A Reconciling in Christ synod
From Bishop Gonia:
In my life and ministry, I have spent significant time in the very places the American President recently derided. I cannot state strongly enough my rejection of such divisive and racist comments. Our nation is immeasurably enriched by neighbors who come not only from these nations, but from all across the entire globe. Our human diversity is a gift, the Divine Invitation for us grow beyond our limited perspective and vision.

The immigrant story that is part and parcel of our legacy as a church body becomes a gift to the world when we as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are at the forefront of welcoming new neighbors from around the world to our country. I encourage you to listen to this important perspective on the history of immigration in the United States.

Bishop Jim

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
Our call to be a public churcch
We celebrate with Bethlehem, Los Alamos, NM as the newest Advocating Congregation in New Mexico! Ruth Hoffman, Director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM presented their certificate to Leslie Wallstrom during worship on January 7. We are grateful for their witness a church for the life of the world!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA

Our Rocky Mountain Synod contingent at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center for the latest Executive Skills for Pastors training offered by California Lutheran University. This training is made...

Read more
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.
Help for New Leaders in your Congregation
Wondering how to equip leaders in new leadership positions? Please join us for a one day workshop to address leadership topics that include self-awareness, practicing skills and shared leadership between the pastor and Council. Choose from either of these dates and locations:
January 27, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Bethel Lutheran Church, 328 Walnut St., Windsor, CO

February 6, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Lutheran Center, 7375 Samuel Dr., Denver, CO

If you'd like to attend, email Sarah Moening at smoening@rmselca.org to register, or walk-ins are also welcome.
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 at 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!

2017 Rocky Mountain Synod Annual Report (This report has the correct date)

To order report covers and posters from the ELCA resource center visit: http://resources.elca.org/Products-Stewardship.html.
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

Rev. Janet Kettering
Shepherd of the Hills, Boulder, CO
Saturday, January 27, 4:00 p.m.
Color of the day: Green

Rev. Kathy Armstrong
Cross of Christ, Broomfield, CO
Sunday, January 28, 4:00 p.m.
Color of the Day: Green

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

 JANUARY 2018:

Week of January 21

 Lord of the Valley - Granby, CO
Brian Bergum

St. Mark’s Church of Grace * Episcopal Lutheran Ministry - Craig, CO
Bain White (ECUSA)

Mount of the Holy Cross - Vail, CO
Scott Beebe

Shepherd of the Valley - Grand Junction, CO
Kaila (Hochhalter) Armbruster

St. Andrew - Arvada, CO
Claire Cassell
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 21
Third Sunday after the Epiphany 
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
January 21-27: Cyprus, Greece, Turkey

We pray for:
  • the healing of memories and wounds inflicted by early 20th century genocides of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian communities, and for current tensions in these lands
  • enhanced respect for all minority groups and their claims,
  • those who work for justice and reconciliation
  • the people who struggle because of economic and political crises in these countries
  • more stable democratic governments that further the good of all.
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.
Mikah Meyer National Parks Cabaret
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Join Upworthy-featured, National Cathedral countertenor singer, Mikah Meyer, as he shares stories and songs from his world record, 3-year road trip to all 417 National Park Service sites. 

Mikah has been living in a cargo van while traveling across the U.S. for the past 21 months becoming the youngest person to visit the entirety of the National Park System--using the media and platform to share a message of carpe diem, hope, and acceptance for LGBTQ Christians. For more information contact Holy Trinity: holytrinitylutheranlittleton@gmail.com.
Rev. Dr. Nathan C.P. Frambach to visit Saint Peter Lutheran Church
January 21, 2018 at 8:30, 9:40, and 10:45 a.m.

