A Reconciling in Christ synod
ACT 4 RMS: Awaken, Confront, Transform to End Racism
From Bishop Gonia:

It shouldn't have happened, but it did. It shouldn't have happened at a church event , but it did. It certainly shouldn't have happened at OUR church event, but it did. 

What happened took place at our Rocky Mountain Synod Youth Gathering in January. Some of our youth of color and their adult sponsors experienced overt and painful expressions of racism directed towards them, including verbal racial slurs, and in at least one case, a threat of violence. Others were faced with more subtle yet still explicit expressions in word and deed that let them know they were not considered to be equal brothers and sisters in Christ. And this, in the context of a Youth Gathering that was specifically designed to expand our capacity to understand and experience our differences as diverse people of God. 

This summer I met with some of our youth who experienced these racist incidences. We were at our ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, and they shared with me both their pain and disappointment at what had happened as well as their determination to see that something changes. It would be so easy for them to simply walk away from a church like ours, a church that is more than 95% white, a church with so much still to do in addressing the systemic racism that is part of our life together. But these youth have decided to stay and be a catalyst for change. For that courage and commitment, I am immensely grateful. 

If January was a low point, April signaled hope and a potential way forward. That month I joined three other members of our Rocky Mountain Synod in Washington DC for an event called ACT to End Racism sponsored by the National Council of Churches. ACT stands for Awaken, Confront, Transform. What a perfect way to describe the work that lies before us as we seek to honestly address the pain and sources of racism in our midst as a church. 

Last week I met with the three colleagues who were present at the ACT Rally and we agreed to invite others to join us in forming a new team that will intentionally address racism in our life as a synod. We will begin by supporting the existing work of our upcoming RMS Theological Conference in addressing issues related to the Doctrine of Discovery and racism through large group conversation and Bible Study. Beyond that, ACT 4 RMS will have two additional immediate goals. This first will be to engage our Synod Council in order to better equip this cadre of synod leaders to understand their own relationship to racism and privilege. Our hope is to provide some in-depth training that helps Awaken, Confront, and Transform our Council members as individuals and as a leadership group. 

A second goal for the ACT 4 RMS team will be to integrate into our new leadership development initiative (Excellence in Leadership) intentional anti-racism training. It is our hope that we will be able to identify and train a cohort of leaders who will be committed to leading our ACT work throughout our Synod. 

As I write this we are recognizing the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville where white supremacists held a rally resulting in the injury and death of those who stood up to confront racism. It is a poignant reminder that our work to end this evil is one we carry out both as a nation and as the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 
I invite your active participation in the work of ACT 4 RMS. Whatever your race or nationality, it will take all of us to awaken to the racism that lies within, to confront the realities of systemic racism, and to both BE transformed and to become part of God's transforming power among us.  

Our work will not be done until we live in a world what happened at our last Rocky Mountain Synod Youth Gathering never happens again. 

In Faith,
Bishop Jim

eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Integrated Service and Intentionality
"Serving Christ through action for better community." This is the tagline for Urban Servant Corps, the organization that lives out faith-based service in every corner of Denver.

I had the opportunity to meet with Sarah Adam, Community Life Coordinator, at the  Urban Servant Corps  office this week. We talked about USC's mission in the community and how that extends to the volunteers' personal lives. What struck me is how many opportunities there are for volunteers to better their communities and simultaneously take time to better themselves. With opportunities for faith, reflection, discussion about social issues, food education, etc. at the USC houses, the volunteers are truly living comprehensively in their faith and ministries.

Volunteers come to USC at all ages. Typically, USC sees recent college graduates and others in their 20s apply. However, this last year a retired nun found USC after her convent closed. Mary Kay is a volunteer at Family Promise, an organization that works with individuals and families who are at risk of being homeless.

Read more about USC from Intern Katie in her final RMS Blog post
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Welcome Back Sarah Moening!
Rev. Sarah Moening has returned from her 3-month sabbatical. We offer our deep gratitude for Janet Philipp, who worked with congregations in transition during that time. Communication and questions regarding transition and mobility should be directed once again to Pastor Sarah or by calling the Office of the Bishop: 303-7776700.
Stay informed, share our stories!
The 2018-19 RMS Events Poster is now available. A copy was also mailed to each congregation. Keep your members in the loop of all our synod events!
Wondering about 3E? Looking to introduce 3E programs to your congregation? Print or share the August insert from Living Lutheran Magazine!
God's Work Our hands - Sunday, September 9

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.

Read more
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 God's Work Our Hands project. (It can take place any time, not only 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.

If you haven't done so already, please sign up your congregation for a day of service by answering a couple of quick questions in this survey.  Your registration helps us share and tell stories about the good work that we do together.
For Your Bulletin

Rev. Bre Roberts
University of New Mexico Campus Ministry
Saturday, August 24, 10:00 a.m.
Color of the Day : Green
RMS Prayer Cycle

 Week of August 19

Our Saviour’s - Fort Collins, CO
Michael Stadtmueller
Leta Behrens

Peace - Akron, CO
Dan Hays

Peace - Sterling, CO
Dan Hays 

Shepherd of the Hills - Fort Collins, CO
Dana Peterson
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 19
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day

Ever-loving God, your Son gives himself as living bread for the life of the world. Fill us with such a knowledge of his presence that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life to serve you continually, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

