Bishop Gonia is on vacation Sept. 5-16

Since he will not be responding to emails and does not wish to return home to 1000 emails, we ask that you kindly do not send emails to him while he is away. If you have immediate concerns, please email Kent Mueller or Janice Ladd-Horkey directly while he is away.




Remembering the Floods 

With the anniversary of the devastating flood that took place in September 2013, we want to unite as one and show our support for those who were directly and indirectly impacted by the flooding. On September 13, people from all over Colorado will be participating in Colorado United Day.  It is a day to not only remember the events of one year ago but to also lend a hand to those who are still recovering.  Sign up to volunteer that day. This is an excellent way for your congregation to share in "God's Work, Our Hands!


Atonement, Boulder, and Rejoice, Erie, were the two congregations (in the photos) that sustained the most damage. 


Volunteer at United way

Volunteer sites


Gracious and loving God, in the beginning you created order out of chaos and calmed the restless waters. We thank you for your protection and care for those who were affected by last year's floods. We praise you for relief workers, case managers, and all who have contributed to disaster recovery. We ask for you to continue to heal the hurts of all who have suffered loss. Deepen our capacity to mirror your care and to be channels for your love and support to those around us who need to know your love. We ask at this in the name of the one who reflects your glory and who stilled the waters, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


RMS Women's Organization Biennial Convention is October 10-12


The Rocky Mountain Synodical Women's Board is asking all RMS leaders to encourage the Women of the ELCA in your congregations  to make plans to attend their 11th Biennial Convention. The event will take place at The DoubleTree Hotel, 3203 Quebec St., Denver, CO, on Friday, October 10, through Sunday morning, October 12. The registration deadline has been extended to September 20, but registrants must make their hotel reservations directly with the DoubleTree Hotel by September 9 to receive the convention rate. Registration forms and instructions, the Nomination form for board positions and the Stephanie Bowes Scholarship Application form may be obtained from the July issue of the newsletter "Views from the Rockies."  Go to the RMS website to print the forms.


The Convention offers the Women of the ELCA worship opportunities, with Bishop Gonia leading closing worship, Pastor Geri Cunningham as Convention Chaplain, several workshops, Rev. Sarah Moening as Keynote Speaker, a banquet Saturday night followed by entertainment provided by the Hard Road Trio of Las Cruces, NM, and offerings will be taken to support many ministries in the Rocky Mountain Synod as well as Churchwide.  Urban Servant Corps of Denver will be the recipient of in-kind gifts that the women will bring to Convention.

Contact Carol McGill President, or call 303-443-0431 

We ask your help in getting the word to as many women as possible so we will have a successful Convention.


Hear James Alison September 26 & 27 

at the new RMS Lutheran Center

James Alison is our 2014 keynote guest at our fall Theological Conference in Colorado Springs, and we are offering the opportunity for everyone to hear him at a special event at the new RMS Lutheran Center. These "Conversations with James Alison" will take place Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 27 at 7375 Samuel Drive, Denver, CO, 80221.


Friday, September 26, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
"Where are we now, and where are we going?" 

Thinking through Christianity and the LGBT emergence

Saturday, September 27, 9 - 11 a.m.
Jesus the Forgiving Victim

Presenting a new course of introduction to the Christian faith for adults (

event poster with details



"God's work. Our hands." Sunday in the ELCA is Sept. 7


Throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod and the ELCA, members of congregations will be "rolling up our sleeves" to be the church active and alive in the world!


Worship resources are available, including a litany of sending.


Send photos and stories of your ministry to Erin Power so we may gather them and share them.


On social media, use the hashtags (for ELCA and for RMS) #ELCADayofService and #RMSELCADayofService as another way to share your stories!




Annual Conference meetings scheduled throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod


The focus of the 2014 Missional Gatherings will be on "Lutheran Spirituality" with special breakout sessions on networking with other congregational councils and networking with your local community. All rostered leaders, council members, outreach and evangelism committees, and congregation members are invited. Youth and young adult participation are encouraged.