Professor Nathan Frambach comes from Dubuque, Iowa, where he serves at Wartburg Theological Seminary as Professor of Pastoral Theology. Professor Frambach is in Denver to meet with a group of ELCA pastors (Metro South Conference) for discussions about the changing culture of the United States and the future of the Christian Church. He will conduct an Adult Forum based on this theme (9:40 a.m.), as well preach at both Sunday morning Worship services (8:30 and 10:45 a.m.). A nursery will be provided for young children. Refreshments will be available during Adult Forum.
Join Saint Peter for  Holden Evening Prayer Around the World
Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Holden Village , a popular Lutheran retreat center located far back into the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, is promoting Holden Evening Prayer Around the World (HEPAW) . Congregations and other faith organizations will be gathering for evening prayer on Wednesday, February 7. Saint Peter is currently the only congregation in Colorado planning to host this event. The 7:00 p.m. worship service will be followed by a time of theological conversation (with refreshments provided).
For more information, visit  www.StPLC.org .
Sign up for the LAM-NM Advocacy Network!
Keep up with legislative news. Receive Action Alerts! Take Action! Go to our homepage to sign up today .

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry – NM is called to advocate for justice in public policy, with a particular emphasis on alleviating poverty and hunger, by speaking with and for those who have little or no political power and supporting ELCA members, congregations and ecumenical partners in the ministry of advocacy.
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
Thursday, March 8, 2018
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.
Schedule a presentation to learn more about Christians in the Holy Land
Who are the Palestinian Christians? Consider these possible topics:

  • The history of Christianity in the Holy Land – the story of Palestinian Christians
  • Ministries of the Lutherans in Palestine: Tent of Nations, Bright Stars of Bethlehem
  • How does recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol affect Lutherans in Palestine?
  • How do recent developments in Israel/Palestine affect Christians?
  • Hundreds of new settlement units have been announced – How does settlement expansion affect Palestinians?

Six congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land nurture peacemaking and stand strong to build a future for Palestinians. Learn about the challenges they face as they do the work of the gospel living daily in the conflict.

Contact a member of the Peace Not Walls team: Joan Jacobson at joanjacobson1836@gmail.com, Jan Miller at millerjan68@gmail.com, Jo Ann Wacker-Farrand at socialwacker@live.com .
AMMPARO Guardian Angel Program - 3 more volunteers needed!
We are looking for THREE more volunteers  to be part of our  Guardian Angel Program who are willing to support unaccompanied migrant children and single parent families through their immigration court process in Denver. For information about AMMPARO and the Guardian Angels Program click on the graphic, or go here , and visit the ELCA site: Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO).

You do not need to speak Spanish, although we do need some Spanish speakers.
If you are interested, please contact Alena Lamirato at  pastoralena@yahoo.com   or 720-256-3007.
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.

Administration Matters from the ELCA
Preventing a hostile work environment
A hostile work environment may be defined as a workplace where an employee is subjected to harassment or unfair treatment, creating an environment where the employee feels threatened or intimidated. Prevention is the best means toward a safe and welcoming workplace.
> More
Employment Opportunities
New Listing
Head of School
Rwanda School Project, Rwamagana, Rwanda
One of our churwide global companions is The Lutheran Church of Rwanda, and we have a long-standing relationship with the Rwanda School Project, which serves what we would refer to as middle and high school students. The current Head of School, an ELCA Missionary named Robin Strickler, is retiring, and we are helping to publicize the vacancy and application process for a new Head of School who would begin serving in July of 2018. 
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Head of School
Rwanda School Project - Rwamagana, Rwanda

Faith Formation Director of Youth
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Director of Music Ministry (full-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • Educate, Equip, Enact Gathering
  • Synod Coucil Executive Committee
  • Lord of the Mountains, Dillon, CO
  • First, Gypsum, CO
  • NM Advocacy Day
  • New Mexico/Border Conference Retreat

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

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Legislative session
  • United Church (UCC)
  • Bishop's Legislative Luncheon & Issues Briefing

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • Legislative Session
  • Lutheran Disaster Response
  • Predatory Lending ballot Group
  • World Hunger Leaders Gathering, Washington D.C.
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Out of Office

Deacon Erin Power
  • Synod Assembly Planning
  • Global Mission Committee
  • Communications Planning

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Congregational Transition
  • In-office appointments

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Faith Formation Conference Coordinators
  • In-office appointments
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.