Synodical Women’s Organization




From the President

Synodical Women’s Organization Gathering

We did it!

Thank you to St. Paul’s Lutheran in Waverly for allowing us to use their beautiful church for our Gathering on June 19. Thank you for attending in person and virtually, without you there would not be a Women of the ELCA Synodical Women’s Organization in Northeastern Iowa. 

I want to encourage you to start gathering and planning your events again with your local groups. Some groups may have been gathering via Zoom, which is great! I love the convenience of Zoom; however, I have yet to figure out how to hug via zoom. 😊 Not that we are all huggers, but there are little things I miss when we are not present in each other’s company.

I know at least one cluster has a fall event on the calendar for September. I would like to encourage each cluster to consider doing an event this fall. Please feel free to use the technology that we have been learning how to use together, to include those who for a variety of reasons are not ready to be gathering in person. But most of all, keep being Women of the ELCA!


— Anna Jetson, President


Synodical Women’s Organization Gathering

June 2021 

The annual synodical gathering of Women of the ELCA took place June 19 at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Waverly and online via Zoom for those who chose not to attend in person.

“Just Love” Theme
This year’s theme centered around “Just Love — Following Jesus is messy. Loving one another is justice. We are not perfect. We are one body in Christ.”

Bishop Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl led Bible Study and Pastor Kyle Barton, Chaplain for Lutheran Services in Iowa, preached and shared about his new call at LSI. The business portion of the meeting included reports and voting for officers, board members and resolutions.

Scenes from the 2021 SWO Gathering


A Virtual Update from your SWO Board


Join the LSI Spiritual Life Challenge!

The Northeastern Iowa Women of the ELCA Synodical Board has accepted the Spiritual Life Challenge from Lutheran Services in Iowa to raise $5,000 in the next year.

The last time LSI asked for our help, we were able to raise more than $7,000 in less than a year! So we are asking for your help again. 

Here is how the numbers break down:  

Based on 144 congregations in our synod (even though there are not that many “active” groups), that would mean only $35 per congregation. Of course, your church or you personally could choose to give more, and this would be above and beyond any regular giving to LSI. If you choose to give, please label your gift “Spiritual Life Challenge” in the memo line. 

Please see the letter from LSI for more information on how this money will be used. Help us support these children in their spiritual growth!


Triennial Gathering Rescheduled

Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering postponed until 2023

The Just Love Gathering, scheduled for Aug. 5-8, 2021, has been postponed, and registration refunds will be offered. Plans are for the Twelfth Triennial Convention and a Gathering to be held in Phoenix, Ari., during the week of September 18, 2023.

Staff are looking for other ways to build community and bring women together virtually in 2021 and 2022.

Read more at the Triennial Event Page





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As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society and the world.


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NE IA Women of the ELCA 
A place for Women of the ELCA, especially in the Northeastern Iowa Synod, to share their stories.


2021 Events

Aug. 2-5   Triennial Convention
Oct. 16   Ingathering, Clusters CEH, Trinity, New Hampton, 8-11 a.m.
Oct. 18   Ingathering, Cluster G, Southport Mall, Mason City, 8:30-10:30 a.m., 
Nov. 6    Ingathering, Clusters BDI, Olson’s Explosives, Decorah, 7:30-10:30 a.m.
PLEASE NOTE: Any congregation may use any Ingathering site. We encourage you to use the one most convenient for your church. For more information, please send an email to Lea Norlinger.

LWR Contact Person

Lea Norlinger, SWO board member, has volunteered to serve as the contact and general information person for Lutheran World Relief. Lea will assist with getting information out about LWR ingatherings and sharing information about LWR needs. She will publish periodic reports in the “Good News” and will also send emails to every church in our synod.


If you would like to be on Lea’s email list or if you have information to share about Ingatherings, please send Lea an email.


