A Reconciling in Christ synod
An ELCA Social Statement "Freed In Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture"
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America stands against all forms of hatred and discrimination. The church believes that cultural, ethnic and racial differences should be seen and celebrated as what God intends them to be—blessings rather than means of oppression and discrimination.

The ELCA’s social statement “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture” states: “Racism—a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice—is sin, a violation of God’s intention for humanity. The resulting racial, ethnic, or cultural barriers deny the truth that all people are God’s creatures and, therefore, persons of dignity. Racism fractures and fragments both church and society.”

This social statement, adopted by the ELCA 1993 Churchwide Assembly, calls on the church to make confession for complicity, name the spiritual crisis at the roots, commit to change and make pledges to public witness, advocacy and action to confront racism. 

“We recognize that the kind of violence we witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend is very real and affects all of us,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton. “We need to stand up firmly against racism and anti-Semitism, show up for and advocate with others. Jesus, who makes visible those who are invisible, is already there. We need to show up, and we need to listen in each of our communities.”

The ELCA is a church that belongs to Christ and Christ’s church universal, where there is a place for everyone. The job of Christ’s people today is to celebrate the diversity of God’s creative work and embrace all people in the spirit of love, whatever race or ethnicity, economic status or gender.

Read  the full social statement, and its study guide .
Welcome Pastor Leslie Welton, Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation!
Pastor Leslie Welton has accepted the call to serve as Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation in the Rocky Mountain Synod, beginning service on Wednesday, September 6

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."

Welcome back to the RMS, Leslie!
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Join Bishop Eaton in signing this petition to preserve DACA
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program , which protects nearly 800,000 young people from deportation and provides them work authorization, is under immediate and existential attack. Ten attorneys general are threatening to sue President Trump if he doesn’t end DACA by September 5.
Our Lutheran Advocacy Office Washington DC urges all local and national faith leaders, congregations, and faith-based organizations to sign on by filling out this form before August 28.
State-by-state fact sheets about DACA are at this link . Also, last week, 20 state attorneys general sent a  letter  calling on President Trump to maintain DACA and touting its  successful  track record.
Help for 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! 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 Sudan.  Check 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 recovering from civil war in South Sudan. 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 opened in Ramallah, Palestine, on August 21, 2017. As we watched the solar eclipse here across the US, we 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.
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!

Rocky Mountain Synod Prayer Partners
The second round of prayer partners was launched at the 2017 Synod Assembly. View the updated Prayer Partners List here to connect with your ministry's prayer partner. We encourage you to pray for them each week in worship and to find ways to connect with them throughout the year: pulpit swap, joint Advent services, service or fellowship events. We pray for one another as Christ's Church, Better Together!

Pastor Bonita Knox
St. John's, Riverton, WY
Saturday, August 26, 2:00 p.m.
Color of the day: Green
Phoebe and the 2017 Full Eclipse
RMS Prayer Cycle


Week of August 27

Shepherd of the Mountains  - Estes Park, CO
Ron Bockhaus

Shepherd of the Valley  - LaSalle, CO
Wendy Kalan

Spirit of Joy  - Fort Collins, CO
David Ryder

Trinity  - Fort Collins, CO
Randy Mundt

Trinity  - Loveland, CO
Chris Davis

Zion  - Loveland, CO
Sonja Pancoast
Joel Pancoast
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 27
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer of the Day
O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Global Church Prayer
Heavenly Creator, you revealed yourself to us in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Continue to reveal yourself to us through Christ’s presence with us and through the witness of all we encounter. Thanks be to you for the work that ELCA members do in countries throughout the world. May your revelation to us in Jesus Christ instill in us the call to 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 !
Mentor a Student Training Workshop
Monday, September 11 - 6:00 p.m.
St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, Boulder, CO
Have you ever thought about becoming a mentor? Or if you’ve been a mentor, would you like to brush up your mentoring skills? Come to the mentor training workshop we will be hosting at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church ( 2425 Colorado Ave, Boulder CO ) All are welcome! You could have the opportunity to mentor a real live college student in our Vocational Discernment program, El Camino! RSVP to Megan Sawyer if you want to attend.
Ecumenical Vespers for the Preservation of Creation
Wednesday, September 27 - 7:00 p.m.
This service, based on the Eastern Christian service of Evening Prayer, will also draw on the liturgical traditions of Western Christians in a common act of praise and adoration as we intercede for the preservation of the creation given to us by God.
Come join with a variety of Christians and other people of good will as we ask God for the wisdom and courage to fight for this earth and ecological justice!
You may contact Intern Nicole Garcia at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (720-936-9873 or via email) if you have questions or want to join the Vesper Choir. 
Project Homeless Connect 2017
Working with Denver's Road Home, Project Homeless Connect is a free resource fair for homeless and at-risk individuals and families. During this one day event clients are able to access an array of services ranging from ID services, housing services, resume workshops, clothing banks, vision check and healthcare to veterans services, childcare, petcare and much more. We expect to see 1,000 clients at this years event and need nearly as many volunteers to make the day a success. Please join us on September 19th as we help our most vulnerable population access the resources they need to become self-sufficient for themselves and their families.

