July 29, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
Bishop Gonia Invites Congregational Leaders to August 11th Zoom Forum
As Bishop Gonia prepares to introduce updated recommendations for worship in the Rocky Mountain Synod during the time of the pandemic, he has scheduled a Zoom conversation for congregational leaders on August 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.  Congregation Council members and other lay leaders are encouraged to attend.

Or visit https://www.zoom.us/join and type in the ID and Passcode
Meeting ID : 932 2999 3181
Passcode : 074250
Phone : 1 669 900 6833
RMS & ELCA News and Events
Invite Pastor Ron Glusenkamp to be your Guest preacher!
August 2, 2020, Proper 13, 9th Sunday after Pentecost
These sermons from Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, Senior Director, Congregational Mission Funding (ELCA), for August 2, 2020, available in two versions, both have a big ELCA World Hunger component!

Visit the RMS Hunger Network for links to these videos and more!
"Take, Bless, Break & Give."
This sermon is drawn from Matthew 14:13-21, Feeding of the 5,000. This one is a traditional sermon filmed in an alb and at Augustana-Denver. (18 minutes)

“Pretzel Homily-Twist & Shout”
This sermon was filmed in his kitchen while he bakes pretzels.
This sermon is mixed together and twisted between – “The Parable of the Women- Flour and Yeast, Matthew 13:33 + Feeding of the 5,000, Matthew 14:13-21. (26 minutes)

Update regarding the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering
After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to postpone next summer’s ELCA Youth Gathering to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held July 24-28, 2022, in Minneapolis, with the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) and the tAble, scheduled for July 21-24, 2022.

We give thanks for your prayers and patience as we have worked through the details with our partners in Minneapolis and across the country. We hope that by postponing the Gathering for a year, individuals and congregations will feel more comfortable and prepared to attend the Gathering in 2022.

For more information about the 2022 Gathering, please visit elca.org/YouthGathering/COVID19 . We will be updating our website and social media as more details become available.

We look forward to seeing you and experiencing the boundlessness of God in Minneapolis in 2022!

Theological Conference 2020
Your choice: "conference at home" or book a room for retreat time away

Join us digitally for the 2020 Theological Conference, either from your own home, or from a room at the Colorado Spring Marriott to enjoy a retreat time away from home. Either way, set aside this time, as usual, for an intentional spiritual retreat and time of renewal.

We will continue our work of living into the beloved community. We will use large group presentations, small group discussion, and individual reflection activities to continue our work of anti-racism.
We are continuing to navigate our contractual obligations to the hotel alongside our concern for gathering in large groups. Based on current conditions in Colorado Springs, we are still liable for fulfilling our contract. We have, however decided not to hold any formal in-person sessions at the hotel, despite the financial loss. Leaders who wish to have a personal retreat for the week are invited to make a reservation under the Rocky Mountain Synod block. (Call the hotel to make a reservation at 719-260-1800.) This will help us mitigate our losses and offer a space for folks to get away if needed. 

The $200 registration cost covers all programming, keynote speaker, and event costs. In addition, a significant portion of this will help to cover some of our contractual obligations to the hotel. 

If you are planning to stay at the hotel, please contact Deacon Erin Power for a registration code to unlock a reduced registration fee.

Registration is live and posted on the RMS website .
Not Your Standard Stewardship Year
Are you wondering how to talk about generosity in these Covid times? Could your congregation use new stewardship perspectives this fall as you prepare for your appeal? Consider getting professional, relevant help this year from the consulting firm GSB Consulting that has tutored over 60 congregations in the Rocky Mountain over these past 3 years in the 3E: Educate, Equip, Enact Lilly Grant initiative.
Beginning a Culture of Generosity (BCG)  is a new and timely program presented by 3E and the Rocky Mountain Synod (RMS). It is designed for those congregations that have not yet participated in Stewardship for All Seasons. It will help guide you and provide tools for your fall appeal giving you and your stewardship team confidence right now while everyone is working through a variety of very real financial stressors.