Bishop Gonia and other representatives of Synod Council and the Office of the Bishop look forward to meeting with you for a time to be church together.


please register at least five days prior to each gathering


Saturday, September 20

Metro West (Mountain), Zion Lutheran Church in Montrose, CO


Sunday, September 28, 2:30 pm

Metro East, All Saints Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO 


Saturday, October 11

Wyoming, Faith in Lander, WY 


Sunday, October 19, 2:00 pm (refreshments at 1:30 pm)

Boulder/Broomfield, Bethlehem in Longmont, CO 


Saturday, October 25, 11:30 am

Utah, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Taylorsville, UT 



Saturday, November 1, 10 am

Metro West (Metro), Advent, Westminster, CO 


Sunday, November 2, 3 pm

North Colorado, Faith Lutheran Church in Eaton, CO 


Saturday, November 8, 2 pm
North New Mexico, St. Timothy in Alburquerque


Sunday, November 9, 3 pm

Southeast Colorado, First Lutheran in CO Springs


Saturday, November 15, 10 am

Border, Trinity in Las Cruces, NM


Saturday, December 6, 9 am

Metro South, Christ the King in Denver, CO



One Year to Live Reunion

Saturday, October 18, 2014

1:00 pm t0 4:00 pm

at The Lutheran Center

7375 Samuel Drive

Denver, CO 80221

We invite all One Year to Live Retreat Alumni and their families to join us for a reunion. We will check-in, catch up, follow the reunion protocol that Lyman Coleman wrote for the current version of the One Year to Live, celebrate what God is doing in our lives, and reconnect. We will have soft drinks, water, and snacks. We intend to conclude with some ice cream.


Brothers, join us please! Email Jim Monkman to let him know you plan to attend or call him at 817-346-0943 or 303-642-1026.



Celebration of Pastor Messersmith's life is September 7 in Rio Rancho, NM


Residing in Rio Rancho, NM, Pastor Alvin Messersmith died September 2. He was born April 19, 1922. His late wife, Catherine, passed in March 2012. Together they were married 66 years. Alvin celebrated his 68th year of ordination on March 03, 2014. He previously served four Lutheran churches in the Hudson River Valley and Rochester areas of New York. Following Alvin's retirement from ministry they moved to Rio Rancho in 1988. 

A celebration of life service for Pr. Messersmith will take place at Community of Joy Lutheran Church, Rio Rancho, NM on Sunday, September 7 at 5:00 PM.


Sunday September 7

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Synod Prayer Cycle:  
North Colorado 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.  The prayer list for upcoming months is available. Remember in prayer this coming Sunday:

Abiding Hope Littleton, CO
Chad Johnson, Doug Hill, Laura Bostrom
ALMC/Cristo Rey Denver, CO
Filemon Diaz
Atonement Lakewood, CO
Chris Davis
Bethany Cherry Hills Village, CO
Ruth Ann Loughry, Russ Britton



Advent Resources available supporting ministries in Bethlehem


It's not too early to start thinking about creative Advent devotional resources for you or your congregation or organization. Bright Stars of Bethlehem supports the ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.


In partnership with Creative Communications, Inc., Bright Stars of Bethlehem is offering the Bright Stars of Bethlehem Advent Devotional and Congregational Resources for Advent 2014. These resources include many materials for your group or congregation. The authors of the devotional are Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and a "family" of Bright Stars Board members, Area Representatives and several good friends, including some from the Rocky Mountain Synod.


The congregational resource kit hosts a wide array of tools that highlight the relationship between U.S. Christians and our sisters and brothers in Bethlehem and the Holy Land. By using the discount code "STARS" when you order, a portion of the sales will be received back to Bright Stars of Bethlehem! Check out the wide array of resources available and order now by clicking here or calling 800.325.9414 






Men's Fly Fishing Retreat at Rainbow Trail


As the busy fall season kicks off, take time to step out of the stress of ordinary life and into the refreshing waters of the Arkansas River. Rainbow Trailšs Menšs Fly Fishing Retreat offers an amazing weekend for faith renewal, rest, and fly fishing.  Time for hanging out with the guys, amazing worship, challenging conversation, and honing your fishing skills is led by a team 

of pastors, and long-time friends. Dave Risendal and Ro

ger Thompson have a deep love for fly fishing and the gospel. Join them for this amazing weekend, September 11-14, 2014.  More information and registration. 



One Year to Live Men's Retreat
October 10-12


Lutheran Men in Mission invite you to a retreat October 10-12 at the YMCA Camp Santa Maria in Grant, Colorado. Men of all ages yearn for real friendships and a closer relationship with Christ. Be prepared for a spiritual boot camp. This 45-hour experience is not for the faint of heart! Download the brochure.


