Your e-newsletter from the Rocky Mountain Synod
A Reconciling in Christ synod
Discovering Islam: An Interfaith and Full Communion endeavor
As part of our commitment to inter-religious relationships, the ELCA established the Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Muslim Relations. Members of this panel are appointed by the presiding bishop of the ELCA in order to enhance awareness and understanding of Muslims and Islam, and to provide consultation on Lutheran-Muslim relations in this church. The Consultative Panel developed "Talking Points: Topics in Christian-Muslim Relations" in order to foster Lutherans’ sensitivity to Christian-Muslim relationships both in North America and globally.

In 2012, Discover Islam – USA partnered with the ELCA and other full-communion partners to offer a free 6 part documentary series. The Consultative Panel, in partnership with  A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago , developed a  study guide  for use with the series, authored by Carol Schersten LaHurd. The guide seeks to provide an interpretive framework, exploring how we, as Christians, might best approach and better understand each of the topics covered in the series.

The office of the Bishop has 4 copies of the series that can be lent out, or order your own free copy.
eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Lutheran Campus Ministry National Gathering
Students from campus ministry in Greeley, Fort Collins, and Boulder spent their New Year's in a (very) chilly Chicago with Lutheran Campus Ministry students from around the country for worship, conversation, and decision-making. We are Christ's Church, Better Together!

RMS-ELCA News and Events
Office of the Bishop Eucharist, Wednesday, January 10
Our monthly Eucharist will be held at the Lutheran Center on Wednesday, January 10 at 11:15 a.m.

This worship will be in conjunction with a Region 2 Deacon Gathering. Come learn about the Word & Service Roster from our RMS Deacons and Deacons serving in the four other synods of Region 2.
Annual Report Resources
Annual Report Resources are now available for download on the Rocky Mountain Synod website. The RMS Insert and Where does my offering go poster can also be used as bulletin and newsletter inserts if your annual report is at another time!



To order report covers and posters from the ELCA resource center visit: http://resources.elca.org/Products-Stewardship.html.
2018 Synod Assembly: For the Life of the World
May 3-5, 2018
Westin Hotel, Westminster, CO

Registration Opens February 1! Additional information will be posted on the RMS website in the next 2 weeks- stay tuned!

Download Important Voting Member information and share with your potential voting members and visitors!

For Your Bulletin
Installation

Laura Stephenson
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, January 31, 7:00 p.m.
Color of the Day: Green
RMS Prayer Cycle

 JANUARY 2018:
METRO WEST CONFERENCE

Week of January 7

Advent - Westminster, CO
Barb Martens

All Saints - Austin, CO
Paul Rosin

American - Grand Junction, CO
Paul Carlson (Interim)

First - Gypsum, CO
Dan Tisdel

Glory of God - Wheat Ridge, CO
Emily Cardin 
In God's Hands: The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
At the very heart of the ecumenical movement is the reality of prayer. Jesus prayed that we may all be one, united in God in the mystery of the Trinity. That is the basis and the goal of our search for unity. The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle enables us to journey in prayer through every region of the world and through every week of the year affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing diverse problems and sharing diverse gifts.

We invite you to include the countries listed in the ecumenical prayer cycle to your prayers during worship ( link here ).
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. 
Sunday, January 7
Baptism of Our Lord
Prayer of the Day
Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, your voice moves over the waters. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son, 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
January 7-13: Iran, Iraq, Syria

We pray for:
  • an end to the violence racking these battlefields of global powers
  • political leaders emerging in these countries who will pursue peace, the common good, and human rights of all groups
  • the international community to pursue policies that will result in acceptable, just peace for all involved
  • greater openness to welcoming those displaced or fleeing from these lands, desperately seeking safety and wellbeing.
Around the Synod
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains - January Announcements
  • Each year in Colorado, thousands of kids are unable to live with their biological parents because of abuse or neglect. We need families who can provide temporary care until children reunify with their parent as well as families willing to adopt children and teens in foster care if they can’t return to their families. An informal Q & A session for foster care will be held on January 10 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the LFS Denver Metro office (363 S. Harlan Street, Suite 105, Denver, 80226). Please register with Anne at anne.hamilton@lfsrm.org or 303-217-5869. One-on-one meetings can also be arranged to work around your busy schedule.

