July 31, 2019
A Reconciling in Christ synod
Welcome Back Bishop Gonia!
We offer our prayers for Bishop Gonia as he concludes his final week of a three-month sabbatical. Next week, he will travel to Milwaukee, WI for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. His first day back in the office will be August 13.
In two weeks, voting members will convene Aug. 5-10 for the  2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly  at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. This will be the 15th gathering of the assembly, the primary decision-making body of the ELCA. This year’s theme is “We are church,” and voting members will spend the week participating in plenaries, discussions, Bible studies and worship while deliberating the work of the church.

This year, voting members will:

  • Elect the presiding bishop and secretary. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, elected in 2013, is seeking re-election to a six-year term. Secretary Chris Boerger, elected in 2013, is retiring after this term. The secretary is elected to a six-year term.
  • Act on “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action.” The proposed social statement covers a range of issues in which the ELCA is called to action, including gender-based violence, workplace discrimination, economic inequality and more.
  • Act on “A Declaration of Interreligious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” The proposed document underscores the ELCA’s long-standing commitment to interreligious relations and provides a framework for common application and theological reflection across the varied contexts of this church.
  • Vote on proposed budgets for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.
  • Review proposed amendments to the “Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”
  • Consider a proposal that the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service be ordination and to no longer count deacons as laypeople for the representational principles.
  • Act on responses to memorials from synod assemblies.

Also taking place during the assembly will be a celebration for “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA,” a program to honor the 50th anniversary of women’s ordination, and an observance of the church’s focus on gun violence awareness.

Watch the livestream of the 15th Churchwide Assembly , Aug. 5 through 10.

More information and updates can be found on the Churchwide Assembly website .
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Church Together for the sake of the world! 
Thanks for your witness  Epiphany Lutheran Church  &  Lord of the Hills Lutheran Church in helping to make this year's Lutheran Family Services - Rocky Mountains' Backpack Drive a great success! July 25 was the last day to drop off donations at Epiphany Lutheran Church. They collected 200 backpacks and over $20,000 in supplies! Your generosity will help foster children and refugee children start the school year with items they need.

If you still have items you would like to donate, please contact Jessica Yoss at LFS, jessica.yoss@lfsrm.org to schedule a drop-off time. They will accept donations until August 9. Remember, school starts for some students on August 12!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Connect College Students with Lutheran Campus Ministry!
Did you know...college students connected to Lutheran Campus Ministry get better grades and have higher retention and graduation rates than those who are not.The best way for incoming students to connect with our life-giving work is through the referral of a trusted adult. Whether you are a parent, pastor, or youth leader you can help students connect using the LuMin Student Referral Form. We look forward to welcoming your college students this fall!
Office of the Bishop Eucharist, Wednesday, August 14
Our monthly Eucharist will be held at the Lutheran Center on Wednesday, August 14 at 11:30 a.m.

All are invited to join in this 30 minute worship.
Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders
August 26 - 30, 2019
Lutheran Center, Glendale, CA
The Bishop's Office of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will be hosting the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center's (LMPC) Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders. 

Conflict is normal and inevitable whether in the home, school, community, church or workplace. Leaders in all walks of life often have a responsibility to help others work through their conflicts. 

The Mediation Skills Training Institute presented by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is designed to equip church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. The five-day institute also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory. 

Although focused primarily on the church setting, the skills learned are directly transferable to other settings. Thus managers in business, attorneys, experienced mediators and others in leadership will be enriched by the training as well.

The Mediation Skills Training Institute will be held at the Lutheran Center at 1300 East Colorado Street in Glendale, CA ( map ) from August 26 - 30, 2019. Those registering by July 26 will receive an early bird tuition rate of $695 ($895 for those registering after that date). 

