March 4, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
Concerns and Precautions Regarding COVID-19
From the Office of the Bishop:

As of now, the immediate risk to American public is low. We will continue to share any updated recommendations from the CDC as they emerge. As congregations continue to gather for worship in light of concerns around the Corona virus,  we encourage you to be mindful of the same basic precautions you would take during cold and flu season:

  • Stay home if you are sick; wash your hands with soap and water regularly; cough into your elbow, etc.

  • For those who are more vulnerable during flu season, you may consider passing the peace verbally or bumping elbows, or passing the hand sanitizer along with the peace!

  • Additional attention to clean hands for those presiding over the table and assisting with communion should be a priority. 

  • Additional resources regarding communion and other liturgical practices are on our website. There is no one correct answer in regards to communion. Some studies have shown that common cup (particularly with a silver chalice) has the lowest risk of spreading disease. Care should be taken with intinction around fingers touching the wine while dipping their bread. 

  • If receiving wine by any means concerns you, receive only the bread—our Lutheran faith in the presence of the body and blood of Christ in both the bread and wine of the Eucharist teaches us that each element is complete and sufficient in itself to communicate to us God’s grace and healing in the sacrament. If you wish not to receive the wine, simply pause or bow to hear the words “The Blood of Christ, shed for you,” and reverently move on.

  • If you have a high number of vulnerable people or have a number of folks with colds or the flu, consider having food served onto plates during fellowship time from whoever is hosting, rather than having guests self-serve from a large platter or buffet line. 

ELCA Official Partner of the 2020 Census
Our communities are significantly shaped by census data, and Census 2020 will update these numbers for the first time in 10 years. The ELCA is an official partner of the 2020 Census to encourage the most accurate count possible. 

“Funding for over 100 federal programs, many of which combat poverty and hunger and support people in need, are distributed based on population,” says the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, director of ELCA Advocacy. “An accurate count ensures that resources more justly go where they are needed most. It is also critical for representation in the political process as census information determines electoral maps.” 

Undercounting is a significant issue among groups that benefit most from anti-poverty programs and from greater representation in decision-making. “Hard to count” individuals in census terms include people residing in rural areas, young children, LGBTQIA people, people experiencing homelessness, people who do not speak English, indigenous peoples, and racial and ethnic minorities. The census aims to count everyone regardless of immigration status, and as a result of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, there will not be a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census. 

Posters placed in your congregation’s common areas and social ministry locations can raise awareness and encourage all to follow-up when their invitation to complete the census arrives by National Census Day on April 1, 2020.   Download your poster today. A Census 2020 toolkit and bulletin inserts are also available to help raise awareness. 

People underrepresented in previous census counts are not strangers. They are part of our congregations and communities. As we work toward a just world where all are fed, act for your neighbor and yourself and encourage your community to be counted! 

For additional opportunities, be part of the ELCA Advocacy network through  and join us on social media at @ELCAadvocacy.
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
A Family's Confirmation
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Introducing Safe Gatherings
We are excited to announce that the Rocky Mountain Synod has partnered with Safe Gatherings for volunteer training, reference checks, background checks, and volunteer sharing. Safe Gatherings comes at the recommendation of our Churchwide faith formation folks, and puts everything you need to get your volunteers ready to be a safe presence for all church and ministry programs. 

  • Certification is good for 3 years, is paid for directly to Safe Gatherings, and can be used for 2 or 200 volunteers, making it a great choice for our smaller congregations and ministries.
  • Training is done by individuals online at their convenience, eliminating the need for getting everyone in the same space!
  • And if you find yourself suddenly short of volunteers the day before VBS, the reporting system will allow for the sharing of Safe Gathering certified volunteers between settings - Better Together in a whole new way!  

Visit our Safe Gatherings (formerly Safe Havens) webpage for more information. We look forward to talking with you about how you use this training and background checks in your context. The folks at Safe Gatherings are happy to answer questions as we all get acquainted with their system. And feel free to contact Leslie O'Callaghan with questions.
Synod Assembly Immersions and Elections
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!

