A Reconciling in Christ synod
Four Winds American Indian Council Dinner
Following a full day of meeting together, members of the Synod Council and Office of the Bishop Staff were welcomed to the Four Winds American Indian Council for dinner, conversation, and building relationship. 

This meal was an opportunity to continue building relationship with our American Indian brothers and sisters of The Four Winds American Indian Council after returning the property to them in a sacred ceremony in 2015. 

In addition to a meal of traditional dishes, members of the Four Winds Council shared their stories, sacred songs, the health classes and healing being offered by their members, the teaching of traditions to the youth, and their classes and work around gardening and caring for the earth on that land. Rev. Dena Williams and Rev. Kent Mueller told the story of the shared history of the Rocky Mountain Synod and Four Winds, leading up to the returning of the property in 2015. 

Both councils committed to continuing to build on this relationship, and prayed this might be an offering of healing and conciliation into a divided world. 

Learn more about the Four Winds American Indian Council and their upcoming events and classes.
 Rocky Mountain Synod Council Meeting February 3-4
The Rocky Mountain Synod Council met February 3-4 at the Office of the Bishop for conversation and decision-making on behalf of the Rocky Mountain Synod. The Synod Council meets monthly by webex, in addition to 3 in-person meetings each year. 

This meeting the council was joined by Victoria Flood and Darren Walloch from our ELCA Churchwide expression for conversation and consultation around Mission Support.

Agenda Items/Action Items included:
Presiding Bishop Eaton Addresses Refugee Executive Order

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Yesterday, we heard these words in the Gospel reading from Matthew 5:1-12, the beginning of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes, Jesus lays out a vision for life in God's realm, characterized by seeing those who are often most disregarded, including the meek, the mourning and the peacemaker, as bearers of God's blessing. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to hear this Gospel, including Jesus' call for his disciples to be carriers of God's light and hope and reconciliation to a world deeply in need of them.

In this spirit, earlier last week I communicated with the Trump administration asking that it not stop the U.S. refugee admissions program or stop resettlement from any country for any period of time. The Bible calls us to welcome the stranger and treat the sojourner as we would our own citizens. I agree with the importance of keeping our country secure as the administration stated in its executive order last Friday, but I am convinced that temporarily banning vulnerable refugees will not enhance our safety nor does it reflect our values as Christians. Instead, it will cause immediate harm by separating families, disrupting lives, and denying safety and hope to brothers and sisters who are already suffering.

Read full statement

Information and Resources:
RMS-ELCA News and Events
Claiming our Gifts Video Series
One of the focus areas of the recently adopted RMS Strategic Plan is Claiming our Gifts.  Bishop Gonia will be offering a 5 part video series on Claiming our Gifts which will be available for Lent. These videos will be around 15 minutes with discussion prompts, making these a great resource for adult forum or Bible study. 

Claiming our gifts will also be the focus of the synod assembly, making these videos a great assembly follow-up!

View an intro to part 1 here!
2017 Synod Assembly
Information is now available online for the 2017 Synod Assembly:

Assembly Deadlines

Registration deadline is Friday, March 24
Registration will be available online in early February. The on-line request form for exhibitors is available now.

Nomination deadline is Friday, March 24
The only election this year will be for Synod Council Vice President. The nomination form and information is posted on the assembly webpage. 

Ministry Booklet Pages and Display Requests are due Friday, March 24
The on-line request form for exhibitors and ministry booklet pages is posted. The deadline for submitting requests will be March 24. Exhibitors must ALSO register for the assembly in addition to submitting a exhibitor request.

Portico Seminars and Webinars:
Pre-Retirement and Retirement Planning Made Simple

Portico is offering Pre-Retirement seminars (various dates) and a webinar series (Feb. 9, 16, 23). If you're over age 50 and within 15 years of retirement, these are a great way to get planning off to a strong start or keep the momentum going. You can find information, schedules, and links to registration here.
On February 21, there will be a webinar called, “ Retirement Planning Made Simple,” which is designed for members and employers to learn more about Portico’s new, simpler approach to retirement planning. It features the new financial planning tool, planning team, wellness program, upcoming education opportunities, and Portico’s renewed focus on financial education. This is a great event for bishops and synod staff members who are interested in a deeper look at the “what,” as well as the “why” of retirement planning. Register here. There will be a webinar recording available for viewing after the live event. 
2017: Time to Launch an Eco-Reformation
Check out events, resources, and ideas at Lutherans Reforming Creation  on observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. New Resources include: 
  • "Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril", ed., Lisa Dahill and James Martin-Schramm
  • "Celebrating with Creation: Songs in Support of the Eco-Reformation in 2017" by Norman C. Habel.
  • "Reformation 2017: Re-Fermenting the Church", YouTube series by Ron Rude, Lutheran campus pastor
And More!
For Your Bulletin
Bulletin Blurbs
Include These for Global Church Sunday, February 12!
Peace Not Walls
An ELCA campaign working for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, through
  • Accompaniment – travel to the Holy Land; meet Palestinian Lutherans
  • Advocacy – support peace with justice by contacting our elected officials
  • Awareness-raising – plan an adult forum in your church; invite a speaker

Companion Synod: Madagascar

The Rocky Mountain Synod is companion synods with four of the twenty five synods in Madagascar: Mahajanga Synod, Antsiranana Synod, Avaratra Atsinanana Synod, and Sofia Synod. 

