Rocky Mountain Synod logo for the newsletter

weekly email of the
Rocky Mountain Synod

December 18, 2012     
God our hope, 
in you light shines in the darkness and mourning turns to joy. Be with the community of Newtown, Connecticut in this time of overwhelming sorrow. May your light surround them and all victims of violence.  
Bishop Gonia participates in ELCA international advocacy team


Bishop Gonia spent three days in Washington DC last week as part of an International Advocacy team of bishops representing both the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. While their focus issue was the situation in Sudan and South Sudan, he became keenly aware of the importance of our voice as a global ecumenical church.  "When we are willing to show up and advocate for a creative partnership with our own government, we multiply our capacity to effectively address the impact and causes of hunger and poverty, both domestically and globally," he said. "I discovered anew the wonderful and unlikely way that government can actually become a participant in God's mission when we as the church dare to leverage the resources available in our common community treasury."
Glory of God Lutheran Church, Wheatridge, CO, receives offering in "earthen" offering baskets


Inspired by a project suggested by Linda Staats to use globes divided in half as offering baskets, a member of Glory of God took the project one step further, decoupaging the insides with photos of people from around the world. 


They are not only used for offering. "We will put them out for people to put names of children they know in one, and names of people dealing with violence (survivors of, soldiers, police, etc.) in the other, for our prayers," said Pastor Paul Olsen. 



Fourth Sunday of Advent

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. Amen.  

 Sundays and Seasons Year B  

Pastor Alena Lamirato to be installed January 13 in Buffalo, WY

Pastr Alena Lamirato 

Pastor Alena Lamirato began serving at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Buffalo, Wyoming, on the First Sunday in Advent. She will be installed by Pastor Sarah Moening, Synod Minister for Deepened Discipleship, on Sunday, January 13 2013. Everyone is welcome to attend the Service of Installation.



Synod Prayer Cycle: Utah Conference
You are encouraged to include the listed leaders in your Sunday prayers of the people. The prayer list for December is available.

to remember in prayers on 12/23 & 30:          


Prince of Peace North Logan, UT

     Scott Thalacker

Shepherd of the Mountains Park City, UT

     Steve Leiser
St. Matthew's Salt Lake City, UT

     Jeffrey Louden

Zion Salt Lake City, UT

     Steve Klemz



Got Office Space?


The Office of the Bishop is looking for "leads" on potential office space that might be a cost savings. If you have leads on office rental space, a building for sale, a church with extra space, or, perhaps, you just would like to donate office space or a building (relatively centrally located in Denver) to be the home of the Office of the Bishop in the Rocky Mountain Synod, please contact Kent Mueller.


Our current office space is 4343 square feet (with an additional 840 square foot conference room that is shared with all of the building tenants at no additional cost to us). 


Deeply Rooted Ministry logo Deeply Rooted-  

Bearing Fruit
Congregations are gathering together to make connections, build community, and talk about ministry in each context.  
Every congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod is invited to bring rostered leaders plus 5-7 lay leaders of diverse ages and interests to your Conference Mission Gathering to begin the conversation

"Deeply Rooted, Bearing Fruit" 
Conference Mission Gatherings

Saturday, January 12



Saturday, February 9

Metro West (western)  

Good Shepherd, Glenwood Springs, noon - 2:00 p.m.


Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains logo

Pastor Patricia Holman Elected to LFS Rocky Mountains Board of Directors


Pastor Pat Holman photo Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS) is pleased to announce that Pastor Pat Holman of St. Paul Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Albuquerque, NM, has been elected to serve on the 18-member LFSRM Board of Directors beginning January 1, 2013. Jim Barclay, LFS President and CEO, said, "Pastor Holman's election is the first time a Board member has been elected from outside the state of Colorado in the 65 year history of LFS!"


The former LFS of Colorado became LFS Rocky Mountains on January 1, 2012, and expanded its Refugee and Asylee Resettlement Program to Albuquerque in April 2012 at the request of the state of New Mexico. The program has already welcomed 70 refugees.  LFS also serves in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, but the Albuquerque office at 3612 Campus Blvd, NE is the first permanent office established outside of CO.

