Rocky Mountain Synod logo for the newsletter

weekly email of the
Rocky Mountain Synod

February 12, 2013      
Assembly Registration Now Underway
Registration Deadline for Assembly and for Hotel is April 3
Registering for the Assembly is a two-step process. One must register for the assembly as a voting member, visitor, exhibitor, or Saturday-only attendee.
Then, those who desire a hotel room make separate hotel room reservations.
Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 
 Sundays and Seasons Year C

Koora Looschen to be Installed as AIM 
April 7 in Greeley, Colorado


Looschen Family
Koora Looschen (pictured with her husband and son) has accepted the call to ministry at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Greeley as the new

Director for Youth and Family and Formation. The Service of Installation will take place at Our Savior's located at 1800 21st Avenue (80631) on Sunday, April 7 at the 8:15 and 10:40 a.m. worship services. Pastor Sarah Moening, Synod Minister for Deepening Discipleship in the Office of the Bishop, will preach and Pastor John Knutson will preside. The color of the day is white and there will be a reception with light refreshments served after the service.


Synod Prayer Cycle:
Border Conference

You are encouraged to include the listed leaders in your Sunday prayers of the people. The prayer list for March is available. Also, you may view the lists for the coming months.


to remember in prayers on 2/17:          


St. Mark Roswell, NM
     Larry Sydow

St.Peter  Carlsbad, NM 

   Geri Cunningham



Deeply Rooted Ministry logo

Assembly is May 2-4 in Loveland, CO


The 2013 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly will feature our year-long theme: Deeply Rooted, Bearing Fruit. Taking place May 2-4 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO, it promises to be, well, "fruitful!" Registration will open later this week.


Please note important information for your planning:

  • The assembly will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, with OPENING WORSHIP (which will enable some attendees not to have to miss an entire day of work or school)
  • Friday, May 3, will focus on much of the "business" of the assembly
  • Friday evening, May 3, will be a celebration of the ELCA's 25th Anniversary
  • Saturday, May 4, will be an extravaganza of opportunities for excursions, workshops, conversations, and projects, with concluding worship. We will welcome additional participants to attend the Saturday opportunities!

The day will conclude at around 3:00 p.m. following closing Eucharist at 2:00 p.m.


Ministries, Teams, and Organizations may sign up for involvement at the assembly by February 15.

In addition to the usual display tables and the annual ministry booklet, we are seeking involvement in new and unique ways. At our May 3, Friday evening celebration of the ELCA's 25th anniversary, we invite booths and activities where attendees can interact and experience various ministries. On Saturday, May 4, we are envisioning a day of excursions and engagements. Those present at the assembly will journey to Northern Colorado sites such as campus ministry sites, participate in unique opportunities in the Loveland community, or be engaged by workshops and experiences at the hotel. Please sign up for ways your organization, congregation, institution, or ministry team can engage the assembly!


Sign up for opportunities here with a deadline of February 15.


Registration information

  • Registration link and hotel reservation link will be available by February 7.
  • Registration deadline is April 3
  • Hotel reservation deadline is April 3 
  • Voting member registration is $300 per voting member. Includes two lunches, one dinner, and breaks.
  • Visitor with meals is $240. Visitor without meals is $125.
  • Exhibitor with meals is $165. Exhibitor without meals is $50.
  • Guests attending only the Saturday Celebration are $25.
  • Hotel is $109 per room for a single or double room. For triples or quads the rate is $139 for the room. Note that all Embassy Suites rooms are two-room suites with beds in the bedroom and a sofa-bed in the front room.
  • Travel equalization funds will be available for those who must travel far distances.

Deeply Rooted Ministry logo   

Missional Gatherings:

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
Saturday, February 16
Grace, Casper,

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ready to Reproduce
The printed copy of the Landscape newsletter was mailed today along with the monthly financial mailing from Cheryl Almquist. Every congregation is asked to print copies for the congregation and include it in a newsletter or Sunday bulletin. The Landscape is published 6 times a year.

Deeply Rooted Ministry logo   

Hey Congregations!
We need LEAVES
and BARK for our assembly Family Tree!


LInk for instructions for submitting leaves and bark 


For this year's Synod Assembly we are calling upon the creative efforts of all synod participants and their congregations to help create pieces of a large scale interactive tree that reflects our collective stories as people rooted in God's grace and what this means in regards to how we bear fruit in our lives and communities.