In 2016, the Rocky Mountain Synod purchased four motorcycles for pastors to get around to their multiple churches in Madagascar. We also helped Betela Seminary repair their solar to have electricity!

Bishop's Trip to Madagascar February 13-24
The bishop's from the 4 ELCA synods that are companions with the Lutheran Church in Madagascar (FLM) will be making a joint trip to visit church leadership and ministries in our companion synods.  Joining Bishop Gonia from the Rocky Mountain Synod is Assistant to the Bishop Deacon Erin Power, Synod Council Vice-President Earline Bohling, and Pastor Brad Doty, chair of the RMS Companion Synod Committee.

During their trip the delegation will meet with newly elected FLM President David, as well as with the synod presidents from our four companion synods, at Betela Seminary. The RMS delegation will be visiting all four synods during their visit. We invite your prayers for all ELCA members going on this trip, for their conversations with our companions, and for the strengthening of our relationship as Church Together. 

We invite your prayers during worship February 11-12!
RMS Prayer Cycle

February 2017
Border  Conference

Week of February 12

Our Savior  Alamogordo, NM
 Kristi Koppel

Peace  Las Cruces, NM
 Jared Carson
 Laura Carson

Peace  El Paso, TX
 Diana Linden-Johnson
Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau
1624 - Rubens, Peter Paul 
Prayer of the Day: Sunday, February 12
We ask God to remove any hesitations, stubbornness or pride we may have that prevent us from approaching people with whom we have conflict, differences or grudges, or who have wounded us and that we will take initiative to seek reconciliation, forgiveness and healing.

Join us in daily prayer:
Download ELCA Prayer Ventures for daily prayer petitions and resources for Sunday prayers.

Around the Synod

Concordia Choir (Moorhead, MN) In Concert in Colorado!

Hear one of the nation’s finest college choirs perform Sunday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church. As part of their 2017 Southwestern 14-city tour, this will be the first of three appearances in Colorado (Denver, Cherry Hills, Colorado Springs), followed by two in New Mexico (Santa Fe, Las Cruces).

Full tour list is here.

Tickets available online, by calling 800-838-3006, or at the door. René Clausen conducts the 72-voice a cappella choir in several spirituals and hymns plus a folk-inspired section titled How Can I Keep From Singing? Visit TheConcordiaChoir.org today for complete concert information!

Global Church Sunday Celebration!

4500 Wadsworth Blvd., Wheat Ridge, CO
Sunday, February 12

The Rocky Mountain Synod is celebrating Global Church  Sunday  and the Holy Cross Health Cabinet invites you to join in for our annual outreach fundraiser lunch at  12 noon  in Asel Hall. Pulled pork is on the menu.

The recipient of our free will offering will be a Global Health Ministry (GHM) project in southern Madagascar, the renovation of Ejeda hospital. Special guest for that day will be the Rev. Doug Cox, Minneapolis, executive director of GHM. He will preach at both services (8:15 and 10:45), conduct the adult education forum at 9:30, and also host a special Global Poverty Experience suitable for all ages following lunch from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

This will be a very special day! We hope you can make time to participate. Please RSVP to Mary Kvamme at 303-421-8392 by Feb. 5 if you plan to attend.

NMCC Issues Statement in Response to Executive Order
Click here to read the New Mexico Conference of Churches (NMCC) letter to the NM Congressional Delegation in response to the Executive Order signed on Friday, January 27, 2017: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.

Concordia Choir (Moorhead, Minn) In Concert in New Mexico!

Hear one of the nation’s finest college choirs perform in Santa Fe and Las Cruces. Their first concert will be in Santa Fe on Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets available online, by calling 800-838-3006, or at the door.

Visit TheConcordiaChoir.org today for complete concert information!

Our Life Together
International Women's Day -  Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day is an opportunity for ministries of the Rocky Mountain Synod to join millions around the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We celebrate this day knowing the work toward gender equality still remains. For worship and education resources, visit the ELCA website.

More information is also available at the IWD2017 website

Lutheran Campus Ministry Winter Retreat
February 17-19 at Rainbow Trail

The Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU, CU, and UNC are hosting a winter retreat together! They would like to invite college students from other colleges and universities! A lot of universities do not have a Lutheran Campus Ministry, so if you or anyone you know might be interested, please spread the word!

The retreat will be at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, and it is free for students who register before February 10.

The schedule for the weekend includes worships, workshops, free time for homework, rest, hiking etc. The three workshops will focus the following themes: Vulnerability, Reflection, and Happiness. Go to their Facebook Event to register!

Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey, El Paso TX
Border Immersion Week
Saturday April 29 to Friday, May 5

Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey is having a 6-day border immersion experience from Saturday, April 29 in the afternoon through the afternoon of Friday, May 5. It is open to individuals and small groups interested in participating in mission alongside the Cristo Rey community and experiencing immigration and the border through a human-centered, faith-based approach.