Sky Ranch 50th Anniversary logo



Year of Jubilee


2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of Ministry with Altitude. Go to and check out the "50th Anniversary" tab for the latest news and take time to share your favorite memories.


Gala Celebration:
Tuxes and Tevas

Register now for the initial event of our 50th year. Take time to complete the questionnaire and share your favorite memories. Your input will help shape the evening. Go to for updates. Tell your friends. See you there!


50th Anniversary Calendar of Events  

  • March 1 Alumni Gathering in Fort Collins
  • March 2 Gala in Loveland
  • March 3 Worship and Annual Meeting at Zion in Loveland
  • June 28-30 Alumni weekend with Pastor Ralph Yernberg & Joel Abenth
  • June 30 - July 5 Family Camp with Pastor Kim Gonia
  • July 5 -7 Alumni weekend with Pastor Ron Letnes
  • July 26 -28 Alumni weekend with Pastor Bob Kuehner
  • September 13-15 All Camp Reunion
  • October 13 Rendezvous in Longmont
Please download and share the bulletin with friends, family and in your congregations
Hand in Hand logo 2010

Be a "Yes" to Others!


Susan Smith a missionary in the Central African Republic The Light of Christ is reflected in and through the ELCA's global work, including the Central African Republic. Susan Smith is a new ELCA Missionary, where she develops educational programs for Sunday schools and new elementary schools in remote villages. These schools have a Children of the Central African Republic reputation for good teaching, the largest with 720 students. Her work happens because of gifts which support 240 missionaries around the world.

In these challenging economic times, missionaries rely heavily on generous gifts to help keep global mission programs running to share God's grace and blessings with all.

Susan said, "We are a church that believes Jesus is God's "Yes" to us. Our lives can be a "Yes" to others. Will you join us in sharing the Light of the world through our global work?"

Learn more.           Make a gift.

Border Immersion Experience logo

Border Servant Corps Remembers the Season


Border Servant Corps is continually humbled by the people with whom we work. We remember the ways our season is made bright in our world today: when we come together in community to care for one another. We give thanks to you, for all of the ways you have supported BSC to make this ministry possible. If you would like to assist BSC in continuing its ministry, please consider the following:   

  • Pray for BSC (volunteers, service sites, clients, Board and support committee members, church and community members)
  • Serve on a support committee
  • Provide items on the Wish List:   
    1. El Paso (Casa de Paz): Full-size bed sheets, baking pans, gardening/work gloves
    2. Las Cruces (Casa Palomas): Baking sheets, big cutting board, gardening materials
    3. Las Cruces (Janaan's House): Emergency preparedness kit, cleaning supplies, gardening materials
    4. Volunteers always enjoy receiving care packages. Consider including the following items: eco-friendly laundry soap and fabric softener, eco-friendly dishwasher detergent and dish soap, gardening supplies, cleaning supplies, and toiletry items.
  • Offer a financial contribution 
  • Share the BSC story with others 
Lutheran Summer Music Program and Festival 2013

Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival: A Place for Young Musicians to Connect Faith and Music


For more than 30 years, Lutheran Music Program has produced the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival (LSM), a four-week residential training and performance program for gifted high school students. The 2013 academy will be on the campus of Luther College in Decorah, IA, June 23 through July 21, where more than 150 students in grades 8-12 will live together in a supportive community focused on musical excellence, faith formation and personal growth.


To find out more about Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival, please check out the website, call toll free at 888-635-6583 or send an email message.


Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago emblem

Seminary Sampler at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

February 17-19, 2013 


The Seminary Sampler is a three-day visit event designed to give prospective students a "taste" of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago life. At the event, prospective students will have the opportunity to discern with other prospective students a call to ministry and how LSTC might be the place for them.


The time together will include meeting students, faculty and staff, an introduction to our programs, a tour of LSTC and the surrounding neighborhood, possibilities for financial assistance, and much more. Housing, most meals, and some travel reimbursement are available.  For more information, check out the blog, or contact Scott Chalmers, Director of Admissions, by email or phone at 773-256-0727.

Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations

Ecumenical and
Inter-Religious Relations Opportunities



Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) aims to bring 150 advanced theology students from all regions of the world and all Christian denominational traditions to the World Council of Churches 0th Assembly for an intensive theological course programme for a period of 2 weeks.


Assembly Stewards Programme  
Young Christians from around the world are invited to apply to the World Council of Churches (WCC) Stewards Programme for a 3 week hands-on learning experience at the WCC 10th Assembly which will take place from October 23 to November 10, 2013. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old. 


Young Communication Professionals  
The World Council of Churches is seeking young communications professionals to join the 10th Assembly communications team. Please apply by January 31, 2013. 


For more information, you may contact Dennis W. Frado, Director, Lutheran Office for World Community (ELCA) and Main Representative at UN Headquarters, by telephone at 212-808-5360.
Faith Lutheran Church-Golden
Operations Director Needed at Faith Golden

Summary Description:
The Operations Director will be the primary missional resource steward of the congregation, responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining resource management tools and processes that are effective in supporting people who are serving in Faith's Ministry, Internal Missions, External Missions and Partnerships. Specifically, the OD will lead team members responsible for developing Faith's communication tools, brand, building space and financial resources. Additionally, the OD will connect Faith Community missionaries to the resource of the community and the staff. Effective stewardship of our community resources serves our mission of Changing Lives through the Power of Jesus by helping people connect to healing and growth in the person of Jesus Christ so that they can go serve the world near and far in Jesus' name.


  • Desire to serve others who are fulfilling their callings from God and living their mission
  • Experience in designing, developing and implementing organizational processes and systems
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both written and verbally
  • Ability to read, understand and analyze financial statements
  • People management skills
  • Self-directed, innovative thinker


Salaried is Part-time  with Flexible hours.

A complete job description is available on the website.


For more information or to apply, please contact Pastor Peter Morin by email or phone (303-279-5379) at Faith Lutheran Church, located at 17701 West 16th Avenue, Golden, CO 80401. 

For more job openings within the Rocky Mountain Synod, please visit the website.
Every Person, Every Congregation, Every Ministry, Boldly Serving
God's Mission in Christ




Bishop Jim Gonia 

  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.   
  • Portico Benefits Workshop, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.  

Linda Staats 

  • Doing the work of the Interim Synod Minister for Special Projects.

Pastor Kent Mueller     

  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.    
  • Portico Benefits Workshop, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.  

Pastor Ron Roschke  

  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO. 

  • Portico Benefits Workshop, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.

Pastor Sarah Moening 

  • Out of the office until December 31, 2012.  
Pastor Rob Moss
  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Mission Developers Meeting 
  • Visit with the Camino de Vida Steering Committee, Albuquerque, NM.  
Brad Wood
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry CO 
  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Portico Benefits Workshop, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.


Ruth Hoffman 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry NM 
  • Out of the office until December 28, 2012  


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website calendar


JANUARY 18 -20 

RMS Middle School Youth Gathering
Crowne Plaza Hotel,
Colorado Springs, CO


MAY 2-4 

2013 RMS Assembly

Loveland, Colorado



Theological Conference 

Estes Park, Colorado



Global Links logo

 eNewsletter of the ELCA 


Mexico: Creating Advocates for the Church, April 1-8 
Witness the effect of international policy and learn about the roots of world hunger through site visits and engaging lectures with farmers and community organizations in the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico, April 1-5, 2013. Then head to Washington, D.C., for the 2013 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, April 5-8, to share your experiences with U.S. leaders.
Read more. 


A Week for Global Ecumenical Unity, January 18-25

An annual event in the global ecumenical movement, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be January 18-25, 2013, in the northern hemisphere. For worship resources and materials that can be adapted for local settings, please visit the website. 


Seeing God through the Eyes of Others
Serving as an ELCA missionary meant "seeing God in an entirely different way than what I was accustomed to," says Brian Konkol, adding that it also "kept me open and vulnerable." Brian and his wife, Kristen, served in Guyana and South Africa, an experience that "blessed them in countless ways." Click this link to watch a video of Brian's comments.


