Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
Reflections from the 2013 Churchwide Assembly

From August 12-17 in Pittsburg, PA, fifteen voting members
from the Rocky Mountain Synod joined together with fellow ELCA members for the 2013 Churchwide Assembly:  


 "It was a joy to be a part of the Rocky Mountain Synod delegation. We were fifteen strong and dedicated to the idea that we were God's hands at work".

 Read more reflections from our voting members in Bishop Gonia's most recent  Blog Entry.

A summary of actions from the assembly and full reports can be found the ELCA website.

Faith Formation Network Meeting
September 12, 10am- noon
how we do this church thing in more real ways!
Join Bishop Gonia for a conversation about Shifting Ecclesiology. 
Anyone interested in faith formation is welcome to attend.  The group is a support network for those working or volunteering in faith formation, Christian education or youth ministry. For more information about this particular meeting or the Network in general, please contact Sarah Moening in the Office of the Bishop.

We welcome Rachel Price as our intern from the Wartburg West Campus!

Rachel is a sophomore at Wartburg College majoring in Religion and Justice and Peace Studies and is participating in the Urban Semester program at the Wartburg West campus in Denver. She will be interning at the Office of the Bishop through November 21st.  Her work will be offering support to Brad Wood and Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, as well as Pastor Stephanie Quick-Espinoza with her work with new-start and developing congregations. We look forward to Rachel joining us in ministry as she seeks to learn more about the bodies of people and different congregations that make up the Church as a whole.  Welcome Rachel!



Mark your calendar for this year's Conference Gatherings



Gifted to Grow

God is on a mission of grace, compassion, forgiveness, and justice in the world. As the body of Christ, the church has been invited and gifted by our Creator and empowered by the Holy Spirit to join that work. During this year's Conference Gatherings:  Gifted to Grow, we will discover together how we can join in that work by ministry from a gift based approach through asset mapping.


Please bring 6-8 people from your congregation to the missional gathering for your conference. We strongly encourage a diverse group of participants to represent each church, especially middle and high school youth. Your presence is important as we gather to be church together.


Join Bishop Gonia and our new Vice President, Earline Bohling, for conversation and connection around the theme, "Gifted to Grow." Online registration is now available for the September events. Please register 5 days prior to each event so arrangements may be made for meals or snacks.


Download the bulletin insert for North New Mexico Gathering  


Below is the list of dates. Mark your calendar!


Sept 14
10:30 am
North New MexicoSt. Luke,
ThursdaySept 19
6:30 pm

Metro SouthPrince of Peace, Denver
SaturdaySept 28Wyoming
SaturdayOct 19Metro West (west)Good Shepherd, Glenwood
SaturdayOct 26
11 am
Southeast ColoradoFirst, Colorado Springs
SaturdayNov 2Metro West (metro)Holy Cross, Wheat Ridge
SundayNov 3Metro East
SaturdayNov 9Border
SaturdayNov 16Utah
SaturdayJan 11Boulder-Broomfield
SaturdayFeb 1North Colorado



Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
September 8, 2013
Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Synod Prayer Cycle:
Metro South Conference

You are encouraged to include the listed leaders in your Sunday
prayers of the people. Many congregations print the listing in the Sunday bulletin and/or monthly newsletter.
Remember in prayer this coming Sunday: 


Centennial, Englewood, CO
Christian Nisonger
 Christ, Highlands Ranch, CO
Tom Shelly, DJ Dent
Christ the King Denver, CO
Korey Finstad
Evergreen Evergreen, CO
Vera Guebert-Steward 


Travis Johnson-Esparza to be ordained September 14th at St. Luke, Albuquerque, NM


  Travis Johnson-Esparza has received a call to be the pastor of St Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquergue, NM.  The ordination, followed by the installation, will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 14th at St Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM. The color of the day is red, and pastors are invited to vest, arriving at 1:30 p.m.  Refreshments following. All are invited!



Leadership Retreat
& Theological Conference
September 23-26, 2013
YMCA of the Rockies,
Estes Park, CO


Some Thrivent funds just came available to support those who cannot otherwise attend.  We are able to provide $200 towards the fee. Also, note that travel equalization funds are also available to support travel costs.  If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please email Erin Power.


