Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 2013

Thank you to all of the readers of this blog. Begun in 2006, it has now run it's course and no longer will be added to. Watch for future news and posts.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Our Redeemer Lutheran in Cedar Falls


Why do men stay away from Church?

How can the Church help men?

Why do so many Men’s groups fail?

What is Biblical Masculinity?

How can we encourage men to assume Christ-like leadership in the congregation and the home?

The Rev. Dr. Gary Zieroth, Senior Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Chaska, MN will answer these and many other questions at an upcoming “Men’s Retreat” in the District. This one day conference will be held at Our Redeemer Lutheran in Cedar Falls on Saturday, November 9 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Pastor Zieroth will present materials similar to what he provided at the IDE Fall Pastors’ Conference in 2010. Pastors who found that information helpful will now have the opportunity to put this information into the hands, heads, and hearts of the men in their congregations.

Pastor Zieroth said about this conference, “In this retreat we will examine modern male leadership trends as we take a closer look at 3 Biblical figures - Adam, David, and Peter. In this section we look at the responsibilities God has given to men, and what a life lived under the cross means."

Pastors and laymen are encouraged to register. This Retreat would be excellent for Boards of Elders, Men’s Club leaders, Men’s Bible Study groups, or any man who would like to grow in his understanding of the significance of maleness in the Church of Jesus Christ. If 2 or more men register from a congregation, your pastor’s registration will be free! Bring your pastor with you!

Registration forms are available online at Simply click on the Men’s Retreat button and you will find registration information. Registration forms will also be available in the Professional Packet of the District in September and October.

The cost of the conference is $10. This will include refreshments, materials, and lunch.

The Schedule of the conference will be:
8:00 – Registration/Coffee
8:30 – Matins – District President Rev. Brian Saunders
9:00 – Session 1 Why do Men Stay Away from Church? The typical congregation in the U.S. draws an adult crowd that is 61% female and 39% male. As many as 90% of the boys being raised in the church today will abandon it by their 20th birthday. Many will never return. Of the world’s major religions, only western Christianity has a consistent nagging shortage of male practitioners. Why? This sessions examines these questions further and helps to answer the question of why modern Christianity seems to be driving men away from the church.
10:00 – Questions/Answers/Discussion
10:15 – Break
10:30 – Session 2 This will be a continuation of the 1st Session. During this session Pastor Zieroth will also discuss Biblical Masculinity and the relationship between men and women.
11:30 – Questions/Answers/Discussion
11:45 – Lunch
12:30 – Session 3 How Has the Church Been Identified with Femininity? Before the year 1200 A.D., men and women played an equal role (participation) in the life of the Church. Before this time, the relationship of the sexes showed no signs of imbalance. This session examines 3 trends that developed in the medieval Church that began to drive men away, and, how Martin Luther tried to bring men back.
1:15 – Questions/Answers/Discussion
1:30 – Break
1:45 – Session 4 In this final session Pastor Zieroth will draw some conclusions and provide guidance for congregational leaders as they answer the question, “How can the Church help men?”
2:30 – Questions/Answers/Discussion
3:00 – Vespers – Pastor Michael Knox

Rev. Dean Rothchild, Assistant To The District President

The Certainty of What You Are Receiving!

You may have joined the crowd which does much of its shopping online. A click here and a click there, a few numbers from a credit card, expiration date, and hit the buy button and you have made the purchase. Shortly after that in a day or two the items begin showing up. We have experienced that this summer as our youngest daughter was united in marriage and she had the presents which people bought on line shipped to our home.

After seeing how well that system worked my wife bought gifts online for the other three weddings we attended this summer. And we also know that those gifts were received as we got thank you notes from the bride and groom. It is truly amazing how that whole system works!

When it comes to the Divine Service we can be certain of the gifts which we are receiving. As we are assembled in the name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He begins to generously bestow His gifts upon us as we are gathered as beggars who are ready to receive.

We know that after we confess our sins we are going to receive the forgiveness of sins bestowed upon us through the words of Holy Absolution spoken by our Pastor. What a blessing that is. Through those words, Christ takes what He earned through His suffering and death and places it upon us. What the beggar needs to receive is given and bestowed in those words of Absolution.