Neighbors in crisis need your love


The essential items in a Personal Care Kit – including soap and towels – are needed more than ever to help protect vulnerable families from COVID-19.


Go to to get all the information and resources you need for your congregation’s Personal Care Kit drive.


2019 SWO Convention Recap


“I will give them a new heart, and put a new spirit within them.” — Ez 11:19

Some 112 people attended the 2019 gathering of the Northeastern Iowa Women of the ELCA at Wartburg College, Waverly, on June 22. The theme, “A-New Bold” emphasized new and creative ways to be Women of the ELCA.

Special guest Mary Jo Mettler preached and hosted three sessions about her experiences with the Phoebe and Curran Hospital Solar projects. Topics covered during other learning sessions included immigration, service, cultivating vitality in congregations, Katie Luther and Katie’s Fund, child welfare and programming, and relaxation.

Two busy sessions gave people an opportunity to roll bandages for Global Health Ministries to help hospitals and clinics around the world or to write advocacy cards for the AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy Representation and Opportunities) Network.




Read More about the 2019 Convention

Convention business included the election of a new president — Anna Jetson of Highland, Decorah, who has been serving as secretary. New board members are Lea Norlinger, Trinity, Mason City: Luann Brunes, St. Olaf, Belmond; and Alice Greimann, Zion-St. John, Sheffield. Bev Sheridan will remain as treasurer and Jan Harbaugh will continue to serve as vice president. No secretary has been named yet. Departing board members are Diane Wills, who served as president, Jane Godson, Della Benson, and Nancy Miller.

The following members were elected to serve as delegates at the 2020 WELCA Convention: Syd Brinkman (alt.), Diane Wills, Jen Larson (alt.), Andrea Wrage, Christine Schmitt, Nancy Poppe, Cindy Pogge, Bev Sheridan, Anna Jetson, Nancy Miller (alt.).

The offering at the gathering collected $3,039, which will be distributed to the WELCA churchwide organization (50%), Katie’s Fund (25%) and the Northeastern Iowa Synod AMMPARO Network (25%). In-kind gifts included 20 boxes of personal care suplies for LSI/Bremwood and 20 boxes of rolled bandages for Global Health Ministries.

Educational scholarships went to Emma Grinde, St. Petri, Story City, on ordination track at Wartburg; Sidney Groen, St. James, Allison, in the nursing program at Grandview; Lauren Trewin, Zion-St. John, Sheffield, beginning her studies in business and accounting at Wartbur College this fall.

The convention adopted eight resolutions.

View more photos on the NE IA Women of the ELCA Facebook page. 



Women tour LWR Warehouse

July 2018
Minneapolis, Minn.

Some 32 women from the Northeastern Iowa Synodical Women’s Organization and two pastors traveled to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to visit the Lutheran World Relief warehouse, Global Ministries Warehouse, and Mary’s Place. The consensus was that everyone who works to support these ministries should take the time to visit and see what happens with all of our donations, kits and quilts.

View more photos on our Facebook page.



Katie’s Fund Renewal

Generous support of Katie’s Fund, through regular gifts and through The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund, make a difference n women’s lives.

Read More —
Tripling our life-changing ministry through Katie’s Fund (pdf)
Katie’s Fund Web Page



Connect to the Larger Church

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Women of the ELCA

Our Mission — Mobilizing women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Deaconess Community

Women who have answered a call to serve the church and the world in ministries of mercy and servant leadership.

Faithful Friends

Friends of Women of the ELCA who provide consistent, sustaining support for our many ministries.
Faithful Friends Giving Form

Give with a Smile

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a percentage of what you spend at Amazon to the churchwide women’s organization when you shop with AmazonSmile and desigate Women of the ELCA as your charity.



Women enjoy the Tenth Triennial Gathering

“All Anew”
July 2018

More than 3300 women attended the 2017 Triennial in Minneapolis. The Northeastern Iowa Synod was well represented with more than 60 women attending. Women from all three synods from Iowa had an opportunity to meet one anther.