The tree will serve as a visual feature on display at the synod assembly that represents our synod's family tree as we live and grow together as the Rocky Mountain Synod. There are two needed components to this project that we are requesting from you. Please see the directions below. We are hoping to get as many leaves and pieces of "bark" as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.


Component #1: The bark  
What does it mean to be deeply rooted? 

To create the bark pieces, find, tear or cut a piece of cardboard that is roughly 2 inches wide and whatever length you want. On the smooth side of the cardboard please write what it means to you to be deeply rooted. Feel free to include as many details as you would like and make sure writings are legible. You can submit as many bark pieces as you would like from your congregation to represent their views of being deeply rooted.


Component #2: The leaves 
What does it mean to bear fruit as a result of being deeply rooted? 

With the leaf template(s) provided or by drawing your own leaf shape (roughly 9-11 inches long with a stem), photo copy o r trace the leaves onto a paper of your choice. Papers can be any color, texture, design, weight, etc. that you feel would make a good addition to a diverse and appealing visual affect of the large tree. Please make sure to include the stems of the leaves. After you cut out the leaves, please write on the leaf what it means to you to bear fruit because of being deeply rooted.


You are welcome to make as many leaves and bark pieces that you would like. You are encouraged to include members of the congregation in the process of the leaf/bark making as a shared time of fellowship and reflection on this year's theme: Deeply Rooted, Bearing Fruit. Get ready to see the completed tree at the synod assembly!


Please mail in your leaves and bark pieces or take them to the Rocky Mountain Synod Office by March 25 to ensure time to assemble the bark and leaf pieces onto the large tree.

The final product will be on display in the assembly hall during the Synod Assembly. If you have questions about how to approach this project, feel free to call or email Tara Smith 970-218-2311 or


Take It Now button

Leaders with Portico Health Benefits: Take the Health Assessment Now!


We are at 16.6% on our way to the needed 65%... about one quarter of the way to the goal? As of January 31, there were 41 who took the assessment, which is a great start! We need 120 more! For 2012, the Rocky Mountain Synod surpassed the goal with a 74.3%. Please make sure all leaders and relevant spouses/partners take the assessment DURING FEBRUARY.


Here is a link that will get you to the assessment as well as a contest for those who complete the assessment by February 28:



"Well of Hope" is Our Newest Worshipping Community


Castle Pines Mission announced at the February 3 Service of the Installation of Pastor Michelle de Beauchamp their new name! They went through the naming process and through complete consensus are now called "Well of Hope, ELCA." The mission development's tagline is "A Lutheran Church for All."  Castle Pines is just north of Castle Rock, CO.


Michelle de Beauchamp's installation image This photo is of Bishop Gonia, Pastor Michelle, and one of the youth giving communion. Upcoming events include a theology on tap in Castle Pines and a church hike. All churches are welcome to participate! For more information and their monthly calendar visit their Facebook page 


Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado logo  

Colorado Faith Advocacy Day 2013 


You are cordially invited to attend the 2013 Faith Advocacy Day which brings together various faith traditions to hear about and discuss social justice issues in the community. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 18. The Keynote Speaker for the event will be Rev. Carroll Pickett, a retired Presbyterian minister who served for 15 years as Chaplain at the prison in Huntsville, Texas.  Rev. Pickett will offer a keynote address capping off a day of discussing issues surrounding criminal justice.   


A brief schedule for the day will include: 

  • Theological Reflection-Bishop James Gonia, ELCA
  • 2013 Legislative Update
  • Panel Discussions:
    • Juvenile Justice Reforms
    • Prison/Sentencing Reforms 
  • Luncheon with Keynote Address by Rev. Pickett  
Registration Deadline is Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

Registration cost:  $30 which includes lunch
($20 low-income/student rate)   

($35 after February 13)


New this year: You may register and PAY on-line with your credit card at

For more information, please contact Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-CO at 303-777-6700 or send an email to Willie.


Urban Servant Corps logo2

Urban Servant Corps Events February 2013



Lenten Book Club

Starting the week
of February 17


Each year, USC volunteers, alumni, and friends gather for a communal Lenten discipline of reading and discussion. The books and dates/times of the gathering are to be determined based on each group. If you are interested in engaging in conversation around a book that connects to one of the USC tenets (intentional community, service, simplicity, and spirituality), please email! It is a great way to reflect in the midst of community during the season of Lent!


