A Reconciling in Christ synod
A Statement from Bishop Gonia

Beloved in Christ,
Our national elections have just concluded. Now is the time for the church to be the church. Now is the time to commit ourselves without hesitation to our calling to proclaim and embody the unconditional love of God for the sake of the world.
Yesterday I wasn’t sure what this would mean. I knew it would certainly include a focus engaging in a ministry of healing and reconciliation. We are a deeply divided nation and people. Being God’s “both/and” people in an “either/or” world, lifting up what unites us rather than what divides us – this is the essence of our calling as the Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, Democrat nor Republican. And without doubt, this remains central to our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ.
But given the results, we must now fully embrace our prophetic role as well: to speak and act on behalf of those who are most marginalized, to stand with the most vulnerable in our society. This includes those who are immigrants, refugees, as well as our neighbors with different religious perspectives. This includes people whose economic challenges leave them feeling powerless and disenfranchised. This includes all people of color or those in our LGBTQ community who already feel that they do not have a full place in our society. We dare not be silent or complacent. Jesus calls us to follow him in stepping across every boundary that would divide us from a fellow child of God. This is the very heart of the grace of God that we experience in Jesus.
Today it is also important to remember that we in the church are people of hope. Hope is ours because of a living Word of unfailing love that breaks into our lives. Hope is ours because of baptismal waters that renew us each day, drawing us from death to life. Hope is ours because of a Meal that fills us with the very life of Jesus, making us his Body for the sake of the world. Hope is ours, and in that hope we proclaim and embody God’s love for all.
Now is the time for the church to be the church. I call upon you to join me in living as Christ’s Church, Better Together.
Yours in Faith,
Bishop Jim Gonia

RMS-ELCA News and Events
Educate, Equip, Enact (3E) Project Director Needed
Educate, Equip, Enact (3E) is the Rocky Mountain Synod’s response to the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The Synod Council anticipates receiving a three-year grant award to implement their proposal. 

To support this work, they are accepting applications for a part-time project director. The project director will work with the Synod Council, Office of the Bishop and three task forces to implement the 3E Program. 3E is a critical part of the Rocky Mountain Synod Strategic Plan that has just been completed.

To apply: submit cover letter and resume, or Rostered Leader Profile, to Bishop Jim Gonia by November 30, 2017.  Please put 3E Project Director in the subject line.
Worship Resources from RMS Global Mission Committee
World AIDS Day:  December 1
World AIDS Day is held on December first each year. This is a time when we remember people who have died from AIDS-related illnesses and people who are living with HIV; a time to give thanks for the progress that has been made and to reflect on what still needs to be done. It is an opportunity for people around the world to unite to eradicate AIDS and show support for people living with HIV. It is a time to commit anew to ensuring that no one is left behind. 

The Global Mission Committee encourages all rostered ministers to dust off the HIV/AIDS Social Message and read it together with their congregations or ministries.

2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: January 18-25, 2017

The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: "Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us" (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. The materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.

Week of Prayer Resources

Leadership Development Resource
Wondering how to revitalize your ministry?

Have you found that you and the leadership in your congregation are just going through the motions? Are you excited about  ministry, but not sure how to inspire others your vision for the congregation? Think about leadership development for yourself and other key leaders in your congregation. The only way to make a difference in your community is to learn the theory, skills and self-awareness needed to become the change you seek.  

The Congregational Development Institute (CDI) has a proven track record in the Colorado Episcopal Diocese in moving congregations from decline to new life. The next session begins Oct 21, 2016 and meets at Cathedral Ridge, the Episcopal camp west of Colorado Springs. There is still available space for this program.  If this year just doesn’t work for you, begin to plan for next year by getting this transformational learning experience in your 2017 budget. 

To sign up for this year, email Rev Lou Blanchard.

If you want more information about options outside of Colorado or for 2017, please call 970-290-5990 or  email  Sarah Moening. 

For Your Bulletin
Bulletin Blurb
First Call Rostered Ministers Gather in Denver
Pastors and Deacons in their first call gather twice a year for three years with other first call leaders in the five synods of Region 2 for continuing education and support during their first call. This week First Call participants gathered at Bethany in Denver to engage in conversation around Advocacy and Being a Public Church.

Eternal God, since the beginning you have raised up leaders for your people: Moses, Deborah, Samuel, Mary Magdalene, Peter, and Phoebe.  We offer thanks for the leaders you call to serve your church today, especially those serving in their first call.  Give them wisdom, strength, and vision for your Church, as they lead your people today. Amen
On Leave from Call - Part Two

Brenda Fleagle 
Gail britt
Kevin Maly
Jan Erickson-Pearson
Paul Joncas
Tom Shelly
Asher O'Callagan
Carmen Miranda
DanaLee Simon
Debra Engquist
Geri Cunningham
Jonathan Hundt
Kaila Hochhalter Armbruster
Kari Bahe
Nathan Blom
Penni Walsh
Megan Aelabouni

RMS Prayer Cycle

November 2016

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry –Colorado
Peter Severson

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry -
New Mexico
Ruth Hoffman

New Beginnings Church
(Prison Ministry)
Terry Schjang

HeartLight Center / Horan &
McConaty Mortuary
(Grief Ministry)
Jennifer McBride (D.M.)

