January 29, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
2020 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly, May 1-2
Assembly Highlights:
  • Keynote Speaker Rev. Jason Chesnut, co-founder of The Slate Project
  • Worship celebrating the anniversaries of Women's Ordination
  • Afternoon learning immersions developed for each location

As part of or exploration of "Church Becoming" we are experimenting with regional assembly gatherings in 2020:
  • Utah/Metro West Mountain: Ascension, St. Matthew, Price, UT
  • Wyoming/North Colorado: Ascension, Cheyenne, WY
  • Boulder-Broomfield/Metro East/Metro West Metro: Cross of Christ, Broomfield, CO
  • Metro South/Southeast Colorado: Trinity, Monument, CO
  • Border/North New Mexico: Cross of Hope, Albuquerque, NM

Registration is now live! Be sure to check out the Location Details to find out which location you will be gathering at!

A number of boards and committees, along with Synod Council, are electing new members.
  • Global Mission: seeking a lay member whose congregation is actively engaged in supporting missionaries or global accompaniment
  • Consultation and Discipline Committees
  • Congregational Ministries Board: 5 at-large members
  • Synod Council: Seeking a number of conference specific leaders as well as folks with legal expertise and building/construction experience

The full list of open positions, as well as the nomination form, can be found on the Nominations Page. Nomination deadline is MARCH 20, and we will not be receiving nominations from the floor.

Information regarding resolutions is available on the website. The Committee on Reference and Counsel requests anyone anticipating submitting a resolution submit a resolution intent form by February 1. This is not an official resolution submission, but is helpful in anticipating what business will go before the assembly. The deadline for submitting a resolution is March 20. Bishop Gonia requests that Memorials be deferred until 2021.

Contact Deacon Erin Power for questions regarding assembly.
“Unpacking White Privilege: The Important Work of Making the Church Less Harmful”
For years, the ELCA has been working to educate and inspire Lutherans to promote fairness and racial equity in our churches, communities and country. At the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, the Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity was adopted. This strategy includes a commitment to digging deeper into the history and theology that “ground, clarify, and justify our call and continuing commitment to ethnic diversity and inclusion.” So get ready to dig deeper, be vulnerable, have uncomfortable conversations, learn and grow with the article “Unpacking white privilege” and its corresponding study guide, which were featured in this month’s  Living Lutheran .

Read the  article  and use the  study guide .
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Welcoming the stranger... in Seattle
Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Seattle worked with ecumenical and interreligious partners to welcome Jose Robles, who was facing deportation, into sanctuary in the congregation. This is the story of how the congregation recognized a need in their community and realized their capacity to serve.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church is an AMMPARO welcoming and sanctuary congregation. To find out more visit: elca.org/san ctuarychurch.
RMS-ELCA News and Events
It's back: the 2020 Better Together Checklist!
__Submit your Annual Report to the Bishop
Last year our new online bishop report form worked great. It's way better than those old, frustrating .pdf forms! There's "one click" for all pastors and deacons , whether or not you are  active retired on-leave , or on  disability . You'll get different questions depending on what you click on in the form.
Please note:  The form is not confidential to the bishop.  It may be read/reviewed by other staff members other than the bishop. If you have a confidential matter to share with Bishop Gonia, please  email him separately , or call the office for an appointment.
The traditional deadline is February 15, but reports will be received through March.

__Submit your Mission Support 2020 Intentions by March 1
Because we are "better together," the mission and ministry that is accomplished in unity is more than could ever be accomplished by one congregation alone. Please submit your congregation's Mission Support 2020 Intention, so that we can finalize our 2020 expenditures and extend our gratitude to you! Contact  Deniese Estrada  with questions. Please submit your intention by March 1. Click the button below, read the page, and scroll to the bottom for the form link. Other resources are available at this link, such as the RMS page for your Annual Report.

