Your weekly newsletter from the Rocky Mountain Synod
A Reconciling in Christ synod
A Christmas message from Bishop Eaton
"Just this. Just now." Christmas message from the ELCA...

ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us of the importance of being present in the midst of this, the busiest time of the year. A message for Christmas 2017

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Download a copy of Bishop Eaton's message ( English or Spanish)
eConnection Spotlight: RMS in the Neighborhood
Celebrating with our Global Neighbors
As the church together with all of our global companions, our neighborhood reaches far beyond our local witness.

"We heard music in English, Arabic, Amharic, Nuer, and Dinka, as we rededicated the space to the glory of God, praying that it will continue to be "a gate of heaven" and "a holy ground," which were the prayers offered at its dedication in 1909."

ELCA missionary Rev. Kirsten Fryer shares these words about the rededication service of St. Andrew's United Church in Cairo, Egypt where she serves. The rededication service -- to celebrate the completion of repairs needed after a nearby bombing damaged the church building two years ago -- was attended by ELCA staff, visitors from the US, Canada, and Scotland, as well as members from each of the congregations that worship at St. Andrews.
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
The Office of the Bishop will be closed Dec. 22 through Jan 1, and will reopen Jan. 2. Should there arise any congregational or leadership emergencies during that time, a new emergency phone number is now in place: (303) 218-2468. This number is for emergencies only.

There will be no eConnection published on December 27.
Welcome Julie Nelson!
Our synod's new Associate Director of Educate, Equip, Enact! 
Beginning January 1, Julie is filling the newly created position of Associate Director of Educate, Equip, Enact. Educate, Equip, Enact is our three year, Lilly Endowment funded initiative to address the economic challenges facing our rostered ministers. 

Julie is a Colorado native, Colorado Mesa University grad and early-retiree from Hewlett Packard Company where she held various Business Operations & Marketing positions. She, and her husband Barry, are the proud parents of two college age daughters. Always a farm girl at heart, she spends as much time as she can digging in the dirt or helping with her parents farming operation outside of Kersey.

To strengthen the impact of our Lilly Grant, the position of Project Director will now be shared. Julie, who is currently the chair of the Grants Team, will focus on the work of the Ministry Excellence Fund including grants, scholarships, and fundraising. Janice Kibler will continue to focus on the systemic issues: part-time ministries, financial education resources, and connections to candidacy. Together they will lead this initiative with the goal of healthy leaders who lead healthy ministries for the sake proclaiming God's unconditional work for the sake of the world!
2018 Bishop Election | Rocky Mountain Synod

The 2018 Synod Assembly, May 3-5, 2018 in Westminster, CO will include an election for Bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod. Bishop Jim Gonia has discerned that he will allow his name to move forward for a possible re-election. He will have...

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How Is Your Financial Wellness?
Feeling stressed about finances? Avoiding thinking about finances because you don't know where to start? Portico, one of our partners in Educate, Equip, Enact, has created 12 short videos about practical matters related to financial health. From Self-Compassion, to Balancing Multiple Financial Goals, to Creating a Realistic Budget, to Tackling Student Loan Debt-- you will find a topic that can encourage and help you. Give yourself the gift of 10 minutes today to check out a video ( click here ) that applies to you.
For Your Bulletin
Ordination to Word and Sacrament

Laura Stephenson
Atonement, Boulder, CO
Saturday, December 30, 3:00 p.m.
Color of the Day: Red

Laura Stephenson
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, January 31, 7:00 p.m.
Color of the Day: Green
RMS Prayer Cycle

 December 2107 - UTAH CONFERENCE

Week of December 24

St. Matthew’s - Salt Lake City, UT
Christine Higuerra-Street

Zion - Salt Lake City, UT
Steve Klemz
The Annunciation by Murillo, 1655–1660
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
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, December 24
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Global Church Prayer
God, who gives favor to all who seek to follow your will, praise to you for all people who are servants of the Lord, especially to Christ’s mother, your handmaiden, Mary. We give thanks for all people who serve as your servants overseas, especially in the Holy Land, where you lived and walked, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Around the Synod
Commissioning Celebration at Abiding Hope
Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
We invite our neighbors, friends, and partner congregations to a Commissioning Celebration at Abiding Hope Church. We will be welcoming our new Pastor, Jay Gamelin, commissioning several new staff members, and launching our Abiding Hope community to be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus in the world. It will truly be a unique Commissioning Celebration. Clergy are invited to come as they are as we are commissioning all, and all means all!
2018 Bishop's Legislative Luncheon and Issues Briefing
Monday, January 22, 2018
The Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM invites and urges you to attend the 2018 Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM Bishop's Legislative Luncheon & Issues Briefing.

Registration and refreshments will begin at 9:00 am. at United Church of Santa Fe, 1804 Arroyo Chamiso ( directions), which is near Christ Lutheran Church), followed by the morning Issues Briefing.

The Bishop's Legislative Luncheon will be at 12:30 pm at the La Fonda Hotel, 100 East San Francisco ( directions). In order to help meet our growing expenses for this event, the cost of the luncheon has been increased to $35 per person. The cost is reduced to $30 when 4 or more people attend from your congregation or group. If you are only able to attend the morning Issues Briefing, the cost is $10.

Please make reservations by calling the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM office at 505-984-8005 or sending an email to The deadline for reservations is January 18.
Our Life Together
Young Adults in Global Mission Application Deadline is February 15!
The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program invites young adults ages 21-29 into a year of service, faith formation and relationship building in 11 programs in 14 countries around the world. Young adults serve in the spirit of accompaniment, walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity. As they offer themselves in service, young adults are shaped by the witness of our global neighbors. Check out  for more information and  apply  now! Applications are due Feb. 15 for service beginning in August .

Share this link with the young adults in your community!
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
January Stewardship Toolkit
Rev. Rob Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop Lower Susquehanna Synod, has created a monthly stewardship toolkit with bulletin reflections, newsletter articles, and resources for preaching, teaching, and year-round stewardship.

Stewardship Snippet
January 7, 2018 (Baptism of the Lord)
Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”
Where do we come from? For that matter, where did anything come from? These first two verses of the whole Bible remind us that God created all that was, all that is, and all that will be. God made it all, even us, and everything belongs to God. That’s the first rule of stewardship.
Employment Opportunities
New Listing
Director of Music Ministry (full-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO
Joy Lutheran Church is a growing, vibrant congregation in Parker, CO. We are seeking a full-time Director of Music Ministry with accompanist skills to expand our present music program. We currently have an adult choir, an adult bell choir, and a praise band. We have three weekend services, one on Saturday evening, and two on Sunday. We worship 350-400 each weekend. Position description is available here. Please submit cover letter and resume to:
All Non-Rostered Positions 
Director of Music Ministry (full-time)
Joy Lutheran Church - Parker, CO

Preschool Chef (part-time)
Bethany Lutheran Church - Cherry Hills Village, CO

Bookkeeper (part-time)
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO

Office Coordinator
Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO
Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • Vacation 12/21-12/29

Pastor Kent Mueller (1/2 time)
  • Vacation 12/21-1/2

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM
  • Vacation 12/21-1/2

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO
  • Vacation 12/21-1/2
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Vacation 12/20-1/2

Deacon Erin Power
  • Vacation 12/22-1/2

Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Vacation 12/20-1/8

Pastor Leslie Welton
  • Vacation 12/21-1/2
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.