A Reconciling in Christ synod
The Fall Missional Gatherings are now the

This fall, conference "missional gatherings" throughout the Rocky Mountain synod will take place under a new name: CONFERENCE BETTER TOGETHER SUMMITS. Bishop Gonia will be present at all 11 Conference gatherings. The focus will be: Money & Church: For the Life of the World.

A team of the rostered minister/s and congregational leaders from every congregation will meet together. Please "save the date" as noted below. The TBD dates and times will be finalized soon. Watch for details and registration.

Boulder/Broomfield Conference                   
9/15/18          Atonement, Boulder, 9 a.m. to noon
Metro East Conference         
9/22/18          TBD, 9 a.m. to noon
Mountain West Conference  
10/6/18          TBD    
Metro South Conference                   
10/11/18        Abiding Hope, Littleton, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Wyoming Conference            
10/13/18        TBD
Border Conference                
10/20/18        Peace, Las Cruces, noon to 3:30 p.m.
North Colorado Conference              
10/21/18       Our Savior's, Greeley, 2 to 5 p.m.

Southeast Colorado Conference                   
10/27/18        First, Colorado Springs          
Utah Conference
11/11/18        TBD    
North New Mexico Conference
11/17/18        St. Paul, Albuquerque, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
Metro West Conference
12/1/18          TBD 
Update: Church Together accompanying families reunified
Here is an update from Pastor Gail Mundt, Christ Lutheran Church in Highlands Ranch ---

We honored the urgent request from the Office of the Bishop and reported on the need at all of our services. We introduced the Lutheran legacy of helping immigrants by gleaning information from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) website, Wikipedia and Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS) website. Then Keith LaShier, an LFS board member and past president, spoke at all four services of the need, how it came about, and how it could be met. We had links in our communications to both Rocky Mountain synod and LFS and invited people to donate through those links. However, we also said that we would accept donations and get them to the right sources. We have received direct donations both ways from Christ Lutheran Church members.

This is the giving total for those who gave through CLC offerings.

  • $250 written out to Lutheran Family Services (LFS)
  • $1,000 written to Rocky Mountain Synod
  • $1,790 written to Christ Lutheran Church to be forwarded to LFS
  • Total: $3,040
  • In addition, more money came in this weekend for the needs at the border and will be forwarded.

An especially wonderful story is about Deb Coates, a member of CLC. She had started a birthday fund-raiser on Facebook for the RMS, and when the crisis was reported she zeroed in on the Family Reunification need. She raised over $1,000 for this purpose! She worked all last week at the CLC VBS and had the separated children on her mind. She said as our own babies would cry for their mothers, and that was only for a couple of hours being apart. It made her hurt for those babies who were separated at the border and were missing their mothers so.

We always wonder "what can I do?" and "how can I help?" Thank you for this opportunity to help make a difference for some of those families and for those on the front lines of this reunification effort. #bettertogether
Lutheran Disaster Response receives grant for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts       
Lutheran Disaster Response has been allocated up to $7.3 million from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the implementation of a disaster case-management delivery mechanism for survivors of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Where is God In Immigration Court?
From our intern, Katie Kreis --

Throughout my childhood (even to this day), Mark 10 was special to me. I thought about how cool it would be to be defended by this Jesus guy after not being allowed to be anywhere near the 'grown-up table,' (I'm an only child, so the kid's table was lonely for me at Thanksgivings). Seriously, Jesus spoke to and of children often, kindly and with admiration; this is not something that can or should be overlooked.

Last week I met up with AMMPARO's (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) Guardian Angels in immigration court, where primary hearings for unaccompanied minors and other youth were being held...

RMS-ELCA News and Events
"God's work. Our hands." Sunday Project
An invitation to serve at the RMS Lutheran Center
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday is Sunday, September 9, 2018. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

The Rocky Mountain Synod Lutheran Center (Bishop's Office location) invites a congregation to perform service here. We are in need of some fence staining and other landscape projects, as well as installing LED light bulbs. We already have a Thrivent action grant for supplies. Contact Pastor Kent Mueller if you are interested in this project. (It can take place any time, not just September 9.)