Gifted to Grow will be the overarching theme of the 2013-2014 year. We will gather in the prime season of golden aspen, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, as a time for spiritual renewal, connected community, prayerful worship, and engaging dialogue. We will consider what it means to be a spiritually-vibrant leader within the context of a changing and challenging ecclesiology.


Retreat leaders and guests are:


The Rev. Louise Johnson, Vice President for Mission Advancement, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, PA.


The Rev. Craig Mueller,
pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 
Chicago, IL.




Carrie Newcomer, singer/songwriter, 

Bloomington, IN.




Tammy Devine, 
Diaconal Minister and

 ELCA Wellness Manager



The event begins on Monday, September 23 with an optional pre-gathering opportunity with Tammy Devine at 1 p.m. and the start time overall at 4 p.m. The event concludes before lunch on Thursday, September 26.



What are your Strengths?

1 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 23

We have uniquely been blessed with gifts, some we may wish we didn't have, others we covet as did the people of Corinth as recorded in 1 Corinthians 12-13, others believe their gift is the coolest. Paul writes: "Fools, Every godly gift is necessary, and nobody has all the gifts! Everybody gets some gift from God; nobody gets them all." We all have been blessed with gifts to share. Through the use of story, we will listen, share, and identify your most dependable strengths (gifts). Living from our strengths we are most fulfilled and together we complete the Body of Christ.


Who should attend? Rostered leaders most certainly, but also other leaders in the church: leaders of faith formation, youth directors, seminarians.   


Registration Questions? Send an email to Erin Power, our diaconal ministry intern.



All are welcome! All are welcome!


more information


Portico Benefits Manager logo

Learn about how ELCA Primary Health Benefits 
are Changing 


Important changes are taking place in Portico health care benefits, the health care program of the ELCA. View why ELCA-primary health benefits are changing in this helpful four-minute video:


Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow
Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow




The "Gold-Plus" option is the closest to the benefit plan currently offered and is encouraged in the new plan options.
Key Dates:
  • Now - September 15: Discuss new health benefit options
  • September 16 - October 14:Organizations select one health benefit option
  • November 1 - 22: Members enroll in, or waive, health and additional benefits.
Each member received a mailing to begin learning about the new options. Learn more on the Portico website.
At the upcoming Theological Conference an extended time period (90 minutes) has been set aside to learn about the new benefit options and to ask questions.








A training event
for all who care about hunger

Please publicize in your church newsletters!

Saturday, October 5 
9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church
920 Kipling Street
Lakewood, Colorado 

online link to page with poster, article, bulletin insert: information

Register Online (preferred)or complete the paper Registration Form






Year of Jubilee




2013 marks the 50th Anniversary
of Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp!
Celebrate 50 years of Ministry with Altitude.                   





Remember, Experience, Imagine yourself up at Sky Ranch for the 50th Anniversary All-Camp Reunion - Sept 13-15! Everyone is welcome.


Weekend activities will include hiking, arts & crafts, high & low ropes, several worship opportunities, campfire sing-a-long with s'mores, and guest musician and storyteller Jonathan Rundman.


Register by calling the office at 970-493-5258.  Adult weekend rates, including lodging/meals/programming, are: $115 in the lodge; $105 in a cabin; $90 in the campground. Call for child rates.  Cost for the bus is $45 per adult and $35 per child under 12 with a $150 family maximum. Deadline for bus reservations: : 9/9/13..


A one-day Bus Excursion sponsored by the Thrivent Community- Sky Ranch Network will be Saturday, September 14th. Luxury coach transportation to Sky Ranch is available with several stops along the Front Range. Enjoy lunch and a variety of camp activities including a concert by Jonathan Rundman ( Fun on the bus includes Sky Ranch Trivia with fabulous prizes.     


Drive up on your own for lunch and the concert on Saturday for $35/adult and $25/child.


Visit the Sky Ranch website. 




