Rocky Mountain Synod logo for the newsletter

weekly email of the
Rocky Mountain Synod

November 22, 2011    


Our Saviors, Anton, CO

Emotional closing worship followed
by sale of church items and furniture


Our Savior's Lutheran Church - AntonClosing worship for Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Anton, CO, was October 30.  It was an emotional yet beautiful day of worship and fellowship on the Sunday of Reformation. Bishop Allan Bjornberg presided, Pastor Teri Hermsmeyer preached, and former Pastor Sally Ponfick gave the childrens sermon.  The church was almost full (about 40 in attendance).  

The building and two acres of land are being given to the Rocky Mountain Synod to sell, with approximately five different parties already interested in buying. The OSLC members have asked the Synod for proceeds to go to the Mission Endowment Fund for new and renewing congregations as OSLC has benefitted from this fund in the past.  Many items have been spoken for by several churches, so the members find comfort that their worship items will live on in ministry throughout Colorado, Nebraska (the cross  behind the altar), and even New York (WOV hymnals)! The remaining few families are visiting other churches in and around a 60 mile radius of their farm homes. Many of them traveled 20-30 miles to church in Anton.


A public sale of the church contents was November 19. The chancel furniture is still available for sale.  Pictures are available online. Proceeds of all contents sold are Urban Servant Corp (who annually came out for a work day on the church property and learned about rural life)  and a local rural non profit. Please contact Pastor Teri Hermsmeyer  via the Facebook page or at 303-903-4171 regarding these items.   Thank you for all your prayerful support. The Church does live on . . .   Thanks be to God!  

         --Pastor Teri and the former members of OSLC        


Two RMS pastors build relationships with our four Madagascar companion synods


Pastors Chad and Ron with their driver, Norbert.
Pastors Chad and Ron with
their driver, Norbert.
Pastor Ron Roschke, Grace, Boulder, CO, and Pastor
Chad Kohlmeyer, Atonement, Boulder, CO, have travelled to Madagascar to rekindle companion synod relationships with our four companion synods. Please remember them in your prayers.


First Sunday of Advent 

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection awaken us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and keep us blameless until the coming of your new day, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Prayer from Sundays and Seasons Year A 2011


Synod Prayer Cycle: RMS Bishop and Staff

You are encouraged to include the listed leaders in your Sunday prayers of the people. The prayer lists for December 2011
and January 2012 are available.

to remember in prayers on 11/27:       
Bishop Allan Bjornberg
Dan Bollman
Madelyn Busse
Jim Hytjan
Linda Staats
Kent Mueller
Cheryl Almquist
Janice Ladd-Horkey
Willie Hobbs

ELCA logo 

Tanzania Lutheran Church Water Well Scam 


Many congregations have received a letter from a "Pastor William Makeka Pamui, Senior Pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania" requesting funds to help drill ten water wells.


This request for funds is a scam, according to Pastor Jim Gonia, Program Director for West Africa, Tanzania and Madagascar, ELCA. This is another excellent reason why giving through the ELCA rather than directly to such ministries is so important and why our churchwide ministry is relevant and essential.  



2011 RMS Senior High School Youth Gahering logo

Senior High Youth Gathering

400 high school youth and caring adults gathered in Estes Park this past weekend. "God's Positioning System" or GPS guided them in worship, large and small groups and three different "pit stops" - workshop rotations. $2,460 was raised for ELCA World Hunger in response to the Citizens for the Saints Concert tour. 
 View photos of the gathering.




Middle School Youth Gathering 2012 logo

Middle School Youth Gathering Deadline is December 1



The RMS Middle School Youth Gathering is January 13-15, 2012, in Colorado Springs at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Please remember to gather the registration information from your middle school youth, as the deadline for registration is just eight days away! More info.



Winter Theological Conference 2012

Theological Conference Deadline is December 21


The RMS Theological Conference is January 23-26, 2012, in Fort Collins, CO. December 21 seems like an early deadline, but we have to submit to the hotel our final numbers before Christmas!  So remember the deadline is on the solstice! More info.


Fall Conference 

Gatherings focus on Synod Ministry


Information about the Bishop Election process is posted online at Visit that page for additional information, including how to submit the name of a potential nominee.  After December 15 all potential nominees will be invited to submit a bio and info which will be available online in February as a part of the discernment process.


The last Gathering for 2011 is:

December 3 (Sat) - Metro West part 2 at Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge from 9:00 a.m. - noon


 Advent Prayer Breakfast Urban Servant Corps Advent 2010 image


Saint Paul Lutheran Church

1600 Grant Street (80203) 


 Tuesday, November 29 - 8:00 a.m.