The sermon should be a concrete place where the Holy Gospel is proclaimed along with the Law. While we hope the sermon would always hit in the middle of the bulls eye, splattering and splintering us with the bloody cross of Christ Jesus, sometimes it might miss. The Law must first kill me so that the Holy Gospel can resurrect me. I thank God for the good and faithful preachers we have serving here in Iowa District East.

In the Holy Supper I know for certain what I am receiving: forgiveness of sins. Jesus is both the Gift and the Giver in this Holy Meal. He gives us His own body and blood, in, with and under, the bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins. That is so vital because I might have drifted off during the sermon or got distracted by a child and did not hear it preached. In this meal there is certainty. Jesus gives that which He says: His own body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. That is a meal of certainty. It reminds me of the certain words of I John 5:11-13, “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Rev. Brian Saunders, District President

President's Piece for Peace

The 65th convention of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has convened, concurred, and concluded. Over 1500 men and women attended as delegates, advisors, district officials and synod leaders to carry out the business of the church. When that many people gather together from all over the country under Robert's Rules of Order it can be a bit chaotic as well as contentious.

However, that was not what I observed at this convention. This was the gathering of the Church and I was very impressed by the churchmanship displayed by all in attendance. The elections were conducted with a convincing voice as to who this church body desires to lead us for the next three years. Matthew C. Harrison was re-elected as president and Herb Mueller granted another term as 1st vice president. This year there were five regional vice presidents elected. Our region, the Great Lakes, receives Dr. John Wohlrabe as VP. In the East it is Dr. Robert Kuhn, the West VP is Dr. Scott Murray, while the Great Plains welcomes Pastor Nabil Nour, and the Central region VP is Rev. Daniel Preus. All of these men are faithful to the Word of God and honor the Confessions of the Church. Their heartfelt desire is to feed the souls of God's children and move the LCMS out into our communities that the Word of God may seek and save those who have yet to know who Jesus is. The three-fold theme of this convention was Witness-Mercy-and Life Together.

The resolutions that were presented to the assembly were discussed on the floor with great respect for each other. Particular words were parsed so that there was great clarity as to what was being proposed. The highlight of the convention resolutions was the ratification of Fellowship with three Lutheran church bodies around the world. Brothers and Sisters in Siberia, Liberia, and Togo have joined our fellowship in the Lutheran Confessions. We rejoiced over this marvelous work of the Holy Spirit.

The worship was Christ centered and the sermons were faithful to the Word. Essays were presented that clearly proclaimed what the mission of the church is and where it is to be done. No one in attendance could have left the convention without realizing we are who we are by the Grace of God. We are the Body of Christ united in Him with a view toward one another that reflects love and consideration. Together we take heed as to the needs of our neighbor and meet their needs with quickened feet and capable hands.

What I observed was a church body that is growing in the Word and therefore growing together. Unity and harmony are gifts of God and not beyond the scope of His beloved children. I was impressed with what I observed and hopeful from what I experienced. I am very optimistic about the future and direction that our dear LCMS can and will go. In the hands of Christ or Lord, exhibited in the true and trustworthy Confessions of the Church, blessings are in abundance for us all. God bless His Church.

Brian Saunders, IDE President

St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Van Horne

Picture # 1
An extra special wedding day in Van Horne!
Organist Ev Wiebke had an extra special wedding ceremony at St. Andrew on June 14, 2013. Ev played at the wedding of Adam and Rebecca Duffy (pictured on the left). Ev also had played at the wedding of Adam's parents, Lisa and John Duffy (pictured on the right).

Picture # 2
The youth of St. Andrew, Van Horne spent a joyous afternoon on July 2, entertaining and playing music for the residents of the Vinton Lutheran Home.

Pictured are, back row (L to R); Desiree Kerkman, Gracie Jergens, Madison Knight, Hannah Williams, Ben Parmenter. Front row (L to R); Andrew Kerkman, Justice Kerkman, Dillon Kerkman, Matthew Parmenter.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Latimer

Pastor Marvin and Mary Lorenz were honored on their retirement from the ministry at St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Latimer. Pastor delivered his farewell sermon on Sunday, July 28 and the worship service was followed by a potluck dinner and shop program. The Lorenz's were presented with a memory quilt planned and stitched by members of the LWML society. Pastor and Mary are shown in the picture holding up the quilt. At the May LWML meeting Pastor and Mary were honored with a housewarming shower. They received many gifts to be used in their newly built home.



