April 15, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
from Bishop Eaton, an eAlert: How you can help
Weeks may have passed since you last walked in the doors of your congregation and worshiped, face-to-face, with your community of faith. To be sure, being the body of Christ looks and feels differently than it ever has before.

Despite all of this, we are called to be church — together. The ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) looks different now, but it has not stopped. Nor have the needs of our communities and the world. Our church and its leaders continue to minister to its members, to those who are hurting and searching for peace, and to those in need.

The congregations and ministries of this church rely on your weekly offerings and gifts. Without in-person worship services for many weeks or even months, the financial impact could be devastating.

Please continue to give to your congregation and give regularly. Your congregation and its leaders continue to minister to your community of faith. This ministry relies on your weekly offerings. Find out how you can continue your pledge or regular offering though online giving, automatic monthly giving or mail.

I know that, for many of us, this is a time of uncertainty and financial hardship. However, for those of you who are in a position to do more, the needs are great.

In the United States, unemployment has soared. We are already seeing rising demands on our food pantries, homeless shelters and social services. Around the world, millions of people living in poverty are facing this pandemic without reliable access to sanitation and health care.

With congregations and ministries across the country, and a network of companion churches and partners in over 70 countries around the world, we anticipate this crisis will affect us all. Your gifts to the ELCA’s  COVID-19 Response Fund  will provide funds to the ministries of the ELCA most in need and best positioned to help. This includes our congregations as well as local and churchwide ministries capable of reaching and assisting those in need. If you are able, please help with a gift today.
I have been reflecting on the words of Peter: “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10). Now is a time when we need one another. Now is a time to live and act as faithful people of God.

Be of good courage, dear church, and remember that Christ is with us now and always.

In Christ,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Digital Neighborhood
The ELCA churchwide organization is here to support our members, congregations, synods and partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1-800-638-3522 and press #4 or email HereToServe@ELCA.org for prayer, support and to ask your questions.
#ELCAChurchTogether #COVID19
Weekly Conversation for Ministry Leaders
Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m
This will be a weekly conversation, with a new topic each week.
Meeting ID: 917 853 401
Phone +1 669 900 6833 US

Wednesday April 15, 3:30p.m.
Our long-term response as a public church.
Knowing there will be long-term economic effects of this global pandemic, what shifts in our ministries may need to take place to serve God' people in our world? What direct service and advoca cy work could we be invit ed into?

Wednesday, April 22, 3:30p.m.
Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, and Sustainable Ministry

Wednesday, April 29, 3:30p.m.
Flattening the Curve: Freeing Yourself from Financial Uncertainty
LSS Financial Counseling and RMS 3E
Stressful times can lead to anxiety, insecurity, and avoidance, especially when it comes to our personal finances. If you, or those you know, are concerned about keeping the bills paid, managing debt, and providing essentials for your household, this webinar will assist you in re-establishing a sense of security and control with trusted tools, resources, and action steps you can take (or encourage others to take) when facing financial uncertainty.
RMS & ELCA News and Events
Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan is sharing her sermon for Sunday, April 19. Congregations are invited to use it to offer their leaders a post-Easter break!
New resources for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The ELCA has new resources available addressing Paycheck Protection Program loans for churches.

An FAQ document and a video to explain the process are available at www.elca.org/publichealth .
from the ELCA - an Online Security Webinar
Tuesday, April 21, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Do you receive emails asking you to send money or trying to trick you into giving up sensitive information?

Do you know what to do if your data or the congregation’s data has been breached?

Do you want to learn how best to protect yourself and the church from online threats?

Please join us on Tuesday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central Time for a free webinar for ELCA congregations and synods.
Chris Hueneke, information security advisor for the ELCA churchwide organization, will host the webinar, covering these topics and more. You'll learn how to avoid phishing email attacks, protect sensitive data and prevent malware infections, and what to do if your data has been breached.

This event requires no registration. On the morning of April 21, simply go to this link and click on the field marked "Join the event."

