February 20, 2019
A Reconciling in Christ synod
What We Get to do Together!
Not long ago I was asked: So, what does the “synod” do for us anyway? I was reminded of how Presiding Bishop Eaton addressed that inquiry some years ago when she said: That’s the wrong question. The question is what do we get to do together as the church?

What do we get to do together as Christ’s Church here in the Rocky Mountain Synod? Your Synod Council engaged that question at our meeting in early February and affirmed some exciting directions for our shared life as fellow members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in this part of God’s world.

  • Together, we get to celebrate the generosity of congregations and individuals that help fuel our ministry. The Council heard updates about Stewardship for All Seasons and the fruits it is yielding in many of the congregations that have engaged in this collaborative opportunity to grow in gratitude. We also celebrated that our Synod Mission Support for 2018 exceeded our expectations, growing by 2.1% over last year and allowing us to be generous with our Churchwide ministries. The Council approved increasing our Mission Support share with our Churchwide ministries from 47% to 47.5% in 2019.

  • Together, we get to grow as leaders in Christ’s Church. In the fall of this year we plan to launch Excellence in Leadership, a comprehensive leadership development initiative that has been “under construction” for the last few years, and whose desire is to form courageous, resilient and faithful leaders who are better equipped to build courageous, resilient, and faithful communities of faith, for the sake of the world. It is the vision of this initiative that pastors, deacons, leaders of congregations and other ministries will all be equipped to exercise wise, mature, emotionally intelligent leadership in the many settings of their lives. Stay tuned for details!

Together, we get to expand our vision for outdoor ministry through Messiah Mountain Retreat Center. 

eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Introducing My America - Rev. Dr. Steven Schave, St. Louis, MO
My America...Welcomes our Neighbor and Strangers
By Rev. Dr. Steven Schave

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

As we hear these words ringing in our ears, we see that not only are we sent to preach the Gospel to all nations, but in fact all nations are being sent to us. The mission field in our own backyards and at the footsteps of our churches. Just as we are also called to love our neighbors.

RMS-ELCA News and Events
“Perspectives on the Border” Webinar Series
This “Perspectives on the Border” webinar series on immigration is a partnership project with  Rev. Dr. Jay Alanis , the   Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS) , and these ELCA synods: Grand Canyon, Gulf Coast, Pacifica, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Rocky Mountain, and Southwestern Texas .

There are three different sessions, usually at a minimum cost of $25 each per participant.  We are offering all three for only $60 per person!  Your synods are helping subsidize the cost of this invaluable training (valued at a significantly higher rate)!

Session I: Living in Third Spaces (March 7, 3:00 p.m. CST)
Session II: Borderland Perspectives on Diverse Worldviews (March 21, 3:00 p.m. CDT)
Session III: Theological Perspectives from the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands (March 28, 3:00 p.m. CDT)

The sessions will likely run over an hour, based on our prior experience, where much dialogue ensued, especially when talking about culture as a paradigm.
Assembly Registration is OPEN!
Dates & Deadlines -

February 4:  Online Registration Opens
February 22:  Exhibitor Request Deadline
February 22:  Resolution and Memorial Intent Deadline
March 15:  Priority Deadline for Scholarship Requests
March 22:  Resolutions, and Nominations for Synod Secretary Due
March 22:  Ministry Booklet Pages Deadline
April 12:  Registration Deadline & Hotel Reservation deadline
Pay the registration fee online or submit a check by April 12.

Registration: $300
Hotel: $119-129

Note about hotel accomodations: We have added additional rooms to the RMS block for Thursday, May 2. If you were unable to make a reservation for Thursday, try again, the problem should be corrected. You can go here to make your reservation at the Embassy Suites.
Don't forget to not forget to do your Annual Congregational Report Forms A/C !
Here's a little reminder to make sure your congregation submits its Annual Congregational Report Forms A & C online. The due date for these forms was February 15. Have your Congregation ID on-hand and go here.
It will only take a few minutes of your time and you'll be glad you didn't forget!
Christ makes a new season possible: a Season of Hope!
Proclaim to the world that the hope of Christ makes a new season possible: a Season of Hope. Lutheran World Relief has an abundance of resources to show your congregation the impact they can make in the lives of poor and struggling families around the world. Invigorate your congregation for global good with:

  • Weekly devotionals by Lutherans in the U.S. and LWR staff
  • Palm Sunday bulletin insert and children’s activity sheet
  • Season of Hope Homily Series centered on Matthew 25:34-36

Visit lwr.org/lent and journey through this Lenten season with Lutheran World Relief.
Lutheran congregations helped to launch Eco-Palms
Did you know that Lutherans have been pioneers in transforming the business of palms? Since 2005, Eco-Palms has been helping harvesting communities rise out of poverty and sustain the land they depend on for survival. Lutheran World Relief has partnered with the University of Minnesota CINRAM to bring Eco-Palms to congregations across the U.S.