You work every day to make your community a better place. Let us continue doing this work together in 2018! View the  video  and access  resources  to guide your congregation’s planning, promotion, and more.
Apply now for ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants!
The deadline to apply for ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants is rapidly approaching! These grants from ELCA World Hunger help accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, housing, job readiness, clean water, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger – for good. Apply no later than Monday, August 13!
Ambassadors for World Hunger wanted!
The Ambassadors for World Hunger will conference by Zoom/WebEx on Tuesday evening at 6:30 August 21, 2018. 
Ambassadors for the Denver metro Area, East, West and south Conferences in addition to the northern New Mexico and Utah Conferences are still needed. If you are interested in learning and spreading the news of what the ELCA World Hunger Campaign is doing in the USA and throughout our World you may want to become an Ambassador for World Hunger. For further information contact: Carol McDivitt, mcdivittc@mindspring.com, 970-689-2569 or Barbara Ripperger, bripperger2@gmail.com, 719-248-9615. 
Candidacy Discernment Retreat
August 15, 2018, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Come spend a day in reflection, prayer, discernment, and fellowship as you learn about rostered ministry in the ELCA. Whether you are just beginning to think about public ministry or you are ready to start the candidacy process, we would love to have you join us. For more information, contact  Leslie Welton.
Tithe.ly Recorded Webinar and Follow-up Resources
Are you curious about online and mobile giving but missed the recent webinar?

L earn more or sign up: Tithe.ly/ELCA Info/Signup Page
'She is loose': A historic group of female Lutheran Bishops

CHICAGO (RNS) - When six synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elected female bishops in May, they set a record for the most women chosen in one year to lead the mainline Protestant denomination's geographical subdivisions. Among...

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As Rev. Judith VanOsdol prepares to leave for her new call at the Lutheran Federation in Geneva, Switzerland, she is cleaning out her bookshelves. You are invited to stop by the Office of the Bishop and look to see if any of them are on your reading list.
For Your Bulletin
In Memoriam

We give thanks for the life and witness of Elizabeth "Betty" Pepin who died on Tuesday, July 31. She recently served on the Synod Council of the Rocky Mountain Synod. A funeral service will take place on Monday, August 6, at 2:00 p.m. at Nativity Lutheran Church, 12500 E. 104th Avenue, Commerce City, CO, 80022.


Rev. Pamela C. Stofferahn
United Church of the San Juans
Ridgway, CO
Sunday, August 12, 10:00 a.m.
Color of the Day: Green
RMS Prayer Cycle

 Week of August 5

All Saints - Brush, CO

Bethel - Windsor, CO
David Pederson

Bethlehem - Brush, CO

Faith - Eaton, CO
John Maroni

First - Ault, CO
Renee Lier
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 5
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day

O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied. Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

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

05 - 11 August 2018 :  Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
African Children's Choir Concert
Thursday, August 2 at 7 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church, Denver
Join the African Children’s Choir as they perform in Denver during their US Tour! Presented by Augustana Arts, City Strings, and Into Your Hands Africa. Free will offering. Reserve Free Tickets.
Mental Health First Aid
Sundays, August 5 and 12, 10:50 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Where can you learn the risk factors and warning signs for a mental health and addiction challenge, strategies to help someone in crisis and non-crisis situations, and know where to turn for help? These are addressed in Mental Health First Aid; it is like a CPR course for mental health.Topics include: depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, substance use disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders and suicide.

This program will be held on Sundays, August 5 and August 12, 10:50 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church, 685 Inca Parkway, Boulder. Flyer here.

The Mental Health Ministry Team hosts and subsidizes this national program. Cost is $20 for both sessions with lunch. You must register with Alan Johnson, revalan2004@comcast.net or 720-304-6918. (Maximum of 30 participants)
Faith Formation Retreat Day
Tuesday, August 7 at 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Come join the Faith Formation Network for a day of resource sharing and conversations around this work we do. Bring your plans, ideas, questions, and off-the-wall suggestions. We'll order pizza for lunch and just spend the day getting ready for the new program year with mutual encouragement. Contact Leslie Welton if you're interested in attending. See you then!
Hearing for the draft social statement "Women and Justice: One in Christ"
Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
A hearing on the “Women and Justice: One in Christ” Draft Social Statement will be held on Zoom for anyone who cannot attend an in-person hearing, on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. You will need a computer with a camera, microphone and speakers to fully participate. You can join the hearing from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by going to this link: https://zoom.us/j/203565131 Or by telephone: US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656. Please use meeting ID: 203 565 131. If you have never used Zoom, please allow time to download the app, or to get your system set up.

You will need a copy of the social statement in front of you as we will be addressing the language, intent and interpretation of specific sections and lines of the draft social statement. You can find the draft here: http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Current-Social-Writing-Projects/Women-and-Justice/Draft. Please RSVP to Pastor Brigette Weier at brigette@bethany-denver.org by August 14. 
Ken Caryl Concerts presents "Rags to Rock"
Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saint Philip Lutheran Church

This free and family friendly event will include an eclectic mix of tunes from Scott Joplin to Chris Martin (Coldplay) performed by a variety of artists including Joseph Harkins and Chappel Kingsland from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music.