Spirituality, Ethics, 
and Relief

Friday evening, November 7
and Saturday, November 8

The RMS Lutheran Center -

7375 Samuel Drive, Denver


Register for Friday, for Saturday, or for both


Join us as we explore the spirituality and ethics of hunger, the effect of climate change on hunger and ways to provide relief in this country and around the world.  Dr. Samuel Thomas, Associate Professor of Religion at California Lutheran University, Dr. Ryan Cumming, Director of Hunger Education for ELCA World Hunger, and Rev. Nelson Bock, Professor and Co-Director of Wartburg West, will be our guides as we learn more about hunger, its causes, and what we can do about it. Registration will open in September so check the e-Connection and register early!


Fall Leadership Retreat 2014:

Our Life Together

September 22-25
Marriott Hotel
Colorado Springs, CO 
Leaders in the Rocky Mountain Synod are invited to gather together for a time of learning, rest, and renewal as we look at
"Our Life Together." The event begins late afternoon on Monday, September 22 and concludes before noon on Thursday, September 25.


The hotel is sold out, so late registrants must sign up to be a commuter and stay in a different neighboring hotel.


Link to Online Registration 


Stretch & Pray

We are looking for 10-20 yoga mats for a Tuesday morning Stretch & Pray session.  If you have an extra mat that someone could use for this session, please bring it along!


1st Ever RMS Talent/No-Talent Show
Following worship on Wednesday night, we will gather for the first ever RMS Talent/No-Talent show.  Anything goes! A piano, microphone, and screen will be available.  Email Erin Power with any questions.


Worship Assistants
We are in need of assistants for our two worship services
Monday evening:  1 communion assistant; 4 prayer station leaders;

Wednesday evening:  2 communion assistants; 2 ushers;
Email Erin Power if you are interested in participating



Young Adult Trip to the Holy Land

Join 17 young adults (ages 18-30) on a pilgrimage of peace and justice to the Holy Land May 12-25, 2015.  Goals of the trip include learning about the complexity of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, faith formation via a pilgrimage of "living stones," and empowering young adults in their capacity as change makers.  
Applications and trip information can be found at  Contact Melanie or Natalie at if you have any questions.



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. Email Erin Power if you are interested in leading worship!  Our next worship will be September 10.



Read about recent JOB POSTS in the Rocky Mountain Synod. More information 

Sunday School Superintendent 

Trinity Lutheran Church, Loveland CO


Trinity Lutheran Church, in Loveland, Colorado, has an opening for a part-time Sunday School Superintendent expected to work about ten hours per week.  This person works with the Christian Education Director and the Christian Education Committee to develop Sunday School curriculum, recruit and support volunteer teachers, and guide  Sunday School activities. If you are interested in helping youth grow in faith and relationships with God and one another, applications are available 

from the church office or call (970-667-5700)




Bishop Jim Gonia

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • Vacation

Pastor Ron Roschke

  • Campus Ministry
  • Disaster Response Projects
  • St John Cathedral

Pastor Sarah Moening    

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • Preach Epiphany Denver CO

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Region 2 Consultation
  • Ministry Reviews       

Pastor Kent Mueller  

  • St. Luke, Albuquerque, NM
  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Our Savior's, Greeley, CO
Erin Power
  • Theological Conference and Journey of Renewal Planning
  • Ministry Review planning
  • Assembly planning
Ruth Hoffman 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM   
  • NMCC Service and Outreach
  • Interfaith Hunger Coalition
  • Conference of Churches Board
Peter Severson
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Together Colorado


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Global Links logo

ELCA advocates for unaccompanied children entering U.S

An estimated 80,000 unaccompanied children will seek safety in the United States this year. The ELCA and its partners "are pursuing both the short-term efforts at achieving safety and relevant social services for these children of God, as well as long-term systemic solutions to stem the flow of children cast adrift," said the Rev. Stephen Bouman, executive director, ELCA Congregational and Synodical Mission. More information.


website calendar






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
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


2015 Senior High Youth Gathering

submit Utah news or photos

Utah Church Development Institute training in 2014/15

CDI is a relevant training for developing the spiritual, communal, and organizational life of congregations. Leaders are equipped to lead healthy and mission-shaped change in the congregation.  It is a program for clergy and lay leaders who desire to make their parishes stronger, healthier, more mission-minded, more responsive to God, and more effective in their communities.


