Rocky Mountain Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ameria





A pastoral message
from Bishop Gonia

It is with shock and sadness that I must report to you the arrest of retired pastor, Rev. Richard Schwenkmeyer, on charges of having child pornography on his home computer.  

Pastor Schwenkmeyer has been released on bond and has a court appearance on March 28. He moved to Colorado with his wife, Ann, in 2004 following his retirement from ministry in Pennsylvania in 2002. He served as interim pastor at Holy Love in Aurora in 2006 and is currently serving under contract on a shared part-time basis at Spirit of the Mountains in Coal Creek Canyon with Pastor Paul Hofer. His service at Spirit of the Mountains will be discontinued as we await the outcome of the legal process.   


I invite your prayers for Pastor Schwenkmeyer and his family as well as for the community of Spirit of the Mountains during this difficult time.


Below is a statement prepared for the media.  Should you have questions or concerns about this situation please contact me.  


Yours in Faith, 

Bishop Jim  


Media Statement from the Rocky Mountain Synod Office of the Bishop regarding Rev. Richard Schwenkmeyer  


It is with shock and sadness that we have learned of the arrest of retired pastor, Rev. Richard Schwenkmeyer, on charges of having child pornography on his home computer.  

Rev. Schwenkmeyer is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who moved to Colorado in 2004 following his retirement from ministry in Pennsylvania in 2002.  We have no information about this situation other than that which has been reported in the media.  

To our knowledge these charges have no connection to any congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod where Rev. Schwenkmeyer has provided pastoral services during his retirement. We are prepared to cooperate with law enforcement as needed in their investigation.

We offer our prayers for Rev. Schwenkmeyer and his family as we await the outcome of any criminal proceedings.



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Please Take the Health Assessment
by February 28


Rostered leaders (not retired) can win the chance at 3 Fitbit health tracker/pedometers that sync with your smart phone if you take the assessment and submit your name. All links are here. Take the assessment by February 28 for this drawing. Deadlines has been extended one week!

Journey of Renewal


Spiritual renewal opportunity  
offered for RMS rostered leaders

read informational flyer


What is Journey of Renewal?

Recognizing the significant amount of energy it takes to serve a life of ministry, Portico offers the  Journey of Renewal. This intensive, year-long wellness experience is designed to help the ELCA's rostered leaders and church workers grow their ability to live well in Christ. Healthy leaders enhance lives: their own, their family members', and people in their faith and greater communities. Journey of Renewal leads participants to reflect, explore, and take action toward renewing their well-being and their ministry. 
Read the flyer for detailed information.  A portion of the cost of the year-long opportunity will be underwritten through grants and RMS Wellness Funds. The cost of the opening and closing retreat and year-long monthly coaching is expected to be $1500. For the first 24 participants, we are able to provide up to $1000 in grant funds if needed for participation. Each participant will pay $500 to $1000. That may be submitted half in 2014 and half in 2015.
The opening and closing retreat will correspond with the fall Theological Conference in 2014 and 2015, beginning one day early.
Watch for registration materials. To place your name on the "priority list" for this opportunity, please email Erin Power at epower@iliff.edu.


New Office of the Bishop location


Move to new office location
is set for Friday, March 28


If everything stays on schedule, we are scheduled to move to our new office of the bishop location on Thursday, March 27. Please note that we expect to be "out of service" much of that week during the time of transition.



 Leaders' Checklist



"Things to Do" ASAP checklist....


___Submit Congregational Intents for 2014!

Visit this link to complete the online form


___Submit Rostered Leader Report!

After you click on the following link, click on the "SYNODS" tab to download the report in Formatta Filler format. Link to forms page. The completed form may be emailed to Janice.


___ Submit Congregation Report A or C!  

You will need your congregational number and password to complete the form online.  If you need assistance, contact Cheryl




Mission Interpreters



Mission Interpreters tell stories of ministry and faith throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod



Who in your congregation is telling your stories?  Who is talking about the mission and ministry of your congregation, the Rocky Mountain Synod, and the ELCA? How many of your members know about the incredible work that is done through their mission support? As the Mission Interpreter Coordinator in the RMS, Erin Power is excited to accompany you and your congregations as you grow in mission!  Invite Erin to: 

  • Listen to your stories and how God is at work in your congregation
  • Preach (think FREE pulpit supply!)
  • Lead an adult forum or Bible Study
  • Visit  your mission or vision teams
  • Host a "Becoming Mission-Minded/Learning to tell our Stories" workshop 

Currently, Erin is accompanying a congregation in their mission-based goal setting. How can she support you and your congregation?  She would love to hear from you!  Email Erin:  epower@iliff.edu



The Rev. Kent Mueller
Synod Minister for Connected Community
Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA

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