Congregations will receive training online in seven online sessions and one-on-one guidance on an easily implemented program to stimulate generosity through national economic uncertainty.

View this 5-minute video describing the new Beginning a Culture of Generosity stewardship program .

Registration is open through August 15 with the first session scheduled for August 22.  

The cost of the program is only $150 and congregations are responsible for their own printing costs (bulletins, brochures). [Adaptable professional design templates are included in the program fee.] 

If you have thought about signing up for Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS) in the future, this is a great on-ramp or taste of SAS. Or if you just need some extra help and boost for 2020, this is the program for you.

If you have questions or if you have been in SAS and want a refresher, contact Deb Elstad, 3E Associate Director,  deb.elstad@gmail.com .
Excellence in Leadership Fall Registration OPEN!
In light of the uncertain progression of the coronavirus, the Excellence in Leadership (EiL) training team has made the decision to offer the EiL program for the next cohort in a completely digital format. These adjustments have pushed back the start date of our registration, however, registration for the 2020-2022 cohort is now open.

As with the first cohort, there will be 7 sessions/presentations which all participants will be expected to attend. However, these will all be offered online via Zoom and recorded, in case you are unable to attend the sessions live. Additionally, each participant will be expected to engage with a small group with fellow participants throughout the program.

The dates and times for the sessions during the first year are as follows:

  • Session #1 – Friday, Sept 4, 2020, 9:00 am – 12 noon, plus a small group session
  • Session #2 – Saturday, Oct 17, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Session #3 – Friday, Nov 6, 9:00 am – 12 noon, plus a small group session
  • Session #4 – Saturday, Jan 9, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Session #5 – Friday, Feb 19, 9:00 am – 12 noon, plus a small group session
  • Session #6 – Saturday, Mar 20, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Session #7 – Friday, May 7, 9:00 am – 12 noon, plus a small group session

Times for small group meetings will be determined at a later date.

More information about the program can be found at https://www.rmselca.org/leaders/excellence-in-leadership

Any additional questions about registration or the Excellence in Leadership program may be directed to Dana Anderson ( danderson@rmselca.org)
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle

JULY 2020

- Week of August 2 -

All Saints - Brush, CO

Bethel - Windsor, CO
David Pederson

Bethlehem - Brush, CO
Wade Brinkopf

Faith - Eaton, CO
John Maroni
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, August 2
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Prayer of the Day
Glorious God, your generosity waters the world with goodness, and you cover creation with abundance. Awaken in us a hunger for the food that satisfies both body and spirit, and with this food fill all the starving world; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands:
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
02 - 08 August : Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
Conversation for Connection: "On the Threshold of Crisis"
Thursday, July 30, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Crisis is one of the primary focuses of mental health care. When crisis interventions are not timely, easily accessible, and culturally appropriate, outcomes can be devastating. The real danger, however, is that crisis can become the only access point to mental health care. When do symptoms of mental illness, become a crisis? Let’s talk about what can be done to recognize and intervene with compassion, before a crisis.
John Kellow has worked in Mental Health for over 30 years, completing over 13,000 mental health evaluations. His focus has been mental health advocacy, public education, and changing the stigma around mental illness. John was the 2018 Colorado Mental Health First Aid instructor of the year.

