A Reconciling in Christ synod
M adagascar: Connecting with our RMS Companion Synods

Bishop Jim Gonia, along with Pastor Brad Doty, Deacon Erin Power, and RMS Vice President Earline Bohling, are visiting our four companion synods in Madagascar. On Sunday morning, they worshipped with our brothers and sisters in Diego led by Synod President Robleson. Bishop Jim was invited to preach and he and Pastor Brad were invited to serve communion alongside the pastors from the district. Britta, a Young Adult in Global Mission serves in Diego and certificates were handed out to students from the English class she teaches.

Below, President (Bishop) Mamy of the Mahajanga Synod and his wife enjoy a dinner together with the RMS team. Visit the Rocky Mountain Synod Facebook page for many more photos and stories. Learn more about the ELCA's global ministry by downloading the ELCA Global Church directory.

RMS-ELCA News and Events
Roman Catholic & Lutheran Prayer Services mark Reformation 500 years
Roman Catholics and Lutherans are joining together in prayer 500 years after Martin Luther’s 95 theses triggered the Reformation in 1517.

A Service of Common Prayer is taking place in conjunction with seven Roman Catholic Diocese. Bishop Jim Gonia will be present at all seven locations. The liturgy will highlight the agreements that have been reached through fifty years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans on topics such as the Church, Ministry, and the Eucharist.

The Common Prayer is structured around the themes of thanksgiving, repentance, and commitment to common witness. The aim is to express the gifts of the Reformation and ask forgiveness for the division perpetuated by Christians from the two traditions.

Sunday, January 29, 2017, 3 p.m. - already took place
St. Luke Lutheran Church
Albuquerque, NM

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3 p.m.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs, CO

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 3 p.m. 
Bethany Lutheran Church
Denver, CO

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 3 p.m.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Las Cruces, NM

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1 p.m.
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church
Casper, WY

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 3 p.m.
Pueblo, CO

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 3 p.m.
Salt Lake City, UT

Cheryl Almquist to Retire June 1 as RMS Financial Administrator
After 21 years of service, Cheryl Almquist will be retiring as our RMS Financial Administrator. We are so thankful for her dedication to our "behind the scenes" activity, keeping our finances in good order. We are, therefore, seeking a "full charge bookkeeper" to begin in early/mid May, providing the opportunity for an overlap time of training. We are seeking a bookkeeper with:
  • Understanding and appreciation for the work of the church
  • strong bookkeeping and computer skills
  • Outstanding people skills
  • Great attention to detail
  • Strong organization skills
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Proximity to RMS Office near Highway 36 at Pecos exit
  • download the job description

Please email a letter of interest and resumé to Kent Mueller by March 15.

Christianity Today 2018 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff
The Church Law & Tax Team from Christianity Today is working on its 2018 Compensation Handbook, which helps determine fair wages in the church around the country. You are invited to participate in their work. Your response to their survey, here, is confidential.

As a "thank you" you will be invited to select one of these gifts: a download of the eBook 20 Finance Questions Churches Ask; a 6-month subscription to Christianity Today; a download of the Bible study Stewardship: Living a Life that Counts. Thank you for your partnership!
Live Webcast: stewardCast 2017

Where are the “bright spots” for stewardship ministry in your church? Recognizing the bright spots reminds us where God’s abundance is present. Across the ELCA there are many bright spots, and we want to share some of them with you through stewardCast 2017.

Join us for this special online event at:  www.elca.org/stewardship on
Saturday March 4, 2017 from 10:30 to 12 noon (CST) broadcasting live from the Lutheran Center, a flyer with more information is here

2017 Synod Assembly
Information is now available online for the 2017 Synod Assembly:

Assembly Deadlines

Registration deadline is Friday, March 24

Hotel Information
In addition to registering for the Assembly, you will need to make a room reservation if you wish to stay at the hotel. Rooms are reserved under a block for us. You can make your reservation for the  The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel, 4 Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO  at their site  to receive the Rocky Mountain Synod's group rate, which you will see posted under the "Rate Applied" tab as 050417ROC.  To guarantee our group rate, you need to make your hotel reservation by April 4.  

Single:  $115 (includes breakfast)
Double:  $125 (includes breakfast)

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.

