A Reconciling in Christ synod
Presiding Bishop Eaton: How Are We Neighbor?

In her March article in Living Lutheran, Bishop Eaton reflects on the parable of the Good Samaritan:

..."Now it’s Jesus’ turn to ask a question: “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”

This becomes the question for us and for these times. When we ask, “Who is my neighbor?” we sort people into categories. Is the refugee my neighbor? Is the Muslim my neighbor? Is the Jew my neighbor? Is the Latina my neighbor? And on and on. This makes for increasingly smaller neighborhoods. And this question can be driven by fear and suspicion. Left to ourselves we turn in and away.

Thank God that God has not left us to ourselves. Our new life in Christ leads us to ask and answer a different question. Not, “Who is my neighbor?” but “How are we neighbor?”

The world is a dangerous place—just check any news source or social media. There are people who mean to do harm to our country. Fear and the threat of danger divide us and constrict us. But we live in the hope of the resurrection and in the certainty of the redemption of the world through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We no longer ask, “Who is my neighbor?” The question is now, “How are we neighbor?”

The lawyer answered Jesus’ question about who was neighbor to the man beaten by robbers with: “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, and to us, “Go and do likewise.”

 Read the full article
Rocky Mountain Synod in the neigbhorhood
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry New Mexico logo

New L.I.F.E in Albuquerque

The L.I.F.E. Program stands for, “Liberty in Financial Education” and it will begin this month through a partnership between St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church Albuquerque, the Rio Grande Credit Union, and Zia Elementary School. Our work with Ruth Hoffman and Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM called us to stand up against the devastating impact of predatory lending in New Mexico. St. Timothy’s is located in an area inundated by these lenders. L.I.F.E. is St. Timothy’s response.

Qualifying families from Zia will be given an application to the L.I.F.E Program, which includes 10 weeks of financial education followed by 24 months of financial incentives that allow families to put to work what they have learned in the 10-week program.

Read more about L.I.F.E and other stories of RMS in the Neighborhood in the newest edition of RMS Connection Newsletter

RMS-ELCA News and Events
Healing the Reformation's Wounds
Archbishop Aquilla of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver shares why he will join Bishop Gonia in a service of common prayer

Five-hundred years have passed since the Reformation rippled through the Church, causing painful division and spurring changes. Sadly, even more divisions have occurred in that period. But the ecclesial and cultural landscape today is much different than it was then, and we must respond to Christ’s prayer that “we may all be one” (Jn 17:21) by speaking together about our faith, inspired by his Word and the Holy Spirit.

This necessity reminds me of Pope Francis’ passage in Evangelii Gaudium, where he observes that the “credibility of the Christian message would be much greater if Christians could overcome their divisions and the Church could realize ‘the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her children who, though joined to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her’” (EG, 244).

Read the full article

Roman Catholic & Lutheran Prayer Services to Mark Reformation 500 Years
Roman Catholics and Lutherans are joining together in prayer 500 years after Martin Luther’s 95 theses triggered the Reformation in 1517.

A Service of Common Prayer is taking place in conjunction with seven Roman Catholic Diocese. Bishop Jim Gonia will be present at all seven locations. The liturgy will highlight the agreements that have been reached through fifty years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans on topics such as the Church, Ministry, and the Eucharist.

The Common Prayer is structured around the themes of thanksgiving, repentance, and commitment to common witness. The aim is to express the gifts of the Reformation and ask forgiveness for the division perpetuated by Christians from the two traditions.

Sunday, January 29, 2017, 3 p.m. - already took place
St. Luke Lutheran Church
Albuquerque, NM

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3 p.m.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs, CO

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 3 p.m. 
Bethany Lutheran Church
Denver, CO

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 3 p.m.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Las Cruces, NM

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1 p.m.
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church
Casper, WY

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 3 p.m.
Pueblo, CO

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 3 p.m.
Salt Lake City, UT

Synod Assembly Project:  The Stories of our Stuff
Assembly Art and Story Project
In thinking about our theme “Reformation• Then.Now.Always.” we invite you to work with your ministry to engage the artistic activity of reflecting upon and utilizing ministry objects to tell our story and examine our connection in community and shared history. Using the resources below, we invite you to share the story of your stuff- the stuff that once was central to your mission but is no longer needed, the stuff you forgot was in the back of the closet, the stuff that used to be important or maybe still is. You are encouraged to bring your art, your story, your stuff to Synod Assembly to create our Assembly Art Installation.

