February 12, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
As a prophetic presence, this church has the obligation to name and denounce the idols before which people bow, to identify the power of sin present in social structures, and to advocate in hope with poor and powerless people…With Martin Luther, this church understands that “to rebuke” those in authority “through God’s word spoken publicly, boldly and honestly” is “not seditious” but “a praiseworthy, noble, and…particularly great service to God.”
-ELCA Social Statement, The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective

It seems almost trite to point out the deep and intense division in our modern political landscape in the United States. The contrast between worldviews among the different factions in our public life is so obvious, massive, and apparently unbridgeable that it seems like an immovable obstacle to which we just have to resign ourselves. It feels easier to just take it as a given, rather than to ask how it might be reconciled. It is a very tough environment in which to be a church premised on God’s reconciliation and love.

This, nonetheless, is the context in which the ELCA finds itself, called presently to speak into a riven reality, one where the only authentic public struggle seems to be the contest for power. We are called to be a church with faith active in love for God and for our neighbor. Love, in turn, “calls for justice in the relationships and structures of society.” But what are we to make of this call to be justice-seekers in a deeply divided world?

Download full reflection and discussion guide
Bishop Eaton - " We are broken"
Living Lutheran - February 2020
In the February issue of Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us of our uniquely Lutheran understanding of the gospel and renews her call for studying Martin Luther's Small Catechism. "Luther said he needed to study it every day-and he wrote it! Let's do the same."
Read her column in English and in Spanish . And download here: ( Word / PDF ).
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Caring for Students with Housing Insecurity
After two and a half years of conversation about caring for students with housing insecurity... Lutheran Campus Ministry in Fort Collins is open as a Drop-in Center. With a remodeled building housing new restrooms, showers and laundry... and with a hot meal and wifi... and intentional community... welcome, students, welcome!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Synod Assembly Registration
Everything you need to know about Synod Assembly can be found HERE!

Did you know: There is a special "Saturday only" visitor registration option. Join us Saturday afternoon for worship, lunch, and immersion at your local assembly gathering!
Excellence in Leadership is Getting Noticed!
Can you believe that it has already been over five months since the Excellence in Leadership program was launched? It has been inviting people around the Rocky Mountain Synod into greater understanding of themselves and of the communities in which they live and serve and encouraging them to be more wholehearted and empathetic leaders. And other synods and denominations have noticed.

In the past month there have been two articles published by sources outside of the Rocky Mountain Synod which lift up the transformative power of this program. In January the ELCA publication, Living Lutheran , printed this article and last week the Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices printed this article in their Vestry Papers.

Additionally, other synods and dioceses are exploring how they might offer this program to people in their own geographic areas. This is all exciting news for our Rocky Mountain Synod and you could be a part of the next cohort in September 2020! Look for more details in the weeks to come! For more info, contact danderson@rmselca.org or visit https://www.rmselca.org/leaders/excellence-in-leadership.
BOLD WOMEN’S DAY - Sunday, February 23
Celebrate the bold women in your life
Bold Women’s Day—observed annually on the fourth Sunday of February—celebrates all Lutheran women who have acted or are acting boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.

Some women are bold in their unceasing prayers. Other women are bold in their service to those in need. Still other women are bold in their advocacy or through their hospitality. Whether we live out our bold story of faith in the workplace, family home or community, our faith compels us to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s all about living out our baptismal call, about being a disciple of Christ.
Here's your 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.
Faith Formation Resource Sharing Lunch
Thursday, March 26, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Join other Faith Formation professionals for lunch and conversation at Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, 4500 E Hampden Ave., Denver. Bring a resource that has been helpful to you in recent months and get energized for the months ahead. Lunch will be provided.

RSVP to Bryan Jaster, bryan@bethany-denver.org
For Your Bulletin

Rev. DanaLee Simon
Mt. Tabor, Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, February 22, 10:00 a.m.
Color of the Day: White

Rev. Emily Kuenker
Prince of Peace, Logan, UT
Saturday, February 22, 3:00 p.m.
Color of the Day: White


Deacon Sarah Mielke Bjornebo
Holy Spirit, Centennial, CO
Saturday, February 29, 11:00 a.m.
Color of the Day: Red

RMS Prayer Cycle


- Week of February 16 -

St. Mark - Roswell, NM
Dan Tisdel

St. Peter - Carlsbad, NM
Martha Singletary (UMC)

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 16
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
Prayer of the Day

O God, strength of all who hope in you, because we are weak mortals we accomplish nothing good without you. Help us to see and understand the things we ought to do, and give us grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

16 - 22 February : France, Germany, Monaco - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
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.
The Brilliance of Brahms: A Human Requiem
Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Join the Chorales for one of the most celebrated pieces ever composed and an evening of uplifting and gorgeous music.