Meeting ID: 426 442 0220
+13462487799,,4264420220# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,4264420220# US (San Jose)
St. Philip Lutheran Church Golf Tournament and FUNdraiser!
Monday, August 17, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.tee off
Golfers—St. Philip is hosting its 9th annual golf tournament/FUNdraiser! You, your friends and family have the opportunity to play a spectacular private course, The Club at Ravenna. How can you say no, especially if you are not able to get out and do much of anything else? Play either 18 holes for $150 or 9 holes for $90. It's a scramble format with several contests included. We also have a fun 3-shot putting contest after our meal. Please join us in this wonderful day of fun and fellowship.
Call Linda at the church office 303- 979-4491 to sign up. All proceeds this year will go to our Family Promise ministry. More info here.
Our Life Together
Faith Leaders’ Invitation to join the Season of Creation
Jubilee for the Earth Sept 1 - Oct 4, 2020
"Creation Awareness and the Prayers of the Church"
The prayers of the church hold a prominent place in our liturgies. Before the ELCA issued the "Evangelical Lutheran Worship" (a.k.a. "cranberry hymnal") in 2006, the prayers of the church began with the words, "Let us now pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.' There are two circles in that little intro, and both of them are large. 'All people according to their needs' is an especially big circle! But now the intro begins this way: 'Gathered together as God's people in Christ Jesus, let us pray for the church, those in need, and all of God's creation.' The addition of that third and still larger circle is a most significant revision...

a course offered by Iliff School of Theology
Ethics in an Age of Plagues, Pestilence, and Pandemics
For the past few months, our day-to-day lives have been greatly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has significantly changed our world and will leave an unimaginable impact on how we work, socialize, learn, and communicate.

To have a deep understanding of the impact of the pandemic on the emerging human landscape, Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies, will lead a course this fall - Ethics in an Age of Plagues, Pestilence, and Pandemics - which is open to alumni and the public to audit.
This self-paced, 10-week course provides a deep understanding and glimpse of our world from an ethical and moral lens following the global pandemic.

Participants will wrestle with the importance of maintaining a moral compass during crisis and an ethical vision as a new reality is constructed. Special attention will be given to how not all suffer equally, and the role racism, classism, and sexism during national emergencies. Finally, the course will assist the student in finding their own ethical voice during a time of hopelessness and desperation.

Two registration options are available:
  • Self-paced course: $50.00
  • Self-paced course, plus five, one-hour live Zoom webinar sessions with Dr. De La Torre: $100.00

The course begins on September 14, 2020.
10 weeks of material will be offered and each participant will have up to 16 weeks to complete the course. This is a self-paced, online course.

Watch this video introduction to the course by Dr. De La Torre.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
featured resources from the Seeds Monthly, July 2020
Returning to
in-person worship

As ELCA congregations face difficult decisions regarding when and how they will be able to gather again for worship, this resource offers general guidance and considerations.
NEW! ELCA World Hunger
VBS — at home!

Bring your community together safely this summer for VBS! Explore easy adaptations of games, crafts and stories to learn about the Lord’s Prayer at home. Join the ELCA World Hunger VBS Facebook group to learn, to share and to create program modifications with others around the country.
“Seasons of Creation 2020”

Bishop Eaton has joined heads of churches from the United States and Canada to author “Seasons of Creation 2020,” an ecumenical series of weekly devotions for Sept. 1 through Oct. 4, the first date of which is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
These snippets are available for you to copy and paste into your bulletins.
ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge
As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy and strive for racial justice and peace. Beyond statements and prayers, we are also called to act and respond to injustices. We invite you to commit to anti-racist actions at  ELCA.org/RacialJusticePledge .

Living Lutheran on Instagram
Did you know Living Lutheran now has an Instagram page? Follow it  here  at @livinglutheran for exclusive content and more ways to access the stories of the ELCA.

Five hundred years of The Freedom of a Christian
You are invited to study and reflect on Martin Luther’s treatise “ The Freedom of a Christian ” in 2020, its 500th anniversary. The treatise invites us to hear, share and experience the Lutheran witness of the Christian faith as it relates to God’s narrative of freedom in Christ. This initiative extends our engagement in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Learn more at  ELCA500.org .
“God’s work. Our hands.”
Sunday — Service in the time of COVID-19
On Sunday, Sept. 13, congregations will observe “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. This year our church — and our world — are living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing has changed the way we worship and serve. But the need is great, and God’s church is at work.

This year, we encourage you to participate in acts of service in compliance with local health guidelines. Acts of service can happen online, or you can contribute to a project from your home or from a safe physical distance while wearing a mask. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors — even if these acts of service look different this year.

