Synod Assembly 2019


Katherine von Bora was a former nun who married Martin Luther and became a mother. 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.

Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly
June 14-16, 2016
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Celebrating Renewal: Katherine von Bora Luther — Faith in the Home

The 2019 Synod Assembly will gather at Wartburg College, Waverly, June 14-16, for business surrounded by word and sacrament with the theme, “Katherine von Bora Luther — Faith in the Home.”  Assembly events begin Friday with communion service and end Sunday with communion service and lunch. Forums, seminars and ministry exhibits are set for Saturday.

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn “Kit” Kleinhans
, Dean, Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, will present the keynote address, “Katie Luther: Reformer’s Wife and Reformer.” A gifted leader in her own right, von Bora Luther helped shape Martin Luther’s thinking about how theology applies to the daily life of ordinary people.

Kleinhans will present two seminars at the assembly: “Strong Women of the Reformation” will share about prominent women from the 16th century who had a significant role in the Reformation; The “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action” seminar will discuss the proposed social statement on women and justice, which will be voted on at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. Kleinhans served as a member of the ELCA Women and Justice Task Force.

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Kleinhans joined Capital University in January 2018 after serving 24 years with the religion faculty of Wartburg College in Waverly. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Valparaiso University, a Master of Divinity from Christ Seminary — Seminex and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and a doctorate in theological studies from Emory University. While at Wartburg, Kleinhans chaired the Department of Religion and Philosophy from 1999 to 2010 and was named the Mike and Marge McCoy Family Distinguished Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission in 2013. Her scholarly work has focused on the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.

The Rev. Brenda Smith, program director for ELCA Faith and Book of Faith, will bring greetings and a report from the churchwide organization.

Smith will also present the seminar “The Five Gifts of Discipleship: A Model for Enhancing Our Faith and Connecting Our Faith With Our Daily Lives” to help participants learn strategies to strengthen their faith journey.

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Smith works with other faith formation leaders to create a culture of discipleship in the ELCA and to coordinate the Book of Faith ministry to help individuals and congregations be more intentional about opening the Bible and having conversations about the transformative power of the word of God. She also convenes the ELCA’s Renewal/Prayer/Revival Team that offers healing and prayer services, Lutheran revivals, and workshops on various topics for congregations, synods and other entities in the ELCA.

Smith previously served as pastor of New Hope Lutheran Church in Jamaica, New York, for 13 years. Before answering God’s call to ministry, Smith was a pediatric nurse and taught pediatric nursing at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.  She received her bachelor’s and master’s in nursing from New York University, New York City, and her Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.

Seminars & Forums

The following discussions and learning opportunities will be presented during the 2019 Synod Assembly:

  • 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





Voting members must be voting members of their congregations.


Congregations are encouraged to elect a youth voting member.


Visitors, both adults and youth, are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Fee categories are non-commuter (meals, housing), commuter (meals, no housing), and visitor (no meals, no housing). Voting members have the opportunity to request the pre-assembly report as a printed or digital copy.

Assembly Registration Information
Voting Member Assembly Registration Form
Visitor Assembly Registration Form


Elections & Resolutions

Voting members will elect synod council and committee members.

Business is presented in resolution form. Resolutions may be submitted to the Resolutions Committee by a voting member of a congregation in the Northeastern Iowa Synod, a congregation, or a conference.

Pre-Assembly Orientation An outline for hosting a pre-assembly orientation.

Parliamentary Procedure Guide An outline to follow parliamentary procedure.

Churchwide Report

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

Past Synod Assemblies

Read about the 2018 Synod Assembly Read about Past Synod Assemblies


Synod Assembly Dates

June 14-16, 2019
Wartburg College, Waverly

June 12-14, 2020
Wartburg College, Waverly