August 25, 2021 + A Reconciling in Christ synod
Together we proclaim and embody God's unconditional love for the sake of the world.

Farewell and gratitude to Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan has served for four years as our Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation and Candidacy. She has infused us with a passion for ministry as she accompanied candidates on their journey to become a pastor or deacon. She has cared deeply about young people who are discovering who Jesus is as they are being formed in faith. She has set before us a vision of grace and justice for who we can be as the people of God. We will miss her. As she has relocated in Wisconsin, we say farewell with our blessings and with our gratitude.
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains welcomes gifts towards Afghan refugee resettlement

The United States has begun evacuating thousands of Afghans who worked for the US government ahead of the August 31 deadline for the end of operations in Afghanistan as part of Operation Allies Refuge.

It is estimated that about 2,500 of the evacuees will be allowed to travel directly to the US while more than 20,000 will be flown to third countries or to overseas US military bases pending background checks for visas.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains will be working closely with Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service (LIRS) to begin helping these people resettle into our communities.

Right now, LFSRM is welcoming monetary donations rather than collecting donations of items.

Excellence in Leadership is an opportunity meant for you, whoever you are. So many opportunities we hear about are reserved for those with certain skills, certain degrees, certain positions. Excellence in Leadership is not one of those things. The tools, resources, and practices which are taught and engaged with during this two-year journey are helpful for many people in many walks of life.

You can go through it as a rostered person. You can go through it as an unrostered person. You can go through it at age 18. You can go through it at age 88. You can go through it as an individual, or you can join with others in your congregation or context and go through as a group. You can attend online. You can attend in person. Truly, this program is built for all.

Listen to the Rev. Margot Wright's experience of Excellence in Leadership:
Excellence in Leadership really is for YOU. Come with us on a journey of courage, resilience, and faithfulness. You may just find it is exactly what you are looking for.

There is still limited space available in all three cohorts, but classes begin soon. Register today!

Financial grants are available.
For more information, contact Dana Anderson

Opportunity for rostered minister campaign gifts to be matched up to $100,000!

Rostered Minister Campaign Zoom
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
9:45am – "Prelude" music
10:00am to 11:15am – RMS Event Zoom with Bishop Jim
We are calling on you to share YOUR five loaves and two fish and see them multiplied before your very eyes! Bring your spirit of being better together! And bring your enthusiasm for the church we are becoming! Deadline to register is August 26.
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
"Countless hours of passionate hope"
Anchor House is dedicated in Broomfield, CO, as a mission and ministry of Lutheran Church of Hope

Pastor Scott McAnally of Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO, said that the Anchor House project took "hundreds of workers, thousands of dollars invested, yards of thread and fabric, gallons of paint, and countless hours of passionate hope" over the one-year of construction period.

And it took an amazing weaving together of various agencies, organizations, and ministries for this place to come to be, where foster youth who have been emancipated can safely live, learn, and grow. The dream was born in 2016 with conversations first about affordable housing. But a need was then identified for housing geared specifically toward former foster youth.

At the dedication celebration last week, Bishop Jim Gonia joined with Governor Jared Polis to give thanks for Lutheran Church of Hope's vision: to use their vacant property for mission.

“I am so grateful for this amazing project," Bishop Gonia said. "And it is my fervent hope and prayer that this will indeed be the anchor that grounds the folks that come to call this home, so that they can be launched into a new life where the possibilities are indeed endless."

Worship resources for “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday
On Sunday, Sept. 12, ELCA congregations will come together for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, a dedicated day of service. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors — even if these acts of service take place from our homes, outdoors or from a safe distance because of ongoing pandemic concerns. As you explore opportunities to participate, visit for planning resources including a tool kit, videos, posters, social media graphics and a special hymn for the day.

Prayers, hymn suggestions and considerations for preaching for use on this Sunday are available in PDF and Word formats.

Custom graphics, posters and postcards to promote your day of service are available here! Join together in word and song with a worship resource and special hymn.

The Lutheran Center, home of the office of the bishop, has some projects to accomplish that could be excellent for a "God's Work. Our Hands" group. Contact Tina Kvitek if you would like to volunteer.
RMS & ELCA News and Events
Rocky Mountain Synod
"Finding a Way"
Little America, Cheyenne, WY + September 20-23, 2021

In-Person - Proof of Full Vaccination Required

The 2021 Theological Conference will focus on creatively navigating current challenges in ministry. How can we become more resilient in our lives and ministry? Rev. Dr. Jason Whitehead, an ICF trained coach, therapist, pastor, and educator, will help guide us in our work together.

