March 11, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
ELCA Church Council votes to remove "Vision and Expectations"
CHICAGO (March 8, 2020) - The ELCA Church Council voted today to remove "Vision and Expectations" from use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Disciplinary standards for rostered ministers are outlined in "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline."

The council encourages people to read the document, which states:
"As an expression of its life in the gospel of Jesus Christ, this church embraces disciplinary processes of counseling, admonition and correction, with the objective of forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Simultaneously, out of deep concern for effective extension of the gospel, this church remains alert to the high calling of discipleship in Jesus Christ."

Participating in 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 which benefit most from anti-poverty programs and from greater representation in decision-making. “Hard to count” individuals in census experience include persons residing in rural areas, young children, LGBTQIA persons, 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 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, there will not be a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census.

Find more resources at:
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
‘Pat A Shoulder, Do The Elbow Bump’
Saint Peter in Greenwood Village was in a CBS news story about how local churches are altering worship practices in order to minimize chances of spreading COVID-19. Well done, Pastor Risendal!

"GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4)– The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus is leading to some changes in the way people worship. To limit the possible spread, some churches in the Denver metro area are adjusting by asking that people no longer shake hands or hug.

At least two churches in Greenwood Village are among those that have decided to take precautions..."

Read the story and watch the video here >
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Synod Assembly Deadlines: March 20!

Everything you need to know about Synod Assembly can be found HERE!

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
Office of the Bishop Eucharist, Wednesday, March 11
Our monthly Eucharist will be held at the Lutheran Center on Wednesday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m.

All are invited to join in this 30 minute worship.
Lutheran Disaster Response - please give for tornado relief efforts in Tennessee
A powerful and destructive tornado ripped through Nashville and other parts of Tennessee, leaving destruction in its wake. At least 24 people have been killed, homes and other buildings have been destroyed, and thousands of people are without electricity.

Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) is working with those in the impacted area — including the ELCA Southeastern Synod , Inspiritus (formerly known as Lutheran Services of Georgia and Lutheran Services in Tennessee) and local congregations — to respond with immediate relief. Given the extent of the destruction, recovery is expected to take years. LDR plans to accompany the synod and Inspiritus to address survivors’ needs over the long haul.

Please give today to help people whose lives have been impacted by this devastating tornado . Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for “U.S. tornadoes" will be used entirely (100%) to assist those affected by tornadoes until the response is complete. Together, we can support those who are on the long road to recovery. Please give today.
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.
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 are now being accepted through March 20. 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. at Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village
Calling all faith formation leaders! Come enjoy lunch together and share what is working or not working in your context. Bring a resource that you'd love to share with the wider group. Lunch will be provided. Those outside the metro area who are unable to join in person are invited to ZOOM in for the latter part of the conversation.

RSVP to Bryan Jaster,
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle

MARCH 2020

- Week of March 15 -

Cross of Christ - Broomfield, CO
Kathleen Armstrong
Will Johnson

Grace - Boulder, CO
Stephanie Kopsch (Interim)

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 15
Third Sunday in Lent
Prayer of the Day

Merciful God, the fountain of living water, you quench our thirst and wash away our sin. Give us this water always. Bring us to drink from the well that flows with the beauty of your truth 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

15 - 21 March :  Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - 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
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!
Urban Servant Corps Palm Sunday Prayer Walk
Sunday, April 5 from 1:00 -3:00 p.m.
Urban Servant Corps
1660 Ogden Street
Denver, CO ( map)

The Urban Servant Corps community will celebrate the beginning of Holy Week and you are invited to walk the neighborhood where Urban Servant Corps volunteers have been present for 33 years! Bring your youth group, co-workers, families, and neighbors to offer prayers for those who are most in need in our community. May this gathering be an act of faithful support for the justice that we seek in our neighborhoods. Thanks to Bishop Gonia for leading a Palm Sunday litany during this gathering! More information here.
Shepherd of the Hills Presents a World Premier Cantata
Saturday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m.
Shepherd of the Hills
801 N Sheridan
Cañon City, CO ( map)

Shepherd of the Hills presents "…According to John" , a Cantata written for the Chancel Choir and instrumentalists in celebration of the Easter season. The text, taken exclusively from the Biblical narration of John, is derived from the King James version, and presents the unfolding of Jesus as a healer and recognized as the Son of God by the disciples and the larger population in Jerusalem.

