August 7, 2019
A Reconciling in Christ synod
A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gonia
photo credit: Andreas Acosta - El Paso Herald Post
August 6, 2019

Beloved of Christ in the Rocky Mountain Synod,

As I write it has been two days since the horrific shooting in El Paso, one day since the equally terrible shooting in Dayton. Once again, we feel the collective trauma of senseless violence and innocent loss of life. Once again, this violence comes far too close to home as it impacts a beloved part of our own synod. 

What makes the shooting in El Paso particularly heart-wrenching is not only the scale of the carnage but the fact that the shooter was inspired by a rhetoric of hate for immigrants framed by a belief in white supremacy. His actions specifically targeted a place I have come to know as a community where all are welcome, where there is a strong commitment to overcome divisions based on race or ethnicity, where the border serves as meeting place not dividing line for all God's people.

Yesterday synod bishops and vice-presidents from around our church gathered for worship prior to our ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee. Tears welled in my eyes as we prayed for the people of El Paso and Dayton. When will enough be enough? What will it take for us to wake up as a people and say “NO!” to acts of hatred toward our neighbors who may look different from us, “NO” to a culture in which a weapon of war can be used to slaughter families buying school supplies?

Your church is not only asking these questions, your church is committed to discerning how the love of Christ and the leading of the Spirit compel us to respond and act in the face of such challenges. While there is no single pathway forward, we can all begin by taking advantage of the many resources at our disposal to engage in meaningful conversations about difficult issues, particularly in our congregational settings. I commend to your careful consideration and use the following at starting places:

It's one thing to address the outward symptoms of complex issues such as gun violence, systemic racism, migration realities and white supremacy. It's far more daunting to dig deep and engage the root causes. 

eConnection Spotlight:
RMS in the Neighborhood
Augustana Lutheran Church
God’s work. Our hands. on the border
On Sundays August 4 and 11, Augustana members and friends donate items needed at the Hospitality House for those traveling to their new homes after being released from ICE detention.

Augustana’s Jean and Duane Gall will visit the Border Servant Corps Hospitality House at the end of August. In addition to delivering gathered items, they will be working in the Hospitality Center kitchen, playing with children, providing transportation to the bus, and offering love and kindness.

RMS-ELCA News and Events
RMS at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly!
Voting members from the Rocky Mountain Synod are engaged at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, WI. 

Interested in following along with the Assembly? Participate on social media using  #ELCAcwa and a livestream is available at .
Youth Ministry Extravaganza! registration is now OPEN
January 31 - February 3, 2020
Registration is now open for Extravaganza 2020!

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network's main event for connection, learning, and continuing education, this time is valuable for all working in youth ministry and faith formation. If you would like to support a participant's attendance, please contact Leslie Welton in the office of the bishop. For more info, go here!
Connect College Students with Lutheran Campus Ministry!
Did you 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!
Excellence in Leadership - Register by August 10
Excellence in Leadership will kick off this fall in five locations throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod, focusing on five s chools of thought to engage our imaginations for effective and meaningful leadership in the church and in our lives . It is for both rostered ministers and lay persons.

Sign up today for the Excellence in Leadership program to begin this journey of healthy leadership. The registration deadline is August 10. Visit the EIL website  here  and  to register go  here . (Please note that if registration numbers are not high enough, all of the sites may not be able to be offered.)

For more information contact Dana Anderson at .
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.
RMS Theological Conference, Oct 7-10
Registration deadline is August 23!
Go here to register!
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 August 11 -

Immanuel - Greeley, CO
Tim Bettger

King of Glory - Loveland, CO
Ruth Ann Loughry

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer - Fort Morgan, CO
Wade Brinkopf

Our Savior’s - Greeley, CO
John Knutson
Korra Looschen
Offering Connections
(to include in your offering portion of worship)
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 11
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may be ready to receive you wherever you appear, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

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

11 - 17 August Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger - 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
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
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 .

Employment Opportunities
New Listings 
Director of Youth Ministries
Cross of Christ Lutheran Church - Broomfield, CO
Cross of Christ is seeking a Director of Youth Ministries to build and execute a strategy to develop youth programs and activities for 6-12th grade youth, with potential expansion to include 4th-5th grades. Responsibilities include:

  • Be a visible and consistent presence in the congregation and develop meaningful personal relationships with a wide circle of youth and families in the congregation.
  • Build, organize and execute an annual calendar of programs and activities that encourages Youth to seek Christ in their lives.
  • Teach the high school Sunday School class during the Sunday School hour (Sept-May), encouraging ongoing Faith development and building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Communicate youth activities in the weekly bulletin, monthly newsletter, electronic communications, and other means (i.e. youth bulletin board, youth calendar, etc.).

A full job description including qualifications and salary is available  here

Please send resume and letter of interest to: Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, Attn: Pastor Will Johnson, 12099 Lowell Blvd, Broomfield, CO 80020
Or email resume and letter of interest to:

Resumes due by September 1, 2019
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 . Please send resume and cover letter to .
All Non-Rostered Listings 
Director of Youth Ministries
Cross of Christ Lutheran Church - Broomfield, 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
  • Churchwide Assembly, Milwaukee, WI
  • Executive Committee

Pastor Matt Barnhouse
  • Companion Synod Meeting
  • Visioning Team

Ruth Hoffman
  • Hunger event, Santa Fe, NM
  • Organizational tasks & appointments

Peter Severson
  • ELCA Churchwide Assembly
  • Christ the Servant Louisville, CO
  • Young Adults in Global Mission Orientation, Chicago, IL

Tina Kvitek
  • 1-1 Meetings
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • In-office appointments
  • St. Timothy's, El Paso, TX
  • UNC Campus Ministry

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Mt. Calvary, Boulder, CO

Deacon Erin Power
  • Churchwide Assembly, Milwaukee, WI
  • In-office appointments

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Faith Formation Conference Coordinators
  • UNC Campus Ministry
Quick Links
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Erin Power ,   Assistant to the Bishop
Feel free to contact Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant, with your questions, comments, what you think about eConnection and our website!

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

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