a message from Bishop Gonia
"God's mercy is for all"

     Since the tragedy at Arapahoe High School this past Friday, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have joined with people of faith in prayer.

     We are praying for Claire Davis and her family as she struggles for life. We are praying for the students and staff at Arapahoe High School as they deal with the emotional trauma of this shooting. We are praying in gratitude for first responders and law enforcement officials who responded so effectively.  And we are praying for the family of Karl Pierson, as they face the implications of this tragedy for themselves and the wider community.

       In the midst of things we cannot understand, amid times that leave us angry and heartbroken, we cling to the promise revealed to us in Jesus Christ that there is no human situation that is outside of God's loving, redeeming and healing presence. 

       For us that promise is birthed in a manger, where the Christ child entered a world that was as mired in violence and heartache as our own today. That promise is demonstrated in the life and ministry of Jesus who reached out to heal the sick and suffering, who walked with the vulnerable and rejected. That promise is revealed to us most profoundly in the cross of Christ, where we believe God fully experienced the depth of human suffering. 

       Yet the story does not end there. The empty tomb and the risen Jesus are our assurance that the God who suffers with us always brings forth new life.

       Trusting in this promise, we are committed to accompanying all people impacted by this tragedy. Our local congregations will continue to gather with youth and their families to pray and to process these difficult events. 

       We will continue to partner with other faith communities and social service agencies in offering resources for healing. We will make continued offers of pastoral support to the Pierson family, since Karl was baptized and confirmed in an ELCA congregation. 

       Above all, we will continue to pray that all who have been touched by these events may experience for themselves the profound presence of a God whose love knows no bounds and whose mercy is for all.


Yours in Faith,

Bishop Jim Gonia


Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Canon City, CO, presented their 15th annual Christmas Living Nativity on December 14. In keeping with tradition, the church collected donations to benefit Mercy Today Ministries, which provides free meals at noon Tuesdays throughout the year.  An audio narration accompanied the live nativity scene.


Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 22, 2013


Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that hinders our faith, that eagerly we may receive your promises, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



Synod Prayer Cycle: 
Utah 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: 



Prince of Peace  Logan, UT

     Scott Thalacker

Shepherd of the Mountains  Park City, UT

     Steve Leiser


Prayers for Madagascar 

National runoff elections for President will take place in Madagascar on Friday, December 20. The political situation in Madagascar remains rather tense with some continuing unrest in the south of the country, outside the territories of our Companion Synods. We invite the prayers of the church for our sisters and brothers and all companions in Madagascar.


Lift up our sisters and brothers in Madagascar as they elect a new president this week. Let joy and gladness support them; let sorrow and sighing flee away.  

Hear us, O God,

Your mercy is great.




A gift idea for someone who doesn't "need" anything:
A Contribution to the new Office of the Bishop at the RMS Lutheran Center!

It would be our gracious privilege to receive contributions towards the new Lutheran Center furnishings, art, and landscaping, and you can present the honored recipient with a gift card.

So that we may, together, "Shine God's Future" at the new site of the Rocky Mountain Synod Office of the Bishop, monetary gifts are invited from congregations, conferences, and individuals for furnishings, art, liturgical items, landscaping, plants, media, and more. So that we may plan carefully, we ask that gifts (or pledges) be received by 

February 1.


Our goal is an average of $365 ($1 a day) from each of our 165 congregations. Larger congregations have the capacity to reach that goal more easily and may choose to give more since some congregations will give less. 


Courtyard bricks will express our gratitude to each congregation for the gifts received. Read more and download the bulletin insert. Give a contribution as a Christmas gift and print a card to give to announce the donation. Learn more and give an online gift on the RMS website or click below:



A Paypal account is not needed.

On payment page, click on "continue" for a credit card gift. 




NM Bishop's Luncheon & Issues Briefing - January 28

The annual Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM Bishop's Legislative Luncheon will be Tuesday, January 28. Make plans to attend and be sure to make your reservation (or a reservation for a group from your congregation or

organization) to attend this annual gathering which will begin at 12:30 pm at La Fonda in Santa Fe.

They will be celebrating their 30th anniversary! Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop Jim Gonia will speak at the luncheon and will also share a message with us during the Issues Briefing in the morning prior to the luncheon. The day will begin at 9:00 am at Christ Lutheran Church (1701 Arroyo Chamiso) with registration, fellowship and an opportunity to learn more about the issues for which Lutheran Advocacy Ministry will be advocating throughout 2014.

The cost of the luncheon is $30 person ($25 per person when 4 or more people from a congregation or organization make reservations together). If you are only attending the morning issues briefing, the cost is $5.  

Please contact Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM (505-984-8005

or to make reservations. The deadline for reservations is January 24.