Prayer of the Day
Redeeming Sustainer,
visit your people a nd pour out your strength and courage upon us,
that we may hurry to make you welcome
not only in our concern for others,
but by serving them g enerously and faithfully in your name.

Around the Synod
500th Year of The Reformation!
The Footsteps of Martin Luther, Celebrating
Germany, April 19-28, 2017 

Augustana Lutheran Church invites one-and-all on this post-Easter pilgrimage through Germany and Luther's world, inspiring the traveler to live courageously by faith. On Saturday evening, the group will attend English worship service at City Church where Martin Luther preached, was married, and baptized his six children.

Early registration by November 21 saves $100. Registration is due by December 23. Check out the trip itinerary, cost, and registration online: Trip number 17043 at Faith Journeys.

Email Julie at the church office for more information or call 303-388-4678.    
Boy Scout Troop for scouts with special needs 
No Scout Left Behind
Saint Peter Lutheran Church
9300 E. Belleview Ave
Greenwood Village CO 80111
The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month
6:30-8:30 p.m.  

Boys with special needs are welcome to join Boy Scout Troop 5280. Our program is individualized to each Scout’s abilities. We meet at St. Peter Lutheran Church. Please Contact:
Our Committee Chair John Peraro 303-979-4683 
Or Kathy Duran  our Scoutmaster with any questions 303-570-0126 .  
Solar Panel Installation Celebration and Burning of the Mortgage!
Trinity Lutheran-Fort Collins
Sunday, November 20 
8:00 a.m & 10:00 a.m. 

It is time for two more celebratory moments to our ongoing list at Trinity! First, we have completely paid off our mortgage! We will be doing a mortgage burning after the 10:00 am service. Second, the Trinity Lutheran Church solar system was approved for operation by Fort Collins Utilities and activated on October 10th. This achievement is the result of over 1 1/2 years of research, planning, fundraising and, finally, installation by Namaste Solar. During the weekend services a brief overview and blessing will be provided. We invite all to come ‘solar’brate and give thanks to God!   
Alternative Gift Market 
Glory of God Lutheran Church
12200 W. 38 Ave. 
Wheat Ridge CO
Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m.- noon 

Make a morning of it! YOU are invited to buy your holiday gifts at the annual Alternative Gift Market. The gifts you purchase will be unique and meaningful, and will help make a difference in the lives of others in Denver and around the world. Worship begins at 9 a.m. followed by special refreshments, and then you can shop, shop, shop!
For more information email  Sharon
HFASS hosts Operation Turkey Sandwich Thanksgiving Day
House for All Sinners and Saints (HFASS)
Denver Community Church
1595 Pearl Street
Denver CO 80203
November 24th
Volunteers - 10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

HFASS host its 8th annual Operation: Turkey Sandwich this Thanksgiving. This event brings together members of the HFASS family with members of the Denver community to prepare, assemble, and distribute lunches to those who have to work on Thanksgiving Day. 

Operation: Turkey Sandwich 2016 will prepare and deliver over 1000 lunches around the city. It takes an army of volunteers to cook turkeys, pumpkin cookies, and stuffing muffins, assemble the lunches day-of, and deliver them around town. Oh, and we also slap a sticker on every lunch that says, “It sucks you have to work on Thanksgiving.”

Anyone interested in volunteering is invited.We especially need volunteers to deliver. Kids are welcome. We will have a station with kid-friendly jobs. 
The Gospel and Theater: Theology on a Growing Edge
The Gospel on stage 
Immanuel Presbyterian Saturday
114 Carlisle SE Abq, NM
November 12 at 9:30 a.m.

Scholar, Actor, Director, Teacher, Author, Member at St. Timothy's in Albuquerque, and Drama Critic for the Albuquerque Journal, Matthew Yde invites you to join him for THEOLOGY ON A GROWING EDGE: THE GOSPEL ON STAGE Sponsored by Luther House at UNM & CNM, the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry and the New Mexico Conference of Churches. Dr. Matthew Yde— author of the forthcoming book, The Theater of Stephen Adly Guirgis: Drama as Gospel in the Post-Christian Age— hosts a lively discussion of the ways the Gospel is dramatized for a mostly secular audience in new and refreshing ways by some of America’s most prominent playwrights. Dr. Yde will discuss contemporary plays with a Gospel centered theme in works by Cormac McCarthy, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Lucas Hnath and others. Phyllis Tickle claims that every 500 years Christianity experiences a revolution, and we are experiencing one of those periodic upheavals right now.  
From Annunciation House in El Paso:
We’re in the midst of another refugee surge arriving at the El Paso border!  At the present moment, the average of arriving refugees has increased to about 400 per week with some weeks spiking to 600. All of the refugees coming to Annunciation House are families and individuals that Immigration has decided not to detain in one of their detention facilities.

