Synodical Women’s Organization




From the President

Welcome to the New Year!

I have never been good at accomplishing resolutions or goals. My personal focus for 2021 is to be healthier by creating healthy habits throughout my day. Instead of going to the fridge/kitchen for a snack, walk the loop in my house. Put the junk mail directly into the trash. Collect my good notes/ideas for when my brain is focusing on the negative. Seek understanding, before jumping to conclusions.

What challenges are you facing this year? How do we as an organization become healthier? How do we shift our focus to encourage one another during these times? Can we try something new or different?

There have been many changes at our Churchwide organization. More changes to the Triennial Gathering may be coming. Please pray for those making these difficult decisions. And “you take care of you”, as we continue to weather this storm together.


— Anna Jetson, President



Synodical Women’s Organization Gathering

June 19, 2021
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Plans are for the annual synodical gathering of Women of the ELCA to take place Saturday, June 19, at Wartburg College in Waverly. Check back for more information and updates as this date gets closer.



Triennial Convention

Aug. 5-8, 2021

Women of the ELCA’s executive board voted to postpone the organization’s convention and gathering until August 2021.

The Eleventh Triennial Convention scheduled for July 14-16, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona, is being rescheduled for August 3-5, 2021. And the 2020 “Just Love” Gathering, scheduled for July 16-19, 2020, is being rescheduled for August 5-8, 2021.

Visit the Triennial Event Page



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.


NEW BOARD MEMBERS: Jen Larson, Lavonne Teem, Diane Wills (outgoing president), Bonnie Dralle, Deb Jacobsen, Jan Harbaugh (vice president), Alice Greimann, Lea Norlinger, Bev Sheridan (treasurer), Anna Jetson (president). (Luann Brunes not pictured)

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.

Read more about 2019 SWO Gatheirng in the July-August issue of Good News.

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.



2018 SWO Convention Recap

Pastor Kevin Doely, Keynote Speaker

Blessed are the Weary
June 2018

Some 116 members and guests attended the 2018 Annual Gathering of the Northeastern Iowa Women of the ELCA at Wartburg College, Waverly, on June 18. Under the theme, “Blessed are the Weary,” it was a day of learning, refreshment, and worship — and catching up with friends.

We opened with the celebration of the Eucharist, with seminarian Sue Cira assisting, Pastor Anita Nuetzman preaching, and Pastor Jane Granzow, celebrant. Our churchwide representative Barbara Tormondsen, from the Metro New York Synod, welcomed and encouraged us with her report.

Read More about the 2018 Convention

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared by the Wartburg catering staff, and everyone had the opportunity to attend two of the six workshops, or browse through the shopping mall and display area.

In the afternoon, we were delighted by the humor and singing of our keynote speaker Pastor Kevin Doely from Faith in Coon Rapids, Minn. Pastor Kevin is a singing ventriloquist, who shared the podium with Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Martin Luther (and others)!

Scholarships were awarded to three recipients: Leah Scholbroch, Trinity, Hawkeye, who is advancing her teaching degree; Angela Sadler, Decorah, Decorah, who is entering the Deaconess program at Valparaiso; and Jill Starrett, who is pursuing a B.A. in nursing.

The new board: front Jane Godson (seated); Diane Wills, President; Nancy Miller; 2nd row: Bev Sheridan, Treasurer; Deb Jacobsen; Bonnie Dralle; Millie Dieter; Lavonne Teem; Anna Jetson, Secretary; Jennifer Larson; Jan Harbaugh, Vice President; Della Benson

Four new board members were elected: Jennifer Larson, First, Decorah; Deb Jacobsen, West Clermont, Clermont; Lavonne Teem, Zion, Oelwein; and Bonnie Dralle, St. James, Alison. Two members were re-elected, Bev Sheridan, Good Shepherd, Decorah, re-elected as Treasurer; and Jan Harbaugh, Trinity, Hawkeye, who moves from a general board position to Vice President.