Another wonderful summer has come and gone at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca. Campers have enjoyed outdoor fun, made lasting friendships, and learned God’s Word under the theme Clothed With Christ.

In their short time here, campers learned about two kinds of clothes. The clothes we wear say something about who we are, what we’re doing, and where we’ve been. Campers learned about humanity’s very first clothes. Those first clothes of Adam and Eve have a lot to say about who each of us is and what we need. We all have inherited these clothes of sin. We need our sins to be covered by our Savior. In Jesus, God clothes himself in humanity to conquer sin.

God clothes us in the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Baptism, we know our sins are washed away and that we have been made children of God. Our once sinful clothes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb. God no longer sees our sins. He sees us Clothed With Christ!



Hundreds of people flocked out to Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca on July 13 to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Many of Camp’s activities were available for guests to enjoy throughout the day and much of the Camp’s history was on display for guests to view. A celebration service was led by Pastor Andrew Gray of St. John, Marengo and IDE President Brian Saunders preached. The 50th Anniversary celebration was held in conjunction with Camp’s annual Summerfest Quilt Auction. The Summerfest auction and anniversary celebration raised over $11,000 for Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marshalltown

On Tuesday, July 30th, members of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marshalltown had a joyful opportunity to serve our Lord and His children at the House of Compassion. Member Karen Frohwein is the Director and was pleased to have help preparing and serving supper for around 80 people in need. Those who struggle with homelessness, poverty, family crises, addiction, and disability can come to the House of Compassion to receive hygiene products, free meals, medical assistance, and an overnight emergency shelter.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Immanuel Lutheran Church in Charlotte

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Charlotte Anniversary Celebration

"140 Years in the Lord's House"
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Divine Service at 10:00am
Meal and Anniversary Program following the service.

All are welcome to join us in giving thanks for the abundant blessings God has given to this congregation. There is no cost for the meal. There will be a free will donation.

We ask that all visitors please speak to Pastor Dodgers before coming to the altar for Holy Communion. Thank you.

Immanuel Lutheran Church in Charlotte

Pastor Anthony Dodgers will be celebrating his one year anniversary here at Immanuel, he was installed on August 12, 2012. He was raised in Rockford, Michigan and he graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2011. He was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry on July
15,2012 at his home congregation, St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Rockford, MI.

Immanuel in Charlotte is celebrating its 140th Anniversary this year, Pastor Dodgers is busy helping plan a special Sunday Service, a noon meal and program for September 22,2013.

Confirmation was held on Palm Sunday and Pastor is pictured with the two young people that were Confirmed, they are Jacob Madsen and Kelsey Camp.

Davenport Lutheran Home

My Feature Volunteer for Reflections

Christi Johnson has been volunteering at our Lutheran Home for over 8 years. She comes in every Friday to help with BINGO and has developed friendships with several residents over the years, by visiting with them one-to-one on a weekly basis. Christi enjoyed the work she did as a CNA years ago before becoming a stay-at-home mom. When her daughter started high school, Christi started volunteering. She says she finds working with the elderly very rewarding. Christi is also very active in her church.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marshalltown

The ordination and installation of Alexander Post at Redeemer Lutheran Church Marshalltown on July 14 4:00pm. Meal and refreshments followed.

Back row from left to right:
David Brandt, Sam Beltz, Nick Huelsman, Andrew Gray, Kent Peck, Max Mons, Anthony Dodgers,

Middle Row from left to right:
Mike Maddick, John Moore, Joel Picard, Andy Wright, Andy Richard,
Front Row from left to right:
John Block, Fred Berry, Alex Post, Brian Saunders, Paul Nus, Dave Klinge

Davenport Lutheran Home

Up, up and away! We kicked off National Nursing Home Week at the Lutheran Home with a celebratory balloon launch.Monday, May 13 was a beautiful sunny day for the residents and staff of Davenport Lutheran Home to gather outside and watch as 165 red, white and blue balloons drifted off into the clear, blue sky. It was the perfect way to kick off a week-long, fun-filled celebration of all those who live and work in nursing homes such as ours across the United States. And, each of those 165 balloons contained a note that said, “National Nursing Home Week, Davenport Lutheran Home, Please Call”. Late the next day we received a call from Victor Luna of Ardmore, AL who said that his son had found the balloon in their yard that morning. Residents and staff were amazed to hear that, in approximately 24 hours, one of our balloons had traveled nearly 650 miles! Special thanks to Activity Director, Liz Jansen , Activity Aide, Rhonda Felton and to Dietary Manager, Rob Brown and all his staff for planning and facilitating all the fun!