Middle School Youth Gathering - 
January 17-19!      
Middle School Youth Gathering: Sow What? Visit the website for details and downloads. 
Free piano
St John's in Thornton, CO, has a studio upright piano to donate it to any church who might need it.  It is older and has seen a lot of use but it sounds great and still stays in tune.  Its brand is Aerosonic. Call Pastor Penni at 303-718-6401 if you're interested.
RMS contributions  to Malaria Campaign exceed $275,000!
With an original goal of $200,000, we have now exceed $275,000 towards the ELCA Malaria Campaign.  Just nine of 65 synods of met or exceeded their goal.  Our gratitude goes especially to the Lutheran Youth Organization of the Rocky Mountain Synod who rallied behind this project and made it happen!  Thank you! 
33rd Annual Rural Ministry Conference 
March 2 - 4, 2014

The Center for Theology & Land at Wartburg Theological Seminary hosts the annual Rural Ministry Conferences that have been held in Dubuque since 1982. Each year's conference addresses issues and themes pertinent to the well-being of rural communities and the ministry of rural churches. This
year's theme is Revitalizing Rural & Small Town Ministries. Information.
Advent calendar by Young Adults in Global Mission


You are invited to visit the Jerusalem/West Bank YAGM program's Advent calendarEach day will have a post from one of four Young Adults in Global Mission based on what they are seeing in their time of service leading up to Christmas.  

Office of the Bishop Eucharist is Second Wednesday


We invite you to join us the second Wednesday of each month for a staff/community Eucharist Service at 11:30am at the Office of the Bishop. We are inviting area rostered leaders to lead these worship opportunities.   January 8 will be the next Eucharist Service.

Conference Mission Gatherings


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 events listed below.  Please register at least 5 days prior to each event so arrangements may be made for meals or snacks. 


SAT JAN 11 Boulder Broomfield from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield  


SAT FEB 1 North Colorado from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Trinity in Fort Collins
Continental Breakfast / suggested donation of $5

Join the Nicaragua Mission Trip this summer!

Interested in joining a traveling group going to Nicaragua June 10-20, 2014? The Nicaragua Project Mission Trip is under the auspices of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Greeley and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Longmont. Originally from Nicaragua, Pastor Abe Gonzales from Immanuel is the
leader. The group will bring  hope to the people of Somoto, Nicaragua by building houses, sponsoring the Ninos Y Ninas
Children's Center, running medical clinics, provide water filters, sponsor a Mother's House, sponsor scholarships to youth trying to go to school and college, and also sponsor Microloans.

An information meeting is January 24 at 6pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Longmont, beginning with a potluck dinner. Visit for more information and be sure to look for the Colorado trip. They are in special need of dentists this year! But all are welcome ­ nurses, construction workers, VBS leaders, and many other jobs to be done. Fundraisers are also needed!

If you are interested, please visit the website and look at the handbook for detailed information. Or call Susan Kent at 303-736-2501.


Designate your "Thrivent Choice Dollars" for RMS!    


If you are a member of Thrivent Financial, do you know about the Choice Dollars program?  As a Thrivent member, you can choose where your Choice Dollars are directed.  The Rocky Mountain Synod is an eligible recipient of your Choice Dollars!


If you are eligible to participate in Choice Dollars, or are uncertain about your eligibility, visit Or Contact your local Thrivent Financial representative.


Choice Dollars designated to eligible benefit members in 2013 must be directed by March 31, 2014.


Thrivent Action Teams


Thrivent also has in place a new program whereby a Thrivent member can apply for Action Dollars as seed money for a fundraiser or educational event.  Each grant is for $250. More information. Limit of two grants per year per Thrivent member.





Trinity Lutheran Church
301 E. Stuart, Fort Collins, CO  80525
Tel. 970-482-1226

Mission: The primary mission of the Director of Communications and Publications is to support the ministry and mission of Trinity Lutheran Church (a welcoming faith community living together in God's love to share the joy of Jesus Christ) through the ministry of (I) publications and (II) communications. The Director is responsible for the creation, editing, printing and distribution of timely, accurate, and high-quality publications and is responsible for coordinating, with other staff and volunteers, Trinityšs internal and external communication   

The Director of Communications and Publications position is a part-time position of 15-20 hours per week. Compensation will be determined based on applicant's experience, and will be discussed in the interview. Interested candidates, please e-mail with a cover letter and resume. View the full job description here.  



Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

6322 South Lakeview Street

Littleton, Colorado 80120


Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is seeking to fill this full time Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator position starting in early 2014.  The person filling this position must love and enjoy youth and be devoted to helping them grow in love with God and the church.  Previous experience working with youth is desirable.  Some benefits will be included.  Resumes are being accepted now until the position is filled.