Trattoria Stella restaurant logo Trattoria Stella -- Dining Out for a Cause!

3201 E. Colfax (Colfax and Steele)
Sunday, March 17 
5:00 p.m. - close (9:00 p.m. for dinner, 11:00 p.m. for drinks)


A great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day -- Italian food! When you dine at Stella'son Colfax Avenue on March 17 from 5:00 p.m. until close, 10% of your bill is donated to the Urban Servant Corps!


Silent Auction Celebration!
Thursday, May 16
6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Location -- coming soon!

We Did It,  
So Let's Party!


We're having a party at Synod Assembly on Saturday morning, May 4, to celebrate making our $200,000 goal for funds from the Rocky Mountain Synod for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. We want to acknowledge every congregation which has contributed to the project by that time. This PDF file shows the names of all the congregations of whom we are aware which have given to the project so far. If your congregation has contributed directly through church-wide offices and your name does not appear on this list, please send an email message to Pastor Ron Roschke so we can add you to the list. Thanks!


One Year To Live Retreat Event


The next Lutheran Men in Mission One Year to Live Retreat will begin on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. and will run until Sunday, April 7 at 3:00 p.m. The event will be held at the YMCA Camp Santa Maria in Grant, Colorado.


For information, contact Herb Hergott by email or phone (303)588-2856. The brochure with the registration form is available at:  


Border Servant Corps logo

Get Involved with the Border Servant Corps 


Border Immersions:
Border Servant Corps hosts groups interested in first-hand cultural immersions focused on education about border issues. This program is designed for undergraduate missions, alternative spring break programs, seminarians, and church and youth groups. 


Honoring 15 Years of Service to the U.S./México Border: Consider donating $15 per month to BSC. This donation can be made easy through, which provides options for one-time or automatic, monthly giving.

  • Details
    • Visit, select the big, red "Make a Donation" button on the right-hand side, and "Donate Now."
    • BSC is a ministry of Peace Lutheran Church, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization; gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
    • BSC relies heavily on support from individuals and congregations. With your donation, BSC can continue doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly on the U.S. / México border.

Many Thanks: During the month of January, participants in the BSC Servant Stomps in both cities were able to learn about community resources and updated border issues from current volunteers. Thank you for your support of BSC in a variety of ways!


Wartburg Youth Leadership School logo

Wartburg Youth Leadership School (WYLS)


Considering the Ultimate YOU 


Wartburg Youth Leadership School is a six day school in which youth will gather for an ultimate faith journey as they share adventure, service, study, music, and worship. Held on the campus of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque from June 23 - 29, 2013, WYLS participants consider the ULTIMATE YOU: Who claims You? Who Calls You? Who Sends You? Through the setting of an intentional Christian community, the youth are challenged to live out the Gospel and ask themselves, "How am I being called to lead?" Click here for a printable WYLS flyer.


Which 3 Youth Will You Nominate?

Do you have youth in your congregation that may already be leaders, or who have leadership potential? Please nominate them for WYLS. You may nominate up to three youth who have completed 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. Click here for an online nomination form.


WYLS graduates return home sharing their faith, gifts, and passionate commitment to the Gospel with newly found enthusiasm and confidence.


Rocky Mountain Synod logo

Bishop Gonia encourages leaders to meet with a Spiritual Director 

A safe, spiritual companion for conversation, encouragement, and mentoring can be life-giving and renewing. Bishop Gonia encourages all leaders to intentionally tend to their spirituality and prayer.


So that we may assist leaders who are seeking a Spiritual Director, we are asking that names be submitted of those persons who can be recommended as a Spiritual Director to others.


Please send an email to Willie Hobbs with the name of Spiritual Directors you can recommend with their contact information, such as email, phone, and location/address.


Sky Ranch new logo

Sky Ranch Evening of Songs, Stories and Laughter




Benefit Concert


Michael Tomlinson image Make plans to attend a concert to benefit Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp on Friday, February 22, 2013, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The concert will feature Michael Tomlinson, who is known for his intimate performances, appealing tenor voice and melody-rich songs that focus on healing and unity among humankind through understanding and honest communication.


This benefit concert will take place at the First Lutheran Church Friendship Center, located at 3rd Avenue and Terry Street in Longmont, CO (80504).  