Excellence in Leadership - Introducing Theory U
Much has been written about leadership in multiple realms of our society. Excellence in Leadership is focusing on five schools of thought/thinkers to engage our imaginations for effective and meaningful leadership in the church and in our lives. In past weeks we have introduced Emotional Intelligence, Family Systems Theory, Adaptive Leadership, and Vulnerability. Here is a short synopsis of another of those areas:

Theory U

Change is a fact of life. It is also something that we are often reluctant to do and that is challenging to do smoothly. Dr. C. Otto Scharmer has constructed a framework to help individuals and institutions through this process – for change is more often than not a process and not a sudden occurrence. 

His “Theory U” is grounded in something called Presencing, which is to say being present with the process of what change entails through every step. We must be acutely aware of what is going on within us and within the environment around us in order to effectively move into the future change we are attempting to bring about.

In the program that Excellence in Leadership provides, you will be encouraged to use this process observe your own context and to enact a plan for how you all may meet the future with boldness and integrity.

Visit our website here and sign up today for the Excellence in Leadership program to begin this journey of healthy leadership. Sign up today for Excellence in Leadership. The classes will be starting before you know it!

June 25 - 29, 2020 at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. Over 650 high school youth and adults attended in 2017! Congregations from Regions 1-4, large gatherings, speakers & musicians, creative worship, SoCal Adventures, and more!

Read more
Office of the Bishop Summer Hours
The Office of the Bishop will be open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Friday the hours are 9:00 a.m. to noon.
For Your Bulletin
RMS Prayer Cycle


- Week of Auust 4 -

All Saints - Brush, CO

Bethel - Windsor, CO
David Pederson

Bethlehem - Brush, CO
Wade Brinkopf 

Faith - Eaton, CO
John Maroni

First - Ault, CO
Renee Lier
Offering Connections
(to include in your offering portion of worship)
August 4:  Your generosity has been life-changing in the Rocky Mountain Synod. You have supported  all  matching dollar requirements to expend Lilly grant dollars. Your continued generosity means that the blessings of 3E can extend for another 3 years starting in 2020.

August 11:  Your mission support means that 60% of Rocky Mountain Synod congregations will participate in Stewardship for All Seasons, helping change the root culture of stewardship to radical generosity in our giving.

August 18:  Educate, Equip, Enact helps part-time pastors and deacons live out their vocational integrity and find suitable sources of additional income. Because of your support for 3E, we received an additional small grant to design a program assisting part-time rostered ministers and smaller congregations.

August 25: Your financial support for Educate, Equip, Enact has helped send 25 rostered ministers to California Lutheran University’s Executive Skills for Church Leaders course, helping pastors and deacons learn MBA level church management skills.

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 4
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day

Benevolent God, you are the source, the guide, and the goal of our lives. Teach us to love what is worth loving, to reject what is offensive to you, and to treasure what is precious in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches

04 - 10 August Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
Bicycles, Bluegrass, Beer and BBQ a fundraiser for Matthew Weber
Saturday, August 10 at 10:30 a.m.
Join us at Holy Love on August 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Please join us for a bike ride followed by some bluegrass, barbecue and a beer from dry Dock brewery. Together we will celebrate our good friend Matthew and try to raise some money to help cover his medical expenses...

Read more
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains invites you to...
Lutheran Family Services invites you to their 26th annual golf tournament to raise funds for Adoption Services, Foster Care, Refugee & Asylee Services, Older Adult and Caregiver Services and Prevention Services.

When: August 15th, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. (Shotgun Start) 
Where: Hiwan Golf Club, 30671 Clubhouse Lane, Evergreen, CO 80439 ( map)

We are a human service agency helping children and families during their most challenging times. LFS offers help and hope to all people from the newborn infant to the most elderly person. We strive to accomplish this mission through our programs that assist more than 30,000 individuals annually. Approximately 80% of the people we serve are children.

With your Sponsorship, Foursome or In-Kind donation, we will be able to help more people than ever in 2019. Our golf tournament will include prizes awarded for winning teams, individual contests, Church Cup Competition and $40 Bonus Tickets which includes entry into all contests, two mulligans, prizes and more!