Visit lwr.org/eco-palms to order yours today!
RMS Youth Council is ready to launch!
The RMS Youth Council task force has finished its visioning work and is ready to add a few more members, with at least one youth representing each conference of the Synod.
If you know a youth interested in being part of this new group of valued youth voices, please have them go to our new website , or request an application or more information from the current council members at rmsyouthcouncil@gmail.com .

Applications will be accepted until the end of March.
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle


 Week of February 24

St. Timothy - El Paso, TX
Michael Hamilton

Trinity - Las Cruces, NM
Christa von Zychlin
Wayne Nieminen 

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 24
Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany 
Prayer of the Day

O Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace, that where there is hatred, we may sow love, where there is injury, pardon, and where there is despair, hope. Grant, O divine master, that we may seek to console, to understand, and to love in your name, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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

24 February - 02 March  Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
Join us for Colorado Lutheran Day at the Legislature!
Thursday, February 21, 7:30 a.m.- noon
Registration is still open for Colorado Lutheran Day at the Legislature . Join us for this excellent opportunity for learning and action. You will hear from advocates and elected officials about issues being addressed at the State Capitol, and you'll have the chance to meet your legislators in person as we engage in citizen lobbying.

We are excited to announce that our policy focus this year will be Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries, Taking Bold Action . We will focus on three primary issues, all of which will be addressed through legislation in the current session:

  • Ban the Box - limiting criminal history inquiries on job applications (HB 19-1025)
  • Clean Slate - automatic record sealing
  • Abolition of Colorado's death penalty

Don't wait, register today! We look forward to seeing you join us.
Also don't forget to take a look at the ELCA Social Statements on Criminal Justice and the Death Penalty . Additional information will be e-mailed to registrants before the event.
Sky Ranch Annual Meeting
Sunday, February 24, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sky Ranch will host its Annual meeting
Sunday, February 24, at Dicken’s Tavern in Longmont.  Join us for an opportunity to reflect on the blessings of 2018 and look forward to the adventure of 2019!

Dicken’s Tavern & Opera House
300 Main St
Longmont, C O ( map )

For questions about the annual meeting please contact that office at 970-493-5258 or through e-mail at ally@skyranchcolorado.org .
Psalms Gathering in Aurora, CO
"I am for peace”: The Psalms for Justice-Seekers and Peace-Makers
A Dialog with Eden Seminary Professor Clint McCann
The Church of the Holy Family (Ecumenical Catholic Communion) is hosting this Psalms gathering starting Friday evening, March 8 and ending Saturday evening, March 9 with our regular worship & fellowship at Christ the Savior Lutheran Church. Download more information and a full schedule here.

Friday, March 8
Church of the Holy Family office
11250 E. Iliff Ave., Ste 120, Aurora ( map )

Saturday, March 9
Christ the Savior Lutheran Church
1092 S. Nome St., Aurora ( map )

PLEASE register at this Eventbrite link for host Holy Family's hospitality planning purposes. The event is free & open to all (free will offering will be taken to defray costs of hospitality and speaker's travel). You may come to any combination of sessions/lunch you wish. We just need to know you're coming. Thank you!

Questions, contact Pastor Cynthia Drew at pastorcynthia@holyfamilyco.org
Contemplative Outreach of Colorado 26th Annual Conference
Presents "A Darkness of All Light" - featuring Fr. Martin Laird
Saturday March 30th, 9:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
"A Darkness All of Light" - This line from a poem by Franz Wright serves to focus this day of silent prayer, lecture and discussion. Silence has no opposite. For the silent mind, sound is as silent as no sound. For the mind free of clutter, the silence of despair and the silence of joy are different manifestations of the very same silence. But for the cluttered mind, such things seem to be at odds. Fr. Laird is a professor at Villanova University, dynamic speaker, retreat leader, and author of several books including his newest one, "An Ocean of Light."

