Together, we proclaim and embody God's unconditional love for the sake of the world.

June 1, 2022



Our Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence

As we bear witness to the pain of those who have suffered from the recent episodes of gun violence, including the families of those killed in Uvalde TX this past week, we also give thanks for ministry of so many who provide care and comfort, including Pastor Stephani Shumaker. Pastor Stephani served for two years at First Presbyterian Church in Uvalde prior to her recent ordination and call as Associate Pastor with Atonement Lutheran in Boulder. She returned to Uvalde last week with the blessings of her new congregation in order to assist with trauma recovery. She has been working with children who were at Robb Elementary or in lock down at other nearby schools. Last Friday she shared with Bishop Jim Gonia: today we did chalk prayer in the church parking lot as well as tie ribbons with prayers (a modern day wailing wall) on the fence around our playground.


For those who want to move from prayer to meaningful action in addressing gun violence in our society, consider using the ELCA Resource: A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence

Created in 2019, this resource offers some tangible ways for communities of faith to engage in conversation and action toward the prevention of gun violence as people of God who strive for justice and peace in all the world.

Resources can be found here.

Today We Remember

those who have died by gun violence,

those who have survived gun violence,

those who mourn deaths of family and friends by gun violence.

Aching with sorrow

we grieve this pain and death that surrounds and fills us.

Today we remember

mass killings in places of prayer and ordinary life,

in schools, churches and grocery stores — especially in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo and Laguna Beach.

Rejecting the viciousness

we give ourselves to one another in love and care.

Today we remember deaths and fears of death

rampant in schools, homes, and workplaces.

Listening at last

we rise up to face the horror; we confess ourselves complicit.

Let us pray together.

Forgive, O God, our wrongful action and our inaction.

Forgive our silence and indifference.

Lead us in love, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

May God who is our hope

inscribe our hearts with justice and guide us in the ways of peace. Amen

(Adapted from “Gun Violence Litany” by Rev. Joanne Engquist)

RMS & ELCA news and events

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Step-by-step, our work continues at Messiah Mountain!

Messiah Mountain is being renovated to be our new place of spiritual renewal for adults. It's an amazingly short drive into the foothills, just 8 minutes from C-470 and 285 on the way to Fairplay. Map the location.

Won't you consider helping us out with a generous gift to the RMS Next Faithful Step Campaign? For information about giving a gift, such as a stock transfer (with the tax advantage of giving appreciated stock), contact Tina Kvitek.

Gifts to the Rocky Mountain Synod "Next Faithful Step" campaign are funding this renewal! Learn about the campaign and give a gift here: rmselca.org/next-faithful-step

Give to the Campaign


Assembly videos now online

2022 Synod Assembly

May 9-11, 2022

We gathered together and reveled in the joy of being together for the first time in three years for a live synod assembly! With beating drums and lively marimbas. With poignant stories and passionate sermons. With food and fellowship and fun. We were reminded that we are truly better together as the Rocky Mountain Synod!


  • Adopted the resolution to encourage support for the ELCA World Hunger Fund. View the resolution.
  • Adopted the budget. View the financial packet.
  • Elected people to boards and committees. View election results.
  • Heard stories from those affected by the Boulder County fire and the ministry that continues in two poignant videos. See video links, below.
  • Heard from those who are often without a voice in the church or in the world. (Video will be posted).
  • Experienced presentations on five RMS key ministries/strategies. (Videos will be posted)
  • Received offerings totaling $5454
  • Raised $7000 through the pew flip auction and extravaganza in support of 14 ministries and programs!
  • Enjoyed a lively performance of the Kutandara Marimba Band from Boulder.

Assembly videos:

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Congregations invited to pledge to the RMS Campaign

Having already raised over $1 million to fund the First Step of our campaign, let's journey together into the future and top our Next Faithful Step Campaign goal of $1.57 million through gifts from congregations, foundations, endowments, and individuals!

In order to boldly and effectively continue our vital witness to the gospel as we journey together into the future, the Rocky Mountain Synod Council is investing in four ministry initiatives that form our Next Faithful Step, along with our Racial Justice Tithe.

Watch a video about each initiative
Campaign Information & Resources

$725 scholarship means you pay just $150

Best Skills Best Churches Online Course: Enroll now!


Do you want to have effective discipleship that transforms lives?


