A Reconciling in Christ synod
Welcome Pastor Leslie Welton, Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation!
Pastor Leslie Welton has accepted the call to serve as the Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation in the Rocky Mountain Synod. 

In her own words... 
"I am very excited to join the staff of the Rocky Mountain Synod as assistant to the bishop for faith formation and candidacy. This new role brings me back to the landscapes of my youth. I grew up in Sterling, CO, attended college in Chicago and returned to the Denver area in 2008 as a student at Denver seminary before completing that education at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC.

After serving two years as a chaplain for a Lutheran day school in Florida,  I have served since 2013 as Associate Pastor and Director of Discipleship and Outreach at St. John's Lutheran in Sacramento, CA. I love the ability to focus on resources for spiritual growth for all ages and then finding ways to stretch those wings as we live the love of God in this world. My time in Sacramento heightened my awareness of the need for congregations to be an active voice as well as the serving hands and feet of Jesus in our communities. What we learn in our church walls cannot stay inside. The opportunity to engage a wide variety of congregations and ministries in conversations about faith formation is enlivening to my spirit as I anticipate starting this call. 
For me, candidacy is a formative and faith-building process in the spiritual lives of so many, and I love its attachment to this faith formation role. I went through the candidacy process beginning in 2009 and had a wonderful experience of accompaniment with that committee and look forward to working with the current group who are so dedicated to walking alongside leaders in discernment and leadership development as candidates as those first questions of "Is God possibly calling me to rostered ministry?" to celebrating a first call with a new leader and congregation. 
I am excited to meet you all and begin our walk together."

Leslie will begin her service on Wednesday, September 6.  Welcome back to the RMS, Leslie!
View Our Conversation with Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Watch the the question and answer meeting with Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  and leaders of the Rocky Mountain Synod at Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO on July 28 via  Livestream.com
Human Rights Social Message - We Want to Hear From You!

The draft of a social message on human rights is now available for comments at ELCA.org.

Social messages provide a framework for conversation and guidance for ministries in the church about pressing matters of social concern. Human rights touch many aspects of church and society – the social message draft endeavors to help us think through a Lutheran understanding of what human rights are, how we can use them to best care for our neighbor, and where our church stands on relevant issues.
There are two ways to respond: You can fill out the  online response form or email comments to  Eva.Johnson@elca.orgPlease submit your comments by Aug. 31.
At the end of the comment period, the draft will be revised and finalized as a proposed message, which will be reviewed by members of the Conference of Bishops and will come before the Church Council for consideration at its November meeting. 
We hope that you will take part in this process and share this information with anyone else who may be interested in participating in the discernment across our church that leads to the final message. 
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Planning a Reformation Hymn Festival
Many congregations and conferences throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod are planning Reformation 500 observances in late October. Kent Mueller, assistant to the bishop, has created a draft resource ( here) for planning a "Reformation Hymn Festival: Then, Now, & Always." Missing pieces will be provided later. Bishop Gonia will be preparing three brief homilies for your use. 

You are free to use this material as is, or simply as a guideline and be creative from there. Consider including children, youth, and adults as readers, and integrate choirs and other musicians. You may substitute parts or find choir arrangements, such as “Now Thank we All Our God” and “The Church’s One Foundation.” Hymns could be presented in creative ways, with soloists, choirs, and instrumentalists. Verses can be designated for "all" and "higher voices" and "lower voices." Make this your own production!
The Faster Pastors are at it Again!
Flaming Foliage Relay Race, September 8-9

This year, 10 ministry colleagues and friends from across the Rocky Mountain Synod are running 165 miles in the Flaming Foliage Relay Race, September 8-9. Each year, the team runs a long relay race to raise ministry dollars and awareness for an ELCA global mission. This will be the sixth year the team has run! 

This year, the Faster Pastors’ fundraising efforts are for the Lutheran Church in South SudanCheck out this link to learn more about the powerful witness to the gospel happening at the Lutheran Center in Juba, South Sudan. 

The race they run is symbolic of how, alone, one person wouldn’t be able to run 165+ miles. Instead, they run the race together, sharing the miles. Likewise, our collective efforts as congregations, synods, Churchwide, along with global partners are able to provide ministries to places in need of Christ’s reconciliation and hope around the world. 

Join the Faster Pastors to support ministry for the long-term efforts of bringing Christ’s healing and hope to the people in South Sudan, recovering from civil war. You can send a donation to any of the congregations that one of the teammates serves (document attached). Make your check payable to the congregation, earmarked: South Sudan/Faster Pastors.