For Your Bulletin
Bulletin Blurbs
Bishop's Trip to Madagascar February 13-24
The bishops 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. 
Rocky Mountain Synod Strategic Plan Overview and 2017 Goals
The Rocky Mountain Synod's quarterly insert for the February issue of Living Lutheran is an overview of our 2017 Strategic Plan and goals. You can download it here, either as a print version or for web viewing
Installations

Pastor Bryce Fellbaum
S
unday, March 12, 2017, 10 a.m.
Zion Lutheran Church
Limon, CO
Color of the Day: Purple

Pastor Kristin Schulz
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4 p.m.
All Saints Lutheran Church
Albuquerque, NM
Color of the Day: Purple

Pastor Paula Stecker
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 2 p.m.
Christ the King Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs, CO 
Color of the Day: Purple
RMS Prayer Cycle

February 2017
Border  Conference

Week of February 26

St. Timothy  El Paso, TX
Michael Hamilton

Trinity  Las Cruces, NM
Paul Carlson (Interim)

Trinity  Hobbs, NM
Doug Mathison (Interim)

Raphael, 1483-1520
Romano, Giulio, 1499-1546 
Prayer of the Day: Sunday, February 26
Transfiguration of our Lord
Give thanks to God for revealing to us Jesus Christ as Son of God and Son of Man, our Lord and Savior, the promised Messiah, our salvation and light. Pray we not keep the good news to ourselves or become arrogant as Christians but willingly respond to God’s sending us into the world to share the gospel.

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

Around the Synod
Shepherd of the Hills, Canon City, Celebrates Global Sunday
On February 12, 2017 Shepherd of the Hills welcomed Ryana Holt to speak about her year in Mexico as a Young Adult in Global Mission. She gave an inspirational talk about her work in Mexico City and human rights issues there.

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!

Black History Month Film "Traces of the Trade" at Atonement Denver
Sunday, February 26, 2017
12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. 

Atonement Lutheran in Denver will show the documentary "Traces of the Trade." From the website“In Traces of the Trade, Producer/Director Katrina Browne tells the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. The film follows Browne and nine fellow family members on a remarkable journey which brings them face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England’s hidden enterprise.”

All are welcome, please join us as we grapple with this account of America’s original sin and one family’s journey to atone. We will share a meal, watch the film and discuss the legacy of the “trade” that impacts so much of life today. Atonement is located at 6281 W. Yale Ave.

What an "Amazing Race Borderlands!"

The Amazing Race Borderlands took place on February 10-11 at Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces. This year, eight congregations from all over New Mexico and El Paso participated. There were 11 Race Teams (1 adult driver with 2-4 youth racers) who spent all day Saturday racing around Las Cruces, completing challenges, seeing new parts of the city, and having loads of fun.

The event began on Friday evening with community building activities, pizza and snacks, faith conversation about being the Body of Christ, candlelight worship, fellowship, and some sleep.

On Saturday, the youth arose earlier than anticipated because they were SO excited to race! After breakfast, clean-up, orientations for adult leaders, and morning prayer, it was time for Race Instructions by Pastor Matt! Some of the stops and challenges included--

  • the Las Cruces Border Servant Corps house to learn about BSC,
  • NMSU Spiritual Center to make kits for the homeless (while blindfolded),
  • a short hike up part of “A” Mountain,
  • lunch at Trinity Lutheran,
  • a picture on the Mesilla Square with the Billy the Kid sign,
  • visit to Community of Hope,
  • a photo opportunity at the Farm and Ranch Museum,
  • prayer in Hebrew outside Temple Beth-El,
  • eating Green Chile Sundaes (quickly) at Caliches while singing Christmas Carols,
  • NMSU Golf Course putting challenge,
  • and finally finding Deacon Laura back at Peace Lutheran. 

The whole event ended with a celebration dinner at Peace with Awards! It was a fun-filled and tiring day for everyone involved! 

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, where you'll find the International Women’s Day booklet, which provides fundraising ideas, including a step-by-step virtual book drive, ideas for planning an International Women’s Day worship service, and much more to help you get started, and a new bulletin insert is also available. 

More information is also available at the IWD2017 website

Rich Melheim at Rainbow Trail for  The Summit - Youth Ministry Retreat 
Monday, April 24, 11 a.m. through Wednesday, April 26, 10:30 a.m. 

This is a retreat for anyone working professionally in ministry with youth, young adults, children, and families. Designed as a time of personal renewal, professional development, continuing education, and networking with other Youth Directors, Pastors, and Christian Educators .