The Urban Servant Corps is planning their annual Advent Prayer Breakfast and would like to invite you to attend!  This gathering will be an opportunity to hear the latest and greatest stories from the Urban Servant Corps and to connect with pastors and congregation members from Lutheran Churches in the Denver area.


Please join us for this prayerful event on Tuesday, November 29 at 8:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (1600 Grant Street in Denver). Between now and then, if you think of others who would like to attend this event, please invite them to come as well! Postcards are available to print and give to friends and family and you may print and post on a bulletin board the informational flyer. The Urban Servant Corps looks forward to celebrating with you!
Generosity Project logo

Generosity Project 2012


    Workshop Dates
and Sites:





Saturday - February 4, 2012 - Albuquerque, NM (Site to be named)

Saturday - February 11, 2012 - St. Peter Lutheran Church - Carlsbad, NM

Peace Lutheran Church - El Paso, TX

Saturday - March 10, 2012 - Christ Lutheran Church - Highlands Ranch, CO

Saturday - March 17, 2012 - Ascension Lutheran Church - Colorado Springs, CO

Saturday - March 24, 2012 - Ascension Lutheran Church - Cheyenne, WY


Cristo Rey-El Paso celebration image
RMS Mission Congregation Asks for Assistance to Bring Joy During the Holiday Season


Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and CEPCO (Central El Paso Community Organization) are putting together Christmas baskets (they hope to make 90 this year) for the families in the After School Program, the church and families of the surrounding community that need assistance to enjoy this holiday season. Cristo Rey and CEPCO are asking for your assistance, if you are able, in supplying any of the items on their list. You can also bring a laundry basket with items on the list ready to deliver.


If you prefer to donate money towards the Christmas projects of Cristo Rey that include: Christmas baskets, Posadas Celebration (this is our biggest Christmas Service and Celebration of the year), and Christmas presents for our kids, please send your donation to Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and put in the memo: "Christmas Projects". Our address is:      

1010 East Yandell Drive El Paso, TX 79902


Please contact Pastor Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán at 915-42--6545 or Pat Marruffo (secretary) at 915-203-8258.



Bradn Burkle

Russia: A New Era of Service


Bradn Burkle and his spouse, Natasha, served parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States and its Novosaratovka Seminary in St. Petersburg from 2002-2011.  He now begins a joint appointment between the ELCA and the Hermannsburg Mission (Germany) to serve in Siberia.  Watch a short video at


World AIDS Day 2010 ribbon

World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, is About "Getting to Zero"



Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths.  The "Getting to Zero" campaign runs until 2015 and builds on last year's successful World AIDS  Day "Light for Rights" initiative encompassing a range of vital issues identified by key affected populations.


Two ways to observe World AIDS Day

  • Hear a conversation between ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and Ambrose Moyo, former bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, on Thursday, December 1, World AIDS Day, at the Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta, Ga., from 5:30-7:00 p.m., followed by a light supper and worship service.
  • Get resources from the ELCA website to help you and your congregation in observing World AIDS Day.   
  • Attend the conference, "A Time to Listen: The Church and HIV and AIDS," to be held on December 2-3, at Lodge at Simpsonwood in Norcross, Ga. For registration and other information, contact

Community pg zjoy logo
Deutscher Adventsgottesdienst

German Advent Worship Service



A German language Advent Service will be held at Community of Joy Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM on Sunday, December 18 at 5:00 p.m. The Rev. Michael Bastian, German born Pastor at Community of Joy, will deliver the sermon and lead the congregation through the service in the German language. Traditional Advent hymns and music will be provided.



Messsiah Community Church Advent image

Annual German Christmas Service at Messiah Community Church


Please join the congregation of Messiah Community Church for their annual German Christmas Service on December 19 at 5 p.m. Messiah is located at 1750 Colorado Blvd. in Denver (80220). For more information, please contact the church by phone (303-355-4471) or visit the website.

Herzlich willkommen!


ELCA bYouth Gathering logo 2

"Citizens with the Saints" 

2012 ELCA
Youth Gatherng

  July 18-22, 2012 

New Orleans, LA


The Rocky Mountain Synod has 41 congregations and 590 youth and caring adults registered for the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. Registration ha snot closed yet, so congregations may still register.   


Keep up with all the resources and tools for your preparation by signing up for the Gathering E-NewsSee who else is going from our synod by checking out our own RMS Gathering web page.


Plan now to bring your caring adults together for the next webinar December 4, "Leading a Small Group." Check out the many resources available to equip ALL your adults to accompany young people to New Orleans and in your every day ministry, right where you are. Info link.


If you have questions, please contact your RMS Gathering Coordinator, Kristen Baltrum, or Coach, Linda Staats by email. 