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

19 - 25 August 2018 :   Liberia, Sierra Leone - Intercessions and Prayers
Around the Synod
$ave Green, Be Green: How to Save Money and Shrink the Environmental Impact of Your Organization
This is a free workshop for Denver-area nonprofits and faith based organizations  
The event is scheduled for Tuesday September 25th, 2018 from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman Street, Denver.
Spend the day with your peers learning about ways to make your organization more sustainable while also reducing costs.
Topics include: 
  • Prioritizing Building Upgrades and How to Pay for Them 
  • Solar for Nonprofits
  • Making Sustainability Part of Your Organizational Culture
This is a free event with coffee, pastries and lunch provided - however, registration is required as space is limited to the first 120 attendees. Registration information here.
Rachel Kurtz In Concert
Saturday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Rachel Kurtz, a phenomenal musician and singer from Minneapolis is well-known performer within the Lutheran community, having performed on the main stage of the last several ELCA National Youth Gatherings. We are super excited to have such a talented singer join us and hope you can join us too! Her soulful and faithful songwriting has endeared her to people of all ages. Bring your friends, your neighbors, your youth group, or whoever you want to this free concert!
Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp Senior High Retreat
November 16-18, 2018
Join us in the mountains for a weekend of songs, games, and learning! The annual RTLC Senior High Retreat welcomes speaker, Deacon Erin Power, the Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Life in the Rocky Mountain Synod. Our theme for this year is "Radically Relevant – What Can We Offer the World?" With this theme, senior high students will explore and claim the gifts we as individuals and communities of faith have to offer for the sake of a world in need of love, grace, and healing.

The RTLC Senior High Retreat fee includes lodging, food, all programming, time with your favorite RTLC staff, and an event t-shirt! Spots are limited! Info and registration here.
Our Life Together
Border Servant Corps #ChurchBetterTogether
What an outpouring of generosity from St Tim's Lutheran Church to support the hospitality ministry for refugee families seeking asylum! An amazing crew made a one-day trip to bring items that will be shared with Border Servant Corps, Peace Lutheran Church, and Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey as, together, we provide hospitality to our neighbors in our midst. What a blessing to be #ChurchBetterTogether.
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.
Take faith outside - Living Lutheran

If we want our children to recognize God at work in their ordinary lives, we need to talk about God in ordinary places. Our church is trying something new this summer-we are taking vacation Bible school (VBS) on location. That's right!

Read more
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
RMSWO August Newsletter -  Views from the Rockies
Rocky Mtn Synodical Women's logo
Enjoy the  August 2018 issue of Views from the Rockies, the Rocky Mountain Synodical Women's Organization newsletter. We'd love to hear your stories too, share them with us at  rmswoelca16@gmail.com.

ELCA Administration Matters: from the July 2018 Issue
New Wholeness Wheel Bible study

Published by Portico Benefit Services and authored by Pastor Amanda Nesvold of Christ Community Lutheran Church in Green Bay, Wis., this resource was a hit at this year’s synod assemblies! Use it alone or with others to consider how you’re stewarding all dimensions of your life and faith. > More 
Here's Your Stewardship Toolkit for September!
Here is a great all-in-one resource from the Lower Susquehanna Synod, with the theme " Stewardship of Our Work Life," for your congregation’s monthly stewardship communication and education needs. You’ll find short “Stewardship Snippets” for every Sunday’s bulletin and articles for your monthly newsletter or website – ready to cut and paste! There’ are links to resources and more!
Employment Opportunities
New Listings
Accompanist/Choir Director
Highlands Lutheran Church - Denver, CO
Highlands Lutheran Church is an active neighborhood ELCA church in northwest Denver at 3995 Irving St. We are seeking an individual with strong musical leadership to play piano and/or organ and to possibly direct our small, but mighty choir which sings for selected services. We are in search of someone who is ready and willing to bring their creativity to worship through music and to collaborate in planning.

More information here,
Director of Family Ministries (part-time)
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 280 Vine St, Denver CO 80206
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church seeks a Part-time Director of Family Ministries who is called to sustain and expand family programs with our congregation. The Director of Family Ministries creates a welcoming and nurturing environment, in which our families experience community and develop spirituality, and are able to build trusting relationships and the sense that the church is home. The director will recruit and develop an engaged team of volunteer leaders, oversee all related youth curriculum, programs, and activities, and create meaningful connections with youth members of the church, leading them into a deeper relationship with God and one another, and into service in the world. 

Lead Preschool Teacher/Assistant Preschool Teacher
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO
Our faith-centered preschool and childcare facility provides high quality, NAEYC accredited preschool and enrichment care. We are looking for an enthusiastic teacher or assistant to join our team for our 3- or 4-year-olds. The Preschool staff member is responsible for providing a safe environment for the children, helping students reach developmentally appropriate learning goals, and to contribute to a positive team spirit with fellow colleagues. 
For more information, please see the full job description at http://www.holytrinity-lutheran.com/jobs/ or contact Preschool Director, Tracy Seul at 303-797-6345 or director.holytrinitypreschool@hotmail.com.
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Accompanist/Choir Director
Highlands Lutheran Church - Denver, CO

Director of Family Ministries (part-time)
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church - Denver, CO

Lead Preschool Teacher/Assistant Preschool Teacher
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

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
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • In-office appointments
  • Candidacy Committee
  • Rainbow Trail Closing worship
  • Synod Council Zoom

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Lutheran Center Administration

Ruth Hoffman
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • NM Conference of Churches
  • Interim legislative work

Peter Severson
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • YAGM Orientation, Chicago, IL
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Cristo Rey, Denver (Latino Worshiping Community)
  • Cheyenne, WY Congregations: Area Strategy 
  • New Beginnings Prison Ministry Board
  • House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver
  • In-office meetings
  • Synod Council

Deacon Erin Power
  • Candidacy Discernment Retreat
  • Global Mission Committee
  • Theological Conference Planning
  • Synod Council Zoom
  • RMS Hunger Ambassadors

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • In-office appointments
  • St. Luke's Buffalo, WY

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Candidacy Discernment Retreat
  • Candidacy Committee
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry
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.