__Complete your ELCA Congregational Report by March 1
The annual parochial report with your congregation's statistics for the last year is an essential piece for understanding how we are church together. The form is available online. You will need your congregation ID number and password. If you need assistance with that information, please contact  Deniese Estrada , RMS finance administrator.
Congregational Ministry Board Members Needed
Submit nomination form before Friday, March 20, 2020
Do your gifts and interests lie in strengthening the life and mission of the church across the synod? Are you passionate about creating and curating resources that congregations can use to guide their ministry work? Does working together with team members to identify major needs and priorities in the area of congregational life appeal to you?

The Congregational Ministry Board needs your leadership and gifts! We are a close-knit group that meets every month over Zoom, taking a break in June and July and also in December. We meet face to face once a year for two days in late August at the Lutheran Center in Denver. Travel expenses are paid.

Attending meetings, participating in meeting discussions, reviewing documents and helping to create resources, model policies and processes that foster healthy congregational life is the primary work of this board.

Nominations for this board are now being accepted through March 20th. To be considered for one of the five positions on this board, please fill out a nomination form.

Go the Events Tab on rmselca.org website. Go to 2020 Synod Assembly and then to Nominations and Elections. The nomination form is available on the right side of the page. You may nominate yourself or someone else that you feel would be a match for the Congregational Ministry Board. No nominations will be taken from the floor at the Assembly.
YAGMs serving in Australia request prayers for those affected by bushfires
There are currently two Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGMs) from the Rocky Mountain Synod serving in Australia - Joe Kiel and Macy Kennedy. Joe recently sent a prayer request to members of the RMS Global Mission Committee: "A few of you have reached out to me asking how I'm doing/if I've been impacted with the bushfire situation here. Know that I'm okay. I've experienced a lot of smog and even seen a few fires on the horizon...but have not been significantly affected. And as most of you know...that makes me pretty lucky. Unfortunately, though, millions have suffered, so please keep Australia and all the life that's been impacted in your best wishes." So, people of the RMS, please keep Australia, those impacted by the fires, and all of our YAGMs in your prayers!
Companion Synod Update
Dear Friends and Sponsors,

I send warm greetings to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is my hope and prayer that this letter finds you well.

I am grateful to report that my family is doing very well. Thando and Tumisho (my children) are back to school after the Christmas holidays. My wife, Kwena, finally completed her studies. She will graduate in April/May 2020 with a degree in teaching with the University of South Africa. Both Tumisho and Thando are doing very well in their studies and extra-curricular activities.

I would like to ask you to keep the people in the north of Madagascar who have been affected by tropical storms in your thoughts and prayers. According to news reports, 26 people lost their lives because of the storm and flooding, 15 people are reported missing, more than 90 000 people are said to be homeless in the North of Madagascar. Several people also died in the capital city of Antananarivo because of flooding and mudslides. Some towns and villages are cut off from the main cities because of bad road conditions created by water damage. The ELCA Disaster Response initiative is ready to receive a request from partner churches like the Malagasy Lutheran Church in response to disaster situations. I am grateful that my family and ELCA missionaries in Madagascar have not been affected by these conditions. We pray that God will provide support to those who are in need through our work and hand.

Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Lancelot Themba Mkhabela
ELCA Missionary in Madagascar
Regional Representative for Madagascar, West, and Central Africa
For Your Bulletin

Rev. Wayne Nieminen
Rev. Christa Von Zychlin
St. Luke , Albuquerque, NM
2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 1
Color of the Day: Green

Rev. Nate Preisinger
Bethany , Denver, CO
2:00 p.m., Sunday, February 9
Color of the Day: Green
"Eagles on every branch with some pelicans beneath. Oh, and geese flying overhead". Barr Lake State Park, CO. T.Noirot 20190124
RMS Prayer Cycle


- Week of February 2 -

Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey - El Paso, TX
Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán

Mount Hope - El Paso, TX

New Hope - El Paso, TX
Jeff St. Clair

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, February 2
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Prayer of the Day