  • The refugee program is a charity partner with the Colfax Marathon in 2018! The race will happen Saturday and Sunday, May 19 & 20, 2018. Interested in running or donating in support of other runners to raise awareness of refugees in our city? Join the LFS staff as we #Run4Refugees in the 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, and 5-person marathon relay! For more information or to register visit http://www.runcolfax.org/charity-partners/lutheran-family-services/ or contact Refugee Programs Volunteer & Community Relations Coordinator Kate Strebe at kate.strebe@lfsrm.org or 303-225-0199.
Commissioning Celebration at Abiding Hope
Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
We invite our neighbors, friends, and partner congregations to a Commissioning Celebration at Abiding Hope Church. We will be welcoming our new Pastor, Jay Gamelin, commissioning several new staff members, and launching our Abiding Hope community to be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus in the world. It will truly be a unique Commissioning Celebration. Clergy are invited to come as they are as we are commissioning all, and all means all!
Christian Faith Development: Topic - Opioid Epidemic
Opioid addiction has been receiving national attention for the last few years, as the increase in opioid addiction and related deaths have reached frightening numbers. Over 91 people die each in day in the US from opioid overdoses. This series of two programs brings experts in this field to share with us.

How are we responding to the Opioid Crisis: Locally, Nationally and through Faith Communities
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 10:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. 

Jamie Feld, MPH, Epidemiologist, Boulder County Public Health, helps lead Boulder County’s Opioid Advisory Group, which is a multi-disciplinary group from law enforcement, criminal justice, prevention, treatment, and harm reduction to address this crisis. Jamie will share ways that faith and spiritual communities can provide support by offering examples from around the nation. More info here.

Opioid Use Disorder, the Brain, and the National Epidemic
Sunday, January 14, 2018, 10:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Jessica Swan, is the Executive Director of Addiction Recovery Consulting. She teaches across the country on addiction and mental health and is a National Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (NCACII), and a Certified Addiction Counselor Level III (CACIII). Tis session will focus on the brain disease, the condition of being addicted, and the recovery and treatment of opioid use disorder. More info here.
Introductory Workshop to Centering Prayer
Saturday, January 13, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Are you looking for a way to deepen your relationship with God? Jump start your spiritual health in 2018?

In our introductory workshop to Centering Prayer, you will learn a prayer method in which you sit in silence with God, opening your mind, heart and whole being to the Ultimate Mystery—beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. At the workshop, you will receive instruction on the prayer, as well as opportunities to practice it. More information here or call 303-698-7729
12 Step Introduction to Centering Prayer
Saturday, January 20, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
In our recovery, those of us who practice the 12 Steps found in AA, Al-Anon, and other 12-Step programs, sometimes find ourselves searching for the experience of emotional sobriety and deeper relationship with our Higher Power that is suggested in the 11th Step. When applied as a daily supplement to the 12 Steps as an 11th Step prayer practice, Centering Prayer opens us to the contemplative dimension of spirituality. More information here, or call 303-698-7729
Stratus Chamber Orchestra performs "Dreams & Aspirations"
Friday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m.
First Plymouth Congregational Church
3501 S. Colorado Blvd, Englewood

Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church
5000 E. Alameda Ave, Denver

Augustana Arts presents “Dreams and Aspirations” performed by the Stratus Chamber Orchestra and featuring guests from the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and Picture Me Here, a storytelling fellowship for refugees and immigrants who are new to Denver. Storytellers will share their own take on the theme through inspirational stories presented in creative ways to connect the audience and the performers in a shared experience of hope and imagination. Two more writers will provide their stories to Stratus, with music will being chosen to illustrate and magnify the stories. They pair the art of storytelling with the art of music as the audience enters into the world of dreams and aspirations in this hallmark concert. Selections include Beethoven’s Symphony #3 – 1st mvt, Alexander Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia, Charles Ives’ The Gong on the Hook and Ladder and Aaron Copland’s Letter from Home.

Use code RMS25 for a 25% discount. Reserve tickets online ( here), or purchase at the door.
2018 Bishop's Legislative Luncheon and Issues Briefing
Monday, January 22, 2018
The Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM invites and urges you to attend the 2018 Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM Bishop's Legislative Luncheon & Issues Briefing.