The Brahms’ Requiem is a particularly unique work among requiems. The requiem mass was a respected musical genre by the time Brahms began to compose his, but his would be unlike any other. By using German instead of Latin, and themes of comfort to the living instead of prayers for the souls of the dead, Brahms wrote a requiem that is lovely, peaceful and hopeful and is a tribute to his beloved mother. Brahms’ Requiem cemented Brahms place as a venerable composer and this piece a masterwork.
Welcoming the Stranger: Fear, Facts & Faith
Saturday, March 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Join Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains for a conversation about immigration with Matt Soerens, author and U.S. Director of Church Mobilization with World Relief.

Christ Church
2950 South University Blvd.
Denver, CO ( map )

Visit LFS for more information.
Taizé Weekend - Hospitality: A Pilgrimage of Trust
Saturday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
and Sunday, March 15 at 4:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
You are invited to a Taizé Encounter of song, prayer and dialogue with Brothers Emile and John from the Taizé community in France.
We will gather around the theme, Hospitality: A Pilgrimage of Trust . In an increasingly fragmented world, people are asking: Who is my neighbor? Is reconciliation possible? Is community a dream?

Join Brothers Emile and John as they share in dialogue and spiritual practice that is the heart of the community's home in France. Bishop Gonia will be a part of panel discussion with the Brothers. Ihoby Rakotomalala of Auraria Campus Ministry and Krista Kilgus of Urban Servant Corps will also be leading workshops on hospitality and building community.

Share a flyer about this event ( English / Spanish ). For more information, go to here . The venue is The Sanctuary of Calvary Baptist Church, 6500 E. Girard Ave., Denver, CO ( map )
Our Life Together
Lent Book Discussion: The City is My Monastery
During Lent 2020, an online group will discuss the book "The City is My Monastery," by Richard Carter. An Anglican priest, Carter swapped a life of simplicity with a religious order for parish ministry in one of London's busiest churches, St Martin-in-the-Fields. Seeing a need for monastic values in the center of the city, he founded the Nazareth Community, whose members gather from everyday life to seek God in contemplation, to replenish stressed lives, to acknowledge their dependence on God's grace, and to learn to live generously. 
Part story, part spiritual meditation, it offers spiritual wisdom for daily life rooted in seven guiding principles: Silence, Service, Scripture, Sacrament, Sharing, Sabbath Time, and Staying.

Information about acquiring the book, as well as signing up for daily emails and participating via facebook or blog throughout Lent is at this link: https://rtgmtg.wordpress.com/

This opportunity is an invitation from Augustana Lutheran Church, Denver, where this book study is taking place under the leadership of Faith Community Nurse Sue Ann Glusenkamp and Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, serving ELCA Churchwide.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Stewardship Toolkit for March 2020
Here is your March 2020 "Stewardship Toolkit" . It has a "cut and paste" original newsletter article and RCL-based "Stewardship Snippets" for Sunday bulletins, and links to explore. March's theme is "Steward your soul for a fuller life."
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
Non-Rostered Listings 
Missional Youth MInistry Leader (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

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

High School Program Director
Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp - Fort Collins, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • In-office appointments
  • 3E Coordinating Meeting
  • Christ, Highlands Ranch
  • Synod Council ZOOM

Pastor Dana Peterson (Interim, 1/2 time)
  • 3E Coordinating Meeting
  • Congregational Vitality Conference, San Diego, CA

Kurt Rager
  • Legislative Session
  • Forum on Faith & Politics, St. Andrew Presbyterian, Albuquerque, NM

Peter Severson
  • Vacation February 11-18
Tina Kvitek
  • 1-1 Meetings
  • St. Stephens, North Glenn, CO
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • First Call Theological Education, Burlingame, CA
  • Congregational Transition

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

Deacon Erin Power
  • Synod Assembly Planning
  • Companion Synod Committee
  • RMS Communications

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • In-office appointments
  • Faith Formation Conference Coordinators
  • Campus Ministry Retreat
Quick Links
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Rocky Mountain Synod  
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax  303-733-0750

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