Lutheran Church of Hope banner

Music Coordinator Needed at
Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO 


Lutheran Church of Hope, an ELCA congregation in Broomfield, CO, is seeking a Music Coordinator, who would have responsibility for coordinating the music ministries and music staff of the congregation. The successful candidate will have experience in leading and being part of a team, in making decisions, and have a passion for church music of all styles.  The candidate should have a bachelor of music degree or equivalent experience and have a solid understanding of Lutheran Theology in and around Worship and Music practice.  A complete job description is on the congregation's website at or by contacting the church office at 303-466-4823.  Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume electronically to no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.   

Every Person, Every Congregation, Every Ministry, Boldly Serving God's Mission in Christ



Bishop Allan Bjornberg

Urban Servant Corps Prayer Breakfast, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Denver, CO.

Pastor Dan Bollman    

In the office this week.  


Madelyn Busse, DM

Available by email  
or phone appointment.  

Pastor Jim Hytjan

Out of the office this week.

Linda Staats

Available by email 
 or phone appointment.


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website calendar


JANUARY 13-15  

Middle School Youth Gathering

 Colorado Springs, Colorado


Winter Theological Conference 

Fort Collins, Colorado 

APRIL 26-28

2012 RMS Assembly

Colorado Springs, Colorado

JULY 16-18 


New Orleans, LA

JULY 18-22

ELCA Youth Gathering
New Orleans, LA



Installation of Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop,

 Cherry Hills Village, CO.



Fall Theological Conference/ Bishop's Convocation,

 Cherry Hills Village, CO. 



MAY 2-4 

2013 RMS Assembly

Loveland, Colorado


Theological Conference 

Estes Park, Colorado





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Elim Evangelical Lutheran Church cross

Elim Helps Send Youths to ELCA Gathering in July


Village Markets logoIt isn't often that you get an opportunity like this! Elim is teaming up with Village Markets of Africa, an organization in Kenya which is working with the Lutheran Church in Kenya to sell their goods at a fair trade price. Scarves from KemyaWhen you put "Elim" in the Fundraising Credit Box, 20% comes back to Elim to help five of our youth attend the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans July 18-22, 2012. 


 LSS Utah Holiday Essentials Program 2011 

Lutheran Social Service of Utah new logo

 LSS of Utah has begun accepting donations for its Holiday Essentials Program.


refugees in Utah

LSS of Utah Holiday and New Year Essentials Program can use unwrapped sports equipment and educational toys for boys and girls age 4-17 years. Donations can be dropped off to Milka (801-860-3099) before December 12 during usual business hours (Mon - Thurs 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) or by appointment.  

The New Year Essentials Program continues from January 9 to February 16. Non-perishable foods, new or gently used household goods, sewing machines, computers, blankets, coats, clothing, educational toys, and sports equipment can be dropped off during usual business hours

(Mon - Thurs 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) or by making an appointment with Jose (801-703-3274).












submit Colorado news or photos     

Jonathan Edwards imageJonathan Edwards to Preach Thanksgiving Eve Sermon at Atonement, Lakewood  


You are cordially invited to spend Thanksgiving Eve (November 23) with Jonathan Edwards who will be preaching a sermon titled "What a Pilgrim's Faith is All About." The Rev. Dr. Jack Van Ens of Arvada, CO brings to life this intellectual giant, considered to be the most important American philosopher and theologian of his time. Mr. Edwards (1703-1758) was a Puritan theologian who inspired a number of religious revivals and has been called "the greatest mind produced in America."  


ELCA bYouth Gathering logo 2Rev. Dr. Jack Van Ens' presentation at Atonement is made possible by funding from the Lutheran Center for Theological Studies. Atonement's traditional Thanksgiving Eve pie and coffee fundraiser for youth attending the 2012 National Youth Gathering in New Orleans will follow the service. Atonement is located at 6281 West Yale Avenue (80227). A Free Will offering will be accepted.


House for All image2

Stuck Working on Thanksgiving Day? Operation: Turkey Sandwich is Under Way at House for All Sinners and Saints



House for All Sinners and Saints (Denver, CO) will continue its annual tradition of sharing meals with those who have to work on Thanksgiving through Operation: Turkey Sandwich.  Volunteers will meet on Thanksgiving morning to assemble bag lunches containing turkey sandwiches, pumpkin cookies, and a stuffing muffin. The meals will then be given to store clerks, cops, bus drivers, and any one else stuck working on the holiday.  Last year, 350 meals were delivered, and 500 is this year's goal!    