Israel: ELCA and others Request a Review of U.S. Military Aid 

Concerned about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and the commitment for a just peace, the Rev. Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA, and other U.S. Christian leaders are urging Congress to conduct an investigation into possible human rights and weapon violations by the government of Israel. Read more. 


Malaysia: Lutheran Church Celebrates 130 Years 

The Basel Christian Church of Malaysia celebrated its 130th anniversary at a special thanksgiving event on November 15. Bishop Murray Finck of the ELCA Pacifica Synod planned to attend. The church comprises 120 congregations and hosts an ELCA seminary professor and an ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission country program. Learn more about the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia.


submit Utah news or photos


Reverend Jesse L. JacksonUniversity of Utah Office of Equity and Diversity Presents: Rev. Jesse Jackson as  Keynote Speaker 

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson is scheduled to give the Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. image keynote address on Thursday, January 24 ,2013 at 12:00 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The event is free and open to the public, however, you will need to reserve your ticket either at the main box office at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or go online to To reserve tickets for large groups, please contact .


Utah Office of Equity and Diversity logo   



Lutheran Social Service of Utah new logo

LSS of Utah Presents: the Artistic and Contemporary St. John's Bible



The Saint John's Bible Project included calligraphers (scribes), artists, from Wales and Minnesota. The artists and scribes utilized the St. Benedictine Rule in creating this new, artistic, rendering of an artistic Bible complete with its own script.


St. John's Bible artwork Now, Lutheran Social Service of Utah offers courses from an inter-faith and community-wide perspective to study the new Bible, followed by art classes, then writing classes on Tuesdays beginning January 22, 2013.  Make your New Year's Resolution list and include attending free education offerings at Lutheran Social Service of Utah Inter-Faith and Community-wide Ministries.


The classes are free and there is no need to register. Based on your interests, just come to all or part of the Tuesday (and/or Wednesday) course offerings.  We encourage you to post this offering and lead with it in your bulletins, newsletters, and professional media.


The Saint John's Bible Set is available for public and individual reading and contemplation from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and also by appointment. Art Classes are sponsored by Art Access Utah VSA. All Classes are held at: LSS of Utah, 4392 South 900 East Salt Lake City; Parking is adjacent to the building in the Smith's Shopping Mall Complex.


Cross-Gender and Inter-Faith Perspective
Bible Study on Tuesdays from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Art Classes on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Community Writing Center (with coach) available: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.; (nursing home appointments for writing available as well).


If you have questions, please email LSS of Utah beginning January 15, 2013 or give Leslie Whited, Executive Director at call on 801-721-2641.


St. John image  

Other Free Courses at LSS of Utah - beginning January 22, 2013

Guitar 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Tuesday
Spanish 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Wednesday
Citizenship 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Wednesday

submit Wyoming news or photos






Cristo Rey-El Paso celebration image

Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey (ELCA) in El Paso Seeks Your Support 


Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and CEPCO (Central El Paso Community Organization) are putting together 90 Christmas food baskets for the families in their After School Program, their our church and families of the surrounding community that need assistance to enjoy this holiday season when work is scarce. They are also planning their Biggest Christmas Celebration for our Community "The Posadas" where 200 to 300 people come to re-enact the journey of Mary and Joseph and later celebrate with Mariachis, the traditional Mexican Christmas meal, the Piñata for the kids and Cristo Rey El Paso Las Posadas image more. Finally they are collecting gifts or gift card to buy presents for the kids in the After School Program and their church community.


They invite your support for these Christmas projects as Cristo Rey wishes to bless our community during the holidays. We specially need help with the Posadas event and the Christmas baskets.


Please send your donation or gift cards to: Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and put in the memo: "Christmas Projects". We will use your money where most needed for the projects. Our address is 1010 East Yandell Drive El Paso, TX 79902.


If you have any questions please contact Pastor Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán at 915-422-6545, Pat Marruffo at 915-203-8258 (Secretary) or Ceci Herrera (Director for Central El Paso Community Organization) at 915-544-6545.