Holy God, you confound the world's wisdom in giving your kingdom to the lowly and the pure in heart. Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice, and perseverance in striving for peace, that in our words and deeds the world may see the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches

02 - 08 February : Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Vatican City - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
James Hersch Returns!
Saturday, February 1 starting at 6:00 p.m.
Holy Love Lutheran Church
4210 S. Chambers Rd, Aurora, CO

Singer/Songwriter James Hersch returns to Holy Love Lutheran for a concert on Saturday, February 1. A potluck Soup Supper will be held at 6:00 p.m. The concert will follow, starting roughly at 7:30 pm.
For more info contact, office@holylovelutheran.org.
Join us for Lutheran Day at the Legislature
Thursday, February 27, 7:30 a.m. to noon
Colorado Lutheran Day at the Legislature is Thursday, February 27. We invite you to join us! The event is a great opportunity for learning, listening, and action, and will involve visits to your representatives in the Capitol building.
2020 Bishop's Legislative Luncheon & Issues Briefing
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 8:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry - New Mexico invites all to attend its annual Bishop's Luncheon and Issues Briefing. The luncheon will begin at 12:30 p.m. at La Fonda Hotel (100 East San Francisco).

The cost for the luncheon is $35 per person, or $30 when 4 or more people attend from a congregation or group. If attending the morning Issues Briefing only, the cost is $10 per person.

The Issues Briefing will be at the United Church (1804 Arroyo Chamiso). Registration and refreshments will begin at 8:45 a.m. The opening takes place at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to an issue update at the morning session pertaining to legislation, LAM-NM is focusing on this session, participants will be joined by Allen Sanchez, from Invest In Kids Now, and Paige Knight, from NM Voices for Children, who will lead break-out sessions. Mr. Sanchez will share his expertise pertaining to Early Childhood Intervention legislation and policy in NM, and Ms. Knight will focus on the changes to tax policy and the related impact on state finances as they relate not just early childhood and education in NM, but also to the entire fiscal landscape of state government over the last decade.

Register by emailing Lutheranadvocacy@yahoo.com . Registration deadline is this Friday, January 31. For additional information, visit www.lutheranadvocacynm.org.
Our Life Together
ELCA World Hunger Big Game Synod Challenge 2020
The Sierra Pacific Synod is in a friendly competition with the Central States Synod to raise money for ELCA World Hunger by supporting our respective teams -- the 49ers and the Chiefs.
Please encourage members of your congregation, friends and family to make a donation by going to https://elca.org/biggame, and we will see which synod “wins” by raising the most money!

To support the Team 49rs go to : http://support.elca.org/goto/TeamSF.
Or for Team Kansas City: http://support.elca.org/goto/TeamKC!
Join the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network!
LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, is looking for young adults (age 21-30) for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer service and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2020 to the end of July 2021, our corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health coverage, spiritual direction, and a $535/month living stipend. We also offer a $1000 re-entry grant at the completion of the program.

The placement sites for the upcoming program year include faith-based non-profits, secular non-profits, congregations, outdoor ministry, and our campus ministry at UC Davis. These service sites address issues of homelessness, food insecurity, unemployment, children and youth ministries, and other important social justice issues facing our communities.

We gather each week for evening prayer, dinner, and formation. The corps members live in intentional community in an apartment attached to our campus ministry center in Davis, CA. We're an ecumenical program in the Episcopal Service Corps network; applicants needn't be either Lutheran or Episcopal to apply-interest in Christian spirituality is the only expectation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until July 31, 2020.

Intrigued? Learn more on our FAQ , check out our Volunteer Blog , or Apply Now ! Visit levn.org or contact Program Director Casey Dunsworth at 530-756-1550 or pastor@thebelfry.org for more information!
JustServe Provides Web Platform for Volunteer Engagement
Would you like to reach interested volunteers for your service project, or are you looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities yourself?

