the HEART of BBQ

Feeding Hungry Bodies & Souls


The Fund for the Future is an endowed fund to help first call seminarians in the Western Iowa Synod service their educational debts.

Seminary debt makes it hard for first call pastors to take a call in smaller parishes. Even with parsonages, salaries are stretched to pay for the normal everyday expenses and are stretched even further when the first call pastor has school debt to service.

The Heart of BBQ Challenge is one way your congregation can help grow the Fund for the Future. The contest will give congregational teams the chance to see who has the best ribs in the synod. The contest will follow rules similar to Kansas City Barbecue Society rules. Each competition team will submit three samples of ribs consisting of three bones per sample. All three submissions can be the same, or the team can create three entries with different flavor profiles.

Entries will be judged by a panel of judges consisting of both certified judges and “celebrity” judges. There will be three competition prizes and a chance to be “the People’s Choice.” The People’s Choice will be determined by the team that raises the most money for the Fund. We suggest that teams accept donations from those sampling their product. The team with the most donations (however they are obtained) will be named “People’s Choice.”

Each team will be provided with three racks of ribs to cook for the contest. Turn-in boxes also will be supplied. Teams will provide their own smokers or grills, fuel, cooking supplies, utensils, rubs and sauces.

The contest entry fee is $200 per team, which serves as a donation to the Fund for the Future as well as covering the cost of the meat. In addition to the contest meat, teams will also receive two water bottles and two T-shirts for the team. Additional bottles and T-shirts can be purchased.

Gates will open for competitors at 6 a.m. on contest day. Spectators can enter at 2:00. Tickets for spectators are $15 per person or $30 per household (two people over the age of 18 and all under that age.) Ticket holders get a water bottle and a smoked pork meal with sides.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three entries. In addition, the congregation with the first prize entry will be a visit from Bishop Halaas for a Sunday Worship as guest preacher. Second prize will be a $50 scholarship in the winning congregation’s name for a Western Iowa Synod seminary student. Third prize will be a $25 gift card to give to a Western Iowa Synod first call pastor of the congregation’s choosing. People’s Choice earns a year’s worth of bragging rights.

As an added feature, the challenge will also include a Pie/Dessert Auction. Congregations can donate pies and/or desserts for this event. The donating congregation with the pie or dessert bringing the highest bid will receive a trophy and be recognized in the Synod Newsletter.

To enter the Heart of BBQ Challenge, fill out an online entry form and follow the instructions for send your entry fee to the Synod office. For more information, e-mail Pastor Chip Borgstadt at or Mitch McCartney at

Western Iowa Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Read about the Western Iowa Synod’s Heart of BBQ Challenge here.


The rules of the Heart of BBQ Challenge may be downloaded here.

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Western Iowa Synod

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