February 19, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
From Bishop Jim: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus
In late January my wife, Kim, and I joined in a one-week journey with six fellow ELCA Bishops to visit the  Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) . Much of our time was spend in the West Bank region of Palestine in communities like Beit Sahour, Bethlehem and Beit Jala, where the Lutheran Christian presence is strongest. We also spent time in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Nazareth and then in Jordan for the dedication of the  Lutheran Church Bethany beyond the Jordan Baptismal Site

Language matters. When I first was describing this trip to others, I spoke of going to the Holy Land for the first time. While that was true in a sense, this visit was really about the church to church relationship we enjoy as the ELCA with the ELCJHL. We heard more than once that while many pilgrims comes to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus by seeing historical sites related to the life and ministry of Christ, the real accompaniment with Christ happens when we as fellow members of the Body of Christ journey side by side through the realities of today’s world.

Welcome Rev. Dana Peterson, Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM)
In partnership with our churchwide colleagues, we welcome Dana Peterson as our Director for Evangelical Mission. Dana is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, and founder of Fresh Thinking Strategic Leadership. He is also a Coach/Consultant for the Capital Campaign Services division of the ELCA Mission Investment Fund. Dana served on the RMS Synod Council for eight years, including six on the Executive Committee. Dana also has been part of the RMS strategic planning team, has worked with the RMS 3E program, and has “produced” the audio/visual at synod assembly since 2010. 

Dana will serve 3/4 time until May 4, when he will transition to full-time. Dana can be contacted via email:  dpeterson@rmselca.org.
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Ecumenical Witness at the Border
From Pastor Diana Linden-Johnson, Peace, El Paso:

On Sunday, February 9 friends and members of Peace Lutheran in El Paso came together with folks from three Episcopal and one UCC congregation for a wonderful evening of community, care and friendship. Together, we sorted donations for asylum seekers in Juarez, made and ate a meal together, and learned about the inspiring ministry taking place on the streets of Juarez and at Espiritu Santo Anglican Church, which is currently serving as a shelter for migrants.

Connections were made that we hope will shape the formation of an ecumenical team joined by the simple desire to show up, when and as and how we can, and to meet and be met by migrants and asylum seekers just the other side of the border. 
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!
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.
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.
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
Installations

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

Ordination

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

RMS Prayer Cycle

FEBRUARY 2020
BORDER CONFERENCE

- Week of February 23 -

St. Timothy - El Paso, TX

Trinity - Las Cruces, NM


Trinity - Hobbs, NM
Debra Jimenez

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 23
Transfiguration of our Lord
Last Sunday after Epiphany
Prayer of the Day

O God, in the transfiguration of your Son you confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the witness of Moses and Elijah, and in the voice from the bright cloud declaring Jesus your beloved Son, you foreshadowed our adoption as your children. Make us heirs with Christ of your glory, and bring us to enjoy its fullness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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

23 - 29 February : Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands - 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.
Healing Dark Emotions: Discovering the Good Gifts of Anger, Grief, and Depression, with Reverend Christine Ruth
Sunday, March 8 at 10:50 a.m. to noon
Atonement Lutheran Church (Chapel)
685 Inca Parkway
Boulder, CO ( map )

We will be looking at the theological tensions around these emotions/experiences and how to handle them in a spiritually healthy way. Christine Ruth, M.Div., MS, LMFT is an ordained pastor, teacher, and licensed marriage and family therapist. She founded Niwot Counseling Center in Niwot, Colorado and has twenty years of ministry experience facilitating retreats, grief workshops, and conducting individual and marriage therapy. See flyer here.