Augustana Arts presents 2nd Annual Heart for the Arts Gala
Saturday April 6, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Join us for A Night to Remember at the 2nd Annual "Heart for the Arts" Benefit Gala! The evening includes appetizers, dinner, wine and desserts with live performances of Stratus Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Women's and Men's Chorale, and City Strings students. Our guest Emcee, Michael Shasberger, returns to Augustana Arts to celebrate our 21 years. And a live/silent auction will benefit all the valuable programs we offer to the community. Join us for a golden evening with friends and family who have a heart for the arts! Order your tickets here !
Augustana Arts presents Through the Lens of Music: Focus on Soul with the Colorado Women’s Chorale and Colorado Men’s Chorale
Friday April 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday April 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
The Hazel Miller Band joins with Stratus in the first half featuring some of Hazel’s favorites, but the 2nd half is a dream come true as Hazel performs Beethoven’s Symphony #9 joined with the Colorado Women’s and Men’s Chorales. It is a concert guaranteed to lift your soul, engage your mind, fill your spirit, and invigorate your body. Not to mention, bring down the house.

Adult- $25.00,
Senior 62+- $20.00,
Student w/ ID- $10.00,
Child >5- $5.00

New Mexico Conference of Churches presents CIRCO for Community and Justice
Friday, April 5, 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.
CIRCO for Community and Justice a benefit dinner of the New Mexico Conference of Churches to be held on April 5 at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Albuquerque.  
As a friend of the New Mexico Conference of Churches we ask you to include an announcement of CIRCO in your late-February /early-March communications; become a Facebook event co-sponsor; consider purchasing an ad or becoming a fiscal sponsor of the event; and attend with your friends.

Here are files you may use in your publications.

Please include this link for reservations:  https://nmchurches.breezechms.com/form/f7687e

Go here to promote the event on Facebook, and become a FB co-sponsor.

Advertisers and Sponsors to be included in our program booklet are welcome by March 5.
Deadline for reservations is March 25.  
Thank your for your help to promote CIRCO and your support of the ecumenical community in New Mexico!
Synod Assembly Opportunities!
Synod Assembly is coming to Albuquerque which brings some unique opportunities for local folks this year!

  • Local Visitor Option: Area folks are invited to join the assembly on Saturday afternoon/evening which includes: Afternoon excursion/immersion, dinner, and evening worship. Cost: $50.
  • Saturday evening worship: Area congregations are invited to join our evening worship on Saturday, May 4.
Our Life Together
LFS Denver - Informal Q & A session for Foster Care
March 13 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Each year in Colorado, thousands of kids are unable to live with their biological parents because of abuse or neglect. We need families who can provide temporary care until children reunify with their parent as well as families willing to adopt children and teens in foster care if they can't return to their families. An informal Q & A session for foster care will be held at the LFS Denver Metro office, 363 S. Harlan Street, Suite 105, Denver, 80226 ( map ). Please register with Anne at anne.hamilton@lfsrm.org or 303-217-5869. One-on-one meetings can also be arranged to work around your busy schedule.
LFS' 25th Annual Gala on April 26 - Mark your calendars!
The LFS Gala is our premier fundraising event which features a night of dinner, entertainment, an auction, and companionship. More information here! Silent auction item donations are still needed - can you or a group of friends put together a gift basket, or donate a gift certificate or item to help raise funds for our human service programs? For more information or to schedule a pick-up, contact Katie Scherr at katie.scherr@lfsrm.org
Border Servants Corps - February 2019 Update!
Read about three former Border Servant Corps volunteers ( here) who have continued to work in the border region and been recipients of 21 donations in the past 6 months totaling $8,058.51, from individuals and congregations (primarily RMS). Many thanks to these and the many other former volunteers!
Summer Offerings from CLU Office of Congregational Relations!
Executive Skills for Church Leaders
July 15 - 19, 2019
This continuing education event for pastors and church leaders will explore how concepts from a MBA program can be applied to the arena of congregational life. Click on the postcard below for more information.

Essential Skills for Youth Workers
August 1 - 3, 2019
Volunteer? Full time? Part Time? Paid? We've got a personal and professional development program for you or your youth workers! Click on the postcard below for more information.
Faithful Tuesdays at the Colorado State Capitol
Faithful Tuesdays is a diverse coalition of leaders, organizations and community members who are committed to adding a deeper, moral dimension to the public policymaking process in Colorado.

We will hold multi-faith events, every Tuesday, at the Colorado State Capitol throughout the 2019 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly. Some of these events may feature specific legislation, while other events may focus on forwarding a shared narrative of justice, love, healing, reconciliation, and care for the other.