Cycle 1 Dates & Program:

September 12-13, 2014 - Understanding Congregational Systems
November 14-15, 2014 - Methods of Discovery
February 27-28, 2015 - Building Healthy Mission Shaped Community

May 15-16, 2015 - Leadership in Congregational Systems

CDI will take place at the Episcopal Commons, 75 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, beginning at 1 pm on Friday through 4 pm on Saturday.



contact Sarah Moening for more information 


submit Wyoming news or photos 




Camino de Vida is moving to its own church home

Camino de Vida Hispanic/Latino Ministry, a joint-venture between the ELCA and PCUSA, is finally moving into its own church home. The inaugural service will be Global Communion Sunday, October 5, at 3:00 pm. Please join with your congregation. In the meantime, there is much to do in the process of renovation. If you would like to join us for God's Work, Our Handsthis Saturday or any Saturday before October 5, please contact Pastor Carmen Miranda at 505-249-1987 Donations are also extremely helpful as we will install, among other things, new swamp coolers, a portable classroom, flooring and an industrial kitchen. 


Desert Springs Lutheran Church in Truth or Consequences, NM is alive and well!   

Since being accepted into the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA we have welcomed five new adults into membership.  Father Peter Cacoperdo holds a Scripture Study each Sunday morning before the Service to discuss the lessons for the day at 9:00. The Worship Service is at 10:00. In true Lutheran tradition a bar-b-q lunch was held after the service to welcome our latest new members.


The St. Olaf Band to perform in Albuquerque October 14

The St. Olaf Band, dubbed "one of America's preeminent bands" by The New Yorker, will perform in Albuquerque, NM, Monument, CO, and Denver on October 14, 15, and 16 as part of its 2014 national tour. You can find  More information  or by calling 800-363-5487. 
The St. Olaf Band's national tour program, "Mostly British," will center around music from the United Kingdom. 


ELCA Day of Service Begins 60th Anniversary

Celebration for St. Luke Lutheran in Albuquerque


St. Luke volunteers will launch a whole Season of Service on September 6 and 7. They will be commissioned for service at the worship services. Outdoor enthusiasts will clean up the Bosque and help control invasive vegetation within a portion of Albuquerque's Open Space. Other volunteers will continue to lend helping hands in upcoming weeks and months at Lutheran Campus Ministry, at St. Martin's Hospitality Center, where homeless adults are assisted, and at the St. Luke Preschool, where a number of maintenance issues will be addressed. Bright yellow T shirts, worn by volunteers, will proclaim "God's Work, Our Hands." This message ties in well with the 60th Anniversary Celebration Theme:  Faithfulness through Service and Healing.  A large visual display will depict members putting their faith into action to share the love of God with all of God's people.           


Save the Date!


LAM-NM 2014 Advocacy Conference

Saturday, November 8

St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Albuquerque  




September 9 Concert at Saint John's Episcopal

Simon Estes, internationally renowned bass-baritone and Wartburg College alum will perform at Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral during SJC's noon concert series on Sept 9, 2014. You are invited to attend. Estes enjoys the acclaim of audiences and critics around the globe. Since his debut with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1965, he has performed with major international opera companies. Saint John's Cathedral is home to the Wartburg College West Urban Extension Program of the ELCA college located in Waverly, Iowa. Revs Nelson and Bonita Bock are faculty of the Religion Dept. and the Co-Directors of the Denver extension program of the college.

20 students per semester participate.

Afternoon of Song at Peace, Sterling, September 7

Peace Lutheran Church in Sterling, Colorado, welcomes Dr. Brian and Mrs. Carita Pfaltzgraff for an "Afternoon of Song" on Sunday, September 7 at 2 p.m. Dr. Pfaltzgraff is an associate professor of voice at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and Carita, his wife, is a private vocal instructor at the college. All are welcome to attend. A reception will follow the recital. 


"Blessed Are The Teachers!"

Hosted by the Colorado Council of Churches

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

South Broadway Christian Church
23 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80203

Please join us for our next assembly where we will celebrate our educators: Sunday School teachers and superintendents, as well as public school and private school teachers from preschool to higher education! The first hour will feature a worship service, and then immediately afterwards, we will have the following breakout sessions:

How to Grow a Sunday School
Spiritual Care and Renewal for Teachers
How Churches Can Support Our Schools

Please RSVP by Friday, September 26th. Questions? Contact Adrian Miller. This event is free and open to the public. Please spread the word . . . to get as many teachers there as possible!