3E is partnering with the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation to offer Best Skills Best Churches. This course is offered online. It is a graduate/executive level certificate program designed to advance rostered ministers’ and lay leaders’ knowledge and skills for effective management of congregations and ministries.


View the Best Skills Best Churches Brochure.


Best Skills Best Churches course will cover:

Volunteers in Service

Legal Aspects of Governance

Effective Communication and Handling Conflict

Marketing and Community Presence

Financial Management for Effective Service

Fundraising Aspects of Stewardship.  


Best Skills Best Churches will meet from 6:30 – 9:30 pm (except in December from 5:30 – 8:30 pm) on the following dates. You are allowed only TWO absences. Do not register if you cannot fully commit.

July 12 & 14

August 2 & 4

September 6 & 8

October 4 & 6

November 1 & 3

December 6 & 8


While the cost for each participant is $875, Educate, Equip, Enact (3E) will provide each participant a $725 scholarship so that the total cost for the entire course for you is only $150. Both rostered ministers and lay leaders are eligible for the scholarship. Registration deadline is June 17!


To enroll in Best Skills Best Churches, click the button below. You will then be directed to a Rocky Mountain Synod Tithe.ly link for payment.

For further information, contact Pastor Michael Tassler, 3E Program Director, at mtassler@rmselca.org.

enroll in Best Skills Best Churches


Beginning a Culture of Generosity Now

“Learned so much about stewardship, generosity, inspiring the desire to give, asking, and thanking, thanking, thanking.”

Join Beginning a Culture of Generosity (BCG). This program was curated in response to the pandemic and gives your stewardship team confidence right now while everyone is working through a variety of very real financial stressors.

BCG is a program to help guide congregations and provide the necessary tools to run a successful fall appeal. It is delivered online in six virtual sessions and begins August 20 ending December 3. In this final year of the Lilly Endowment stewardship scholarship grants, 3E is offering free tuition to five congregations that sign up before July 1. Questions, contact Deb Elstad at deb.elstad@gmail.com

BCG Print brochure/mail-in registration (here)

Register online at rmselca.org/3e-bcg-registration-2022

Visit 3E Becoming a Culture of Generosity

September 11 is God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday

We are a church energized by lively engagement in faith and life. As we continue our tradition of service to our neighbor, we remember the words of Martin Luther: “Our faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing.” With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in the name of Jesus Christ.

As you explore opportunities to participate in your community, ELCA.org/DayofService has everything you need to plan and promote your day:

Old Lutheran has T-shirts and other items available for purchase. The deadline for ordering your congregation’s personalized T-shirts is Aug. 19.

Don’t forget to share your congregation’s participation with us! Send stories and photos to LivingLutheran@elca.org so that together we can celebrate what God accomplishes through you. Participate on social media using #GodsWorkOurHands.


Wonderfully Made An RMS High School Summer Experience

Registration deadline is May 31!

With the news of the cancellation of the ELCA Youth Gathering this Summer, many leaders from around the Synod stepped up and said "we need to offer something."

So we are proud and excited to announce that the Rocky Mountain Synod, in partnership with Other + Wise, will be hosting a Summer event for your high school youth! Price is TBD, however, it is sure to be less expensive than the ELCA Youth Gathering, with even further cost savings with the option to sleep on a church floor, or a hotel/Airbnb of your choice!

The large group gatherings will take place at Bethany Lutheran Church, just south of Denver in Cherry Hills Village. Immersion experiences will take place each afternoon. Each group must secure their own transportation as this experience includes travel exploration. More info at MYJ2022 and OTHER+WISE.

For any questions, contact our RMS Faith Formation Coordinator - Kinna Nordstrom Kemp at 303-889-9844 (call/ text) or email misskinna.cyf@gmail.com.

Register NOW for Wonderfully Made!


" We Are All Here"

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”


Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” Yesterday, I read these words as part of the reading for the 7th Sunday of Easter during worship. In the past few days, I kept re-reading these words as I practiced for this reading.

In my role as the Executive Director of the Veteran Servant Corps Project (VSCP), a ministry of the Rocky Mountain Synod, I have been thinking about the phrase “we are all here”, especially in terms of the 18+ Veterans who complete suicide in our nation daily. Raising awareness around this issue is one the VSCP tenets.

Are you and your congregation interested in joining me in conversation around this important issue? Contact me, Vicky Daub, at Director@veteranservantcorps.org.