You'll be connected immediately. If you have any questions, please contact techtraining@elca.org.
Excellence in Leadership - Fall Registration Opens Soon!
“It’s not easy to be the church today. What worked in the past no longer works. Ministry leaders feel ill-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of being the church.” Almost everything we were doing as ministry leaders has been turned on its head and many of us are leading into the unknown as we “shelter in place”.
Excellence in Leadership is a program for help in these stressful and anxious times, when we, as humans have a tendency to revert to the status quo. We seek stasis and hunker down into what we know and this often can cause more anxiety and stress.

Excellence in Leadership has five foci (Adaptive Leadership, Vulnerability, Systems Theory, TheoryU, and Emotional Intelligence) grounded in spiritual practices that can assist with approaching life and leadership in a more whole-hearted way. Current students have commented on how even the first few sessions have assisted them in facing the challenges of today.

If this sounds like something in which you or your ministry partners are interested, you can read more at https://www.rmselca.org/leaders/excellence-in-leadership

Registration will open soon for the next cohort that begins in September 2020. We hope to see you at one of the sites this fall!
April Update from Portico Benefit Services
People of God, these are interesting times to be in ministry. As you master many new skills and carry concerns about your people, your church’s finances, and your own family, please know that Portico is here to walk with you.

 Portico plan members, sign in to myPortico for these timely resources: 

 Videos of past webinars are available on myPortico , or ELCA Retirement Plan members are encouraged to call a Portico Financial Planner at 800-922-4896 .
Need to talk with your personal Regional Representative? Andrea Arey can be reached at 949-338--9573 or aarey@porticobenefits.org
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle

APRIL 2020

- Week of April 19-

Mount of Olives - Rock Springs, WY
Levi Powers

Our Saviour’s - Casper, WY
Jo Ann Neal

Prince of Peace - Gillette, WY
Deb Cote

St. John - Riverton, WY
Bonita Knox

St. Luke’s - Buffalo, WY
Larry Sydow
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, April 19
Second Sunday of Easter

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ's blessing, 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

19 - 25 April : Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
Managing Anxiety: Understanding and Supporting Children
Thursday, April 16, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Call-in: 346-248-7799

The Mental Health Ministry Team of Atonement Lutheran Church, Boulder, is offering a Zoom meeting "Mental Health Conversations."
Join Jessica Burchinal for an interactive training on the anxiety that children are experiencing in these challenging times. We'll learn about what anxiety is, how it impacts our lives, and ways we can manage it. We will better understand our children's anxiety and ways to help them improve their daily functioning. In particular, parents will learn about their own anxiety and how they can model behaviors for their children to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. This is for parents, grandparents, relatives,and anyone who has children in their life.
Our Life Together
Introducing PLTS PrayerSpace
Thursdays, beginning April 16, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time
PLTS PrayerSpace, a new venture by the Office of Seminary Relations, is an open invitation, weekly Zoom meeting to gather those who wish to pray virtually with others.  

The basis for the establishment of this new PrayerSpace is Jesus’ command, “Seek and you shall find.”  We believe that the distance between those praying, or from the objects of their prayers, is not an obstacle for God. We have confidence in God’s desire to heal. Participants may bring their own prayer concerns to the group while also praying the concerns of others. This experience is envisioned to be similar to the laying on of hands, but done over the internet.

PrayerSpace will be moderated by staff and faculty of PLTS, under the leadership of Pastor Brian Stein-Webber. Prayer concerns may involve individuals, groups, movements or the whole global community of life. 
You are invited to simply show up in PrayerSpace and/or send in your prayer requests to pray@plts.edu . Prayers received each week by 2:00 p.m. on Thursdays will be prayed that day in our PrayerSpace.
If you have questions, please contact Pastor Brian Stein-Webber at bsteinwebber@plts.edu .
Ministry in Times of Crisis: Pastoral voices from New York
Thursday, April 16, 12 noon Mountain Time
Time : 11 am PDT / 12 noon MDT / 1 pm CDT / 2 pm EDT
Join us for a fourth zoom web gathering: Ministry in Times of Crisis: Pastoral Voices from New York