Volunteer registration for Project Homeless Connect 2017 is now open! For more information and to register click  here . The volunteer recruitment flyer is here .
Contemplative Outreach Mini-Retreat Day:  Protestant Mysticism
Saturday, October 14, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

Join us for this day of prayer, silence and spiritual enrichment.
Stephen Hatch, author of The Contemplative John Muir, will share his wisdom on the topic of " Protestant Mysticism", including the mystical side of Martin Luther and the spiritual theology of Lutheran mystic Jacob Boehme. Stephen has trained with Father Thomas Keating in Centering Prayer, has taught at the Center for Contemplative Living, and is an adjunct professor at Naropa University in Boulder. 
There will be instruction for those who are not acquainted with Centering Prayer, which is 20 min. of meditative prayer which we will do as a group.

A continental breakfast, beverages, and a light lunch will be served. Cost is $60 (includes lunch.) Payment must accompany registration, which may be done online with your credit card here, or through mail with a check sent to Contemplative Outreach of Colorado at the above address. Include: Your name, address, phone, & e-mail with the registration and indicate if you need a gluten free lunch. Register early, space is limited to 150 participants. The program and registration info, and a printable registration form are all available here. For questions or assistance call 303 698-7729. 
Understanding the Muslim Faith
Saturday, September 16, 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Conference Room

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 - 2 018 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, and are available here.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Subscribe to ELCA Newsletters
You can subscribe to many ELCA newsletters in one place. Keep up-to-date with the ministries that mean the most to you, or share with a friend and encourage them to subscribe. Sign up for news about the global church, Lutheran Disaster Response, stewardship and ELCA World Hunger.

Is your Church Website effective?
You've probably visited congregation websites to check their worship schedule or to get an email address. It may surprise you how often such essential information is hidden or missing. Please do this simple  website review :

  • Is your worship schedule on the home page and easy to see?
  • Is the staff list easy to find with photos and emails?
  • Is your address on the home page with a map or map link to your location?
  • Are photos included that show the outside and inside of your church, with lively people present?
  • Is the design of the website cluttered and outdated?
  • Does the website clearly proclaim your mission?
  • Are you clearly identified as a congregation of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
  • Do you include links on the home page to rmselca.org and elca.org?
  • Is your "branding" consistent with the ELCA, so that you clearly are linked to the larger church? Information is here, including files for you to make your own official "brandmark" with the globe and ELCA wording. Click on "Templates" and you'll find formats for business cards, letterhead, and more!
  • Is everything up to date? Or do you still feature the Christmas schedule for 2016?

All to say,  websites matter!  For many, your website is the first impression of your congregation. Make it a positive one!
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
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
  • Companion Synod Consultation
  • Mission Developer/Redeveloper Conference, Bethany, Denver, CO
  • Installation of Bonita Knox, St. John's, Riverton, WY
  • Faith, Lander, WY

Pastor Kent Mueller
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Candidacy Conversations
  • American, Grand Junction, CO

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Presbytery of Santa Fe
  • Health Action NM
  • Interim Legislative Committee work

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • Young Adults in Global Mission Orientation, Chicago, IL
  • LAM-CO Policy Committee Meeting
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Churchwide Congregational Development Training Conference
  • Meetings with RMS Developers and Redevelopers
  • Christ the King, Denver, CO
  • Better Together Relationship Team meeting
  • Generous Congregations Stewardship conversation
  • Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Denver, CO

Deacon Erin Power
  • Theological Conference Planning
  • Companion Synod Consultation
  • Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge, CO

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Mission Developer/Redeveloper Training
Quick Links
Share the News
Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
Andrew Nakatan i , Communications Assistant
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.