Join us in a peaceful mountain setting surrounded by God’s creation and wonderful people. Days will be filled with time to relax, play, worship and being engaged in conversation and learning. This retreat begins with lunch on Monday and ends with brunch on Wednesday. Early arrival options are also available. More information available here

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

One Year to Live Men's Retreat
April 21-23, 2017
YMCA Camp Santa Maria, Grant, Colorado
Men of all ages yearn for real friendships and a
closer relationship with Christ.
Be prepared for a spiritual boot camp.
This 45-hour experience is not for the faint of heart!

A brochure is available  here. For more information contact Peter Ewers 303-902-9009, or Bill Ernstrom 303-746-6312, or email: peter@ewersarchitecture.com.
"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!
Now Hiring: Director of Service and Outreach 
Shepherd of the Hills, Fort Collins, is looking for someone with a passion for putting his/her faith into action, for the position of Director of Service and Outreach. The successful candidate will be outgoing and personable, will have a knack for making connections between people, and will have a working knowledge of the Fort Collins service sector. The candidate will help this church become a strong voice/player/participant in serving a variety of arenas in our community. We’re looking for someone who can help us be known as ambassadors of Christ in our community. The position is part-time and the full position description can be found here.
Resumes should be emailed to Pastor Dana Peterson, dana@sothfoco.org. The position will be open until filled.
Resource Corner
check back each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation
Bishop’s Blog: A Call to Prophetic Love
Bishop Jim Gonia presented a reflection on January 31, 2017 at the New Mexico Bishop's Legislative Luncheon. 

He said, "As people of faith and specifically as those who understand the call to advocacy as a profound dimension of how our faith is lived out in this world, I’d like to suggest that in this new reality in which we are living, we as people of God are called to a posture of prophetic love. Prophetic love."

Read the entire message at the Bishop's Blog
LIRS Invites Your Congregation to Celebrate Refugee Sunday!
Today, for the first time since World War II, there are more than 60 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, violence, and persecution.

Yet Lutherans are not discouraged.

We continue to meet refugees and those displaced by violence with God's love.

Whether your congregation is new to assisting refugees, has a history of newcomer ministry, or you are newcomers yourselves, you can observe Refugee Sunday and create a meaningful experience with LIRS’s Refugee Sunday worship materials and  Stand for Welcome newsletter.

Prayers for Refugees bulletin insert is available here for use at anytime to help share awareness of LIRS and create interest in Refugee Sunday. 
Free to any Church-- an Allen Organ and Speaker
What we have is a beautiful Allen Organ. It belonged to my father and step-mother. In their final will they asked that the organ be donated to a church in need. It is in operating condition and comes from a pet, smoke and kid free home. This is a beautiful instrument and they wished for it to go to a congregation that could use and enjoy this wonderful piece. 

The good: It is in beautiful condition as described.
The bad: You have to arrange to have it moved to your location.
P
lease Call 303-377-1121 for additional information,  ask for Judy or send an email
Employment Opportunities
Non-Rostered Positions Available

Director of Service and Outreach
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - Fort Collins, CO

Financial Administrator
Rocky Mountain Synod - Denver, CO

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

Parish Nurse
Faith Lutheran Church - Golden, CO

Accompanist/Organist
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

  • Madagascar Companion Synod Trip: 2/13-2/25
Pastor Kent Mueller
  • Preparation for Candidacy Committee meeting
  • Lutheran Center administration

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • Legislative session

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • Women and Family Wednesdays
  • CHI Healthcare Day of Action
  • Legislative Session
  • American Lutheran Church, Grand Junction, CO
Pastor Judith VanOsdol

  • Bethel, Aurora
  • Mission Developer/ Redeveloper Evaluations 
  • Mission Developer/ Redeveloper Training, Chicago
  • Prison Congregations of America
  • New Beginnings/ Nueva Vida Prison Ministries 
  • Messiah Community Church, Denver, CO
  • Bethany, Denver, CO
  • Mustard Seed, Fort Collins

Deacon Erin Power

  • Madagascar Companion Synod Trip: 2/13-2/25

    Pastor Sarah Moening

    • Immanuel, Bethune, CO
    • Trinity, Roswell, NM
    • Our Savior's, Alamogordo, NM
    • Leading Pastors Conference

    Andy Sprain

    • Western Lutheran Campus Ministry Staff Retreat
    • Youth Discipleship Team
    • Sky Ranch Board Meeting
    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.