Get ready at ELCA.org/DayOfService .
from Administration Matters, July 2020
Financial best practices for congregations
Creating an environment with financial controls and best practices ensures that the resources entrusted to      the church are handled in the best possible ways. It also ensures compliance with accounting rules and regulations. The presentation “Financial Best Practices for Congregations” highlights key aspects of separating financial duties, safeguarding offerings and handling expenditures, among other items, to ensure proper controls and compliance and assist in reducing the risk of misconduct and audit findings. > More

Preparing for an emergency
Smart planning can help you keep your business running if disaster strikes. The chances of your congregation requiring an emergency plan may be greater than you think. You’ll want to take the right steps to prepare for and possibly prevent a crisis, and you’ll want to know where to get aid if an emergency occurs. > More
Employment Opportunities
New Listings 

Faith Formation Coordinator for Children and Families
Atonement Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO
Atonement Lutheran Church of Boulder, Colorado is seeking a Faith Formation Coordinator to work in our children and family ministry areas. We're a welcoming and inclusive community that fosters connection to God, each other and the community. We’re a vibrant faith community of all ages and walks of life.
This part-time (15-20 hours/week) position reports to the Pastor for Children, Youth, and Household Ministry, and works with the Pastors, church staff and members of Atonement Lutheran Church to support the congregation’s ministry.

Primary responsibilities include:
  • Collaborating with Atonement’s First Third of Life ministry team
  • Leading, recruiting and equipping efforts for volunteers
  • Primary responsibility for Children’s engagement in Sunday Worship, Sunday School
  • Wednesday evening programming for children and families.

A full job description and application form may be found at the church website: www.atonementboulder.org/employment .

Although it is not a requirement, preference will be given to candidates with successful experience and/or skills working with children and family ministries, or non-profit work. Salary is commensurate with skills and experience. The expected range is $18-22/hour. This is a permanent position.

Note: we realize in the current COVID-19 environment many of these activities (which are typically face-to-face) will need to be adapted to meet safety guidelines and possible building closures. Any adaptations will be determined in consultation with church leadership and staff.
Organist & Choir Accompanist
Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church - Lakewood, CO
A successful candidate, aligned with Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church ’s mission statement: Worshiping and Growing Together in Christ, Serving and Reaching Out Joyfully to All“ will be organized, communicative, intrinsically motivated, hold a sincere commitment to artistic value and musical performance and able to integrate their musical knowledge as an organist/accompanist into the community and worship experiences at Holy Shepherd.
A full job description, qualifications, responsibilities, and hiring process is available here .
All Non-Rostered Listings 
Faith Formation Coordinator for Children and Families
Atonement Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO

Organist & Choir Accompanist
Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church - Lakewood, CO

Education Director
Peace Lutheran Church - El Paso, TX

Children, Youth, Family & Social Media Minister
Evergreen Lutheran Church - Evergreen, CO

Coordinator of Children/Youth Faith Formation
Broadmoor Community Church, United Church of Christ - Colorado Springs, CO

Director of Choirs (part-time)
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church - Los Alamos, NM

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

Office Administrator (part-time)
St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Centennial, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • Region 2 Meetings
  • COVID Response Prep
  • Better Together Campaign

Pastor Dana Peterson
  • Excellence in Leadership projects

Kurt Rager
  • NM First: Food/Hunger Policy
  • NM tenant/housing legislative Coalition
  • NM Medicaid Advisory Committee meeting

Peter Severson
  • Fair Tax CO Policy Committee
  • Anti-Racism work

Tina Kvitek
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Congregation Transitions
  • Excellence in Leadership prep

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Anti-Racism work
  • Next Faithful Steps Campaign
  • Lutheran Center Admin

Deacon Erin Power
  • Vacation July 23-August 2

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Region 2 Meeting
  • Candidacy Committee Prep
  • Discernment Event Prep
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

Past issues of eConnection may be found here.