Synod Assembly Elections

We will be electing members to a number of different boards and committees. Nominations will be received by returning the nomination form by March 20.  Elections will take place for the following positions:
Global Mission Committee
(1) At-Large
Congregational Ministry Board
(5) At-large
Committee on Discipline
(1) At-Large Lay Male
(2) At-Large Lay Female
(4) At-Large Rostered Minister
Consultation Committee
(2) At-Large Rostered Minister

Rocky Mountain Synod Council
Southeast Colorado Conference: Rostered Minister
Wyoming Conference: Lay
Border Conference: Rostered Minister
Boulder/Broomfield Conference: Lay
Metro West Conference: Lay
Metro South Conference: Rostered Minister
At Large Ethnic Specific
At Large: Rostered Minister
At Large Youth
At Large Young Adult
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 to the 2020 Synod Assembly Nominations and Elections website. 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,
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle

MARCH 2020

- Week of March 8 -

Christ the Servant - Louisville, CO
Stephanie Lord

Atonement - Boulder, CO
Chad Kohlmeyer
Stacy Payne
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, March 8
Second Sunday in Lent
Prayer of the Day

O God, our leader and guide, in the waters of baptism you bring us to new birth to live as your children. Strengthen our faith in your promises, that by your Spirit we may lift up your life to all the world through your Son, 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

08 - 14 March : Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
The Gallery of Living Art
Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 p.m.
First Lutheran Church
1515 N Cascade Ave
Colorado Springs, CO ( map)

A gift to our community! First Lutheran Church celebrates twenty-six years of the Gallery of Living Art. Over these years the Gallery has expanded from one performance with five pictures and twenty-four cast members to fifteen pictures with a cast of 80 and four performances. As the audience sits in the Sanctuary, the story of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection will unfold through staged live reproductions of sacred works of art along with narrative scripture and music sung by First Lutheran choir. The art includes the well-known Christ in Gethsemane by Heinrich Hofmann, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo’s Pieta.

We are excited to also offer the Junior Gallery of Living Art for families with younger children on Saturday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m. This will be an abbreviated performance with five pictures, with narration by Travis Norton, Senior Pastor at First Lutheran Church and music by First Lutheran choir. Children attending this performance will have the opportunity to take a backstage tour.

Admission is free and childcare is provided at all performances.
For more information visit our website, call us at 719-632-8836, send email to Joan Kuehn at
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 here .

The venue on Saturday is Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO ( map ). Sunday night is at the Sanctuary of Calvary Baptist Church, 6500 E. Girard Ave., Denver, CO ( map )
Resource Fair for Seniors and Caregivers
Sunday, March 15, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit
6400 S. University Blvd.
Centennial, CO ( map)

Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit is hosting a Resource Fair for Seniors and Caregivers. Participating Agencies will be present to provide resources and answer questions - not to sell anything!

Participating Agencies include:

  • CarePatrol, Parkinson's Pointe, AARP, Visiting Angels, Dispatch Health, Colorado Respite Coalition, Arapahoe County Senior Check-in, Alzheimer Association, Nursing Home Ombudsman, Medical Equipment Loan Closet, TLC Meals on Wheels, and more!
  • Mary Jo Heins will answer questions regarding Medicare.
  • Dave Perry will answer legal questions.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! If you or a loved one are looking for resources, this event is for you! For more information, call 303-794-3451 or send email.
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.
Come hear Gunsmoke and The Shadow live episodes!
Sunday afternoon, March 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Advent Lutheran Church
7979 Meade St.
Westminster, CO ( map )

Half hour episodes of Gunsmoke as it was heard live on the radio in 1954, and of The Shadow which aired in 1938, will be performed as live radio plays by your Advent Radio Players in the sanctuary.

Your Advent Radio Players recreate old time radio shows from original scripts using several microphones and sound effects from the original programs just as they were heard on the radio. Each play is performed like a live radio show with lighted applause and on the air signs. Donations are appreciated ($7 suggested). Plan now to attend and bring neighbors, family and friends to this unique ministry here at Advent. Come join the fun! We hope to see you there!