Congregation Art/Story Project Guide

"What's in our stuff?" Environmental Stewardship Resource

Object Decommissioning Litany 

**Register your project for assembly**

For Your Bulletin
Bulletin Blurbs
Rocky Mountain Synod World Hunger News
Exciting things are happening in ELCA World Hunger right here in the Rocky Mountain Synod! Download the next issue of Daily Bread and share with your congregation upcoming opportunities:

500 Years on the Move for Hunger
Join the Rocky Mountain Synod’s Hunger Network and get MOVING in 2017 to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The roots of the poverty and justice ministries of our church come directly from the soil of Martin Luther’s teachings…especially his concern for the need of our neighbors. From February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018, we are encouraging congregations to try something NEW this year! Some have already embarked on a new ministry. Others are thinking about what might work for them. What can YOU and your congregation or organization do?
Find out more 

Lilly Grant Initiative: Educate, Equip, Enact is Launching!
Educate, Equip, Enact, our program funded by the Lilly Endowment, now has a web presence at https://www.rmselca.org/lilly. Be sure to check out the story about Grace Lutheran in Colorado Springs. Recruiting is currently taking place for Fiscal Wellness Coaches as well as members of the Fiscal Wellness Grants Board. The work of encouraging Rostered Ministers is exciting and life-changing as we exercise our partnership in ministry. If you would like to be involved with this initiative, contact Pastor Janice Kibler, Program Director for Educate, Equip, Enact at jkibler@rmselca.org.

Pastor Kristin Schulz
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4 p.m.
All Saints Lutheran Church
Albuquerque, NM
Color of the Day: Purple

Pastor Paula Stecker
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 2 p.m.
Christ the King Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs, CO 
Color of the Day: Purple
RMS Prayer Cycle

March 2017
Boulder/Broomfield Conference

Week of March 19

Grace Lutheran, Boulder, CO
Janice Kibler

Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO
Scott McAnally

Prayer of the Day: Sunday, March 19
Third Sunday in Lent
Jesus did not hesitate to be in conversation with, share the good news with and invite to faith the Samaritan woman at the well-a stranger and outsider. We pray our faith shines brightly everywhere, remembering that God's Word and the good news of Jesus Christ is a gift intended for all people. 

Join us in daily prayer:
Download ELCA Prayer Ventures for daily prayer petitions and resources for Sunday prayers.

Around the Synod
A Special Evening with Parker Palmer in Highlands Ranch
Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

The Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that renowned author and Quaker spiritual teacher Parker Palmer will be presenting   " The Beloved Community: Can the Church Be the Love that Casts Out Fear. " He will be speaking about Bishop Karen Oliveto’s call to our conference to live as the Beloved Community, and offer a clear call to the church to stand over and against the fear and scapegoating that is occurring so much in our world today.

The event is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be taken. It will be live streamed and recorded. To register, click here

This event is sponsored by The Rocky Mountain Conference, St. Andrew UMC, and Iliff School of Theology. More information is here, or contact the Communications Office of the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church via email, or at 303-733-3736.

Luther College Jazz Orchestra - Coming to Colorado!

The Luther College Jazz Orchestra  under the direction of Tony Guzmán will perform in four Colorado concerts as part of their 2017 Colorado and Midwest Tour. The concerts are open to the public with a freewill donation taken at the door. There is no charge for students.

The program features a variety of exciting jazz repertoire including works by Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Bill Holman, Astor Piazzolla, Fred Sturm, and many others. Luther jazz faculty member Jon Ailabouni will also be featured on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Jazz Orchestra, Luther’s premier jazz ensemble, travels annually and tours abroad every four years—most recently in May/June 2016 to Brazil for a three-week, 13 performance immersion in the musical cultures of the country. 