The Women of the ELCA gather from across the church every three years to attend life-changing workshops, worship together, share Bible study and more. This year’s theme was “All Anew.” The event featured inspiring speakers, preachers and workshop leaders who brought the theme to life. bring the Gathering themes to life. These were opportunities to learn and grow in faith through servant events, and the National Lutheran Choir gave a concert.

Below are some photos featuring women of the Northeastern Iowa Synod Women’s Organization. Also find a list of the hymns used during the Triennial’s closing worship service.

Read more about the 2017 Triennial in the September issue of the Good News newsletter.



Human Trafficking Resources

The Women of the ELCA made a commitment at the 2014 Triennial Convention to promote awareness of worldwide human trafficking, bullying, harassment and related violence, and to work at preventing it through prayer, ministry and political action. The Northeastern Iowa Synodical Women’s Organization has begun reviewing resources that can help us inform, educate and mobilize the women in our units. These resources include speakers, websites, programs, and more that can be used within your units or congregations.

To report something suspicious:
Call the Human Trafficking Resource Center, 888-373-7888.
This number is answered 24 hours a day by trained officials nationwide.  

At the 2017 Synodical Women’s Convention the following resolution was passed asking the Northeastern Iowa Women of the ELCA  to download the app, Traffickcam, to use as a tool to help law enforcement identify hotel rooms used as backgrounds shown in pornographic photos. All you need to do is take pictures of hotel rooms where you have stayed and send using this app. The app gives directions on how to use this important tool to help law enforcement identify places used for human trafficking.  

Polaris Project — an organization fighting to eradicate modern day slavery.

Ralpha House — Joplin, Missouri, 417-621-0373. Speakers available for expenses only.

Central Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking Teresa Downing, Cedar Rapids

Wings of Refuge — Joy Fopma, Ames

“A Path Appears” a three-part PBS documentary film series. Episode 1: Sex Trafficking in the USA; Episode 2: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty; Episode 3: Violence and Solutions. Discussion guide is available.

Courtney’s House — survivors helping survivors

“Making Iowa Inhospitable to Traffickersfrom the Northeastern Iowa Synod’s “God’s Work, Our Blog.”

“Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking” — from the Northeastern Iowa Synod’s Making a Difference publication (Fall/Winter 2015) 

SWO Board Goals 2020-2021

    • Continue to promote fund raising for the Women of the ELCA. Promote gift giving to Women of the ELCA.
    • Continue one to two minutes for purposeful renewal time at each meeting.
    • Encourage and promote the June 2021 Synodical Women’s Organization Gathering.
    • Invite all Northeastern Iowa rostered women and women seminarians to our 2021 SWO gathering.


The Lord’s Prayer Skit

Here is a skit about the Lord’sPrayer that can be used in congregation or cluster meetings.


Lord’s Prayer Skit


Tell Your Quilting Story


Download this bulletin insert and personalize it about your quilting group to share about what your quilters have accomplished and what kind of support they need to continue. 



Donate Bandage Rolls

Looking for a hands-on mission project? Consider making and donating rolled bandages to help mission hospitals and clinics around the world.

Download flier.

Read more >




Stewardship Resources




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Offering Transmittal Form A — Units use this form to submit regular offerings and synodical convention offerings to the synodical treasurer. Download the form, fill it in, and make a copy for your files before mailing.


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Offering Transmittal Form B — Units use this form to submit Thankofferings, designated gifts, special offerings and gifts to the churchwide women’s organization.



Women of the ELCA Resources

The Women of the ELCA website has a number of resources available for free download.


Lutheran World Relief Shipping Form
Include this completed form with items that are to be shipped to LWR.

Sign up for the monthly e-newsletter Bold Connections, which features the latest news and information about Women of the ELCA programs and activities.

Sign up for Cafe, an online magazine for young adult women.

Visit for more resources.