Worship and Music Workshop!
Saturday, April 4 starting at 9:30 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church
135 Crescent Drive
Sheridan, WY ( map )
Gathering/Welcome 9:30-10:00 a.m. Workshop 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
This interactive workshop is for worship planners and part-time musicians, including keyboardists/organists, instrumentalists, vocal and bell choir directors, directors of music, Pastors/LPAs/Deacons, etc. Be ready to sing!
This workshop will include ideas for worship planning and music ministry to include liturgy and song/hymn selections, whether the setting is a liturgical or non-liturgical tradition. So be sure and invite friends from other faith traditions.
Resources will include music for small ensembles and choirs, children’s music ministry, piano, organ, bell choirs, instruments as well as liturgies and congregational hymns/songs. A variety of worship and music resources will be available for review. Through discussion, music and visuals we will share ideas and examples which can be used to reflect church seasons and worship/sermon themes and celebrations. 
Be ready to share your ideas and experiences, too. We’re all in this together!

Cost : $25.00 (includes lunch and workshop materials)
Presenter : Pastor Julie Long-Our Savior’s Lutheran, Broadus. She is a life-long church musician, serves as a music/worship resource person for the Montana Synod and has led these and similar workshops across the Synod.
Workshop Sponsors : Northern Rockies Institute of Theology (NRIT), ELCA Montana Synod and Trinity Lutheran Church-Sheridan. Continuing Education Credits available through N.R.I.T.
To Register : Send an email to Pastor Julie at or via FB message. This will facilitate adequate print and electronic resources for participants as well as numbers for lunch planners. Please indicate any special dietary needs or food restrictions.

Our Life Together
The Table
Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m.
Got a complicated relationship with God?
Searching for a sense of community and acceptance?
We hear you.
Come join us for a new kind of worship,
the kind that invites you to come as you are.
All are welcome here - children, young adults, seniors, and everyone in-between.
Featuring music by Tangled Blue.
There is a place for you at The Table.

Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m.
Looking for Green Teams!?
Does your congregation have a "Green Team"? Would you like to get involved with other congregations in helping promote creation care in the Synod?
If so, please email to Pastor Alena Lamirato at with your name, congregation, and how you have gone green.
Germany 2020 -Study Tour - ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!!
June 15, 2020 through June 24, 2020
We are nearing the home stretch for the Germany 2020 Study Tour. We will be following in the footsteps of Martin Luther with a stop to see the Oberammergau Passion Play (which only happens, every ten years). There are ONLY 2 spots left for the trip! If you are interested, it will be important to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

You can get more information and register online: , use Tour Code: Carson20
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.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
ELCA World Hunger’s Lenten resources

Join ELCA World Hunger in
exploring the theme of hope with a Lenten calendar, weekly study guide and more.

ELCA Youth Gathering promotional resources

Promotional resources for
ELCA Youth Gathering 2021
are now available for download; they include a handbook, posters and a branding guide.

Racial justice resources

We believe that Christ’s church is for all people. In honor of Black History Month, we invite you to explore these resources and to move forward toward fairness and justice as a church and a society.

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  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
  • Conference of Bishops, Chicago, IL

Pastor Dana Peterson (3/4 time)
  • St. Peter, Greenwood Village, CO
  • In-office appointments

Kurt Rager
  • NM Coalition to end Homelessness

Peter Severson
  • Faithful Thursdays
  • In-office appointments

Tina Kvitek
  • 1-1 Meetings
  • Peace, El Paso, TX
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Leadership Planning team
  • Congregational Transition

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Available by email:

Deacon Erin Power
  • Synod Assembly planning
  • RMS Finance Committee
  • Highlands, Denver, CO
  • First, Colorado Springs, CO

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • In-office: Candidacy appointments
  • House for All, Denver, CO
Quick Links
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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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