ELCA Young Adults at 2016 International AIDS Conference

The 21st International AIDS Conference was held from July 18-22 in Durban, South Africa. In attendance was a delegation of 16 representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, including Peter Severson, Director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado. Our delegation was composed primarily of young adults, and they also attended an interfaith pre-conference event with representatives from different faiths from across the globe. “This shows our church’s deep commitment to forming young people into faithful advocates for justice in their communities,” Severson said.


The conference theme was “Access Equity Rights Now,” and took place in Durban, which also hosted the event in 2000. Many of the plenary speeches and presentations centered around the progress made from the last Durban conference, as well as the steps needed to ensure that AIDS would be ended as a public health crisis by 2030. Activists, advocates, politicians, researchers, scientists, and many members of key affected populations were present. Activist groups brought their protests to the main stage several times. “Activism was part of the proceedings from the beginning,” Severson observed, “as all the attendees had a higher level of access than usual to key decision-makers.”


Severson noted that the experience of seeing face-to-face advocacy in action at this level would inform the ways in which he engages public policy makers in Colorado around issues that affect vulnerable populations, especially when those populations lack the ability to influence decision-makers on issues that affect their lives. Severson’s reflection for the ELCA Young Adult Cohort, “Jesus, Politics, and the Praxis of Protest,” expands further on this theme. “Generally speaking, people in our ELCA congregations in Colorado and across the Rocky Mountain Synod are likely to have some idea of who to talk to about issues in their community. But that isn’t necessarily true for everyone in their neighborhoods,” Severson said. “I think our congregations need to be active centers for justice where people know they can find resources to exercise their public voice on critical issues, whether it’s HIV treatment or affordable housing or food assistance.” 

Connect with Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado at www.lam-co.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

The International AIDS Society has more information about AIDS 2016.

News and Events
Welcome Andy Sprain,
Assistant to the Bishop for Faith Formation 

It is with great joy that we welcome Andy Sprain to the Office of the Bishop! Andy’s primary role will to be work with our Synod's leadership at all levels as we seek to faithfully live and authentically minister from our unique gifts as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He will provide support and guidance for many aspects of Faith Formation including serving as the Bishop's liaison for Campus Ministry, Outdoor Ministry, ELCA Colleges and Seminaries, Synod Youth Gatherings, and Synod faith formation teams including the Faith Formation Network, First Third of Life, and the Youth Discipleship Team. After finishing his final summer at Sky Ranch, Andy will begin September 1. Welcome Andy!

ELCA Churchwide Assembly News
Voting members and visitors from all 65 synods of the ELCA are gathered in New Orleans, LA for the 2016 Churchwide Assembly.  Assembly participants are gathering for worship, attending workshops, learning about the work of the church through our churchwide organization and leadership, electing a new Vice President, and voting on a variety of resolutions. More information about the churchwide assembly, reports and resolutions can be found HERE

Voting members from the Rocky Mountain Synod were elected at our 2015 Synod Assembly.  Please remember them in your prayers this week as they travel and attend the assembly.

Follow the 2016 Churchwide assembly on social media: ‪#‎elcacwa‬ 

"Like" the Rocky Mountain Synod Facebook page for updates!
 Progress Report on Lily Endowment grant development
Work is continuing at a very brisk pace to meet the deadline for the Rocky Mountain Synod to apply for a half-million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment. The grant is part of Lilly's National Initiative to Address Challenges Facing Pastors. The Synod would use the $500,000 over a three-year period to help pastors, other rostered leaders, and congregations to address existing fiscal challenges and to raise overall capacity for greater economic security for rostered leaders and congregations. The grant encourages a combination of education, resourcing, and direct aid to move the whole Synod toward greater fiscal wellness. The Lilly Grant Team extends its thanks to our Synod's rostered and congregational leaders who completed the online surveys in June. Thirty-seven percent of rostered leaders and 38% of congregations responded, with a demographic which reflects the diversity of the Synod, and yields a 95% reliability on the survey results. That data has been combined with the conversations of 119 people last April as part of our strategic planning and to form the basis for elements that are being woven into the grant proposals. A first draft of the entire proposal is being completed and revisions will be made during the next two weeks to meet the August 19 deadline.