Registration Fees are only $185 per individual and includes green fees, golf cart, polo shirt, breakfast, lunch and more! Put your own team of 4 together or register individually to be placed on a team and make some new friends.
Register HERE . It's sure the be an event you won't "FOREget"!

Contact Jessica Yoss (Community Relations & Special Events Coordinator) at Jessica.Yoss@lfsrm.org with any questions. 
Disability Ministry Training with Rejoicing Spirits
Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Rejoicing Spirits ministry will be offering free training at the Office of the Bishop. The STAR Institute will provide a morning session on tips and tools for serving people of all ages who are differently abled, and in the afternoon Safe Haven training will be offered.

A light lunch will be provided. This training is open to anyone who would like to expand their capacity for accessible ministry and is mandatory for adults wishing to serve specifically in the Rejoicing Spirits mission development (particularly the Safe Haven training). Free will donation to offset the cost of lunch is appreciated. Zoom will be available.

For more information on the training or about Rejoicing Spirits, contact Pastor Brigette Weier at weierbrigetter@gmail.com.
Rick Steves Headlines Bright Stars of Bethlehem Event
Saturday, September 14, 6:30 p.m.
Come celebrate 15 years of raising creative leaders and growing hope in Palestine! at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E Hampden, Cherry Hills Village ( map ).

Funds raised will directly support the work of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and its initiatives through Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture, promoting peace and justice in Palestine through education in the arts and culture.

Rick Steves, travel writer, author, activist and television personality will give a travel show with slides. Travel as a Political Act, the title of Rick Steves’ latest book, will also be the theme of his presentation.

Tickets: $40 in advance; $50 at the door. More information here.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Albuquerque presents -
Vacation Bible School for Adults!
August 8-10, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. each day
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6901 Wyoming Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM ( map ), will conduct a Vacation Bible School for Adults August 8-10.

The half-day TED talk type presentations will include tai chi, lectures on sacred music, being Muslim in America, what Jews believe, daily life on the Laguna Pueblo, Lutheran monks, the old testament book of Ecclesiates, and Freedom of Religion and the Supreme Court. All are invited.
Questions? Contact Alexander Wold, J.D. at wold.alexander@gmail.com .
Our Life Together
The Enchanting Rhine 2020 with Guest Speakers Kirsi Stjerna & Brooks Schramm
You are invited to join Lutheran scholars Kirsi Stjerna and Brooks Schramm on The Enchanting Rhine River Cruise in the Fall of 2020, 10/25-11/2/2020.

Our itinerary takes us to Germany, France, and Netherlands. Our program includes exploration and fellowship, learning and enjoyment in a most beautiful setting.

Lectures and discussions pertaining to the regions visited and the topics of religion, reformation, and the bible will be offered. Come solo, come with a friend - or come with a group of your own! Special arrangements and benefits are available for group leaders. Also, Educational Opportunities offers special deals for international airfare, regardless of the departure city.

Interested, questions? Email kstjerna@plts.edu or bschramm79@hotmail.com.
Help Needed!
Pastor and family from Australia looking for a home in Centennial
Lord of the Mountains, Dillon CO, is sharing a request from a young pastor's family in Breckenridge looking for housing in Centennial. Click here for more information.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
"Leading Worship Matters"

"Leading Worship Matters" is a valuable resource for congregations that want to prepare their worship leaders for a ministry—not just a task—and that want to renew their worship life and deepen their understanding of worship as mission.

“God’s Work, Our Hands” Hymn winner
A hymn titled “God’s Work, Our Hands,”written by Wayne Wold, was selected as the winning entry in the ELCA’s “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday hymn contest. People submitted original compositions to be considered as a hymn for the ELCA’s annual day of service.

Wold is a professor and chair of the music department at Hood College in Frederick, Md., where he also serves as concert manager and college organist. Wold is also the director of music ministry at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, Md. The selected hymn represents the official tagline of the ELCA and expresses how the people of this church live in service for the life of the world. The hymn is available as a year-round worship resource.

The  selected hymn  includes music to a familiar tune as well as music to an original composition. The hymn is available as a year-round worship resource.

