A Reconciling in Christ synod
"If they sow 1 seed of hate, we will sow 1,000 seeds of love."

On Sunday morning, the Islamic Center of Fort Collins experienced vandalism of their property. Sunday evening, Rev. Chris Davis, Rev. Leta Behrens, and Rev. Michael Stadtmueller joined with nearly 1000 others to show their support for members of this community.
#SouthSudanNow - Moved by the Spirit Amidst Strife
More than 7 million people in South Sudan need humanitarian assistance as a result of drought and renewed violence. According to UNICEF, famine was recently declared in the north-central part of the country, where 100,000 people are facing imminent starvation. 

Recently, the #4famines hashtag has been drawing attention to the four countries that are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing famine: South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia. 

“For the ELCA, support of work in South Sudan and companionship with South Sudanese families has extended for decades. The ELCA is collectively building upon its cooperative work there. And in this time of increased crisis, we are blessed by both relationship and presence,” said the Rev. Daniel Rift, director, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Appeal.

The ELCA is working with others to deliver immediate famine relief, which forms one of its  three focus areas in the region. The other two, sustainable food security and sustained ministry, center around the church’s long-term commitment to the people of South Sudan to build resilient and empowered communities.

This commitment to the people of South Sudan and the ministerial leadership of those from South Sudan has led to a new church – the Evangelical Lutheran Church Africa Mission in South Sudan. The main component of this new church is the Lutheran Community Center and Clinic, currently under construction in the nation’s capital, Juba. The ELCA is playing a large role by funding the construction of the Center and Clinic.

“This project will train mission leaders, conduct outreach programs and, ultimately, raise up an ethnically and culturally diverse church,” said Andrew Steele, director of ELCA Global Church Sponsorship. “In addition, the Lutheran center hopes to offer computer training and English as a Second Language courses, contributing to youth employment – programming that is based on an evangelism strategy found to be effective in other African nations. The primary health clinic will serve women and children in the community, as well as operate as the country’s first and only fistula clinic.”

Once operational, the center will offer holistic health, education and training services for internally displaced people in Juba. It will not only serve as the local community’s one health care provider, it will also provide medical expertise that will broaden its reach to all of Juba – and, potentially, the entire country. 

“We need to build conditions so sustainable development can happen. That can only happen through peace and reconciliation,” said the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director, ELCA Global Mission. “We need to create conditions for political stability.”

Reflecting on Acts 17:6, Padilla said, “[The ELCA goes] to situations where most people will say, ‘Why is it that you’re there? Who’s bold enough to make this large investment in this country and this community?’ We are.

“Moved by the Spirit, we are those people who go to a country that is ravaged by war, where peace looks like a very distant goal, but we decide to walk with people so that peace will have a chance.”

Get involved now. ELCA.org/SouthSudanNow, #SouthSudanNow 

RMS-ELCA News and Events
Bishop Gonia to preach at Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – April 16, 2017
On Easter Sunday (April 16), the Colorado Council of Churches will host its  70th Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This year's speaker will be  Bishop Jim Gonia in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of The Reformation!

4:30 a.m.–Doors Open at Red Rocks
5:30 a.m.–Pre-worship service music begins
6:00 a.m.–The worship service begins

This a truly unique worship experience that draws people from all across Colorado, the Rocky Mountain region and rest of the nation.  **Parking fills up fast due to large numbers, carpooling is encouraged. 

There will be an online, livestream of the event  (click here), with a replay at 3 p.m. in the afternoon Easter Sunday.   
Synod Assembly Registration Deadlines!

There are 30 rooms blocked at the Holiday Inn Express: 105 N Spruce St.
Please call 719-424-4300 and use the group code RMS.
The rate is $120/night and includes breakfast.

Please contact Erin Power if you have any questions or concerns.

Registration deadline for the 2017 Synod Assembly was  Monday, March 27, but online registration is still available!

It's not too late for  Exhibitors and partners in ministry, to participate in the Assembly Ministry Fair and Ministry Magazine. Register now!

Ministry Magazine pages should be submitted by April 1!

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.

Services of Common Prayer are 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 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.

There are four services remaining:

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

Anna Torres-Zeb named Muslim Life Coordinator at California Lutheran University
Anna Torres-Zeb comes to Cal Lutheran from a position as Muslim Life Coordinator at Elon University in North Carolina where she served and shepherded a growing population of Muslim students.  Ms. Torres-Zeb has extensive experience facilitating interfaith dialogue, engaging a variety of populations, and sharing openly about the Muslim faith. 