For Your Bulletin
 Bulletin Blurb
Companion Synod News: Synod President Elections 

Elections for Synod Presidents took place this summer in our companion Synods in Madagascar.  We pray for the leaders of the Lutheran Church in Madagascar, including the leaders of our four companion synods:

Mahajanga Synod
Pastor Rakoto (Mamy) Andriamamonjimisainasoa (re-elected)

Antsiranana Synod

Pastor Razafinarivo Robelison (re-elected)

Avaratra Atsinanana Synod
Pastor Razafimahatratra Jean de Dieu (re-elected)

Sofia Synod
Pastor TOTO Armand 


Sunday, August 21 at 1 p.m.
Christ Lutheran Church
Cheyenne, WY
Pastor Rebecca Aardahl
Color of the day:  green

Sunday, August 21 at 5 p.m.
Shepherd of the Valley
La Salle, CO
Pastor Wendy Kalan
Color of the day:  green

Retirement Celebration

Sunday, August 21 at 9:30 a.m.
Pastor Patricia L. Holman
St Paul Lutheran Church
Albuquerque, NM
RMS Prayer Cycle


Immanuel Greeley, CO
Jose (Abe) Gonzales

King of Glory Loveland, CO
Ruth Ann Loughry

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer  Fort Morgan, CO
Wes Dunbar

Our Savior’s Greeley, CO
John Knutson, Korra Looschen

Prayer of the Day
O God, judge eternal, you love justice and hate oppression, and you call us to share your zeal for truth. Give us courage to take our stand with all victims of bloodshed and greed, and, following your servants and prophets, to look to the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Around the Synod
Our Life Together
 Congregational Resource Corner
Check here each week for a new or featured resource for your congregation.
God's Work. Our Hands.  
Sunday, September 11, 2016

“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday  is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

For graphics, bulletin inserts, worship resources, and videos, visit the ELCA Website.

Ministry Renewal: Moments of Meaning, Connecting the Dots toward Vital and Authentic Ministry

  Join others in ministry for our unique 'day retreat' format as we consider where we are enlivened and what we are being called toward in our ministries. Activities and personal reflections will relate to identifying individual moments of meaning and reconnecting to the still small voice that guides us and sustains us in ministry.
Led by Shani Jones and Schawn Kellogg.
$60 for both days, includes lunch and supplies.
Area lodging available as needed.
Sponsored by the Institute for Life & Care, whose mission is to strengthen those who serve others.
Generous donor funding keeps participant cost low!
Institute location 7935 Prentice Ave, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Questions, email: sjones@lifeandcare.org

Eco-Reformation resources from Lutherans Restoring Creation

What Would Luther do? 
Well, it's coming up to 2017 and we are all recalling our reforming ring-leader's actions. Along with the ever-growing list of resources on our Eco-Reformation page we need updates about what is going on in YOUR SYNODS! It's up to you to tell us: we've heard bubblings of tree-planting efforts, retreats, special gardens, etc. Please send us contacts/fliers etc so we can share - inspire - celebrate! 

Worship--Seasons of Creation 2016 is Ready for YOU! Many thanks to Pr. Nick Utphall for tending to this resource and to Rev. Dr. Neddy H. Astudillo and Pr. Migdaleder Mazuera for translation help - we have most of the Seasons of Creation now in Spanish too! Check it out and SHARE www.letallcreationpraise.org 

Eco-Reformation: Grace & Hope for a Planet in Peril
Forthcoming from Cascade Books - Edited by Lisa Dahill & James Martin-Schramm

Employment Opportunities
Non-rostered positions available

Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church, Dillon, CO

Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO

Facilities Manager
Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, CO

Children, Youth and Family Ministry Director
All Saints Lutheran Church - Albuquerque, NM

Choir Director (part time)
St. Andrew Lutheran Church , Arvada, CO

Office of the Bishop - This Week
Bishop Gonia
  • ELCA Churchwide Assembly
  • Advent, Westminster, CO
  • House for All, Denver CO
  • Aurora Are Ministry Strategy
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church-Albuquerque

Pastor Kent Mueller
  • RMS Administration
  • Candidacy meetings
  • ELCA Grace Gathering

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

  • Interfaith Hunger Coalition Advocacy 
  • Committee
  • Medicaid Coalition
Pastor Sarah Moening
  • Transitions meetings & interviews
  • Peace, Sterling CO
  • Interim Pastors
  • Risen Lord, Conifer, CO
  • Faith Formation

Erin Power, Diaconal Minister

  • RMS website and communication

Peter Severson, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO

  • ELCA Churchwide Assembly, New Orleans

 Pastor Judith VanOsdol

  • Cristo Rey, Denver
  • Iglesia Luterana Jesus de Nazaret, Aurora
  • Christ the King, Denver
  • New Beginnings Prison Ministry, Aurora
  • Nueva Vida Prison Ministry (New SAWC!)
  • Aurora Area Ministry Strategy
  • Holy Love, Aurora 

Quick Links
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. Please submit your announcement at the time it should appear, ready to copy and paste into the newsletter, with a link to your website for more information. 

the Rocky Mountain Synod is a Reconciling in Christ synod