Supporting Lutheran Schools in Palestine - New Lutheran School of Hope, Ramallah

August 21, 2017 and ongoing

After ten years of planning and construction, the new Lutheran School of Hope opens in Ramallah, Palestine, on August 21, 2017. As we watch the solar eclipse here across the US, we can support these students and celebrate the opening of their new school with a gift to purchase furniture and equipment for the school. The schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, educating Christians and Muslims, offer leadership and peacemaking education, building community and giving hope to the youth of Palestine. Watch a short video about the project and make your donation on their website.
Celebrate Global Church Sunday!
This October, as we observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, join us for  Global Church Sunday by celebrating and supporting our church’s missionaries! No matter who they are or where they serve, every missionary needs your prayers, support and gifts to live out their ministry. 

Each year, more than 225 ELCA missionaries, including Young Adults in Global Mission, serve in more than 40 countries around the world. They are sent by the ELCA in response to invitations from our companion churches and serve in a variety of roles, working alongside our companions to proclaim the gospel, raise up leaders, care for those in need and develop new ways of being church together. 

If each of the ELCA’s 9,300 congregations made a gift of $500 or more to  Missionaries and Young Adults in Global Mission in commemoration of the 500th anniversary, we could raise nearly $5 million for these life-changing ministries. This is a historic milestone for the Lutheran church and an exciting opportunity to participate in the ongoing Reformation. Will you join us?  

Your congregation received a packet with a Global Church Sunday booklet and other materials earlier this month. View the Global Church Booklet  (here), Poster  (here), and  bulletin insert (here) to get started today!
Invitation to "Day of Shared Gifts and Learning"
Who: Rostered Ministers, Congregational Councils, Visioning teams, other interested leaders 
What: Day of Shared Gifts and Learning 
When: Friday, August 25 from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. 
WhereBethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Avenue Cherry Hills Village, CO 
How much: $20.00 per person to offset cost of lunch and materials 

The Domestic Mission unit of our Churchwide Expression hosts a Congregational Development training conference twice per year for Rostered ministers and other leaders of new mission starts, specialized ministries and renewing congregations.

The Friday of that week will be open to ALL interested leaders to attend the gathering and participate in various workshops. These workshops highlight our call toward healthy, vital congregations and feature number of leaders, including our own Bishop Jim Gonia on "Claiming our Gifts," together with other gifted leaders working with Congregational Vitality, Church Development Institute (CDI) among other offerings.  

You are invited and encouraged to register as a group from your congregation. Here is the registration link to attend the Congregational Development Training Conference. The deadline to register is this Friday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m.!  Please make sure each participant to completes and submits the registration form. If you need to make any changes you can contact Marta.Rorata@elca.org.  

For Your Bulletin
Global Church Sunday Stories
Looking for a way to share our witness as a Global Church? Share these stories in your bulletins, newsletters, and websites!

Living Lutheran Magazine Supplement
Living Lutheran Magazine Supplement

4 times per year, Living Lutheran offers a supplement insert with Rocky Mountain Synod news and stories. The current insert is available as a pdf. for congregation newsletters and bulletin inserts. 

August 2017 Insert - print  or web version


Deacon Gail Britt
Shepherd of the Valley, Grand Junction, CO

Sunday, August 20, 5:00 p.m.
Color of the day: Green

Pastor Bonita Knox
St. John's, Riverton, WY
Saturday, August 26, 2:00 p.m.
Color of the day: Green

RMS Prayer Cycle


Week of August 20

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

Peace - Akron, CO
Dan Hays

Peace - Sterling, CO
Ron Powers (interim)

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 20
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day
God of all peoples, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your name may be known throughout the earth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Global Church Prayer
God of all the nations, as the Canaanite woman reminded Jesus of God’s call, through him, to minister to all the nations, may we be reminded of your call to serve our neighbors near and far. Praise to you for the work that ELCA members do in countries throughout the world. May the presence of Jesus with us and the witness of the saints through history instill in us the call the serve all people, strengthened through your Spirit. Amen.
Around the Synod

New Faith-Based Volunteer Program in Denver for Retirees

Your most important work may be after you retire!
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is recruiting for this Fall!