Tickets are $15 or $17 at the door and are available via or the First Lutheran Church office (303-776-2704). Please help get the workout out by downloading and posting this announcement in your organization.


For a free song mp3, email and I'll email you a beautiful song - Michael Tomlinson


Sky Ranch 50th Anniversary logo  

Year of Jubilee


2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp, celebrating 50 years of Ministry with Altitude. 


Visit and check out the "50th Anniversary" tab for the latest information.


Gala Celebration:  
Tuxes and Tevas


Register now for the initial event of the 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. 


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

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary logo

Enjoy a Week of Renewal at PLTS


Join us June 24 - 28, 2013 in Berkeley, CA for a week of worship, stimulating conversation, and restorative time in the company of colleagues in ministry and lay people interested in theology. There will be five outstanding classes:

  • Tom Rogers, "Reclaiming the E word"  
  • Jane Strohl, "The Global Luther"
  • Victor Thasiah, "Justice for a New Day: Anarchism and Christianity"
  • Steed Davidson, "Prophets Then & Now"David Balch, "The Economy: Jesus, Luke/James/USA/El Salvador"

You can find more information is available on the website.


ELCA logo lagre size

TWO Februrary 15 Deadlines for Congregations...




Partnership "Intent 
If you haven't submitted your congregation's Partnership "Intent" of how you hope to provide financial support, please do so by February 15.


Annual Parochial Report   

Submit your congregation's Annual Parochial Report by February 15. Link to forms.


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.  
  • Preach Ash Wednesday at Rejoice Lutheran Church, Erie, CO.
  • Region 2 Consultation, Pacifica Synod, Santa Ana, CA.
  • Wyoming Conference Missional Gathering, Grace Lutheran Church, Casper, WY.
  • Preach at Covenant Lutheran Church, Wheatland, WY.  
  • ELCA Assignment Consultation, Chicago, IL. 
Pastor Kent Mueller  
  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO. 
  • Assembly Planning and Office Communication.  

Pastor Ron Roschke 

  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Discernment Retreat planning meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO. 
  • Wyoming Conference Missional Gathering, Grace Lutheran Church, Casper, WY.   
  • Speak at Holy Cross Lutheran Church regarding their Lutheran Medical Ministries, Wheat Ridge, CO.  
  • 2013 Faith Advocacy Day Event, History Colorado, Denver, CO.  

 Pastor Sarah Moening  

  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Discernment Retreat planning meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO. 
  • Front Range Youth Ministry Network meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Meeting with the congregation of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO.   
Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza  
  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Preaching at Cristo Rey, Denver, CO.  
Brad Wood
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry CO 
  • All Staff meeting, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Faith Advocacy Day 2013 Event, History Colorado, Denver, CO.      
  • Visiting with the new Wartburg West Class, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.   
Ruth Hoffman 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry NM  
  • All Staff meeting by Webex, Office of the Bishop, Denver, CO.
  • Medicaid Coalition meeting, Albuquerque, NM.


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Faith Advocacy Day 
History Colorado,
Denver, Colorado


MAY 2-4 

2013 RMS Assembly

Embassy Suites Hotel
Loveland, Colorado



Theological Conference 

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado



Global Links logo

 eNewsletter of the ELCA 


Christmas message from Jerusalem

"God is with us. We must accompany one another, just as God in Christ accompanies us," says Bishop Dr. Munib Younan, president of The Lutheran World Federation in his Christmas message from Jerusalem. Remembering Mary and Joseph's flight to safety, the bishop, a Palestinian refugee himself, says that the Federation currently cares for 1.5 million refugees around the world.

Start the new year with a new relationship with a new missionary
In January, during the season of Epiphany, three new ELCA missionary couples were oriented for service in Jerusalem and Mexico. Celebrate Christ's light for the whole world with a covenant to support one of these new couples. Contact 

for information about them; download

South Africa: 'I want to see new worlds'

When Rachel Hunstad heard a story read to her South African school children about a fish wanting to explore new streams, it captured perfectly her urge to become a mission volunteer in South Africa for a year. "The fish's desire to 'see if there's another way' resonated with me like crazy," she says. Read more. 


Kenya: Walking with the rich and poor
As they have been enjoying the hospitality of the members of their new congregation, ELCA missionaries the Rev. Michael Fonner and Leslie Weed-Fonner have been struck by the income disparity among their new friends. Read more.