Are you interested in being part of this “we are all here” initiative by donating? Click the button below to make a donation to the VSCP. Select the General Fund Gift option and enter "Veteran Servant Corps Project" in the note/memo line.

Give to the Veterans Servant Corps Project

If you prefer to mail your donation, send it to the Rocky Mountain Synod, 7375 Samuel Drive, Denver, CO 80221, adding Veteran Servant Corps Project to the note portion of the check.

Here is an interview between Pastor Paula Stecker (Christ the King - Colorado Springs, CO) and Paul Guetter, a member there. The interview starts at 21:55 and ends at 47:05. This is a story about a Pickle Barrel that happened at the end of WWII, when Paul was 5 years old. Great story!

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Lutheran Campus Ministry Regions 1 & 2

Staff Retreat June 26-29

We are excited to be gathering June 26-29 at the Dumas Bay Center in Federal Way, Washington. Staff, please fill out this form to register. Synod folks, encourage the staff in your part of the world to join us for this important and life-giving event!


The cost is only $150 per person for 3 nights in single dorm rooms with catered food and a lovely view of the bay. We'll start Sunday night with dinner and check-in. We'll have time to share about our ministries, experiences, and to have practical conversations about our work within our regional and historical context and we'll make sure we have time for prayer, rest, outdoor and urban exploring.


Lutheran Campus Ministry Network (LuMin) is a network of inclusive faith communities celebrating God’s love and grace on or near the campuses of over 230 colleges and universities across the United States.


Checks or paypal accepted. Checks should be mailed to: LCMNet, c/o Agape San Diego, 6556 Park Ridge Rd, San Diego, CA 92120-3236. To pay online go to paypal.me/LCMNet

Register for the LuMin Region 1 & 2 Staff Retreat

in our prayers

Day of Pentecost

June 5, 2022

Prayer of the Day

God our creator, the resurrection of your Son offers life to all the peoples of earth. By your Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love, empowering our lives for service and our tongues for praise, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

In God's Hands:

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches

05 - 11 June : Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini

Intercessions and Prayers

Join us in daily prayer

Download ELCA Prayer Ventures for daily guides to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world.

ELCA Prayer Ventures

RMS Prayer Cycle

Southeast Conference

Week of June 5

Ascension Lutheran Church

Colorado Springs, CO

Rev. Dan Holt

Rev. Dan Smith

Deacon Mary Stoneback


Christ the King Lutheran Church

Colorado Springs, CO

Rev. Paula Stecker


First Lutheran Church

Colorado Springs, CO

Rev. Carrie Baylis

Rev. Travis Norton


Grace Lutheran Church

Colorado Springs, CO

Rev. Gene Zeller

Ordination & Installation

Juan De Dios Lopez has been called to serve Milagro de la Frontera, El Paso, TX. He will be ordained and installed on Sunday, June 12 at 5 p.m.

Cristo Rey, El Paso, Texas

Color of the Day: Red

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Monthly Prayer Cycle

around the synod



Music of the Vine:

A Spanish Excursion

Friday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m.

at Bethany Lutheran Church

4500 E. Hampden Ave,Denver, CO

Savor 4 Wine & Cheese Samples

Enjoy Flamenco Music by Rene' Heredia

Learn Interesting Insights by Claude Robbins

Share Special Time with Family & Friends


Limited seating. A special date night and/or weekend getaway to Spain in the relaxing atmosphere of a picturesque “Cherry Hills Village” Riviera (without the flight).

Take your senses on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean as we share with you an evening filled with Spanish music, wine, and cheese in a romantic candlelit venue.

Experience the bold, energetic, percussive sounds of Flamenco music with one of the world's foremost solo Flamenco guitarists - René Heredia. During the performance, distinguished wine expert Claude Robbins will pair Spanish wines and cheeses for a spectacular fusion of toque and tannins that will introduce you to Spanish culture!

So sit back, sip on your vino, and be serenaded by Maestro Heredia's virtuosic talents for the perfect date night excursion. 

Reserve your spot early and be rewarded with our Early-Bird prices at $35 a person or $60 per couple. After June 5, tickets go up to $40/$75. Tickets are available at AugustanaArts.org/tickets/a-spanish-excursion.

Event is 21+ only. ID's will be checked at the door at the ushers' discretion for those who look under 30 - bring it with you just in case!

Purchase tickets for A Spanish Excursion

our life together


Feeling overwhelmed?

Join us for learning, conversation, and support

Saturday, June 11 from 9-11:30 a.m.