Cost is $420 for the week, which includes 6 meals and all transportation after arrival in El Paso. Come look past the headlines and join us in community and relationship. 

For more information, email borderimmersion@gmail.com or visit their website

Host a Reformation 500 Bookstore!
Get over 15 free books on the Reformation for your church!

Host a Reformation 500 Bookstore at your church this spring. Introduce your congregation to engaging and affordable resources about the Reformation while growing your church library! Educate your church on the history of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s writings, and their impact on Christianity today.

Sign your church up to host a Reformation 500 Bookstore—
it’s simple, educational, and FREE!

Hurry, SIGN UP NOW, the deadline is February 15!
"Reforming Congregations Through Engaging in Our Community" Workshops
Friday, March 10
1:00-4:30 p.m. and 6:00-9:00 p.m. 

Saturday March 11
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Led by: Rocky Mountain Synod (Bishop Jim Gonia), ELCA Domestic Mission Unit (Rev. Susan Engh), Together Colorado, and FRESC (Front Range Economic Strategy Center)

Workshop for Congregations to learn the value of Community Organizing and how it can contribute to the renewal of your congregation. This workshop will be focused on teams from Congregations and empowering them to begin to do this work of community engagement. 

Topics for the Workshop include:
  • Charity vs. Justice
  • Relational Organizing
  • Structural Change

    Download the flyer for more information and to register!
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
"The Jesus Way" 2016 VBS Bundle - FREE for ELCA Congregations!
New Outdoor Ministry Curriculum Also Available

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) produces new curriculum each year used in camp and retreat settings, Vacation Bible Schools, and Day Camps. Special for this year only, the 2016 VBS Bundle of “The Jesus Way” is FREE for all ELCA congregations—yes, free! This bundle includes Bible study activities, crafts, and games for preschool children, and upper and lower elementary aged youth. Also included are planning documents, including Biblical and theme background information. 

LOM has also released a 2017 program entitled " The Water of Life."  Three Christian education basics—God’s creation, Christian community, and faith formation—come together in “The Water of Life.”  Participants will dive into five Bible stories and daily themes that shower them with new awareness of how water and life are gifts from God and to help them reflect on baptism, the sacrament that overflows with meaning about being cleansed, invited into a faith community, and led to do God’s mission in the world. "The Water of Life" is also available in other small bundles designed for Youth Ministry and VBS settings.

For an overview of , to order, and download, click here.
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries is an association of outdoor ministry organizations dedicated to encouraging, equipping, educating, and empowering bold and faithful outdoor ministry leaders for service in the Church and in the world. 
An Opportunity to Grow In Your Congregation's Stewardship

Educate, Equip, Enact (funded by a Lilly grant) is pleased to invite you to participate in Stewardship for All Seasons, a service designed to teach congregation leaders how to carry out effective stewardship development throughout the year. A cohort of congregations will begin on May 4, and will work with a consultant, as well as support each other through the year.

For more information, contact Janice Kibler, program director for Educate, Equip, Enact, at jkibler@rmselca.org.

Employment Opportunities
Non-Rostered Positions Available

Office Administrator
Atonement Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO

Organist/Pianist, part-time
St. Philip Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

ELCA Regional Gift Planner
Rocky Mountain Synod

Executive Office Manager (temporary)
Saint Paul Community of Faith - Denver, CO

Director of Faith Formation
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church - Louisville, CO

Parish Nurse
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Trinity Lutheran Church - Boulder, CO 

Youth Leader
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Littleton, CO

Church Organist/Accompanist 
King of Kings Lutheran Church - Pueblo, CO

Chancel Choir Director
King of Kings Lutheran Church - Pueblo, CO

Office of the Bishop This Week
Bishop Gonia

  • Wyoming Conference Retreat
  • Staff meeting
  • In-office appointments
  • Faith Advocacy Day
  • Centennial, Englewood, CO
  • Madagascar Companion Synod Trip: 2/13-2/25
Pastor Kent Mueller
  • Staff Meeting
  • Candidacy Meetings
  • Assistants to the Bishop Gathering, Charleston, SC

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • Legislative session
  • NM Conference of Churches

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • Legislative Session
  • Staff Meeting
  • Faith Advocacy Day
Pastor Judith VanOsdol

  • Well of Hope, Castle Pines, CO
  • Faith Advocacy Day
  • New Beginnings Prison Ministry, Denver
  • Nueva Vida Prison Ministry, Denver
  • Mission Developer Evaluations
  • Staff meeting

Deacon Erin Power

  • Staff Meeting
  • RMS Communications 
  • Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge, CO
  • Madagascar Companion Synod Trip: 2/13-2/25

    Pastor Sarah Moening

    • Staff Meeting
    • Christ, Highlands Ranch, CO
    • Trinity, Laramie, WY
    • First Call Theological Education, Phoenix, AZ

    Andy Sprain

    • Faith Formation Network
    • Border & North New Mexico Conference- Amazing Race Youth Retreat
    Quick Links
    Share the News
    Erin Power   Assistant to the Bishop
    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 Submission link above.