November 24, 2021 + A Reconciling in Christ synod
Together we proclaim and embody God's unconditional love for the sake of the world.

"And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name."

1 Chronicles 29:13
With prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving for all who share in our ministry together throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod

Bishop Jim Gonia
and the Office of the Bishop staff
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Young Adults in Global Mission
Applications open for the 2022-2023 Program Year
After a two-year pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Young Adults in Global Mission - ELCA program is preparing to send volunteers out into the world again! Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 program year. To find out more or apply, visit

The Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) application priority deadline is January 15, 2022 with a general deadline of February 1, 2022.

Questions? Check out for more information!
An invitation to support ELCA Disability Ministries
Greetings! My name is Rev. Lisa Heffernan, and on June 1, I began serving as coordinator for ELCA Disability Ministries. I work remotely out of South Dakota, where I am also serving as a part-time interim pastor with a congregation. I began serving on the ELCA Disability Ministries advisory team about four and a half years ago, and I am thankful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve in this new role. As a person with a disability (spina bifida), this ministry is especially close to my heart and I’m excited for where God is leading us in 2022 and beyond.

RMS & ELCA News and Events
2022 Synod Assembly in El Paso
April 28-30, 2022
vaccines required to attend
Begin planning now for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly which will take place in El Paso, TX.

Begins Thursday, April 28 at 4 p.m.
Concludes Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m.

The assembly will feature all-day immersion experiences on Friday, April 29. Those who will be traveling into Mexico must have a valid passport. Check your passport expiration date, and start that process ASAP if you need an update.

Registration cost per person for voting members will be $300 which covers meals/breaks and all program costs.

Hotel in El Paso will be $129 per night. Questions? Contact Deacon Sarah Bjornebo.
Become a leader!
A Galactic-themed Journey of Discovery
For young people who love science fiction and pop culture but struggle to talk about God and the Bible, the new, interactive “Called to Lead” guide offers young people a starting place for discussion of their inner selves, their vocation and their call to lead.  Download Now

The “Called to Lead” spiritual gifts interactive activity was first offered at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. Participants traveled to a distant galaxy where they identified their specific leadership gifts and abilities. Then they were sent to planets that offered them specialized training — so they could become the best protectors of the universe they could be!

“Called to Lead” has been adapted into a set of downloadable resources that can be used in person or online. The materials include a five-part Bible study guide as well as instructions and supplies for leading the spiritual gifts interactive activity in a variety of contexts. These resources were designed for middle school and high school youth, but they can be adapted for use with young adults.
Veteran Servant Corps Project - Calendar of Events
  • 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

Visit the RMS website for more info about this ministry!

Share the new Veterans Servant Corps Project brochure! Get it here.
Have Veterans events at your church/community that you would like to publicize; want Vicky or another VSCP board member to visit your church/community? Contact Vicky Daub at
Messiah Mountain Retreat Center is getting ready for renovations and improvements
Because of the generous gifts already given to the Rocky Mountain Synod "Next Faithful Step" Campaign, Messiah Mountain Retreat Center will be undergoing renovations to make it more inviting and hospitable! The first big job will be to remove ceiling tiles in the kitchen and remove the drop ceiling in the gathering area in preparation for a new ceiling. Painting the walls and installing new flooring throughout the Lodge will complete the project, along with new furniture.

Messiah Mountain Retreat Center is a new outdoor ministry site for the Rocky Mountain Synod. The 27-acre property was given to the synod as a gift from Messiah Community Church, ELCA, last year.

Watch for opportunities to volunteer your time and expertise as we get ready to kick off this exiting project! Get a glimpse of Messiah Mountain in the video below.
Grateful Youth Gathering
Sunday, November 28, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Colorado, Texas, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming and all synod friends! Join in on Zoom as we gather and connect 8th-high school youth from all over our synod! Gather your youth together or invite people join from wherever they are!

  • Songs & devotion by Rainbow Trail staff
  • Large group games
  • Small group breakouts to build community
  • Info and energy toward the ELCA Youth Gathering Next Summer

For Your Bulletin
November 28, 2021
First Sunday of Advent
Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection alert us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and redeem us for your life of justice, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

In God's Hands:
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
28 November - 04 December : Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore - 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.
Week of November 21

Ecumenical Partners
Colorado Council of Churches
Denver, CO
Adrian Miller

Ecumenical Partners
New Mexico Council of Churches
Susan Quass

Ecumenical Partners
Wyoming Interfaith Network

Our apologies if anyone is inadvertently not included on the the list this week. Our roster record-keeping is in the process of being reviewed after an extended period of staff transition. Please send an email to with corrections.

Deacons and Pastors On Leave from Call or Disability Leave

Linda Bobbitt
Brenda Fleagle
Jennifer Lavie
Erin Power
Kristen Saathoff

Matthew Barnhouse
Christopher Berry
Nathan Blom
Richard Brenton
Daniel Carlson
R. Daren Erisman
Nicole Garcia
Karen Gibson
Rick Green
Teri Hermsmeyer
Phil Kettering
Robert Kippley
Karen Matuska
Sonja Pancoast
Stacy Payne
Todd Payne
Kate Schlechter
Elena Liliana Stahlberg
Courtney Steitz
Scott Thalacker
Around the Synod

- Old Time Radio Christmas Plays -
A Fibber McGee and Molly Comedy
“Fibber Paints a Christmas Tree White”
A Dragnet Drama
“The Big Little Jesus”
Sunday, December 12 at 1:00 p.m.
You're invited! The Advent Radio Players will be presenting A Fibber McGee and Molly Comedy, "Fibber Paints a Christmas Tree White" and A Dragnet Drama, "The Big Little Jesus." Each play will be performed using the original scripts and sounds just as they were broadcast on the air in 1945 and 1953 using several microphones and including lighted applause and on the air signs.