Pictures: Volunteer, Orville Stout helps distribute the balloons for the launch. Elfrieda Flath tightly grasps two balloons, waiting to let them fly!

Davenport Lutheran Home

In Sickness and in Health 

by Becky Jones
Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator
Davenport Lutheran Home

World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is September. So to acknowledge this, I interviewed the spouse of one of our residents living with Alzheimer’s disease.

How did things have to change with your daily lives when your husband first started exhibiting symptoms?

“When Jim was first diagnosed his symptoms were pretty minor, but then it was like the symptoms exploded overnight and he was a different person. As the disease progressed, for example, Jim didn’t care much about his yard or his flowers; though they had been his pride and joy. Before the onset of Alzheimer’s, Jim would cook dinner for us, until the day I came home and found a pan on fire. He didn’t even remember putting it on the stove. I started taking knobs off the stove so he wouldn’t be tempted to cook anymore. It was at that point I realized how bad the disease was getting. As time went on he started having troubles walking and was no longer able to bathe himself. I started bathing and dressing him in the morning before I went to work”.

When I asked Lori what kind of assistance she received from family, friends and the community, she recounts the frustrating experience of trying to make sure that Jim was safe and well-cared for at home, trying to manage paying for these services and trying not to lose her job through it all. She was overwhelmed with worry and feelings of guilt. Thankfully, Lori says, she was able to take some time off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act and with the help of Generations Area Agency on Aging; Jim was able to spend three days a week in a local adult day care center. But Lori works an hour away from home, so even with these programs in place; she still had to rely on friends, neighbors and family, to coordinate Jim’s days.

What did you do, to help you cope with all of this? When and how did you decide it was time to find another place for Jim to live?

“Honestly, I cried a lot and prayed a lot that God would give me the strength to see Jim through this illness and that God would guide me to know when the right time was for me to put Jim in a nursing home. That was one of the hardest things I had to do, but I had to do it for Jim’s safety and for my sanity. I was terribly stressed out and I was getting to the point where I couldn’t control my emotions.”

I toured Jim and Lori, when Pastor Larson first brought them to our Lutheran Home about 18 months ago. I see Lori nearly every night coming to have dinner with her husband. She puts fresh flowers at his place at the table. Jim has a great smile and he won’t hesitate to flash it when I greet him. But when his wife is sitting next to him, his smile is bigger, brighter. Lori visits with the other residents at the table. She asks about them when one is absent. She has become attached to several of them. I think, in a way, it’s like Lori lives here too.

Jim has been with us for just over a year now. Does having him at the Lutheran Home help to relieve some of your worry?

“Yes, it does. Having Jim here has been good for both of us. I still worry, but not as much. I worry about the progression of the disease and about the quality of his life. I have asked Jim on numerous occasions if he is happy here and if they are treating him right. His answer is yes to both. As long as he keeps smiling; I know he is happy and content. That is really all we can ask for when we have to put a loved one in a nursing home. My life revolves around visiting Jim at the Lutheran Home, especially during mealtimes; I am here almost every night for him, to make sure he eats and drink well. I guess I take my wedding vows to heart; for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”

Getting to know Jim and Lori Lakey is the closest I have ever been to Alzheimer’s Disease. I know that it effects every individual differently and in Jim’s case, it progressed very quickly. Through Lori I have become acquainted with the person Jim used to be and I think at times, I see glimpses of the man she met thirty years ago. I have been amazed by Lori’s ability to manage this loss with such grace and perseverance. And, I am thankful that God answered her prayers by guiding them to our Lutheran Home.

Rev. Clarke Frederick

Rev. Clarke Frederick celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his Ordination at an Open House at his home in Mason City on Sunday, July 28th. Friends and parishioners from his past churches came from several states to help him celebrate. His last parish was Trinity at Vinton, where he retired last year. He has been substituting at various churches around the Mason City area. We all thank him for his service for our Lord and wish him the best.