Her role will be to serve as a resource and touchpoint for Cal Lutheran students and for the whole of our community.  In addition, she will seek to build Cal Lutheran’s Muslim community while developing positive relationships with other campus groups and faith communities.

Welcome to CLU, Anna!
For Your Bulletin
Bulletin Blurbs
RMS in the Neighborhood
Across the Rocky Mountain Synod, congregations and ministries are " in the neighborhood". Read three stories in the newest RMS Connection Newsletter and add them to your bulletin and newsletter!

Tell us your story!
How are you and your ministry in the neighborhood? Share your story with Erin Power. Send an email with pictures, a short iPhone video, or a 1-page description of your ministry. We want to hear from you for our RMS in the Neighborhood Project.

What is YAGM?
Evan Collins, a Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteer serving in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, was recently asked, “Should we call your YAGM year a year of service?” Though it initially seemed like a simple question to answer, upon further reflection he realized it is difficult to answer with a simple yes or no. Read Evan’s reflections on this question, and learn about the depth and breadth that he understands YAGM to have around the world. 

YAGM in the Rocky Mountain Synod!
The Rocky Mountain Synod is lucky enough have a number of YAGM alums who call our territory home and they would love to share their stories with you!  Visit the RMS Global Church Speakers Bureau to connect with a YAGM in your area!
RMS Prayer Cycle

April 2017
Wyoming  Conference

Week of April 2

Ascension,  Cheyenne, WY
Wesley Aardahl

Christ,  Cheyenne, WY
Rebecca Johnson Aardahl

Covenant,  Wheatland, WY
Joshua Bruns

Faith,  Lander, WY
Kris Trahnstrom 

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

Prayer of the Day: Sunday, April 2
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Pray for all who grieve the death of a loved one, friend or neighbor that they find caring support among friends, family, communities and congregations and know the healing and hope we have in Jesus Christ. 

Global Church Prayer for April 2
Lamb of God, who blesses all life’s journeys, travel with us through these 40 days. As Jesus journeyed through his life, he was blessed with the gift of friendship, especially with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Praise to you for the work of Lutheran missionaries and their work training servant leaders. Bless the relationships and friendships that develop through our life’s journeys, through Jesus Christ, the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world. Amen.

Around the Synod
"Open Bethlehem" - Film Screening with filmmaker Leila Sansour
Sunday, April 9, 3-5 p.m.

Open Bethlehem is a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town. The film spans five momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. The film draws from 700 hours of original footage and some rare archive material.

Meet the filmmaker, Leila Sansour—hear her speak about her return to her hometown as it is becoming encircled by Israel’s wall. Open Bethlehem is a film, but it is also a movement—to save her city. The face of Bethlehem is changing rapidly with potentially detrimental consequences. Reports predict that if trends continue the Christian community of Bethlehem, a city that provides a model for a multi faith Middle East, may be unsustainable within one generation. Leila’s plan to stay a year stretches to five, and is only resolved when she realizes that, sometimes, the biggest dreams take flight from the smallest places. More information at OpenBethlehem.org, flyer for local events here.
30th Anniversary Palm Sunday Prayer Walk 
Starting at:
Urban Servant Corps
1660 Ogden St. Denver, CO

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!
New Mexico Conference of Churches Welcomes new Executive Director
The Reverend Susan Joan Quass has been named Executive Director of the New Mexico Conference of Churches (NMCC) by the conference's Governing Board. Rev. Quass will officially assume this new role on April 1, 2017. 

Rev. Quass' background uniquely positions her to assume the post as NMCC's fifth Executive Director. With significant experience in social justice ministries, advocacy, congregational life and nonprofit management Quass will advance the Conference's work of promoting Christian unity, and striving for justice, peace and the integrity of creation across the state.

Quass shared, "I am honored and humbled to serve NMCC member churches statewide in a time of challenge to policies of support for the common good and care for those who are poor. As the church we must continue and strengthen our respond to those in need, to speak up for those excluded from the political process and to advocate on issues of statewide importance. I am committed to guide NMCC's future and to collaborate with all those of good will to bring healing and hope to New Mexico."