Thank you for any assistance you can provide!    

submit Colorado news or photos  


Our Savior's Lutheran Church logo

Celebrating the Tradition of Las Posadas


Our Savior's Lutheran Church will be observing a traditional Hispanic Christmas celebration called "Las Posadas" jointly with their sister congregation Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey on December 21st and 22nd. 


Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey new logo On December 21, everyone will meet at Our Savior's and on the December 22 and 23 everyone will meet at at Cristo Rey, both days at 6:00 p.m.  This will be interesting and a lot of fun for all ages. Please come to one or both events.  There will even be food and piñatas involved.


More information about the tradition of Las Posadas


Frohe Weihnachten! 


Ökumenischer Weihnachtsgottesdienst in deutscher Sprache

Herzlich willkommen!  

The community is invited to a German Christmas Worship service on Sunday, December 23, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. at Messiah Community Church (ELCA), located at 1750 Colorado Blvd in Denver (80220). The Rev. Wolfgang Stahlberg is the pastor, Eric French is the organist and Lori and Like Gill will present special music. If you need additional information, please call the church office (303-355-4471) or visit the website.


Bitte weitersagen!   


Music at Saint Paul Denver logo 

The Saint Paul Choir Presents - The Nativity of Our Lord: A French Baroque Christmas    


Monday, December 24, 2012, 10:30 p.m. (as a Prelude to the 11:00 p.m. Mass of Christ)


Choral and instrumental music by the great French baroque composer, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, performed by the Saint Paul Choir and strings under the direction of Cantor Mark Alan Filbert during a half-hour Prelude to and interspersed throughout Saint Paul's 11:00 pm celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord.


Music at Saint Paul is a ministry of Saint Paul Lutheran Church to present outstanding concerts and inspiring liturgies in the wonderful acoustical setting of the congregation's historic building.

An elevator to the nave level of the church may be accessed via the ramp by the red doors facing 16th Street; take the ramp down to the courtyard level, enter the church through the door on the backside of the tower, and find the elevator just inside the entrance. Map and directions   

Suicide Prevention Resource


Reach Out Suicide Prevention logo
Community partnerships make big things happen! Here is to saving lives!


The Douglas County Sheriff's Office - Youth Education and Safety In Schools (YESS) program partnered with the Douglas County Government and the Douglas County School District to create several new suicide prevention public service announcements in an effort to raise awareness around suicide and provide resources for those seeking help.   


A special thank you to all the staff and others involved in helping to make sure safe messaging was used appropriately in the announcements. 


Please check out the website and share, share, share to make others aware of them.  


Prepare/Enrich Facilitator Training Prepare and Enrich for a Strong Marriage logo


Prepare/Enrich Facilitator Training is being offered Monday, January 7, 2013, at Bethany Lutheran Church, located at 4500 E. Hampden Avenue in Cherry Hills Village. The workshop is designed to teach facilitators to administer and provide feedback to premarital and married couples. For more information, or to register, please call Beth Walker at 303-694-2967, or go to



Beyond Divorce book cover

Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends
Beyond Divorce: Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends
will begin on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch. The seminar is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday for 10 weeks, ending on March 12, 2013. Complementary child care is available. For more information please call St. Andrew United Methodist Church at 303-794-2683, and ask for Diane Smith, or email Beth Walker at   

Progressive Group image

New Group for Progressive Lutherans


Imagine belonging to a group of people who meet once a month for discussions of Bible texts, church events, books, theological developments, and more.  Imagine that group becoming a bunch of friends, engaged in refreshed discipleship, theological development, and restful companionship.


Are you a progressive theological thinker and interested in a group like that? All are welcome to attend, although the group might attract mostly rostered leaders.


A suggested meeting time is the second Monday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to noon and possibility lunch together. We can meet at Messiah Community Church, 1750 Colorado Blvd, Denver (80220). The first meeting will be January 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. As topics, Wolfgang Stahlberg suggests a discussion on Marcus Borg's book Speaking Christian and an introduction (or re-introduction) to the Enneagram. All are welcome!


If you have questions, please contact Pastor Wolfgang Stahlberg by email or phone (303-355-4471).




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.