The Cantata is sung in eight sections, connected with narration taken from the scriptures. The choir presents musical depictions of events documented before the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, including the Last Supper, raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus entering the city, interrogation from Pontius Pilot and the meeting in the tomb. The choir will be accompanied by piano, organ, flute, violin, cello and percussion.

The music was composed by Gerald Willis, who has recently relocated to Canon City from Los Angeles. With over forty years of compositions, Mr. Willis has had commissioned works performed by orchestras, bands and school ensembles around the world. This is his first Cantata for chorus and the first of many compositions to be completed in Colorado.

Free to the public.
Two Bishops Talk About Young Adult Ministry
Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m.
St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church
425 University Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106 ( map)

Join Bishop Michael Hunn of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande and Bishop Jim Gonia of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to express our collective hopes and dreams for faith formation and share how young adults are shaping the church right now.

Come listen to both bishops, participate in a Q & A session, and stay afterward for a light reception. All are invited, especially those who serve with young adults and/or ministers in faith formation. Parking is available on-site and in the neighborhood. Visit for more information. Questions? 505-633-5564 or
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 Summit: Youth and Family Ministry Retreat
April 20-22, 2020 at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp
The Summit is a retreat free of charge for anyone working professionally in ministry with youth, young adults, children, and families in the Rocky Mountain Synod. The Summit is designed as a time of personal renewal, professional development, continuing education, and networking with other Youth Directors, Pastors, and Christian Educators. To register and learn more, please go to The Summit at Rainbow Trail's website . (free to folks in the RMS. $130 to folks outside of the RMS)

The ministry of advocacy is one way we in the Church live out our calling to be a public church focused on loving our neighbor. What does this mean in practical terms? And how can young people shape this ministry and faithfully understand and claim their stake within it? Our speaker, Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado, will lead us in dialogue about what this ministry looks like today and how it may evolve as the emerging generation finds its public voice. Sessions will focus on contemporary issues in advocacy, exploring vital collaboration in the policy-making process, and comparing contemporary advocacy movements that are shaping young people with the Church's witness in the public square.
Augsburg University - Augsburg Youth Theology Institute
July 17-20 Called To Be Co-Creators: You Are Enough Right Now!
The Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI) is an annual summer program for high school students. AYTI offers young people a chance to connect with others as they practice place-based vocational discernment connected to a specific theme.

As we learn, listen, pray, and play on the Augsburg campus, in the neighborhood and the city, we will wonder together about how God is calling us into the world for the common good.

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.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Stewardship Toolkit for April 2020
Here is the April 2020 monthly "Stewardship Toolkit" that consists of an original newsletter article and weekly RCL-based "stewardship snippets" that you can cut and paste into your publications. This month's theme is "Steward the Earth, our only home," and has some excellent resources for you to explore Creation Care.
Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Organist/Music Coordinator
Trinity Lutheran Church - Fort Collins, CO
Trinity is an active, ministry-driven ELCA congregation located in Fort Collins, a vibrant university community in Northern Colorado. We are currently looking for an Organist/Music Coordinator to help lead the congregation through music ministry during worship, as well as to provide overall coordination of the music program in conjunction with the chancel choir/bell choir director and the Saturday evening musicians.

The Organist/Music Coordinator position is a part-time position requiring approximately 25 hours per week including personal practice time.