These fabulous plays will be performed live at Advent Lutheran Church, 7979 Meade St, Westminster, CO 80030 and will also stream online at

Our Life Together
Colorado Gives Day is an annual day of giving to non-profit organizations all across Colorado. Whether you live in Colorado or not, you can donate to many of our RMS ministry organizations on Tuesday, December 7. Each donation helps organizations receive additional funds from Community First Foundation through a bonus sum that's divided among all participating organizations at the end of the day. You can even pre-schedule your CO Gives Day gift NOW so you won't forget to donate!
For more information, visit
For more information, visit:
Urban Servant Corps Alumni
Intentional Gift Giving
Each Wednesday in Advent 12 at 12:30pm MST
After a year of service, Urban Servant Corps alumni journey into their next faithful step in becoming community leaders, teachers, pastors, parents, authors, yoga instructors and more!

December 1 - Irene Sun
Irene is surrounded by the love and energy of her four boys whom she teaches at home.
She is the author of the picture books God Counts: Numbers in His Word and His World and Taste and See: All About God's Goodness (2022). 
After her year of service at USC, she studied liturgy and literature at Yale University (MAR) and the Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (ThM). She is married to her pastor. Hans and Irene serve and belong to Pittsburgh Chinese Church.

Meeting ID: 860 2866 5432
Passcode: 654714

  • December 8—Ellie Roscher, author of "12 Tiny Things: Simple Ways to Live a More Intentional Life" and "How Coffee Saved My Life"
  • December 15—Rachel Bass Guennewig, Daily Bread Yoga — All Together Now
  • December 22—USC volunteers and their service sites

PRIZES!!! Each session will include a drawing to win a book by Ellie or Irene or yoga session with Rachel!
Pilgrimage In Place
Offering of Gratitude
November 26-28, 2021
New Mexico Pilgrimage for Unity is in transition along with the rest of the world. 

In 2020 we shifted from an annual physical pilgrimage of three days and 50 miles to three pilgrimages-in-place, designed and executed by individuals independently.  One year later, we notice a new rhythm forming:

  • a one-day pilgrimage on Pentecost;
  • a three-day pilgrimage in September (this was our established pilgrimage to Chimayo);
  •  and a week-long individual pilgrimage-in-place for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January.

Each pilgrimage-in-place begins and ends with a time of communal engagement via Zoom, with resources available for encouragement in between.
​Get more info here
A one-hour free webinar
“Addiction & The Science of Gratitude"
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, 11:00AM - 12 Noon Central Time
Current research on addiction and recovery reveals important facts about the important of gratitude. The roots of gratitude are found in the world's great religions but in recent decades psychologists have been studying the emotional benefits of gratitude. In even more recent years, social scientists have been studying the impact of gratitude on addiction recovery. In her talk Dr Amy Krentzman will discuss six prominent ideas from psychology that explain how gratitude supports addiction recovery. She will also discuss recommendations for a daily gratitude practice that come from her research
Resource Corner
ReconcilingWorks Sunday
"Made in God's Image: God's Boundless Diversity"
January 30, 2022
In case you missed the announcement last week, the 2022 Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Sunday Worship Resource is HERE!

This year, Made in God's Image: God's Boundless Diversity is the theme for RIC Sunday 2022. In a preview of the upcoming Youth Gathering in Minneapolis, MN, July of 2022, this worship resource is centered in the spirit of youth and the voices of our young people, centered on and created for LGBTQIA+ and ally youth! The passion for the work of advocacy grounds the RIC Sunday worship in ways which the church is invited into a time of service and action, pledging ourselves to be advocates for our LGBTQIA+ siblings, as well as all siblings of God's diverse Kin-dom. We focus this RIC Sunday asking the question, "In understanding the ways in which we all are Made in God's Image, how can we learn to care and advocate for one another so we can best see God's Boundless Diversity of creation?"

Learn more and download resources at
Employment Opportunities
Denver Health invites applications for the position of Staff Chaplain in metro Denver, Colorado. The staff chaplain functions as a Spiritual Care Specialist in assessing for, providing and administering clinical interfaith spiritual care to patients, family, and staff of Denver Health who are in spiritual and/or emotional distress in the midst of trauma, stress, crisis, illness and/or medical treatment.
For more information and application instructions, click here.
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Jim Gonia
  • Staff Conversations
  • Vacation & Holiday

Pastor Dana Peterson
  • Global Mission Team
  • ELCA Christian Community and Leadership Team
  • Region 2 DEMs
  • St. Paul, Denver, CO

Kurt Rager
  • Invest in Kids Now Coalition
  • NM First: Food/Hunger/Ag Policy
Peter Severson
  • Vacation

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Excellence in Leadership Admin
  • Transitions Work

Pastor Kent Mueller
  • RMS Campaign
  • Vacation

Tina Kvitek
  • Excellence in Leadership Campaign
  • Vacation
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 with any 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