A Reconciling in Christ synod
From Presiding Bishop Eaton: Church Speak
A colleague at the Lutheran Center related this story. An unchurched friend of hers was visiting and noticed her Advent calendar. “What is Advent?” she asked. A simple question. But my colleague soon discovered it wasn’t that easy to explain  Advent  to someone who had never heard of it, but who also had no frame of reference for it...

You might have had a similar experience—not just an encounter with someone from another religious tradition, but with someone with no religious tradition. How do we talk to them? How do we tell them about the intimate, abiding, deep love that God has shown to us in Jesus? How do we even tell them about Jesus? How do we explain Jesus and the incarnation, the crucifixion and the resurrection?

Reproducible PDF or Word Doc
eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Hunger Leaders Gather for the Life of the World
The 2018 ELCA World Hunger Leaders Gathering is underway this week in Washington, D.C., with over 150 hunger leaders from all over the country. Rocky Mountain Synod leaders Sophia Behrens (Fort Collins, CO) and Carol McDivitt (Loveland, CO) led the ice-breaker introductions for the entire assembly.

We are Christ's Church, Better Together!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Welcome Michael Tassler as Interim Director of Educate, Equip, Enact (3E Lilly Grant)
The Rev. Michael Tassler begins as the Interim Director of Educate, Equip, Enact (3E Lilly Grant) after serving since its inception as a Financial Wellness Advocate. In that role, he has met with rostered ministers applying for 3E grants, hearing their stories, assisting them in the application process, and advocating their requests before the Grants Team.  

Pastor Michael has a strong passion for the ministry of the 3E program, coming both from his experience as a parish pastor and knowing first-hand the kinds of financial vulnerabilities and opportunities rostered ministers experience, as well as from his experience as a former Thrivent Financial representative, where he was privileged to serve Thrivent members on their journeys to financial well-being.  

Pastor Michael continues his service as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, which began in 2012. In addition to serving as pastor to the Grace community, Pastor Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids exploring the great outdoors and relaxing at home. He also enjoys playing golf and an assortment of musical instruments.  
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.
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:

Annual Congregational Reports:   https://webapps.elca.org/FormAAndC/Login.aspx
All links and reports can also be found HERE!
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

Rev. Kim Gonia
Risen Lord, Conifer, CO
Sunday, February 4, 2:00pm
Color of the Day: Green
RMS Prayer Cycle

 JANUARY 2018:

Week of January 28

St. John’s - Thornton, CO
Kari Reiquam (Interim)

St. Matthew's Episcopal - Grand Junction, CO
Laura Stephenson

St. Stephen - Northglenn, CO
Tracy Hinkel

United Church of the San Juans - Ridgway, CO

Zion - Montrose, CO
Michael Rime

Zion - Idaho Springs, CO
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 28
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany 
Prayer of the Day
Compassionate God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. Bring wholeness to all that is broken and speak truth to us in our confusion, that all creation will see and know your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
January 28-February 3: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia

We pray for:
  • all the people of these countries: Muslims, the tiny remnant of Christians, those of other faiths who continuing bearing witness to their faiths and for all people of good will.
  • an end to the political violence that breaks out here.
  • an end to how dominating powers have fought over these lands and their resources through the years.

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 at holytrinitylutheranlittleton@gmail.com .
3-day Lecture Series with Dr. Richard Swanson
Lord of the Mountains, Dillon, CO
Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 4, 9:00 a.m. sermon, and Theo Talk at 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Richard Swanson, from Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD is presenting the 3-day lecture series, "Creating the World Through Tenderness and Holiness."

We only create the world when the world falls apart. That’s the only time we have to. We have an acute sense that the world is falling apart even today: in every family experiencing loss or conflict, on every continent, in our own country. Sometimes the world is blown to bits, even, but not by alien forces or strange new threats. It’s weather, mudslides, diseases, political conflicts, the constant bombardment of bad news in the media. More information and schedule here .
Luther College Nordic Choir 2018 Colorado Tour
February 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2018
Denver, Colorado Springs, Estes Park, Fort Collins
Monday, February 5, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church
5000 E. Alameda Ave, Denver, CO

This performance is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for ages 65 and up, and $5 for students. Reserve tickets via telephone at (800) 4-LUTHER or online at here . Remaining tickets will be available at the door. An alumni reception will follow the concert.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
First Lutheran Church
1515 N. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO

This performance is open to the public with no charge for admission. A freewill offering will be taken during the concert.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Estes Park High School Auditorium
1600 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO

This performance is open to the public. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Reserve tickets via telephone at (800) 4-LUTHER or online here . Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
1005 Stover St., Fort Collins, CO

This performance is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for ages 65 and up, and $5 for students. Reserve tickets via telephone at (800) 4-LUTHER or online here . Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

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 publica 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.
Our Life Together
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
IRS 2018 standard mileage rates announced
The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • The ELCA uses the business travel rate to reimburse travel expenses.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
Employment Opportunities
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
  • New Mexico/Border Conference Retreat
  • Staff Retreat
  • Installation of Rev. Janet Kettering, Shepherd of the Hills Boulder, CO
  • Installation of Rev. Kathy Armstrong, Cross of Christ, Broomfield, CO
  • Dean's Webex

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Healthy Leaders Team
  • Staff Retreat

Ruth Hoffman
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Legislative session
  • All staff meeting
  • St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church

Peter Severson
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • World Hunger Leaders Gathering, Washington D.C.
  • Staff Retreat
  • Policy Committee Meeting
  • Interfaith Day at the Legislature
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Christ the King, Denver
  • Aurora Church Together Strategy (ACTS)
  • Staff meeting
  • Dean's meeting
  • RMS Mission Sites Administrative work 

Deacon Erin Power
  • Synod Assembly Planning
  • Staff Retreat
  • Region 2 Deacon Task Force
  • Nativity, Commerce City, CO

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Congregational Transition
  • Staff Retreat
  • Leadership Development Gathering, North Colorado

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Staff Retreat
  • ELCA Extravaganza
  • RMS Youth Gathering Executive Team
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.