Your e-newsletter from the Rocky Mountain Synod
A Reconciling in Christ synod
An invitation from Bishop Gonia:
Every year at our Synod Assembly, a common refrain is heard among first-time voting members:  “It’s so inspiring to be here. We had no idea how much our church does together!” In anticipation of our 2018 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly, we are inviting those of you serving as congregational voting members to an exciting new opportunity. In addition to preparing for and participating in the Assembly, you will be commissioned as a  Church Together Ambassador for the next year.

What does this mean?
  • You will serve as an advocate of our shared life and witness as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America until we meet in Assembly in 2019.
  • You will receive monthly materials containing stories or insights about why our life as church together matters; these materials will highlight ministries of our congregations, partners, synod and wider church.
  • In coordination with your pastor, you will share these stories and insights with your congregation monthly, ideally in worship.
  • You will be encouraged to network with other Church Together Ambassadors and seek additional ways to share the energy and enthusiasm generated when we gather in Assembly.

Look for more details to come – and thank you for your commitment to our life as Church Together!
Bishop Jim
2018 Assembly Information

In addition to the Bishop election, we will also be holding elections for Synod Council, Synodical boards and committees, and voting members for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. View open positions, board descriptions and nomination form here
eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Evergreen Lutheran Celebrates with a Mortgage Burning!
On Sunday, December 31, Pastor Vera and the members of Evergreen Lutheran celebrated the end of 2017 with a burning of their mortgage! The celebration was followed by s'mores and hot chocolate!

We rejoice with the community of Evergreen as they celebrate this milestone!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Register NOW for Lutheran Day at the Legislature 2018
February 15, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Registration is now open for Colorado Lutheran Day at the Legislature! Join advocates and community leaders for a morning of learning and action. Build relationships with your elected officials, learn from experienced pros, and get the latest updates on our work at the state capitol. You'll get the tools you need to meet and engage your elected officials. A hot breakfast will be served and scholarships are available. Go to the registration website for more information. Don't delay, register today!

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado is a ministry of the Rocky Mountain Synod.
Complete your Annual Reports by February 15!
Annual reports and forms are now available:

All links and reports can also be found HERE!
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:
Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice

The ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ invites you to read and evaluate the "Draft of a Social Statement on Women and Justice." To learn more about social statements and how they're created, check out our FAQ. Receiving input...

Read more
For Your Bulletin

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

 JANUARY 2018:

Week of January 14

Good Shepherd - Glenwood Springs, CO
Jeffrey Carlson

Highlands - Denver, CO
Travis Johnson-Esparza (Interim)

Holy Cross - Wheat Ridge, CO
Ron Bock

King of Glory - Arvada, CO
Todd Payne

Lord of the Mountains - Dillon, CO
Liliana Stahlberg 
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 14
Second Sunday after the Epiphany 
Prayer of the Day
Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful redeemer, for the countless blessings and benefits you give. May we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day praising you, 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
January 14-20: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

We pray for:
  • women and others in these countries who are deprived of basic freedoms and human dignity
  • those who misuse or exploit religious identity for extremist political ends
  • the wise use of the benefits of oil and other natural resources for the sake of all
  • the emergence of stable democratic societies based on the rule of law, social justice, and respect for religious and other freedoms.
Around the Synod
Faith & Poverty Day at the Utah State Capitol
First Thursday of the Legislative session, January 25, 2018
In the past the Coalition of Religious Communities has organized a series of seven or eight Faith Days during the 45 day session of the Utah Legislature. This year we are bringing people together for one big Faith & Poverty Day at the Utah Capitol on the first Thursday of the legislative session, January 25, 2018. More information here, download a flyer here.

Speakers during this hour will include: Rev. Kimal James of First United Methodist Church in Ogden, Rev. Vinnetta Golphin Wilkerson from Granger Community Christian Church, Representative Steve Eliason, Representative Lynn Hemingway and Representative Tim Quinn.
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 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 or contact Refugee Programs Volunteer & Community Relations Coordinator Kate Strebe at or 303-225-0199.
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.

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 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.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
ELCA Lilly Grant to support financial wellness
In addition the resources offered through RMS Educate, Equip, Enact program, our churchwide expression has a number of opportunities for pastors, deacons, and congregations to strengthen their financial picture.

Employment Opportunities
New Listing
Faith Formation Director of Youth
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO
This is a job for a person who has the gifts, passion, and vision for forming disciples of Jesus Christ of our middle school and senior high youth. Bethany Lutheran Church is seeking a permanent full-time Faith Formation Director. If you or someone you know, is interested in serving with our youth and families, a job description is here. Contact Pastor Brigette at for information and more details. 
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Faith Formation Director of Youth
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

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

Office Coordinator
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • Region 2 Deacon Gathering, Denver, CO
  • RMS Youth Gathering, Colorado Springs, CO

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Interim Pastor's Gathering

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Legislative session prep
  • 1st Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe
  • Santa Fe Unitarian Church

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • Opening of Legislative Session
  • Legislative Preview
  • Colorado Fiscal Institute Forum
  • All Families Deserve a Chance Coalition
  • Zions, Trinidad, CO
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Shepherd of the Hills, Ft. Collins
  • Latino Worshiping Community, (Cristo Rey) Denver
  • Aurora Church Together Strategy (ACTS)
  • Well of Hope, Castle Rock, CO
  • Staff Meeting
  • Administrative work for mission sites
  • Rejoicing Spirits Steering Com., Denver

Deacon Erin Power
  • RMS Communications Retreat
  • Region 2 Deacon Gathering
  • Synod Assembly Planning
  • Global Church Network Meeting

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Interim Pastors Gathering
  • Congregational Ministries Board
  • In office appointments
  • Church Development Institute, New Mexico

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Faith Formation Network
  • RMS Youth Gathering, Colorado Springs
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.