The offering came to $3,859.50, half of which is going to churchwide, and the other half to the LSI Spiritual Component Challenge. In addition, the in-kind gathering received $100 cash, more than 4,500 bandages, and 886 bars of soap. These will be taken to Minneapolis to the LWR warehouse and the Global Health Ministries warehouse on July 30-31.

Three resolutions were passed: Telling the story of the Women of the ELCA; Support for children and adults suffering from ACE; and Justice for immigrant children. Quite a lot of business for an hour! And–we finished a tad early!

It was a really great day. I hope you will consider joining us next year!

— Jan Harbaugh, Vice President

Read more about the Gathering in the July/August issue of Good News newsletter.

View more photos on our Facebook page.

SWO Gathering Booklet 2018
Women’s Gathering Brochure
Women’s Gathering Poster

Read about the 2017 Convention

Synod Women celebrate renewal at 2017 Convention

“Hungering for Renewal”
June 17, 2017

Some 113 ELCA women attended the 30th annual Synodical Women’s Organization Convention on June 17, at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. The gathering collected $3,932.50 in the offering and three large barrels of personal care items for the northeast Iowa Food Bank.

Highlights included:

  • Opening worship with communion with Pastor Jane Granzow presiding, Pastor Melissa Bills preaching, and Millie Dieter playing piano and leading hymns.
  • Bible study led by Pastor Bills on Psalm 34;8, learning to praise God even in the craziness of life.
  • Vicky Jaeger’s hand and arm massage class was a big draw and very relaxing.
  • A Bible Journaling session showed how to use fun art work, stamping and writing in journals.
  • Pastor Bills led a class on Holy Imagination, getting us to look at scripture in new and unique ways.
  • Pastor Susan Friedrich shared great knowledge and cultural insight about the Young Adults in Global Mission program and her daughter’s work in Madagascar.


Election Results

Officers: Diane Wills, President; Anna Jetson, Secretary
2-Year Board: Della Benson, Nancy Miller, Jane Godson
1-Year Board: Jan Harbaugh
Nominating Committee: Nancy Poppe, Melissa Miller, Vicky Jaeger

Pastor Melissa Bills shared the following poem, “The Question,” at the SWO Convention:

The Question

by Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

One dervish to another, What was your vision of God’s presence?
-I haven’t seen anything.
But for the sake of conversation, I’ll tell you a story. 

God’s presence is there in front of me, a fire on the left, a lovely stream on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, into the fire, another toward the sweet flowing water.
No one knows which are blessed and which not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream.

A head goes under on the water surface, that head pokes out of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it.
Those who love the water of pleasure and make it their devotion are cheated with this reversal.
The trickery goes further.
The voice of the fire tells the truth saying, I am not fire. I am fountainhead.
Come into me and don’t mind the sparks.

If you are a friend of God, fire is your water.
You should wish to have a hundred thousand sets of mothwings, so you could burn them away, one set a night.
The moth sees light and goes into the fire. You should see fire and go toward the light.
Fire is what of God – is world-consuming. Water, world-protecting.
Somehow each gives the appearance of the other.
To these eyes you have now, what looks like water, burns.
What looks like fire is a great relief to be inside. 

Read more about the 2017 Convention in the July/August issue of the Good News newsletter.

Download Convention Program 

Read about the 2016 Convention

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Synodical Women’s Organization celebrated “God’s Gift of Age” at the annual convention June 18 at Wartburg College, Waverly. The convention included workshops, fellowship, business, lunch and celebration.

Some 120 people attended, including seven first timers. Offerings took in just under $5,000 and a van full of paper products. Cash and gift cards totaling more than $200 were designated for the Wings of Refuge organization, which helps victims of human trafficking.


Highlights of the convention included:

  • Taking compassionate action.
  • Outreach locally and beyond.
  • Presentations by Pastor Laura Gentry and her Laughter Yoga program.
  • Vicky Jaeger’s presentation on “When Generations Collide” (packed the room and glowing comments!).
  • Retrieving Freedom puppies.
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa program on transitioning youth.
  • Joy Fopma and Pastor Anderson’s forum on Human Trafficking

Election Results:

  • Four Triennial voting members: Syd Brinkman, Nancy Poppe, Nancy Miller and Cindy Pogge.
  • Three new board members: Millie Dieter, Jane Godson, and Angela Sadler.
  • New treasurer, Bev Sheridan.
  • Re-elected board member Jane Granzow.
  • Re-elected vice president Cindy Pogge.