Updates to the ELCA Model Constitution for Congregations approved at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly should be available around the middle or end of September.  Please watch for links in further correspondence this fall from the Synod Secretary as your congregation prepares for the annual meetings this coming winter and spring.  Any questions can be directed to the Synod Secretary, Pastor Scott McAnally:
Join Pastor Nadia on September 10th at 7:30 pm at the Tattered Cover in downtown Denver for the launching of her book, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of  a Sinner & Saint, described as a "messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith".

The annual Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM advocacy conference will be on Saturday, October 19 in Albuquerque from 9 am to 1 pm at All Saints Lutheran Church. Watch for more details and plan now to attend.  




Mediation Skills Training Institute

October 7-11
University Park Methodist Church, Denver, CO



TheMediation Skills Training Institute  offers mediation and conflict transformation training for both pastors and lay leaders.The institute includes lectures, discussion, and guided practice in role-plays. Active and practical in focus, the sessions emphasize hands-on skills training and real-life role-plays based on the kinds of conflicts faced by participants.  Register by September 13th and save $100!   
The Office of the Bishop has (3) $300 scholarships available for this event.  Contact Bishop Gonia to apply.


The Centered Life: Education, Counseling & Spiritual Care
The Behavioral Covenant Workshop for pastors and lay leaders is at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Denver on Saturday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $70 per congregation with lunch available for $10 each.

During anxious times human beings tend to forget how to speak the truth in love.  Everyone in the congregation needs increased understanding about appropriate communication. This workshop will be a fun and important opportunity to learn together how to  interact in faith communities in appropriate and life-giving ways. Leader is the Rev. Pam Roberts of Centered Life. Register by calling 719-471-2500.  Download the flyer.

Church Development Institute 
tracks begin October 2013


Along with the Episcopal Church, USA, the Rocky Mountain Synod is offering the Church Development Institute (CDI), a leadership training program focused on the ministry of developing the spiritual community and organizational life of congregations. We equip leaders to serve in the congregation, in the synod and as consultants.  CDI is a highly integrated training experience that engages participants in the issues and dynamics faced as leaders and consultants. More information including registration. 


Senior High Youth Gathering is November 22-24!


Registration is now open for the Senior High Youth Gathering:  The Wonder of it all.  Visit the website for details and downloads.  Registration deadline is November 1. 

Middle School Youth Gathering is January 17-19!

More information coming soon!




Two College Fairs in September



The Lutheran College Fairs are free to the public, and there is no need to pre-register. All are welcome. Come and learn about the amazing opportunities for Lutheran higher education!




Denver, Colorado -
Sunday, September 8

Bethany Lutheran Church

Financial Aid Seminar: 6:15 p.m.

College Fair: 6:45 p.m.  


Loveland, Colorado (Ft. Collins Area) -
Monday, September 9

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Financial Aid Seminar: 7:00 p.m.

College Fair: 7:30 p.m.  







September 8, 2013, is ELCA-wide "God's work. Our hands." Sunday!


September 8, 2013, is "God's work. Our hands." Sunday, an opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary as the ELCA! Since we are a church that "rolls up our sleeves and gets to work," join together for a dedicated day of service as 4 million ELCA members and nearly 10,000 congregations. You can order personalized T-shirts to wear that Sunday, as well as bulletin inserts, flyers, and other resources to promote the day. 




Bishop Jim Gonia 

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • Spirit of the Mountain, Coal Creek Canyon
  • Staff Retreat

Pastor Ron Roschke

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • St. Paul, Denver, CO
  • Staff Retreat

 Pastor Sarah Moening   

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • Peace, Sterling, CO
  • Staff Retreat

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Vacation
  • Lutheran College Fair, Bethany, Denver, CO
  • Staff Retreat
Pastor Kent Mueller  
  • Kent is on vacation August 23 to September 9. Send eConnection submissions to Erin Power.
  • Staff Retreat
Brad Wood
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry CO
  • EOPR Taskforce
  •  Lord of the Hills, Centennial, CO
  • Staff Retreat
Ruth Hoffman 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry - NM 
  • Mortgage Finance Authority Oversight Committee
  • "A Place at the Table"
  • Staff Retreat



 Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter 


Global Links logo



Celebrate Global Church Sunday This fall, congregations are invited to pick a day to celebrate our connections and common mission in Christ's global church in conjunction with World Day of Prayer for Peace, September 21, World Communion Sunday, October 6, or Lutheran World Federation Sunday, October 27. For more information, see 





website calendar




Leadership Retreat / 

Theological Conference 

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado



Senior High Youth Gathering

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado


Middle School Youth Gathering

Elegante Hotel & Conference Center
(new name for the Crowne Plaza!)
Colorado Springs, Colorado

MAY 8-10

2014 Synod Assembly

Marriott Tech Center
Denver, Colorado


submit Utah news or photos



submit Wyoming news or photos 





Border Servant Corps

2013-2014 Commissioning
Sunday, September 8th at 9 am 
Peace Lutheran Church, El Paso, TX

Community Nights
 Border Servant Corps volunteers will open their homes to community members for a potluck at 6:30pm on the third Monday of every month. Come, bring a dish to share, and be a part of the community.  The date this month is Monday, September 16th.


 Casa de Paz: 1003 Upson Dr., El Paso, TX 79902
 Janaan's House: 1101 Branson Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001
 Casa Palomas: 1289 S. Espina, Las Cruces, NM 88001



Thrivent Choice Dollars 
The Thrivent Choice® program allows members to recommend where some of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans' charitable outreach funds are allocated by directing Choice Dollars.  BSC is able to accept these donations through Peace Lutheran Church (Las Cruces, NM). In order for these amounts to be designated to BSC, donors must send the amount to BSC every time a donation is made. Due to financial privacy laws, if the amount is not received from the donor, Peace is unable to designate the funds to BSC. For more information about how to donate, please contact






21 Voices, 21 Big Ideas, 21 Minutes Each
January 9-11, 2014

Denver, Colorado


Launched in 2009, Christianity21 quickly became known for brilliant, provocative content regarding the Christian faith in the 21st century. Now C21 is making its triumphant return with a range of diverse and prophetic voices, including Jonathan Merritt, Enuma Okora, Paul Raushenbush, Phyllis Tickle, Romal Tune, and more -- see the full list and register at   


Beyond Divorce:  Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends
St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Highlands Ranch, CO
 Beginning Thursday September 12th, this 10 week seminar will be each Thursday through November 21st, from 6:30-8:30 pm.  Complementary child care is available.  For more information please contact Beth Walker at 720.352.9915 or .



Workshop:  Rebirthing of God

October 25-27

Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver, CO


Spend the weekend with internationally acclaimed expert on Celtic spirituality, John Philip Newell. Drawing on the ancient insights of Celtic Spirituality, explore a spirituality that is intimately linked to the natural world, open to the treasure of other religious traditions, and grounded in the daily practice of prayer and meditation.  Advance registration ends September 30th. Click her for more information or to register.



12th Annual Second Wind Fund Walk/Run
Sunday, September 22
Jefferson County Fairgrounds


Approximately half of Colorado's youth struggle with thoughts of suicide by the time they're 20 years old. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for this age group in Colorado. To date, Second Wind Fund has referred over 3,200 youth at-risk of suicide to professional mental health therapists. Support our mission by becoming a corporate sponsor through donations or sending teams of members to walk, run, enjoy the food and music. 


If you would like further information on how to partner with Second Wind Fund please contact Mary Wylie, Faith Committee Chair at or Dawn Anderson, Events Director at 

Click here for more information or to register for the event!




Celebrating 15 Years: Ministry Behind Bars

taking place at Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Wheat Ridge, CO


Join us for a dinner and silent auction celebrating 15 years of ministry behind bars at New Beginnings Church on September 28, at 5:30 p.m., at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. There will be a freewill offering for the cost of the buffet dinner, and music by Apostles Creed. Thrivent has committed to match the funds raised in the auction.


Please RSVP to Kathy Melies at 303-831-7023 or by email at


Holy Cross is located at 4500 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033




Synod Minister for Connected Community
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 about two weeks. Please submit your announcement at the time it should appear.