IVC is an opportunity for adult men and women to offer their skills, wisdom and life experience in direct service to those in need. In return for a commitment of 1 or 2 days a week with a local nonprofit, the IVC program provides monthly guidance for personal reflection and prayerful conversations with fellow IVC volunteers. Together, we hope to see the face of Christ in those we serve. Call IVC Denver Regional Director, Erin Benson at 303-394-2997 or email her if you are interested in the program or want to have the program come to your church. 

Visit their website! Share your lifetime of experience - Get the experience of a lifetime!

LCHope Welcomes You to our Annual Oktobeerfest

Friday, September 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join Lutheran Church of Hope (1305 West 10th Avenue, Broomfield CO) for our annual Oktobeerfest celebration! 

This year we are also celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Local craft brews, brats and burgers, and BINGO are the highlights of the evening! Join us for this family-friendly event. We'll also have face painting, local vendors, live music and even polka dancing! Entrance is free; game and meal tickets are available at the door. More info is available here, here, and here!

Installation Service for Deacon Gail Britt

Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Gail Britt will be installed as a Deacon to hospice chaplaincy with HopeWest in Grand Junction at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church225 South 6th Street,LaSalle, CO. A meal and reception will immediately follow. 

Brian Bergum, Metro West Conference Dean, has been appointed by the Bishop for the installation honors. Rostered ministers are invited to vest and process. The color of the day is green.

Gail has been called by the RMS to this specialized ministry to serve patients and their families in Mesa County, CO through HopeWest, a non-profit organization whose mission is to " profoundly change the way our community experiences aging, serious illness and grief – one family at a time." 

Understanding the Muslim Faith

Saturday, September 16, 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Wyoming Medical Center
Conference Room
1233 E. 2nd St. Casper WY

Understanding the Muslim Faith is a discussion hosted by the Wyoming Association of Churches and Think Wyoming.

Presenters are Dr. Mohamed Salih, a Muslim who is active in the Cheyenne Community and Dr. Brad Tyndall, who is president of Central Wyoming College and has worked in several Muslim countries. More information and a registration link are available here, or call Pastor Goodwin at 307-674-6795.

Our Life Together
2017 Leadership Program in the Holy Land
October 16-29, 2017 - 14 days

Hosted by the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and the Diyar Consortium, inviting pastors, church leaders, educators, and other professionals committed to the struggle for a just peace in Israel/Palestine to participate in this leadership experience. The aim of this program is to gain a deeper understanding of the current realities in Israel/Palestine as well as to view the Holy Land through a new, biblical/theological lens. This opportunity is open for people already interested in the region, who are committed to making a difference and investing in hope.

The study tour will explore the question: Where do we go from here on the journey toward peace, human rights and building bridges of understanding? 

Cost $3999, including airfare from DC.  Program details, registration info, and day-by-day itinerary are available in this brochure

This Changes Everything - 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

June 27 through July 1, 2018

Sky Ranch will once again be offering a bus package transportation to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering 

Tentative plans include leaving on Sunday, June 24, and will include housing, meals, transportation and service and fellowship opportunities. Details are still coming together. Rocky Mountain Synod will be offering a Hospitality Package that can include airport transportation, catered meals, synod t-shirts, first aid personnel and hospitality vans for our day of service. For more information, please contact Beth Rogers, Gathering Synod Coordinator. If you are serving as a contact person for your congregation, please send your contact information to her at beth@lchope.org

All ELCA congregations are eligible to register for the Gathering. Youth eligible to attend the Gathering are in 8th-12th grade at the time of registration. Adult leaders planning on attending the Gathering must be at least 21. Congregations should select one adult to be the primary adult leader, the one who coordinates registration, payments, transportation and rooming lists for the group. Registration opens Sept. 15, 2017, and closes May 15, 2018. The registration portal is live and online from Sept. 15 through the end of the Gathering.  Registration worksheets are available (here) and with much more information on the resources page

Financial assistance available for ELCA Youth Gathering 
The ELCA Youth Gathering wants everyone to have an opportunity to attend. The Gathering offers financial assistance to youth participants based on the financial needs of an individual and their family. Assistance will be offered to applicants on a rolling basis, and adult leaders are encouraged to apply early. Leaders will begin receiving email notifications of financial assistance offers on Aug. 15. Applications for 2018 are now open here.

Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Stewardship Resources - stewardNet

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "stewardship?" Budgets and spreadsheets? Money? Pledge cards? What about love? 

The ELCA is a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life, and we have an important message to share: stewardship is about so much more than money – stewardship is about love. Learn more here!