More information is also available on Facebook.

Fort Collins -
Saturday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 East Stuart Street

Cherry Hills Village -
Sunday, March 19, 10:00 am Worship Service

Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E Hampden Avenue

Denver -
Sunday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 East Alameda Avenue

Colorado Springs -
Monday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Road

Greeley -
Tuesday March 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1800 21st Avenue

Saint Paul Community of Faith - March Concerts !
1600 Grant Street
Denver, CO

Colorado Repertory Singers Concert
Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m.

The Colorado Repertory Singers, along with singers from Broomfield High School, will present Cathedral Classics, a program of sacred choral music featuring the Vesperae Solennes de Confessore of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, accompanied by orchestra under the baton of Music Director Kyle Fleming. Visit www.coloradorepertorysingers.org for more information.

Hope College Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Art Collective Concert
Sunday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m.

The Hope College Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Art Collective from Holland, Michigan, will perform a spring tour concert entitled, Hope on the Road, under the direction of Christopher Fashun and Brian Coyle. Freewill Offering.

Seicento Baroque Ensemble Concert
Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

The Seicento Baroque Ensemble will perform music of George Frideric Handel, including two major choral works with based on Psalms: Laudate pueri Dominum, HWV 237, a setting of Psalm 113, and Dixit Dominus, HWV 232, a setting of Psalm 110, accompanied by a period instrument orchestra and conducted by Artistic Director Evanne Browne and Music Director Mark Alan Filbert. Visit www.seicentobaroque.org for more information.

Columbine Chorale Concert
Sunday, March 26, at 4:00 p.m.

The Columbine Chorale, led by Music Director Brian Eichenberger, will present Sacred Sounds, a program of sacred choral music from the 16th to the 21st centuries. Visit www.columbinechorale.org for more information.
Gallery of Living Art at First Lutheran Church
  • Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 18, 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 19, 3:00 p.m.
First Lutheran Church celebrates the twenty-third year of the Gallery of Living Art. As the audience sits in the sanctuary, the story of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection unfolds through live reproductions of fourteen sacred works of art staged by a 75 member cast, 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.” The opening scene of Mary, the baby Jesus and angels will include still life performers portraying the Three Wise Men from the famous Simpich character doll collection.

The 2017 Gallery of Living Art will be presented in the sanctuary of First Lutheran Church at 1515 N. Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO. The public is cordially invited to attend this inspirational presentation of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. Admission is free and childcare is provided.

For more information or questions, contact Joan Kuehn or Judy Wach at 719-632-8836.  
Iliff School of Theology to host World Water Day and Water Justice Forum
Iliff School of Theology
2323 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver

  • Wednesday, March 22
    11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
  • Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24
    8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day 
Water is life. Protecting water resources in Colorado and worldwide is a must. So is access to clean water and facing the challenges of drought, flooding, pollution, and rising sea levels. Join with others who care March 22-24 to hear outstanding state, national, and international speakers and engage in facilitated group discussion from environmental, food, civic, and religious perspectives. Daily fee: $25, including light lunch and reception; three-day fee, $60. Students: $8 per day.

To register, click here. For background information and a Forum agenda, see flyer, go here or contact Water Forum Coordinator David Carlson at dcarlson@iliff.edu.