Please join us on any Tuesday through April 30th from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. at the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO. Visit our website for dates, topics, and locations: https://faithfultuesdays.org/ and on Facebook Events.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Church Together Ambassador's Toolkits
In coordination with your pastor and congregational leadership, our Church Together Ambassadors use our Church Together Toolkits to share stories and insights with your congregation , ideally in worship, but also through other communication channels, through faith formation opportunities, etc.
Join them in seeking ways to  share stories of your congregation’s ministry and witness as they network with other Church Together Ambassadors in exploring additional avenues for passing along the energy and enthusiasm generated when we gather in Assembly.  

Download Word / PDF version of the Church Together Toolkit  
Stewardship Toolkit for Congregations - March 2019
Here is the monthly "Stewardship Toolkit" for congregations. It includes a newsletter article, RCL-based stewardship blurbs for each Sunday bulletin, as well as links to teach, preach, think and do stewardship. The theme of the newsletter article and links is "Holistic stewardship for Lent."
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO
Final Disposition of Properties - Updated February 9
After 69 years of ministry in Aurora, Colorado, the people of St. Matthew Lutheran Church voted for Holy Closure, with thanksgiving to God and in gratitude to the saints who have gone before. Here is a list of church furnishings, hymnals, Bibles, music, study guides, and altarware, available for other congregations. Download it here . Donations for any of the items are welcome. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Erwin Gebers at 720-277-2816 or  e-mgebers@comcast.net.
Vanco offers new online giving option for ELCA congregations
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has formed a preferred vendor agreement with Vanco, an eGiving software developer and payment processor serving more than 20,000 churches across the country. The agreement offers Vanco's GivePlus suite of eGiving solutions to ELCA congregations. ( press release here).

Learn more here about GivePlus and the benefits of this preferred vendor agreement. 

Tithe.ly continues to be a preferred option as well. We encourage our congregations and ministries to consider both online giving options. Here is the ELCA site where you can read about both options:  https://elca.org/preferredvendors.
Employment Opportunities
New Listings
Preschool Director, South Table Mountain Preschool
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO
Faith Lutheran Church is accepting resumes for the position of Director of South Table Mountain Preschool (STMP) . The Director of STMP provides leadership to develop, implement and maintain a high quality Christian preschool in every aspect that is connected to Faith Lutheran’s mission and ministry. This position will commence July 2019.

Qualifications: Meet the licensing qualifications and requirements for a director of a Colorado licensed Preschool (large daycare facility); possess and display strong Christian principles; have a passion for working with young children; work well with parents/adults in various capacities and able to communicate with them well; able to lead teaching team with vision and enthusiasm; meet FAITH’s leadership role (as described above), and continues to develop personally and spiritually. More information here

Approximately 1,600 hours/year. Additional time for Parent's Day Outs and Summer Camp. $35,00-40,000 plus benefits.

Resumes accepted through March 1, 2019 via e-mail to Pastor Jane Jebsen at jane@faithgolden.org.
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Preschool Director, South Table Mountain Preschool
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Communications Specialist
King of Glory Lutheran Church - Arvada, CO

Parish Administrator
Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit - Centennial, CO

St. Philip Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO
St. Philip Early Learning Center

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

Preschool Director
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

Music Leader (part-time)
Ascension Lutheran Church - Cheyenne, WY
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • ELCA Foundation Meeting
  • Opening Prayer at CO House of Representatives
  • Glory of God, Wheat Ridge

Pastor Matt Barnhouse
  • 1-1 Appointments
  • Vacation

Ruth Hoffman
  • Legislative Session

Peter Severson
  • Hunger Free Colorado Lobby Day
  • Lutheran Day at the Legislature
  • 30th Annual Colorado Women's Legislative Breakfast

Tina Kvitek
  • ELCA Foundation Partner Meetings
  • CSU Campus Ministry Board
  • 1-1 Meetings
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • First Call Theological Education, Las Vegas, NV
  • Congregational Ministries Board Retreat
  • Holy Shepherd Lakewood, CO

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Holy Shepherd, Lakewood, CO

Deacon Erin Power
  • Global Mission Committee
  • Ministry Review, First, Longmont, CO
  • RMS Communications

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Candidacy Conversations
  • Faith Formation Conference Coordinators
  • CSU Campus Ministry Board
  • Shepherd of the Valley, La Salle, CO
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry Retreat, Albuquerque, NM
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power ,   Assistant to the Bishop
You are welcome to directly contact Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant, with questions, comments, or concerns you may have about eConnection or our website!

Rocky Mountain Synod  
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

Submissions are due noon Monday each week and will run for about two weeks.
Past issues of eConnection may be found here .