.


Read about Past Synod Assemblies