Our Life Together
Discount Deadline Approaching for Mediation Skills Seminar 
Monday, May 8 - Friday, May 12
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day

Conflict is a matter of when, not if. If you would like to learn skills for transforming the conflict that you experience in your church or workplace, then consider registering for Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders. This 5-day seminar has been called the "Golden Globe of conflict resolution programs" and "the best continuing education I ever took!" For more information call Pamela at 630-627-0507, or visit our website at www.LMPeaceCenter.org. Register on or before April 7 for a $200 discount in tuition!
Lutheran Family Services 34th Annual Benefit Gala: An Unexpected Path - Featuring Matt Iseman

Join us for the LFS 34th Annual Benefit Gala featuring Matt Iseman. From Colorado, Matt Iseman is host of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and winner of the 2017 “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” After dropping out of medical school to pursue stand-up comedy, Matt’s witty humor lead him down an unexpected path through life. Come to the Gala to laugh with Matt and support LFS! The Gala features a night of dinner, entertainment, an auction, and companionship. The evening marks the spirit of community that comes together and offers support for those in need.
For information, and to purchase tickets, click  here
Rich Melheim to speak at The Summit Monday, April 24-26
Monday, April 24, 11 a.m. through Wednesday, April 26, 10:30 a.m.

The Summit is a retreat for anyone working professionally in ministry with youth, young adults, children, and families. Designed as a time of personal renewal, professional development, continuing education, and networking with other Youth Directors, Pastors, and Christian Educators. It is also free to those in the Rocky Mountain Synod!

Come join us for fellowship, mountain views, and lively conversation as we explore cross-generational ministries and bringing the church into the home. Rich Melheim is sure to be engaging as his speaking style is described as 1/3rd stand-up comedy, 1/6th brain science, 2/9ths systems theory, 1/4 pithy, practical, applicable and directly to the point, 1/12th shouting, 3/16 chaos theory applied to intellectually challenging your audience, and whatever is left over is dedicated to making you laugh, cry and think.More information here, and  sign up soon, as space is limited!  
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.
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! 
Seeking Manager of Spiritual Integrated Therapy at Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home
The Tennyson Center for Children is seeking a Manager of Spiritual Integrated Therapy who will oversee a Chaplain and direct our program of Spiritual Integrated Therapy. We are searching for someone with a MDiv as well as a clinical degree (MSW, MA in Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy.) Detailed position description, requirements, and salary range information are available here. Please submit resume and cover letter to employment@tennsyoncenter.org.
Mt. Cross Ministries, Ben Lomond, CA seeking Executive Director
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Northern California, known as Mt. Cross Ministries, is seeking an Executive Director to pioneer a vibrant and faithful outdoor ministry based out of the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains.

Mt. Cross is a place of restoration and renewal where two denominations are working together in ministry for the people of Northern California and beyond. In this place, many are being called to the waters of baptism; Mt. Cross is known as a place that produces disciples and powerful leaders. We seek a leader for our community who is called to relationship building, leadership development, innovative programming, and the radical hospitality as taught to us by Jesus Christ.

A full site profile, job description, and application can be found here.  
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Updated tax guides now available through Portico
Portico Benefit Services provides pastors and congregations participating in the ELCA benefit program with no-cost access to Richard R. Hammar’s annual tax guides. Members can use their Portico login.

For pastors, “Clergy Tax Return Preparation Guide” gives special attention to topics most relevant to ministers. >More

For congregations, “Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches” helps congregations understand their federal tax reporting requirements. >More 

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. 

Choir Robes Available from Trinity Lutheran, Fort Collins
We have 44 washable robes, beige with mauve trim, in a variety of adult sizes, available from Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Collins. Most have the traditional wide sleeve; seven have cuffed sleeves. Your church is welcome to these robes for only the cost of shipping. If interested, contact Nadine Hunt: 970-825-3730 or nadineamyhunt@gmail.com
Employment Opportunities
Non-Rostered Positions Available

Executive Director
Mt. Cross Ministries - Ben Lomond, CA

Manager of Spiritual Integrated Therapy
Tennyson Center for Children - Denver, CO

Accompanist (Pianist)
Intercession Episcopal Church - Thornton, CO

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

Office Administrator
Atonement Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • ELCA Advocacy Convening, Washington, D.C.
  • St. Timothy, El Paso, TX
  • Lutheran Catholic Prayer Service, Las Cruces, NM
Pastor Kent Mueller
  • In-office appointments
  • Lutheran Center Administration 
  • Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge, CO

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • NM Conference of Churches dinner
  • Roman Catholic & Lutheran Prayer Service, Las Cruces, NM
  • Medicaid Advisory Committee

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • ELCA Advocacy Convening, Washington, D.C.
  • Spirit of Joy, Fort Collins, CO
  • Equal Pay Day at the Capitol 
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Camino de Vida, Albuqueque,NM

    Deacon Erin Power

    • Synod Assembly Planning
    • In-Office Appointments

    Pastor Sarah Moening

      • In-office appointments
      • Vacation

      Andy Sprain

      • St. Mark's Aurora, CO Spring Break Camp
      • CLU Convocation
      • Youth Gathering Planning Meeting
      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.