St. Paul's Chapel in Iowa City

Although Iowa City slows down in the summer, the International Student Ministry at St. Paul’s Lutheran Chapel does not. We have been busy with weekly conversation and knitting classes. Our special events have been a huge success! We had over 20 people attend our class “Learn to Make Your Own Ice Cream.” Our trip to the Johnson County Fair was a unique opportunity to see farm animals up close. The tractor pull was a first time experience for both the internationals and the natives! The rest of the summer will be busy as we plan many new events and classes for the fall.

If you are interested in helping our ministry, we are currently looking for volunteers at all levels of time commitment. Teach a cooking class, converse with a partner, lead a conversation group, host an event, or simply sign up to pray for our ministry with monthly email reminders. For more information contact ISM Director Megan Starrett or (319) 337-3652 today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton

VBS 2013

"Put On The Full Armor of God" was the theme of this years Vacation Bible School at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton held in June. Pastor John Preus put together the Bible stories and verses based Ephesians 6:10-17 that formed the basis of our program. The craft ladies designed costume pieces for each day to go with the theme for each participant.
Day 1 - Belt of Truth
Day 2 - Breast Plate of Righteousness with the Luther Rose
Day 3 - Shield of Faith
Day 4 - Sandals of the Gospel of Peace
Day 5 - Helmet of Salvation

Each child received a Sword of the Spirit to complete their costumes at Thursday nights dinner and program. Pictures were taken of everyone in full costume on Friday. A wonderful week was had by all - teachers, helpers and students!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Concordia Seminary Visit


September 16-20, 2013

You are invited to meet with Rev. Michael Redeker, Admissions Officer at Concordia Seminary, to discuss preparation for the pastoral ministry and deaconess studies. Below you will find the itinerary for the visits to your area. Please call Rev. Redeker at 314-505-7225 or email him at for an appointment.*

Monday, September 16
Faith Lutheran
910 E Mapleleaf Drive
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641
319-385-8427 10:00am-1:00pm

Our Savior Lutheran
3775 Middle Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722
563-332-5141 4:30-7:30pm

Tuesday, September 17
Zion Lutheran
201 1st Avenue
Hiawatha, IA 52233
319-393-2013 9:00-10:30am

Our Redeemer Lutheran
2145 John F. Kennedy Road
Dubuque, IA 52002
563-588-1247 12:30-2:00pm

Tuesday, September 17 (cont.)
Christ Lutheran
234 S. Hackett Road
Waterloo, IA 50701
319-233-7052 5:00-7:30pm

*While specific appointments are strongly encouraged by calling Rev. Castens he is also very happy to meet with you without a prior appointment.

IDE LLL 2013 Convention

Rev. Dr. Paul L. Maier coming to Hiawatha in September

Christianity is founded on real places, real times and real events.  So says Rev. Dr. Paul Maier who recently addressed nearly 500 people at Concordia University Chicago.  You too have a chance to hear this national known historian and Christian apologist.  

The Rev. Dr. Maier will be the guest speaker at the Lutheran Laymen’s League convention on Saturday, September 28, at Zion Lutheran Church, 201 First Ave., Hiawatha, IA 52233.  Dr. Maier, son of the first Lutheran Hour speaker, is professor emeritus of Western Michigan University and has authored numerous books and articles about the life and times of Jesus Christ.  He will speak on the following two topics:  Jesus – Legend or Lord? which gives fresh information about  Jesus from ancient sources beyond the Bible, and Christianity and the Competition that compares the credentials of the Christian faith with other world religions.   Everyone is invited to register and attend.

Doors open at 9:00 A.M., convention starts at 10:00 A.M.  and concludes at about 4:00 P.M.   Rev. Dr. Maier will be speaking both in the morning and the afternoon.  Registration fee includes a two-meat dinner and morning and afternoon snacks.  Please register your attendance by September 21st so we can be sure to have enough food and seating.  Please contact Dick Hoelz for reservations by mail, phone or e-mail. 

Dick Hoelz, 3519 Heatheridge Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, phone (319) 363-1214, e-mail

Yes, we will be attending the Saturday, September 28, 2013 LLL convention.
Registration fee is $25 per person and includes a noon meal, and morning and afternoon snacks.
Name(s) ______________________________________
Address __________________________________________________________________________

Make checks payable to: IDE LLL  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

St. John Lutheran Church at Fairbank

Jordon Cowell, Rev. Roy Berquist, Delaney Mohlis Confirmed at St John Lutheran Church on May 19.