Hear from pastors serving in the United States epi-center of COVID-19 who are serving vulnerable congregations, with immigrant communities, who have members who live paycheck to paycheck and some with no access to healthcare. What is a pastor’s role in advocating for people in this time of COVID-19? What are beautiful things coming out of this time of crisis? How are new gifts being accessed and used for God’s work in the world? Finances and congregations, how do we as pastors and church leaders model best practices in this time of sheltering in place? How do we do our jobs while modeling safety measures put in place?
Special Guests (ELCA pastors serving in the ELCA Metro New York Synod):
Rev. Leticia Alanis
Rev. Dr. Maritza Ortiz Cruz
Rev. Christopher Chantelau
Rev. Evelyn Patricia Avila
Stewardship in Times of Uncertainty and Creating a Culture of Generosity
Friday, April 17, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time
Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, is offering a free online workshop that will explore communication, tactics, and how to live in abundance during this time. Specific examples will be provided as well as sharing what to avoid so that congregations aren’t accidentally led to a period of decrease.
The leader is Mike Ward, a partner with GSB Fundraising where he works with congregations, camps, synods, and seminaries primarily in fundraising and strategic planning. Mike enjoys helping to raise money, but more importantly to help change the culture in our congregations from scarcity to abundance. His first book, Abundance: Creating Cultures of Generosity was published by Fortress Press this year.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Stewardship Toolkit for May 2020
"Will COVID-19 help us become better stewards?
That's the theme of our May "Stewardship Toolkit," a monthly resource for congregations. It consists of an original newsletter article and Sunday RCL-based "stewardship snippets" that you can cut and paste into your publications. There are also links to resources to you explore the theme. (brought to you by Rev. Robert C. Blezard
Assistant to the Bishop, Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA)
Get free copies of Gather for your congregation or ministry
With the challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19, Gather recognizes that meeting together for Bible study and fellowship can be difficult right now.
During this time, Gather is making both the March and April issues available (PDF) for free download to both subscribers and non-subscribers who join its free, e-newsletter mailing list.
Journal of Lutheran Ethics Issue April/May 2020: Lutheran Theology and the Relationship between Church and State
From the April/May issue of Journal of Lutheran Ethics:

If it is true that many people consider it impolite to talk publicly about religion or politics, then perhaps no topic is going to be more improper to discuss than the topic of the proper relationship of church and state. Yet, both articles in this issue all call Lutherans to talk publicly about their religion, about their political views, and about how the two intersect.
-Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, Editor

Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Director of Choirs (part-time)
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church - Los Alamos, NM
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, NM is seeking a director of choirs. We are a faith community of shared leadership, called to live in love with God, each other, and the whole creation.
This is a part time position of approximately 14 hours per week, with more time required during the seasons of Lent and Advent. A job description is available here. For more information, please visit www.bethluth.com or email office@bethluth.com, or call 505-662-5151.
Non-Rostered Listings 
Director of Choirs (part-time)
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church - Los Alamos, NM

Facilities Manager
Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church - Lakewood, CO

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
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • North Colorado Conference check-in
  • Finance Committee
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • PLTS Advisory Board
  • Available by email: jgonia@rmselca.org

Pastor Dana Peterson (3/4 time)
  • Utah Conference meeting
  • Wyoming Conference meeting
  • Global Mission Committee
  • Metro South Conference check-in
  • Available by email: dpeterson@rmselca.org

Kurt Rager
  • Border/NNM Conference check-in
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available by email: krager@rmselca.org

Peter Severson
  • Metro East Conference Meeting
  • Financial Equity Coalition
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available via email: pseverson@rmselca.org

Tina Kvitek
  • Zion, Loveland, CO
  • St. Stephen's, Northglenn, CO
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available by email: tina.kvitek@elca.org
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Metro West Mountain Conference check-in
  • Congregation Transition
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Holy Love, Aurora, CO
  • Available by email: smoening@rmselca.org

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Metro West Metro Conference check-in
  • Finance Committee
  • Assembly Prep
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available by email: kmueller@rmselca.org

Deacon Erin Power
  • Wednesday Weekly Webinar
  • RMS Communications
  • Assembly Planning
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available by email: epower@rmselca.org

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Boulder-Broomfield Conference check-in
  • Faith Formation weekly check-in
  • SE Colorado Conference check-in
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Available by email: locallaghan@rmselca.org
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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