The St. Olaf Band to perform in Colorado October 15 and 16

The St. Olaf Band, dubbed "one of America's preeminent bands" by The New Yorker, will perform in Albuquerque, NM, Monument, CO, and Denver on October 14, 15, and 16 as part of its 2014 national tour. You can find  More information or by calling 800-363-5487. The St. Olaf Band's national tour program, "Mostly British," will center around music from the United Kingdom


Lutheran College Fairs September 28 & 29

Two college fairs are scheduled in Colorado.

Denver, Colorado - Sunday, September 28

More information

Bethany Lutheran Church

Financial Aid Seminar: 6:15 p.m.

College Fair: 6:45 p.m.


Ft. Collins, Colorado - Monday, September 29 

More information

Redeemer Lutheran Church

Financial Aid Seminar: 6:45 p.m.

College Fair: 7:30 p.m.

All events will include a financial aid seminar and hors d'oeuvre reception. No RSVP necessary.

New Beginnings Prison Ministry Fundraiser Celebrates 16 years of Ministry on October 10

A Celebration Fundraiser dinner for New Beginnings Prison Ministry will take place on 

October 10 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and children 12 and under are free. It will take place at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 Alameda, Denver, CO.  RSVP to Kathy Melies 303-831-7023 or oslc915@juno.comFor Silent Auction donations and inquiries please contact Heiko Meyer at


Peace By Piece Symposium: Fort Collins November 7-9

On November 7-9, Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Collins will celebrate its first annual learning event for our Northern Colorado community focusing on issues of peace and justice: the Peace by Piece Symposium.


The Peace by Piece Symposium will begin on Friday, November 7, with an evening reception and opening remarks by our keynote speaker, Evan Hodkins, M,A, M. Div. and director of the school of Alchemy. On Saturday, November 8, the event will focus on primary discussions/information and will include special guest speakers, testimonials, and panel discussions. Additional Information about the Symposium.

A Taste of Campus Ministry Beer Tasting & Friend-raiser!

Friday, September 19, 7pm

Niwot Market (7980 Niwot Rd, Longmont, CO)


You're invited to Lutheran Campus Ministry at CU-Boulder's first annual friend-raiser! We'll have six tastings from local, craft breweries with food pairings by Chef Justin of Niwot Market. In between the beer, you'll get a taste of campus ministry at CU-Boulder. We'll also have a selection of local craft ginger and root beers. While we hope to raise some funds for LCM-CU, we also want to bring together all the different people who make our ministry together on campus possible; alumni, friends, and local congregations. Everyone's invited!

The cost is just $25 and gets you a commemorative tasting glass. You can purchase tickets online with PayPal through the Facebook event page 

or by emailing Pastor Zach Parris. We look forward to seeing you there!


South Metro Conference forms networking group

A new networking group is forming in the South Metro Conference.  Everyone-laity, professionals, community leaders, clergy (of all denominations), neighbors and friends interested in building relationships and networking with our neighbors to help serve our community-is welcome. An informational meeting, WITH DINNER,will be September 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Lakewood. The council of Resurrection is graciously providing dinner so please RSVP to Resurrection, 303-922-0596 by September 22.

If you have questions or thoughts to share for this group, please email Pastor Michael Tekroney or Pastor Lyn Crase


Theater & Theology kick-off is September 23 

in Denver with The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Once again we invite your congregation to participate in Theater and Theology (T&T), which Rocky Mountain Synod Front Range congregations have been enjoying for nearly 25 years.

What is Theater & Theology? Participating congregations (and individuals) have enjoyed a special arrangement with the Theater Company of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA). After viewing a performance, we engage cast members in a moderated talkback on theological issues in the play. We see each of the company's productions at a reduced group price. Thew first play of the 2014-15 season is The Unsinkable Molly Brown on Tuesday, September 23. Reservation deadline is Tuesday, September 2. Ticket price is $35.

2014 Play schedule





Marriage Encounter weekend is October 10-12

Enjoy a weekend of discovery together with Marriage Encounter! The next Weekend will be offered October 10 - 12, 2014, in Denver, CO. Apply now or contact

Bud & Cindy Amack or 303-796-9119 for more information. Weekends fill fast and pre-registration is required. Registrations must be received by September 17.




Kent Mueller - Assistant to the Bishop
Maria Sutton - Communications Assistant 
Rocky Mountain Synod
800-525-0462 / 303-777-6700 / fax 303-339-4744

Announcements for eConnection are due before noon on Thursday for the issue the following Tuesday. Event announcements are included for about two weeks. Please submit your announcement at the time it should appear, ready to copy and paste into the newsletter, with a link to your website for more information.