For more information or to submit a resume, contact Pastor Dave Palma-Ruwe (303 798-1356) or Bob Zermuehlen (303 781-4107).  Fax number: 303 798-1366.

Congregation web site:    



Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-Colorado 
Rocky Mountain Synod
Applications due by January 15,2014


View the entire job description and qualifications






Bishop Jim Gonia 

  • Meeting with LCMS District President, Allen Anderson
  • Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Lakewood, CO

Pastor Ron Roschke

  • Grace/LCM-CU Boulder Strategy Meeting
  • Metro South Conference

 Pastor Sarah Moening   

  • In-office appointments
  • Vacation

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Generosity Project
  • Mission Interpretation Ministry
  • Mission Imagination Table
  • Camino De Vida
  • Vacation
Pastor Kent Mueller  
  • RMS Centro Luterano Meetings 
  • Growing Home Ministry
Ruth Hoffman 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry - NM 
  • Legislative Committee Meeting
  • Vacation
Kim Williams
  • Deepened Discipleship Projects 


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Global Links logo


Bring Joy to the World

As Christ is born and revealed to the nations, today over 240 ELCA missionaries are heeding God's call to share the good news of Jesus Christ in more than 40 countries. 

Read how the Rev. Justin and Kari Ellers are making a difference throughout South America - and how you can help -





website calendar




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


2014 God's Work Our Hands Sunday



2014 Theological Conference

Marriott Hotel
Colorado Springs, Colorado


2014 Senior High Youth Gathering

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado 


2015 Middle School Youth Gathering

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



MAY 1-3

2015 Synod Assembly

Sheraton Hotel
Salt Lake City, Utah


2015 Theological Conference

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado


2014 Senior High Youth Gathering

submit Utah news or photos


Refugee Holiday Giveaway at LSS of Utah served over 1,600
Front page photo of the Salt Lake City Tribune on December 10: Volunteer Manase Yokwe, a Sudanese immigrant, hands out pomegranates Tuesday during the 11th annual Refugee Holiday Winter Giveaway at the Lutheran Social Service of Utah in Salt Lake City. Over 40 volunteers worked to serve more than 1,600 people, giving out donated food, clothing and toys. Tribune photo by Chris Detrick.

submit Wyoming news or photos 





Deutscher Weihnachtsgottesdienst

Sunday, December 22, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Community of Joy Lutheran Church, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

A German language Christmas Service will be held at Community of Joy Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico on Sunday, December 22, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.


The Rev. Michael Bastian, German born Pastor at Community of Joy, will deliver the sermon and lead through the service in the German language. Traditional Christmas hymns and music will be provided.


We welcome all visitors to our church for this special event and fellowship after the service.  Invite your parents, bring your children.  Spread the word to any of your friends who have connections to Germany and the German language and join us for this wonderful Christmas celebration.


Cristo Rey, El Paso, invites contributions
towards holiday outreach ministries


Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey and CEPCO (Central El Paso Community Organization) are putting together 90 Christmas food baskets for the families in thier After School Program. They are are also planning their annual "Posadas" where 200 to 300 people come to reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph and later celebrate with Mariachis, the traditional Mexican Christmas meal. Cristo Rey, El Paso, invites your contributions towards their holiday ministries.


See the list of needed items here.


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


Thank You for any assistance you can provide! If you have any questions please contact Rev. Rose Mary Sánchez-Guzmán at 915.422-6545 (Pastor), Pat Marruffo at 915.203-8258 (Secretary) or Ceci Herrera (Director for Central El Paso Community Organization) at 915.544-6545.   


Colorado Interfaith Power and Light invites survey responses

Colorado Interfaith Power and Light (CoIPL) is an interfaith group of people concerned about what the future has in store for our children due to the potential challenges posed by climate change. CoIPL provides support to individuals and congregations in their goal to be faithful stewards of God's creation. We encourage stewardship through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and making the commitment to sustainability. 

They are looking for ideas about how we can better serve congregations on issues of energy conservation and climate change. Please fill out the survey at the link below.
It should take less than 5 minutes to do.

Teens of the rockies Encounter Christ: TrEC # 20



TrEC is an awesome, music-filled, surprise-packed, and a whole-lot-of-fun retreat weekend for high school teens between the ages 14-19. TrEC # 20 is Presidents' Weekend, Feb 15 - Feb 17, 2014, at Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, Littleton CO.  The cost of the weekend is $55, and sponsorships are available. Visit the TrEC website for applications, or send an e-mail .  Come join other teens from across the state for the TrEC of your lifetime!  

Synod Minister for Connected Community
Rocky Mountain Synod
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

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