August 5, 2020
A Reconciling in Christ synod
Continuing our Life as Church Becoming: Updated recommendations for navigating the next chapter in our pandemic landscape

Bishop Gonia Invites Congregational Leaders to a Zoom Forum, August 11, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Beloved in Christ in the Rocky Mountain Synod:

We have been living in pandemic mode since the middle of March. By now we imagined that conditions would be improving or that our concerns would be more focused on a possible second wave of coronavirus in the fall. Instead, we find ourselves more deeply in the midst of what Dr. Michael Osterholm has described as a "forest fire," spreading wherever there is "wood to burn."

At the time of this writing, infection rates and the related death toll from COVID-19 continue to rise both in our country and region. There is no clear end in sight to when and how this pandemic will ease its grip on our life. The idea of 14 days of successive decreases of cases in any location, including in much of our synod, seems a long way off. Situations elsewhere in the world show that even when cases subside for a time, new outbreaks can occur when preventative measures are relaxed.

Our ability to control what the virus will do is limited. Wishing it away will not change our reality. We are learning the hard way that our only option for helping mitigate the spread of this virus is to adapt our behavior. Behaviors that help prevent the spread of COVID are familiar by now:
  • avoid large gatherings
  • maintain physical distance when with others
  • use face coverings when in public spaces
  • regularly wash and sanitize hands and surfaces

Given that the end of this pandemic is not in sight, we must continue to adapt our life not only as individuals, but as the church. Dr. Osterholm suggests that we anticipate the next twelve months as being a "COVID year"-and plan accordingly. While this is not what any of us desires, it IS possible for us to make the necessary adaptations in our individual lives as well as in our practices and ministry as the church. Like generations before us that have faced significant challenges, determination and resiliency are required...

Read the updated recommendations with Bishop Gonia's comments here, and at his blog here.

* * * * *

Bishop Gonia will introduce the Updated recommendations for worship in the Rocky Mountain Synod during the time of the pandemic during this Zoom conversation for congregational leaders on August 11 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Congregation Council and other lay leaders are encouraged to attend.

Or visit and type in the ID and Passcode
Meeting ID: 932 2999 3181
Passcode: 074250
Phone: 1 669 900 6833
eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Anchor House Groundbreaking!
Wednesday, August 19 at 9:00 a.m.
Anchor House will begin construction with a groundbreaking on Wednesday, August 19 at 9:00 a.m. Tune in to the live webcast at

The goal of Anchor House is to provide affordable housing and support services, including assistance with job searches and access to food banks, to youth ages 18-21 who have aged out of the foster system. Anchor House is a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation that comprises a partnership with Lutheran Church of Hope, Thrivent Financial, Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, Flatirons Habitat for Humanity, and the City and County of Broomfield. Despite setbacks from the coronavirus outbreak this year, Anchor House has received enough funding to begin building the eight-apartment complex in Broomfield this summer. Read their press release here.

The anticipated completion date is May 2021. A larger dedication/opening rite is planned when construction is complete.
from ELCA Global Links - Gender Justice in Nicaragua
The women’s empowerment project of the Iglesia Luterana de Nicaragua “Fe y Esperanza” (ILFE), or the Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope, advocates for gender justice so women can empower themselves to overcome barriers in a patriarchal system. “The Women Empowerment Project aims to initiate a sensitization process with women of ILFE, emphasizing the care of their bodies as living temples of the Holy Spirit,” explains an ILFE video.

On Nov. 25-26, 2019, ILFE held its annual women’s meeting in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The event was part of the ILFE women’s empowerment project, which is funded by the ELCA. Watch the video about the gathering here.
RMS & ELCA News and Events
Theological Conference 2020

Dr. Reggie Williams will be joining as our keynote for our 2020 Theological Conference. Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary and the author of Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance.

Registration deadline is September 4.
Hotel Reservation Deadline is August 24.

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.
Beginning a Culture of Generosity

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.

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). 

If you have questions or if you have been in SAS and want a refresher, contact Deb Elstad, 3E Associate Director,
Sky Ranch Campground Opens!
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Sky Ranch is excited to announce the campground is open beginning August 9th! Cabin and campground rentals are available for individual family units. More information here. Reservations can be made Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. by calling the office at 970-493-5258 or email Ally at
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 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!