Donations collected at this performance will benefit Mosaic. Refreshments will be served following the performance. More information here.
Golf Tournament at The Club at Ravenna
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 8 a.m.
St. Philip, Littleton is holding its 7th annual golf outing at The Club at Ravenna on Monday, August 20, 2018. This fun event is open to golfers of any ability who would like to play this magnificent, private course in southern Jefferson County. Go here for more information and registration.
Our Life Together
A Great Community Awaits!
Is your congregation sending high school graduates into the world? A great community awaits them on colleges and universities. Lutheran Campus Ministry supports young adults during those critical years when they are asking, “Who am I and what am I doing here?” These questions are surrounded in worship, bible study, retreats, small groups, trips, mentoring, peer support, and individual (coffee shop) conversations with a pastor.

Help us know that they are coming and we will welcome them with great care. Simply submit their names and contact information at this link and we will do the rest. If you have questions about campus ministry contact any one of the campus pastors listed on the Rocky Mountain Synod website under Faith Formation.
Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp Confirmation Retreat
October 19-21, 2018
Join us in the mountains for a weekend with your confirmands! The annual RTLC Confirmation Retreat offers time for songs, s'mores, group learning, and LOTS of play. Our theme for this year, led by Pr. Jay Gamelin, is "Blessed and Broken". With this theme, youth will explore the act of communion and what it is calling us to be in the world.

Registration for the event is now up on the Rainbow Trail website. Spots are limited, so register now!
No Way to Treat a Child - WHAT CAN WE DO?
2018 Synod Assembly Resolution 
“Protecting the Human Rights of Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation”

Each year Israel arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the occupied West Bank – Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law. What can you do?! Visit Peace Not Walls for these and more suggestions!

  • Read the resolution and fact sheet 
  • Watch “Detaining Dreams” documentary about the arrests of children
  • Contact your Representative
  • Do a presentation in your church on the situation of Palestinian children
Xulon Press Announces the Release of "Bible Stories According to Tuffy Turtle," by Joan Ellen McNamara
If God can speak through a donkey in the Bible, He can certainly communicate through a turtle.

“This family of Spiriturtleluses have been given the gift of faith from the time of Creation which they are to share with all the animals throughout time,” Joni McNamara says. “There is only one so-called problem by the name of J.R. Rabbit who just can not get the idea of faith in a God. He can not see or touch. His family of skeptics, the Skeptirabbituses, follows all the Tuffy Turtles throughout the history of the Old Testament, and create and share some interesting and insightful discussions on the meaning of faith and trust in God.”

Joni McNamara is a retired professional puppeteer. A graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in theology, she has worked in various churches as a Christian education director, small group minister, director of youth and family ministries, and director of puppet ministries. She lives in Casper, Wyoming, with her husband (a Victim’s Advocate for the police department and retired pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran).
Joni is working to set up a fall Book Tour and if your congregation would be interested in helping her to get information out in the Denver area, southern Colorado, and southern Wyoming please contact her at  jonilmcnamara@icloud.com . The book may be ordered directly from Joni through her web page, jonimcnamara.com .

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 12,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Bible Stories According to Tuffy Turtle through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Welcome to the Three Sides Podcast - Living Lutheran

Get to know the hosts for Three Sides, the new monthly podcast featuring stories of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In this introductory episode, Shanna Crawford, Philip LaDeur and Andrew Steele talk about why they're excited to...

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Employment Opportunities
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Early Childhood Teacher (part-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO

Early Childhood Enrichment Teacher (part-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO

Early Childhood Assistant Teacher (part-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO

St. Philip Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

Praise Singers Director (part-time)
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Music Director (part-time)
St. Paul Lutheran Church - Albuquerque, NM

Trinity Lutheran Church - Laramie, WY
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • In-office Appointments
  • House for All, Denver
  • Better Together Relationship Team

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Conference Better Together Summit planning
  • Part Time Ministers' Team meeting

Ruth Hoffman
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Medicaid Advisory Committee
  • Interim Legislative Committees

Peter Severson
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • Colorado SNAP Coalition
  • Vision 2020 Public Investment Training
  • Colorado Children's Campaign
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • ACTS: Aurora Church Together Strategy, Bethel, Aurora
  • Mission Developer/ Redeveloper check-ins
  • In office appointments

Deacon Erin Power
  • Assistant to Bishop gathering planning
  • Cross of Christ, Albuquerque, NM
  • Theological Conference Planning

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Sabbatical until August 14

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • In-office appointments
  • Evergreen, Evergreen, CO
  • Rainbow Trail
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power ,   Assistant to the Bishop
You are welcome to directly contact Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant, with questions, comments, or concerns you may have about eConnection or our website!

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

Articles for eConnection are due noon Monday for the issue the following Wednesday.
Event announcements are included for about two weeks then copied to the Events & News Web Page , and may be submitted via the eConnection Submission link above.