JustServe is a free community resource sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The JustServe.org website is used by a wide array of faith, nonprofit, community, and government organizations to post service opportunities. People use JustServe.org to work with community partners to identify needs and respond to those needs in the spirit of charitable service. Volunteers can quickly find opportunities that fit their interests, skills, and availability.

Visit JustServe.org to find or post volunteer opportunities or download the JustServe app at the App Store or Google Play.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Stewardship Toolkit for February 2020
Here's your February 2020 "Stewardship Toolkit ." It's a Word file with an original newsletter article, RCL-based Sunday bulletin blurbs, and links - all related to a monthly theme. The February theme is "Steward your life: Cultivate a Heart of Love." 
Videos for Treasurers and Church/Financial Administrators
Looking to learn about Portico Benefit Services and the practicalities of managing the benefits for pastors and church employees?  Your congregation must have at least one registered EmployerLink user to pay your bill and manage sponsored employees’ benefits. Note: it’s important for the people who play a part in managing your employees’ benefits to be registered on EmployerLink, and for those no longer involved to have their accounts deactivated. 
Invite your treasurer or financial administrator to view these educational videos:
Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Missional Youth MInistry Leader (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO
The Missional Youth Leader will be a primary leader within the life of FAITH carrying out the mission/vision of “Changing lives through the power of Jesus SO THAT we can be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus in the world,” with an emphasis on empowering youth and other adults in youth’s lives. Specifically, the M.Y. Leader will be responsible for continued development of Faith’s missional youth ministry where youth are 1) Connecting with authentic community (cross generations) 2) Developing further a foundation for faith in Jesus and 3) Preparing for and living to serve God by serving others. Additionally, the M.Y.Leader will help create space and place for parents and the other adults in kid’s lives, where they will be equipped to build authentic community with youth at home, school, church, and in the world, and help youth lead missional lives engaged in the world around them.
Full job description, qualifications, and responsibilities here. For information, and to apply contact Pastor Jane Jebsen at jane@faithgolden.org or 303-279-5379.
Bookkeeper (part-time)
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Christ Lutheran Church, Highlands Ranch, Colorado is seeking a detail-oriented individual to fill the role of Bookkeeper. In this role, you will be responsible for managing the financial records and reports on the financial business of the church. This person will need to have a strong working knowledge of accounting principles and practices and be proficient with Microsoft Office (including Excel) and QuickBooks. This is a part-time position that will average 20 hours per week. 
A full job description is available  here . For more information, please contact Pastor Gail Mundt at  pastorgail@clchr.org ; 303-791-0803.
Non-Rostered Listings 
Missional Youth MInistry Leader (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Bookkeeper (part-time)
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO

Director of Youth Ministries
Glory of God Lutheran Church - Wheat Ridge, CO

Administrative Assistant-Communications
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

High School Program Director
Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp - Fort Collins, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • Trip to the Holy Land, January 22-29
  • Staff Meeting
  • Installation of Rev. Wayne Nieminen & Rev. Christa Von Zychlin, St. Luke's Albuquerque, NM
  • St. Peter, Carlsbad, NM
  • North New Mexico/Border Conference Retreat

Pastor Dana Peterson (Interim, 1/2 time)
  • In-office appointments
  • Staff Meeting
  • Our Savior's, Denver, CO

Kurt Rager
  • Legislative Session
  • Staff Meeting
  • Installation at St. Luke's, Albuquerque, NM

Peter Severson
  • Staff Meeting
  • Colorado Social Legislation Committee

Tina Kvitek
  • 1-1 Meetings
  • Peace, El Paso, TX
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Vacation January 25-29
  • Congregational Transition
  • All Saints, Aurora
  • Zion, Montrose, CO

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

Deacon Erin Power
  • Synod Communicators Gathering, Columbus, OH
  • Staff Meeting
  • Synod Assembly Planning

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Staff Meeting
  • Extravaganza, Anaheim, CA
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power ,   Assistant to the Bishop
Feel free to contact Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant, with your 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

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