For Your Bulletin

Rev. Brad Doty, Senior Pastor
St. Phillip, Littleton, CO
5:30pm, Saturday, August 8
Color of the day:  Green
or visit to join a meeting using this info:
Meeting ID: 889 4305 6297

Rev. Daren Erisman
Immanuel/Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry, Greeley, CO
1:00pm, Sunday, August 16
Color of the day:  Green
Online connection information TBA


Sara L. Wilson,
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA
11:00am PDT, Saturday, August 22
Color of the day:  Red

RMS Prayer Cycle

JULY 2020

- Week of August 9 -

First - Ault, CO
James West

Immanuel - Greeley, CO

King of Glory - Loveland, CO
Ruth Ann Loughry
Deb Abbott

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer - Fort Morgan, CO
Wade Brinkopf
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 9
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

Prayer of the Day
O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

In God's Hands:
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle from the World Council of Churches
09 - 15 August : Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
Creation Care Support Group Meeting
Saturday, August 8, 10:00 a.m.
Join other concerned Lutherans as we discuss ways to care for our amazing creation! This will be a short, 1 hour or less meeting. Bring whatever topics you want to share and talk about. Questions, contact Pastor Alena Lamirato at
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
Urban Servant Corps needs you. Will you help?
Dear USC Friends,

ONE month from today, we will welcome the 2020-2021 Urban Servant Corps volunteers to 1660 Ogden St.! As our in-coming team anticipates all of the exciting (and uncertain!) moments that this year will bring, we invite you to accompany them by:

SHARING YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM AND WELCOME: During a time that we could all use an extra boost of encouragement, please consider sending a note of wisdom and welcome to the in-coming team by replying to this email or sending a card to 1660 Ogden St. Denver, CO 80218. These will be offered on a Hospitality Table as volunteers arrive for Orientation Week.

SEND YOUR GIFT: We are intentionally planning a safe and healthy arrival for our volunteers. Your contribution will help to purchase COVID-related safety items (soap, hand sanitizer, face masks, thermometers, etc) as well as other items to create an inviting home (food for a full pantry, new pillows, a book that we will read throughout the year, etc). Please know that the values of intentional community, service, simplicity and faith will be in full effect as you make your contribution. Your gift matters to us!

YOU, as a community of supporters, are a tremendously powerful group of people. We are deeply grateful for your connection to this ministry.

Deacons Conference: Our Fragile Island Home: Protecting God's Creation
On-line August 20-21
Thursday, August 20, 10:00 am-12:30 p.m., 2:30-5:00 p.m. PDT and Friday, August 21, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2:30-5:30 p.m.

The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona is hosting the Deacons Conference for Provinces VIII & VI: Our Fragile Island Home: Protecting God's Creation, August 20-21. Registration for the two-day event is only $35.00. The Zoom sessions are in two-hour blocks in the morning and in the afternoon. Registration spaces are limited.

Guest speakers include Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California and climate change activist; Sheila Moore Andrus, PhD, environmental scientist; Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, climate change researcher; Katharine Jefferts Schori, PhD, former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and PhD in oceanography; and Jennifer A. Reddall, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona. Full information and registration at
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... READ MORE >

Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
from the Women of the ELCA -
What are parents to do? The best they can
by Elizabeth McBride 8.3.2020

Parents: I see you. I am praying for you too.

Sending children back to school has been a hot debate. Data regarding the virus and if children can be brought back to school is ever-changing. However, parents of children in daycare have pondered this decision for a month, at least.
from the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians -
Hearts * Hands * Voices online content to be available
The first Hearts * Hands * Voices online content will be available on ALCM's YouTube channel on Saturday, August 8th. Mark Johanson from Christ Lutheran Church–Christ Providence in Charlotte, North Carolina, and other colleagues will present content that will offer "Worship Solutions that Respond to COVID-19 Challenges." Geared toward small/medium-sized churches, potential topics covered in the various videos may include: the basics of live-streaming, best practices for resuming rehearsals and/or in-person worship, copyright check-up, and amping up your livestream with cameras, lighting, software/hardware, and sound. When the videos are live, the link will be provided on the homepage of the ALCM website.
“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
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:
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
  • Rev. Brad Doty Installation, St. Phillip, Littleton, CO
  • Christ the King, Colorado Springs, CO

Pastor Dana Peterson
  • Christ the King, Denver, CO
  • Peace, El Paso, CO
  • Spirit of Joy, Fort Collins, CO
  • Growing Young Conference

Kurt Rager
  • Vacation August 5-8
  • Living Faith Zoom Gathering

Peter Severson
  • Living Faith ZOOM Gathering
  • LAM-CO Policy Committee
  • Epiphany, Denver, CO

Tina Kvitek
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Congregation Transitions
  • Excellence in Leadership prep
  • First Call Theological Planning

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

Deacon Erin Power
  • Living Faith ZOOM Gathering
  • Anti-Racism Work
  • Theological Conference Prep
  • Gathering Well Learning Lab #4

Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan
  • Faith Formation Network
  • Candidacy Committee Prep
  • Epiphany, Denver, CO

Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power,  Assistant to the Bishop
Feel free to contact Andrew Nakatani, 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.