Required Skills for the Organist/Music Coordinator include:
  • A broad and evangelical view of worship, helping to discern overall worship practices and strategies as well as technical musical proficiency.
  • Familiarity with many various settings of the liturgy, hymns, and songs. The liturgical calendar and the liturgical year as practiced in the Lutheran Church is a guide to selecting and playing music.
  • Competency in a variety of musical styles on both the organ and piano.
  • The ability to accompany the choirs and special music (solo and small ensemble) of the congregation in rehearsals and worship and to work effectively with the various directors of the choirs and other musicians.
  • Being able to work in collaboration with the other two congregations that share Trinity’s space.

For more information, or to submit resumes, please contact Pastor Rick Reiten at 970-482-1226, or Erik Elliott, Worship and Music Chair, at 970-391-8998
Lead Servant for Financial Resources
Abiding Hope Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO
Abiding Hope Church in Littleton, Colorado is seeking a Lead Servant for Financial Resources. Abiding Hope Church’s mission is to equip all to be the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus in the world. Abiding Hope is a radically inclusive congregation supporting ministries that transform lives in our community, throughout Colorado, across the United States, as well as in Haiti, India, and Mexico.

The Lead Servant for Financial Resources will be a strategic member of the Lead Servant team, all of whom report to the Lead Pastor, in order to help create a vitalized culture of authentic worship, intentional relationships, sacrificial service, and radical generosity. The successful candidate will have a strong financial background with experience and desire for modeling and encouraging radical generosity. The ideal candidate will have a passion for making change in the world in the name of Christ and will use that enthusiasm to create and achieve generosity goals. Please see this document for more details.
Office Administrator (part-time)
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Centennial, CO
St. Timothy’s is a growing, engaged, and loving community of faith in the Episcopal tradition. Our staff is committed to a work ethic that is collaborative, creative, and fun.
The Office Administrator is a key position in our shared work together. The Office Administrator is responsible for helping manage the offices of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church through daily tasks of communication and welcome. The Office Administrator will work closely with other church staff and the leadership of the church to help St. Timothy’s improve the management of its common life in order to build up the congregation and connect with the larger community. This person will help in managing the church offices, facility, IT coordination and the production of print and online communications; this includes, but is not limited to, worship bulletins, newsletters, internal communication materials. In addition, this position will help improve and innovate on methods for managing the life of the parish community.
The ideal candidate is creative, collaborative, a self-starter, pursues excellence, willing to learn, values laughter and engagement and is committed to building a more just world through the power of community.
Interested candidates should submit resume, contact information, and references to the Rev. Nick Myers,
Director of Youth & Family Ministry
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Seeking a dynamic Director of Youth & Family Ministry, with a heart for Christ to lead our thriving ministry with the youth, children, young adults and families of Christ Lutheran (CLC).This is an amazing opportunity to share the Christian faith, help create sustaining relationships, be innovative, have fun and demonstrate the value of a Christ-centered life. CLC proudly supports this ministry and those volunteers and staff working with it. A degree in ministry, teaching, counseling and/or significant experience in working with youth is required as we continue to grow God's ministry in Highlands Ranch and beyond. This salaried position requires frequent evening, weekend and occasional overnight support. Please contact Pastor Gail Mundt ( for a full job description and to send your resume.
Non-Rostered Listings 
Organist/Music Coordinator
Trinity Lutheran Church - Fort Collins, CO

Lead Servant for Financial Resources
Abiding Hope Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

Office Administrator (part-time)
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Centennial, CO

Director of Youth & Family Ministry
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO

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
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • In-office appointments
  • Taize Event, Regis University
  • Synod Council

Pastor Dana Peterson (3/4 time)
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • In-office appointments

Kurt Rager
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Bread for the World event
  • St. Andrew Presbyterian

Peter Severson
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Census kick-off event
  • Vision 2020 Meeting

Tina Kvitek
  • 1-1 Meetings
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Stewardship for All Seasons
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Congregation Transition

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Family Leave

Deacon Erin Power
  • Our Savior's, Greeley, CO
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Regional Innovation Team

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Vacation March 15-17
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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Past issues of eConnection may be found here.