If you are a coach, spiritual director, or you are interested in coaching/spiritual direction, come early on Monday, September 20 for a day with Rev. Dr. Jason Whitehead (10am-2pm - lunch will be provided). This event is FREE thanks to a grant from 3E! 

Morning Movement Note - Walk/Bike/Run oh my! will be offered throughout the conference, if you wish to participate please be sure to pack or bring the necessary gear!

Registration deadline is September 1.
Cost is Single $660, Double $475, Commuter $275.
Single and Double includes three nights lodging and meals.
This year we are adding the convenience of paying by credit card for all registrants.
Dear Colleagues,

After careful consideration, it has been determined that it remains important to meet in-person for Theological Conference this year. In order to facilitate an in-person gathering and keep one-another and our ministries as safe as possible, we are requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination upon arrival. We also ask that you begin to track daily temperatures two weeks prior to the event, and expect a rapid-test upon arrival.

During the conference, we will form a “village.” We will ask you to be vigilant about maintaining our “village” during the event, i.e. there will not be a “dinner on your own” this year; we will meet together, eat together, and celebrate all kinds of together!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these protocols or those being used at the venue, please contact me at

Deacon Sarah Bjornebo
RMS Director of Events
Getting Ready for the ELCA Youth Gathering 2022
Information Session Zoom calls on:
Thursday, September 9 at 10:00 a.m.
This week, the ELCA Youth Gathering Team hosted its official kick-off event. That video can be viewed here:

And we are excited to start thinking about traveling to Minneapolis next summer! Bryan Jaster is serving as our synod coordinator for this gathering cycle, and we are hosting some monthly events to help adult leaders and youth ministry professionals be as prepared as possible.
Join us on ZOOM for important information sessions on Aug 12 and Sep 9! The webinars will be recorded. For more information contact: or
3E Stewardship programs
- Registration is open through August
There's a stewardship program for every congregation in 2021!
How can we address stewardship amid the continuing challenges of COVID-19?
Generosity doesn’t take a break in a pandemic. In 2020, 3E had 57 congregations and 254 ministers and lay leaders engaged in active Rocky Mountain Synod 3E stewardship programs. In nearly every congregation we polled after their 2020 appeals, they reported increases in giving, either in the number of people giving statements of intent or in their donations. The pandemic doesn’t take away our commitment to God’s love in the world or our investment in ministry – it increases it!  Like best long-term efforts, it’s a journey. And 3E is here to support your work building a culture of generosity.
Register for Beginning a Culture of Generosity for six Zoom one-hour sessions with accompanying materials to plan your fall appeal. Sessions begin August 14 and end December 4. The $150 cost per congregation is $150. If you joined BCG last year, please join us again at no cost. Everyone still needs to register.
For congregations that participated in Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS) in any past cohort, sign up for the SAS Refresher. There is no cost for this program and we encourage congregations to include old and new stewardship and congregational leaders.
Register for SAS Refresher six one-hour Zoom sessions beginning August 7 and ending January 11. Topics for individual sessions include: spirituality of fundraising, governance, volunteerism and gratitude.
Questions? Visit or or contact Deb Elstad, 3E Associate Director of Stewardship at:
Fall 2021 Session: September 8-October 22
FAB's 6-week Fall Session begins on September 8 and will include both an in-person course and virtual courses! Registration is now open. Courses will explore subjects such as the history of the U.S. through the lens of baseball, an exploration of how the holidays we celebrate today were driven by historical forces, a look at the work of Vincent van Gogh and his influences, rock art in the ancient world, and more! Join us for these stimulating courses. 50+ are welcome, please share with your friends and family! Virtual courses are $35 each, and the In-Person course is $50.

For more information about Fifty and Better, see flyer here, and visit:, and join our contact list to receive updates as they are announced.
Veteran Servant Corps Project (VSCP) Calendar of Events
September 12, 2021, 9:30 a. m. - Adult Education Forum at First Lutheran in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the Fireside Room. Vicky Daub (VSCP Executive Director) will be teaching.

September 26, 2021, 9:00 a. m. - Vicky Daub (VSCP Executive Director) will be preaching at Shepherd of the Hills, Canon City, Colorado. The service starts at 9:00 a.m.