You may drop off you food items between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Meal assembly will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m  on Thursday, November 24 at St. Thomas Episcopal, 2201 Dexter Street in Denver.  If you are interested in volunteering, or are willing and able to donate food to share, please visit House's sign up page, or contact Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (  Roasted turkeys are especially needed, and much appreciated.        

Thanksgiving Eve service image from Bethany
"Shall We Gather at the River?" - Event Features Music to Delight the Soul

The community of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village is celebrating "SHALL WE GATHERMichael Peterson at the RIVER" on Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve (November 23) at 7:00 p.m. Country-Western music star Michael Peterson will be our guest performer as he joins with the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir and Children's choirs in leading our worship that evening.


Project Sanctuary logoWe will "gather" to give thanks and raise awareness for Project Centus logo smallSanctuary and Centus, two organizations that provide amazing support for returning military veterans and their families. A free will offering will be received to support these two ministries.


Additionally, we are asking people to bring a gift card of any dollar amount for the following things: Grocery store gift card, gas cards, Sam's or Costco cards.  


 Two Opportunities to Hear Sister Helen Prejean Speak


Helen Prejean image

Lunch with Sister Helen Prejean
(of "Dead Man Walking" fame)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011 from 11:30 am - 1:00 p.m.

Wellshire Presbyterian Church

2999 S. Colorado Blvd.

Denver, CO  80222


In conjunction with Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the Colorado Council of Churches is offering clergy an opportunity to not only hear Sister Helen Prejean, but also to become informed and prepared for the effort to repeal the death penalty in Colorado by 2013. Reservations are required and can be made at No charge for lunch.

Colordoans for Althernatives to the Death PenaltySt. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church

19099 East Floyd Avenue

Aurora, CO 80013-3703

November 30, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  
R.S.V.P. by November 15

Please RSVP by November 15, to Jim Peters, Religious Education Director, by email or phone 303-690-6797; or Lisa Cisneros, Executive Director, Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, by email or phone (720-261-0905). You can find more information about this event on the flyer or visit the website. All are welcome. No charge for admission.



Bright Stars of Bethlehem logo

On Our Way to Bethlehem:
Lessons and Carols for Advent


On Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., Augustana Lutheran Church will host a concert to benefit Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem (the only Lutheran College in the Holy Land). A reception featuring the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, live from Bethlehem, will follow the concert. Both events will take place at Augustana, located at 5000 East Alameda Avenue in Denver (80246).

Dar al-Kalima College music room
Bright Stars of Bethlehem-Colorado Chapter is raising $50,000 for the music room at the college. This Advent festival of lessons and carols is a benefit for the college. Freewill offering will be accepted. Funds raised will be matched by Thrivent Financial chapter grants.



HeartLight Center logo

First Ever HeartLight
Holiday Market! 



To celebrate this holiday season, HeartLight Center is offering a great opportunity to make your holiday shopping easy by bringing different vendors together for an afternoon of fun!  Shop for everyone on your list AND help to support HeartLight Center as well.  Please join us for snacks and shopping on Sunday, December 4, 2011 between noon and 4:00 p.m. at HeartLight Center.

Colorado Gives logo 

Non-profits Participate in Colorado Gives Day


The second annual Colorado Gives Day Is on December 6, 2011. On this day citizens will come together again to raise millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations. Last year, the goal to raise $1 million for Colorado charities was exceeded; $8.7 million was distributed instead!


Colorado Gives-Giving First logoPresented once again by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day asks you to give to your favorite charities through the website , an online giving resource featuring all of the nonprofits participating in Colorado Gives Day. On this website we share our goals, accomplishments and much more to help you be informed.


Here are two RMS affiliated organizations that your gift could benefit by going online to donate:


Lutheran Family Services of Colorado    


Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp 


Donate online any time over the 24 hour period of December 6 to Give where you live!



the Lutheran Chorale logo

The Lutheran Chorale/Lakewood Symphony Christmas Concert


Welcome Joyous Season!  


Come celebrate the Christmas season at the LakewoodGreen Mountain High School emblem Cultural Center with the Lutheran Chorale, the Lakewood Symphony, and Green Mountain High School's "Shadows of the Mountain" chorus, performing selections from   Handel's Messiah, Vaughan-Williams' Fantasia on Christmas, Bach's Suscepit IsraelMendelsohn's There Shall a Star from Jacob, and other great music of Christmas.  


There will be only one performance on Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 pm.  For tickets, please call the Lakewood Cultural Center (303-987-7845), log on to the website, or stop by the box office at 470 South Allison Parkway. 

Lakewood Symphony Orchestra logo 



Communications Staff
Rocky Mountain Synod
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700

Announcements for eConnection are due before noon on Monday for the issue the following day. Event announcements are included for two weeks. Please submit your announcement at the time it should appear.