30th Anniversary Palm Sunday Prayer Walk 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The Urban Servant Corps community will celebrate the beginning of Holy Week as we walk the neighborhood where Urban Servant Corps volunteers have been present for 30 years! Invite 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 joining us for this event!
Our Life Together
Simply Giving Opportunity
SPECIAL OFFER from Vanco Payment Solutions -- the Simply Giving company. Vanco will waive the Start up Fee ($100) and Monthly Fee for twelve months of the Start Plan (total $120) for any and every congregation and mission site to sign up for Vanco services by Friday, March 31, 2017. This applies only to congregations not currently using any Vanco services. This means more than 5,500 ELCA congregations and new starts are eligible for a savings of $220 in the first year. Participating in this offer will enable congregations to take advantage of online and mobile giving by credit or debit card in time for this Easter Week. This will include giving on Apple and Android phones. If interested, contact 800-675-7430. If you have questions, please contact Richard Bauer at 612-759-3904.
2017 Nicaragua Mission Trip
June 13 through 22, 2017
For the 17th consecutive year, Bethlehem Lutheran and First Lutheran of Longmont, CO will be leading a mission trip to the village of Somoto, Nicaragua. Activities will include house building and water filter delivery; visitation and support to the group- sponsored pre-school, Mother's House, sewing cooperative, scholarship program, microloans, and roofing program.
It is truly a life changing experience. A limited number of participant spaces are still available and are allocated on a first come basis. The group size is limited to 10-15 persons. For a more detailed description of the project, go to thenicaraguaproject.org, or contact Ralph Ponfick via email, or at 303-604-1422.
Soul Shop for Leaders

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Abiding Hope is hosting an all day workshop called Soul Shop for Leaders. This is a one-day training to equip faith and community leaders to minister to those impacted by suicidal desperation. This includes the creation of worship resources, training congregation members in suicide awareness and basic conversation skills, and the invitation to those who have been suicidal in the past to share their stories. This is the core training which expresses the fundamental tools and key perspectives that Soul Shop is all about. This event is also open to any and everyone, but will have a registration fee of $25. This small cost includes seminar materials, continental breakfast and lunch. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will also be available upon request! 
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Easter Communication Tools
This Easter, there is a place for everyone to sing, worship, and celebrate Christ's resurrection, and your congregation can extend this invitation of welcome to neighbors and the surrounding community. 

Our churchwide office has developed Easter communication tools, such as posters, postcards, door hangers, and social media graphics that can be customized with your congregation's worship times and information. 

Employment Opportunities
Non-Rostered Positions Available

Faith Formation Coordinator (full-time)
Zion Lutheran Church - Loveland, CO

Building Resources Coordinator (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Preschool Director (part-time)
St. Mark Lutheran Church - Aurora, CO

Director of Service and Outreach
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - Fort Collins, CO

Financial Administrator
Rocky Mountain Synod - Denver, CO

Office Administrator
Atonement Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO

Organist/Pianist (part-time)
St. Philip Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

Director of Communications
Trinity Lutheran Church - Fort Collins, CO

ELCA Regional Gift Planner
Rocky Mountain Synod

Parish Nurse
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Trinity Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO 

Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia

  • Joy, Parker, CO
  • Lutheran-Catholic Prayer Service, Bethany, Denver, CO
  • In-office appointments
Pastor Kent Mueller
  • Candidacy meetings
  • Advent, Westminster, CO
  • Lutheran-Catholic Prayer Service, Bethany, Denver, CO
  • In-office appointments

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • Legislative session
  • Staff meeting

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • ELCA All-Staff Gathering, Chicago, IL
  • Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountain
  • Together Colorado Day at the Legislature
  • CU-Boulder Campus Ministry
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • ELCA Domestic Mission All Staff meeting, Chicago, IL
  • Installation: Pr. Paula Stecker, Christ the King, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Centennial Lutheran Church, Englewood, CO
  • Roman Catholic and Lutheran Prayer Service, Bethany Lutheran Church, Denver 

    Deacon Erin Power

    • Synod Assembly Planning
    • RMS Events Site visits- Colorado Springs, CO
    • Our Saviour's Fort Collins, CO
    • Lutheran-Catholic Pra
    • Hunger Network
    • Vacation

    Pastor Sarah Moening

      • Congregational Ministries Board
      • In-office appointments

      Andy Sprain

      • Lutheran-Catholic Prayer Service, Bethany, Denver, CO
      • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA

      Quick Links
      Share the News
      Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
      Rocky Mountain Synod
      800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

      Announcements for eConnection are due before noon on Monday for the issue the following Wednesday. Event announcements are included for about two weeks and should be submitted via the eConnection Submission link above.