November 12, 2021 7:00 p.m. - Bethany Lutheran in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado will be hosting a Veterans Appreciation Concert in their sanctuary. This concert will be free, and will be offered both live at Bethany, or via livestream at

April 22-24, 2022 - VSCP first Veterans Couples retreat at Rainbow Trail Lutheran camp. This retreat is free for any/all Veteran couples. Interested in participating? Contact Vicky Daub at

Have Veterans events at your church/community that you would like to publicize? Send all pertinent information to Vicky Daub at

Want Vicky or another VSCP Board Member to visit your church/community? You guessed it! Contact Vicky Daub at
For Your Bulletin
Around the Synod
40th Ordination Anniversary Celebration
with a Vocal Recital!
for Rev. Dr. Darlene Bowden Muschett in Dillon, CO
On Sunday, Sept 12, the Rev. Dr. Darlene Bowden Muschett, by the grace and love of Jesus Christ, will celebrate 40 years of ordained ministry at Lord of the Mountains in Dillon, CO. Immediately following the 9am worship, she and her husband, Doug, will offer a vocal recital as a fundraiser for Doctors to the World. Dr. C. Lewis Perrinjaquet (aka Doc PJ), a 25 year participate in this ministry, will speak during the service. After the recital, light refreshments will be shared outdoors. All are welcome!
Our Life Together
Telling the Story in a Digital Age – Registration Open!
and online event, September 18, 9:00am - 3:30pm MT
We have been in the midst of a digital transition since the end of last century, but sometimes it's hard to see the water when you're swimming in it.
Jesus gives us a helpful yet unexpected parable –– as Luke tells it, not only is it extremely inadvisable to sew new garments onto old ones, it's similarly treacherous to pour new wine into old wineskins. This has implications for us who are living through this Great Transition, a bitter medicine reminding us that the new will leave out some of the old, as often happens.
But then Jesus ends the parable with a sharp left turn: "And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says 'The old is good.'" There is still much of the 'old' we can take with us into this new digital reality, as well. We need to consider both the new wine and the old wineskins, both of which have worth and meaning when it comes to how we communicate digitally.

COST: $15
For more information and to register for this Christian Church in the Southwest virtual gathering, go to
Interim Ministry Training Using a Group Coaching Model
First and Third Thursdays of each month from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Beginning Thursday, September 2, 2021
This Interim Ministry Training is based in the real-time real life work of an Intentional Interim Pastor. It will use a “coach-approach,” which believes that the participants are “creative, resourceful, and whole,” and is directed by a trained coach.

Three-quarters of participants’ time together will center around the process and issues facing the participants, with the remainder assigned to the mastery of knowledge essential to providing successful interim pastoral leadership. Participants will meet for one hour twice monthly over six months.

This training was initially designed by Fresh Thinking Coaching and Consulting and has been developed in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Synod Office of the Bishop. The cost for the program is $585. To learn more and to register, please go to:
Resource Corner
Care-Filled Worship and Sacramental Life in a Lingering Pandemic
A revised ecumenical guide includes a chart of ‘benchmarks for in-person gatherings,’ distinguishing between worship in outdoor and indoor settings
An ecumenical group of theologians, scientists, physicians, pastors, bishops, and practitioners from United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, Episcopal, Pan-Methodist, Presbyterian, American Baptist, and Roman Catholic traditions, among others, have gathered online in an extended consultation throughout the pandemic.

They have brought to this consultation their areas of expertise and they have sought consensus on recommendations for worship, fellowship, and sacramental practices for our Churches in this pandemic.

Employment Opportunities
Seeking applicants for Administrative Assistant for Leadership

Our interim staff person, Kim Berry, will be concluding our work with us in September. Thus, we are seeking applicants for our full time Administrative Assistant for Leadership position. Please post this announcement in your congregation newsletters and bulletins and share with those you know with the skills and passion for this position:

To apply send a resume and cover letter to Kent Mueller by email. Priority applicants are invited prior to September 2.

Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Jim Gonia
  • Vacation Time

Pastor Dana Peterson
  • ELCA Christian Community and Leadership Home Area
  • Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge, CO
  • Westview, Boulder, CO
  • Innovation-Mission Outreach Board

Kurt Rager
  • NM Food/Hunger Budget Mtg

Peter Severson
  • Sabbatical
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Excellence in Leadership Admin
  • Transitions Work

Pastor Kent Mueller
  • RMS Campaign - Rostered Ministers Event
  • RMS Administration

Tina Kvitek
  • RMS Finance Committee
  • Donor Meetings
  • RMS Campaign - Rostered Ministers Event
  • Lutheran Center

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Wind-down and Farewell
Quick Links
Share the News
Kent Mueller, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration and Communication
Andrew Nakatani, Communications Assistant
Feel free to contact Andrew Nakatani, Communications Assistant, with your questions and comments about eConnection and our website!

Rocky Mountain Synod 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-733-0750