More information about "God's work. Our hands." Sunday is available  here .

Stewardship Toolkit for Congregations - August 2019
Here's the August 2019 "Stewardship Toolkit" brought to you by Rev. Rob Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop Lower Susquehanna Synod.

This month's theme is Deceived by 'the lie of more, looking at how our culture pressures us to seek happiness by endlessly accumulating 'more" … more stuff, more money, more experiences. The result? Instead of finding peace, too many of God's people are miserable and drowning in debt.
Get your Stewardship Toolkit here!
From the July 2019 issue of Administration Matters
Political activity and tax status

501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from certain kinds of political activity, so your congregation must understand what is permissible and what is strictly prohibited in order to maintain its tax-exempt status.
Many more Legal resources are available from the ELCA at this link .

Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Director of Communications
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, CO is seeking a creative person to manage print and digital communications. Primary responsibilities include weekly worship bulletins and email blasts, seasonal print newsletters, and regular social media and website management. Experience with Office Suite and WordPress are required. This position is 30 hours per week with benefits and a flexible schedule. The ideal candidate enjoys opportunities to be creative in helping us grow our communications network!

For questions, or to submit resume, contact Pastor Gary Sandberg at  gary@bethany-denver.org .
Choir Director (part-time)
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - Cañon City, CO
SOTH  has an opening for a choir director, a part-time paid position. Worship is primary to our congregational life, and music is fundamental part of our worship.
The choir director shall select all choral anthems to be sung by the choir. Music should be appropriate for use in the liturgical service and, if possible, follow the theme or the lessons appointed for the day. Musical selections shall be made in consultation with the Pastor whenever possible and given to the organist/accompanist well in advance of their rehearsal and performance dates. Musical selections and practice schedules should be given to the office secretary in advance of the bulletin and newsletter information deadlines. Choral conducting experience is required for this position along with good skills working with choir members.
The start date is flexible, but hopefully in September. This paid position requires 4-6 hours a week. For questions contact Bob Erickson, at   boberick835@gmail.com . Please send resume and cover letter to  sothoffices@gmail.com .
High School Program Director
Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp - Fort Collins, CO
Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp  is hiring a new full-time High School Program Director. The High School Program Director is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all of our high school programming including our High Wilderness backpacking program, our off-site Four Winds service learning programs, and our on-site Rendezvous program. A part of this coordination includes working with the different congregations and groups that will participate in these programs, as well as marketing and outreach for these programs. Job description is available  here . If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Brad Abbott, Executive Director, at  brad@skyranchcolorado.org .
All Non-Rostered Listings 
Director of Communications
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Choir Director (part-time)
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - Cañon City, CO

High School Program Director
Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp - Fort Collins, CO

Executive Director
Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center - Carefree, AZ

Part-Time Music Minister
Holy Cross Lutheran Church - Albuquerque, NM
Office of the Bishop This Week
  Bishop Jim Gonia
  • Sabbatical until August 5
  • Churchwide Assembly, Milwaukee, WI

Pastor Matt Barnhouse
  • Staff meeting
  • Ascension, Ogden, UT

Ruth Hoffman
  • NM Conference of Churches
  • Organizational tasks & appointments

Peter Severson
  • Staff Meeting
  • Domestic Hunger Grant Meeting
  • Vision 2020 Policy Committee

Tina Kvitek
  • Staff Meeting
  • 1-1 Meetings
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Excellence in Leadership Training Event
  • In-office appointments

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Staff Meeting
  • RMS Campaign Meeting

Deacon Erin Power
  • Staff Meeting
  • RMS Book Discussion: Digital Cathedral
  • Churchwide Assembly, Milwaukee, WI

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • In-office appointments
  • Candidacy Commitee Meeting Prep
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power ,   Assistant to the Bishop
Feel free to contact Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant, with your questions, comments, or concerns about eConnection or our website!

Rocky Mountain Synod  
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

Submissions are due noon Monday each week and will run for about two weeks.
Past issues of eConnection may be found here .