Registration and refreshments will begin at 9:00 am. at United Church of Santa Fe, 1804 Arroyo Chamiso ( directions), which is near Christ Lutheran Church), followed by the morning Issues Briefing.

The Bishop's Legislative Luncheon will be at 12:30 pm at the La Fonda Hotel, 100 East San Francisco ( directions). In order to help meet our growing expenses for this event, the cost of the luncheon has been increased to $35 per person. The cost is reduced to $30 when 4 or more people attend from your congregation or group. If you are only able to attend the morning Issues Briefing, the cost is $10.

Please make reservations by calling the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM office at 505-984-8005 or sending an email to info@lutheranadvocacynm.org. The deadline for reservations is January 18.
Our Life Together
Help Your Congregation Prepare for International Women’s Day
Every year on March 8 , people around the world commemorate International Women’s Day , a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. On this day, members of the ELCA celebrate by supporting and lifting up the International Women Leaders initiative. Learn more about how your congregation can plan an event and support this initiative.
Young Adults in Global Mission Application Deadline is February 15!
The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program invites young adults ages 21-29 into a year of service, faith formation and relationship building in 11 programs in 14 countries around the world. Young adults serve in the spirit of accompaniment, walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity. As they offer themselves in service, young adults are shaped by the witness of our global neighbors. Check out  ELCA.org/yagm  for more information and  apply  now! Applications are due Feb. 15 for service beginning in August .

Share this link with the young adults in your community!
Getting ready for This Changes Everything !
Loudonville Lutheran Youth collecting old shoes to fund...

The goal of collecting 2,500 pounds of gently used shoes sounds daunting. But when you chip off 1,425 of those pounds, leaving you with a more modest 1,075 left to gather, that total seems less insurmountable.

Read more
www.times-gazette.com
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
January Stewardship Toolkit
Rev. Rob Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop Lower Susquehanna Synod, has created a monthly stewardship toolkit with bulletin reflections, newsletter articles, and resources for preaching, teaching, and year-round stewardship.

Stewardship Snippet
January 7, 2018 (Baptism of the Lord)
Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”
Where do we come from? For that matter, where did anything come from? These first two verses of the whole Bible remind us that God created all that was, all that is, and all that will be. God made it all, even us, and everything belongs to God. That’s the first rule of stewardship.
The Ministry of Money Matters videos series
Did you miss The Ministry of Money Matters in October? Do you have new financial leaders in your congregation who will benefit from learning "best practices" of managing the ministry's money? Educate, Equip, Enact is happy to share the gift of four videos created just for the Rocky Mountain Synod by Bonnie Johnson, senior lecturer at California Lutheran University, and faculty member for Executive Skills for Pastors.

Check out the Why the Ministry of Money Matters; Accounting Basics; Budgets; and Financial Rations and Benchmarks videos here. They are available until April 30, so gather your leaders and watch them soon!
Employment Opportunities
New Listing 
Gifts Processor and Bookkeeper (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Bethany Lutheran Church is seeking a gifts processor for Bethany and bookkeeper for the Bethany Early Childhood Center. Approximately 20 hours per week. Monday mornings at Bethany are required, but other hours are flexible. These could be separate positions, or combined. Please contact Pastor Gary with questions at gary@bethany-denver.org or 303-758-2820, or submit resume to gary@bethany-denver.org.
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Gifts Processor and Bookkeeper (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Director of Music Ministry (full-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO

Preschool Chef (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Office Coordinator
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
 
Bishop Gonia
  • Bishop's Academy, Vancouver, WA
  • Region 2 Deacon Gathering, Denver, CO

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Fairness Coalition
  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Los Alamos
  • House Appropriations Committee

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • In-office appointments
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Out of Office

Deacon Erin Power
  • RMS Communications
  • Synod Assembly Planning
  • Region 2 Deacon Gathering

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Vacation 12/20-1/8

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Sky Ranch Board Meeting
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant
Rocky Mountain Synod 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744
Articles for eConnection are due noon Monday for the issue the following Wednesday.
Event announcements are included for about two weeks then copied to the Events & News Web Page and may be submitted via the eConnection Submission link above.