In order to receive the hundreds of refugees being released, Annunciation House coordinates the operation of houses and centers of hospitality. As the flow of released refugees fluctuates, hospitality centers are activated and deactivated accordingly. Some hospitality centers accommodate short term refugee families – those families that only stay 24 to 96 hours before moving on to be reunited with family or friends. Other hospitality houses are used to accommodate refugee families that need longer term hospitality that could be for weeks and even months.

Our Life Together
Campus Ministry- Christ's Church, Better Together
October 21-23, Lutheran Campus Ministries from UNC, CSU and CU-Boulder joined together at Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp for a retreat weekend centered on self-care of one's self physically, mentally, and emotionally. Pastor Paul Judson, LCM-CSU Campus Pastor, led students in multiple sessions to prepare their hearts, minds, and body to care for themselves, others, and their relationships with God including time for discussion and self-reflection. The self-care weekend was centered around Mark 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Students had opportunities during free time to hike, walk around camp, and make new friends! - Emily Mohlis, UNC Sophomore

Campus Ministry students and staff benefit from shared retreats that enrich our ministry together. Campus Ministry would not be possible without the partnership of individuals, congregations and ministries throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod. Special thanks to the Augustana Foundation for the grant that made the Fall Retreat possible. We are also grateful to our outdoor ministry partners for their incredible hospitality. Our Winter Retreat is February 17-19, 2017 at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp and is open to all students. Please contact  Pastor Deb Abbott, for more information.

Executive Skills for Pastors Workshop at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center
California Lutheran Executive Skills Workshop for Clergy/Church Workers
January  9-13, 2017 

Gain valuable and needed skills for pastors, leaders, administrators in congregational settings.
Led by California Lutheran School of Management Faculty.

For the third year, Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center & California Lutheran University are teaming up for what has become a very powerful and popular workshop — a week of continuing education with faculty from the School of Management.

This workshop is geared to all clergy/staff administration of any denomination.

In the complex environment of congregational management, we can always use new tools for ministry. This continuing education event for pastors which also includes parish administrators and those in charge of leading multi-staffed congregations, will explore how concepts from a MBA program can be applied to the arena of congregational life. Each day, we will explore a different theme. 
Extra Pews Available
Trinity Lutheran Church in Loveland CO has five 8' long extra pews available to take for a small donation. For more information call Jennifer at 970-667-5700.
3333 Duffield Ave.
Loveland CO 80537  

Pre-schedule Your Gift to Support Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp Through Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day 
December 6, 2016

Support the ministries of RAINBOW TRAIL LUTHERAN CAMP through the Community First Foundation on Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. You can make a huge difference in this ministry by providing funds for camperships, summer staff salaries, site improvements, and much, much more.

Mark your Calendars: December 6, 2016. 24 hours to Give Where You Live! You can pre-schedule your gift now at Colorado Gives-Rainbow Trail. 
Middle School Youth Gathering
North Colorado Middle School Youth Gathering
January 13-15, 2017
Embassy Suites, Loveland, CO

ReFormed! is the theme of the North Colorado Middle School Gathering. All RMS congregations are invited to join in this weekend with keynote speaker Dan Scharnhorst, service projects and all the usual fun! Registration includes all meals and programming. 

Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Bulletin and Newsletter Inserts
Download the most recent RMS newsletters!  
These should be included in as a bulletin insert or an addition to your congregation newsletter.  For information or help merging these into your electronic newsletter, contact Erin Power.

Rocky Mountain Synod Connection Newsletter
Black & White reproducible copy

November Living Lutheran RMS Insert
Employment Opportunities
Non-rostered positions available

Music Director and Choir Director
St. Luke, Albuquerque NM

Part-time Director
The New Mexico Conference of Churches 

3E Project Director
Office of the Bishop, Denver CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • First Call Theological Education Event- Bethany, Denver CO
  • Trinity Lutheran-Laramie WY
  • LWF Consultation on Mission-Geneva Switzerland
Pastor Kent Mueller
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Interim Pastors

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • Medicaid Coalition
  • Invest in Kids Coalition
  • Border Conference Missional Gathering

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • AFDC Coalition meeting
  • Colorado Social Legislation forum
  • LAM-CO Policy Committee meeting
Pastor Judith VanOsdol        

  • Christ the King, Denver CO
  • First Lutheran Gypsum CO, Comprehensive Ministry Review
  • Well of Hope, Castle Pines
  • Administrative work for New Starts/ Redevelopment ministries 
  • Mission Developer meetings 

Erin Power, Diaconal Minister

  • RMS Communications and Website
  • First Call Theological Education Event
  • Colorado Council of Churches

     Pastor Sarah Moening

    • First Call Theological education
    • Interim Pastors

    Andy Sprain

    • Faith Formation Network
    • Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp Board Meeting

    Quick Links
    Share the News
    Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
    Maria Sutton , Communication Assistant 
    Rocky Mountain Synod
    800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

    Announcements for eConnection are due before noon on Monday for the issue the following Wednesday. Event announcements are included for about two weeks and should be submitted via the eConnection Submision link above.