Among the many stewardship resources from the ELCA, there is a quarterly newsletter called stewardNet for stewardship leaders. Here are a couple of items from the Spring 2017 issue: 

  • ALDE is an international community of fundraising and communication professionals that is rooted in the Lutheran tradition of the Christian faith and dedicated to serving God's people in the church and the world. ALDE offers a variety of benefits including webinarsevents, networking, mentoring and more. As you strive to inspire your constituents to grow in their faith and generosity, perhaps ALDE can help you with some new ideas and approaches. 

  • StewardTalk is an interview series from the ELCA with authors and thought leaders on stewardship topics. Listen to past recordings, including the June conversation about planned gifts with Darren Walloch from the ELCA Foundation. Join stewardTalk on Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. Central for Victoria Flood on "How Mission Support Supports Our Mission" (connection information is below under Upcoming Events.)

For more news and inspiration you can view the complete Spring 2017 issue in your browser or download a PDF, past issues are available here. And you can subscribe to stewardNet here

Grants To Encourage You

The Grants Team of Educate, Equip, Enact met last week and had the delight of approving the first five grants for rostered ministers from the Ministry Excellence Fund. Will your application be next?

The Team meets again at the end of September to continue their work. The work of a rostered minister requires focus, creativity, and holy imagination. Don't let debt distract you from healthy and joyful ministry. If student loans are pulling you down, the credit card balance is nagging you, medical bills are knocking at your door, or an emergency has hit you, send an inquiry to us. Let an advocate and the Grants Team encourage you!

Employment Opportunities
New Listings
Faith Formation Director of Youth
Bethany Lutheran Church is seeking a Faith Formation Director of Youth. This is a full time position and will engage youth and families from confirmation age to senior high school. We are seeking a candidate who is collaborative, has a passion for youth doing ministry and connecting them deeply into their faith and faith community. Position description is available  here . Please send resumes to Pastor Brigette Weier, Pastor of Faith Formation,  brigette@bethany-denver.org
Faith Formation Intern (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church is seeking a part time Faith Formation Intern. This candidate will be a part of the faith formation team working with all ages at Bethany in the capacity of a support role. This a perfect opportunity for a college or seminary student who is interested in pursuing a vocation in ministry to explore, learn and grow in their gifts. Position description is available  here . Please send resumes to Pastor Brigette Weier, Pastor of Faith Formation,  brigette@bethany-denver.org
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Faith Formation Director of Youth
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Faith Formation Intern (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Accompanist/Music Director (part-time)
Highlands Lutheran Church - Denver, CO

Preschool  Director
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church - Casper, WY

Director (or Associate Pastor) of Children's & Family Ministries
Kaw Prairie Community Church (ELCA-PCUSA) , Lenexa, KS 

Preschool Director/Teacher
Grace Lutheran Church - Casper, WY

Director of Youth and Household Ministry
Trinity Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO

Director of Worship and Music
Mount Calvary Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO 

Contextual Education Coordinator
Iliff School of Theology - Denver, CO

Office Administrator (part-time)
Holy Love Lutheran Church - Aurora, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia

  • In-office appointments
  • Christ the Servant, Louisville, CO 
  • Colorado Council of Churches
  • Companion Synod Consultation

Pastor Kent Mueller

  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Candidacy Conversations
  • Interim Pastors

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • NM Conference of Churches Board
  • Farm Bill Listening Session
  • Presbytery of Santa Fe, NM

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • Young Adults in Global Mission Orientation, Chicago, IL
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Well of Hope Exec. Team, Castle Rock, CO
  • Aurora Area Ministry Strategy Leadership Team
  • New Beginnings Prison Ministry Outside Board
  • Ascension, Colorado Springs, CO Comprehensive Ministry Review
  • Developer/ Redeveloper planning meeting
  • Camino de Vida

Deacon Erin Power

  • Theological Conference Planning
  • RMS Communications
  • Lord of the Hills, Centennial, CO
  • Companion Synod Consultation

Pastor Sarah Moening

    • Nativity, Commerce City, CO
    • Interim Pastors
    • Leadership Development- Episcopal Church Colorado
    • St. Paul, Albuquerque, NM
    • Our Saviors, Alamagordo, NM
    Quick Links
    Share the News
    Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
    Rocky Mountain Synod
    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 moved to the Events & News Web Page and should be submitted via the eConnection Submission link above.