Educational Scholarship Winners

  • Kelli Hanken from Zion Lutheran in Castalia.
  • Katie Schwartz from Faith Lutheran in Shell Rock.

Overall, it was a great day!!

— Diane Wills
Northeastern Iowa SWO President

Download presentations by Vicky Jaeger:
When Generations Collide
Chair Aerobics Workout 



Katie’s Fund Renewal

Katie’s Fund is an endowment that supports ministry in three areas: leadership development, global connections, and living theology. Last fall, the churchwide Women of the ELCA Board approved The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund with a goal of tripling it from its current total of about $1.5 million to $4.5 million by July 2020.

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.


Women and Justice Task Force

Learn about the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ and share your comments as the task force leads the process to develop a social statement on women and justice.

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 in the News

Called and Chosen

March 2018

Pages 14-19 of the March 2018 issue of Living Lutheran magazine feature women of color in rostered ministry, celebrating Women’s History month.

See Article


Women of the ELCA learn, serve and grow in faith together

February 2018

Check out the feature story about the Women of the ELCA of this synod in the the February 2018 issue of the Northeastern Iowa’s Synod’s Star newsletter. 

See Article


Sewing for Mission

October 2017

The October 2017 issue of Living Lutheran magazine features an article about how the sewing group from Trinity Lutheran of Hawkeye, Iowa, is giving unused canvas bags earmarked for a landfill new life in mission for the church.

See Article



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.

View News from the Triennial. 
View more photos from the Triennial.
Visit the Triennial web page.
List of Hymns from the Triennial’s Closing Worship Service




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.  

Human Trafficking/Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE’s Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or report tips online.

More Resources

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 Forma, Iowa Falls

“Lives for Sale” film documentary

Braking Traffik — organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking in the Quad City area of Iowa and Illinois. Cathy O’Keefe, director, or 319-912-1966.

“Any Kid, Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories” — a film featuring three Iowa women who are survivors of human trafficking telling their stories, the Braking Traffik website.

“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

Find more human trafficking resources listed in Good News, the newsletter of the Northeastern Iowa Synodical Women’s Organization:
January 2015
March 2015
September 2015

“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)





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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.


Find us on Facebook

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

March 13   SWO Board Meeting, 9 a.m.-12 noon, Zoom 
May 1   SWO Board Meeting, 9 a.m.-12 noon, Wartburg College
June 18   SWO Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m., Wartburg College
June 19   SWO Gathering , Wartburg College
Aug. 2-5   Triennial Convention, Phoenix
Aug. 5-8   Triennial Gathering, Phoenix


2019-2020 Board Members

Anna Jetson, President

Alice Griemann, Vice President

JoAnn Brunsvold, Secretary

Beverly Sheridan, Treasurer

Diane Wills, Newsletter Editor

Luann Brunes

Bonnie Dralle

Deb Jacobsen

Jennifer Larson

Lea Norlinger

Lavonne Teem


SWO Board Goals

    • Invite all Northeastern Iowa Synod rostered women and women seminarians to our 2019 SWO Gathering.
    • Encourage each congregation or unit to send a representative to the 2019 SWO Gathering.
    • Promote churchwide three-year fundraising plans to restore Katie’s Fund Endowment.
    • Continue two-minute purposeful renewal time at each meeting.
    • Promote the work of LWR — quilts, kits, etc. and sponsor a trip to LWR and Global Health Ministries warehouses in Minneapolis for the summer of 2018.
    • Continue “renewal time” of two minutes at each meeting.


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 pg 1


Lord’s prayer pg 2


Lords prayer pg 3


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






Form_A sm

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.

Stewardship in an All-Anew Way
PowerPoint Presentation


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.