For more than two years, many people have used the term "overwhelmed’ to describe how they're feeling. We've struggled with a pandemic, including deaths and severe illnesses in our families and communities, social division, economic disruption, and more. There's a clinical word that can be used to describe this feeling: trauma.


Join us as we find paths to understanding what we're coping with, and ways to support one another through these unusual times. The facilitator, Dr. Edward Mooney, an ELCA pastoral ministry candidate in Colorado, is a researcher and educator who has spent years studying the effects of trauma in schools.

Register for Overwhelmed

New Wine Ministry performing Bright Star

Friday, June 17, 7:00pm

Grace Lutheran is hosting the New Wine Ministry youth group from Zion Lutheran Church from Cloquet, Minnesota. They are high school students grades 9-12 from area schools and area churches, with 39 members from 16 different congregations. This is the 31st year of their ministry.

Inspired by a true story, Bright Star features a toe-tapping gospel/bluegrass score by comedian Steve Martin and singer/songwriter Edie Brickell. It tells the heartbreaking yet uplifting saga of literary editor Alice Murphy. When Alice meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past, leading to a transformative moment for both.

The performance is free, no tickets required. A free-will offering will be collected after the performance to help cover their costs of the tour.

The performance will also be zoomed at us02web.zoom.us/j/86014705281?pwd=YVEvTHZrTFl2ZzdhODBZY0Z2Vy9tdz09

Meeting ID: 860 1470 5281 Passcode: 4889083


Leadership Lab at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL

Monday, June 20 through Saturday, June 25

Who: All students 9th grade - Age 22

What?: At Lab students experiment and practice leadership for church and community. Many have an intense transformational faith experience. Students worship as a group two times a day and attend three small group "lab" sessions daily, enjoy meals and free time together. Most learning is small group based and designed to foster both friendship within the group as labbers explore and develop their own faith in Christ.

Cost: $275-$400 Per person (food/lodging/materials)

More info at: leadershiplab.net/about


5 Ways to Green your Congregation

Click on this graphic to download a PDF version that you can print and share with your congregations!

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Getting to know our Synods - Alaska!

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The Alaska Synod office is located in Anchorage at Lutheran Church of Hope, on the ancestral land of the Eklutna Dena’ina People. We acknowledge the care of the ancestors who lived here and who did not cede these lands. Our office is located east of Cook Inlet, north of Turnagin Arm, south of Knik Arm. Campbell Creek, Chester Creek, Crow Creek, Eagle River, Eklutna River, Glacier Creek, Knik River, and Ship Creek form this watershed.

The Alaska Synod is served by Bishop Shelley Wickstrom and Director for Evangelical Mission, Lisa Smith Fiegel and Office Manager Chris Aquino.

Visit them at elcaalaska.net!

office of the bishop this week

Bishop Jim Gonia

  • Interfaith Worship, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Utah Pride Worship
  • Utah Pride Parade


Pastor Dana Peterson

  • innovation-Mission Outreach board
  • Camino de Vida, Albuquerque, NM
  • Albuquerque congregations
  • Congregational Ministries Board


Pastor Diana Linden-Johnson

  • Overwhelmed? Presentation
  • Excellence in Leadership Training
  • Candidacy Conversations & Administration


Peter Severson

  • ELCA State Public Policy Offices monthly call
  • Legislative wrap-up work


Kurt Rager

  • NM First: Food, Hunger, Ag Policy Workgroup


Pastor Kent Mueller

  • Administration & Communication


Tina Kvitek

  • Finance Committee
  • RMS Disaster Response Team
  • Christ Lutheran, Highlands Ranch, CO
Complete Staff Photos and Emails 

employment opportunities


St. Andrew Lutheran - Arvada, CO

Church Administrator

All Saints Lutheran - Aurora, CO

Director of Digital Arts (full-time)

Abiding Hope Lutheran - Littleton, CO

Finance Coordinator

Trinity Lutheran - Fort Collins, Colorado

Director of Youth and Family Ministries

Spirit of Joy Lutheran - Fort Collins, CO


Christ Lutheran - Highlands Ranch, CO

View RMS Employment Opportunities

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Kent Mueller, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration and Communication

Andrew Nakatani, Communications Assistant

Contact Andrew Nakatani or Kent Mueller with questions and comments about eConnection and our website! Submit eConnection items here.

Rocky Mountain Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-733-0750


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