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Elim Evangelical Lutheran Church cross


Elim Lutheran Church sets Adult Bible Study


Pastor DanaLee Simon of Elim Lutheran Church in Ogden, announced the subjects for the next seven weeks of adult education, which is scheduled at 9:00 a.m. every Sunday morning.


The first week's class was taught on February 10 by Elim's Karlene Widner which focused on her interest in Biblical archaeology. Widner is a member of the Biblical Archaeology Society, a non-denominational organization that supports and promotes Biblical archaeology.


Participant books will be available. The textbook, Making Sense of the Cross, is by Dr. David Lose. The Rev. Dr. David Lose holds the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.




submit Wyoming news or photos






Let's Tour Germany ... in August 2013


German born Pastor Michael Bastian of Community of Joy Lutheran Church, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, will lead a tour of Germany in the summer of 2013. 


It is a 13-day tour from August 12 through the 24. The details of the tour, places of interest, and prices are set. Some of the cities and places participants will visit are:   

  • Frankfurt 
  • Eisenach (Luther site)
  • Wittenberg (Luther site)
  • Berlin
  • Dresden
  • Nuremberg
  • Munich
  • Neuschwanstein (castle)
  • A short cruise on the Rhine is also included. 

For more information about itinerary, pricing and details of the trip, please contact  Pastor Michael Bastian by email or phone at 505-896-2543. 




submit Colorado news or photos  

Trinity-Loveland emblem

THEOPROBE - Mind/Body/Spirit Experience!  


A cordial welcome is extended to you to join the THEOPROBE (sometimes known as skioprobe!) experience this year at Beaver Lodge in Winter Park, CO for 6 day from Saturday, February 23 through Friday, March 1, 2013. Pastors and their families and congregation members come from all over the country.


Each morning and evening (leaving the day free for skiing!), two professors will lead theological lectures and dialogue focusing on the Lukan cycle. (A certificate of participation is issued to present, if needed, for continuing education.)


During the day, there are many local winter activities, as well as time to meet with the professors or small groups or catch up on rest or reading.


Following a trip to the hot tubs, a great dinner and lecture, we close each evening with worship and fellowship.


The cost is $540 (double occupancy), which includes room, breakfast, dinner and lectures. (Lift tickets are not included, however good discounts are available.)


Contact Frank Carau by email or phone (970-635-2306) or Pastor Ed Smith (Trinity Lutheran Church in Loveland, CO) by email or phone (970-481-6868) for more details or to register.

Music at Saint Paul Denver logo
Upcoming Music Events at Saint Paul

Our Heart's Desire 

The Columbine Chorale will perform choral music pondering love, laughter and song, conducted by music director Brian Eichenberger on Sunday, February 17, 2013 starting at 4:00 p.m. Please visit for tickets.


The Lamentations of Jeremiah 

This Denver Early Music Consort production features the settings of The Lamentations of Jeremiah and other Lenten choral works by Thomas Tallis and Robert White. This producton is set to take place on Sunday, February 24 at 4:00 p.m. Ticket information can be found at .


Organ Recital featuring Joel Bejot
This performance by Mr. Bejot will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2013 and will include organ music of Bach, Franck and others. A Freewill Offering will be accepted. See area parking map and all the scheduled events through July 1, 2013.  


Rocky Mtn Synodical Women's logo

Metro East Women's Cluster Spring Gathering


"We remember." Hebrews 13:3


New Beginnings Church logo The spring gathering of the Metro East Women's Cluster of the Rocky Mountain Synod will be on Saturday, March 16, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at All Saints Lutheran Church, located at 15625 East Iliff Avenue in Aurora (80013). We hope you can join us for brunch and a morning focused on New Beginnings Church and our part in ministry to our sisters in Christ in the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. Pastor Emily Cardin from New Beginnings will share this ministry with us.


Please register with your church group before March 9th and have one person from your church e-mail registrations to You may also call the church at 303-752-4083 for more information. The registration fee is $5.00 per person - payable at the door. If able, please bring new or used all occasion or holiday greeting cards as part of your offering. There will be a free will offering to assist New Beginnings ministry. All women are invited! Childcare will be provided. We look forward to having you join us for a morning of inspiration, special music and fellowship!



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.