This program is offered by the Mental Health Ministry Team of Atonement Lutheran Church, Boulder. 
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 )
Third Annual Heart for the Arts Gala – Night in Vienna
Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m.
A special celebration you won’t forget with performances by Stratus Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Women’s & Men’s Chorales, City Strings, and more! Join us as the we celebrate the work of Augustana Arts in our communities, in our schools, and around the world. Enjoy the performances and exciting live and silent auctions as you dine during our Night in Vienna. Visit Augustana Arts for more information and tickets.
Our Life Together
Sky Ranch Annual Meeting
Sunday, March 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Join us for the Sky Ranch Annual Meeting at CSU Campus Ministry, 805 S Shields St Fort Collins, CO ( map ) on March 1 at 1:00 p.m. We will provide lunch, recap the 2019 year and introduce our new program director! Let us know if you can make it or have any questions at 970-493-5258 or email Ally Plucheck, ally@skyranchcolorado.org.
Rick Steves Hunger and Hope: Lessons from Ethiopia and Guatemala
In this hour-long special, Rick Steves ventures beyond Europe. Traveling through Ethiopia and Guatemala, he learns from locals and experts about key aspects of extreme poverty and how to beat it. Together, we'll witness the importance of water, education, empowering women, and nutrition during a child's first 1,000 days. And we'll see firsthand the impact of globalization and the effects of climate change. More than 700 million people remain in extreme poverty - struggling to live on less than $2 a day. But with the help of innovative solutions and smart development aid, world hunger has been cut in half in the last generation. Ending hunger is possible. And, with travel as our classroom, we can learn about both the challenges and the solutions. Go here, for more information.
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
Views from the Rockies for February 2020
Rocky Mtn Synodical Women's logo
Views from the Rockies is produced by the Rocky Mountain Synodical Women's Organization (RMSWO). It provides information about current programs, projects, and more. Here women share their ideas, their thoughts, their concerns, and their joys.
In this issue you'll get information about the Fall 2020 Rocky Mountain Synodical Women's Organization Convention and Retreat with its theme "From the Darkness into the Light," and the Women of the ELCA's Eleventh Triennial Gathering 2020, July 16-19, and more!

The Views from the Rockies provides news that all women in the Rocky Mountain Synod need! Get your copy here .
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."
Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Minister of Music (full-time)
Augustana Lutheran Church - Denver, CO
Augustana Lutheran Church is seeking a full-time  Minister of Music  to be part of fulfilling our mission of celebrating God’s grace, welcoming everyone to worship Jesus, grow in faith and go serve in the world. The primary focus of this position is to provide music for the worship services but the music ministry also plays a key role in community outreach through concerts, education and collaborations. Our ideal candidate demonstrates musical excellence and an ability to create a welcoming environment for participation and engagement. Music is an expression of faith and is deeply important to the congregation of Augustana Lutheran Church.

Position Summary : The Minister of Music will coordinate Augustana’s music ministry in proclaiming the Gospel through music. The priority of this ministry is to invite musicians, congregation, and the outside community to experience the Holy Spirit, and to join in Christian community. The Music Ministry works with all ministries of Augustana Lutheran Church for the spiritual development of the congregation.

Full job description, qualifications, and responsibilities are available  HERE .
Please submit a letter of interest, résumé, and include responses to Augustana’s initial questions (accessible  HERE ) to  careers@augustanadenver.org  prior to Monday, March 16, 2020.
Non-Rostered Listings 
Minister of Music (full-time)
Augustana Lutheran Church - Denver, CO

Missional Youth MInistry Leader (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Bookkeeper (part-time)
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • In-office appointments
  • Installation of Rev. DanaLee Simon, Mt. Tabor, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Installation of Rev. Emily Kuenker
  • Ascension, Ogden, UT
  • Vacation, February 24-25
  • Conference Deans ZOOM

ELCA DIRECTOR FOR EVANGELICAL MISSION
Pastor Dana Peterson (3/4 time)
  • Congregational Vitality Conference, San Diego, CA
  • In-office appointments
  • Conference Deans ZOOM

LUTHERAN ADVOCACY MINISTRY NEW MEXICO
Kurt Rager
  • Legislative Session
  • Interfaith Hunger Coalition

LUTHERAN ADVOCACY MINISTRY COLORADO
Peter Severson
  • Faithful Thursdays
  • FAMLI Coalition
  • Financial Equity Coalition
  • Colorado Women's Legislative Breakfast

ELCA REGIONAL GIFT PLANNER
Tina Kvitek
  • Mount of Olives, Rock Springs, WY
  • Faith, Lander, WY
  • St. Paul's, Cheyenne, WY
ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP FOR CONGREGATIONAL LIFE
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Congregational Transition
  • Excellence in Leadership, Denver South Cohort
  • Conference Deans ZOOM

ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP FOR LEADERSHIP SUPPORT
Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Part-time Ministry Team
  • Healthy Leaders Team

ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP FOR SYNODICAL LIFE
Deacon Erin Power
  • Churchwide Committee on Appeals
  • Assembly Planning
  • RMS Communications
  • Dean's ZOOM

ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP FOR FAITH FORMATION & CANDIDACY
Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • In-office appointments
  • Candidacy Committee Preparation
  • Dean's ZOOM
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

Submissions are due noon Monday each week's issue.
Past issues of eConnection may be found here.