February 4, 2015

Register now for Faith Advocacy Day 2015: Homelessness and Justice

Don't miss this great opportunity to live out your faith in the context of one of the major social issues in facing Colorado. This day of learning & action will connect you to the ELCA's public policy advocacy work in Colorado and with ecumenical partners who are similarly engaged. This year's keynote speaker will be Tom Luehrs, Executive Director of the St. Francis Center, and panelists will be present from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Governor's Office for Homeless Initiatives, and Arapahome.


Register today


When: February 16 from 9:00am-2:30pm

Where: Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Ave., Denver

Cost: $30 regular, $20 student/low income (includes breakfast and lunch)

Why: To live out God's calling to you to advocate for justice for all people!



Conference Deans meet for two-day retreat


The Deans from each of our ten Conferences are meeting together at the Office of the Bishop for worship, fellowship, dialogue, and learning. The Deans and Office of the Bishop staff gathered for worship yesterday afternoon.


Include this page in your
congregation's 2015 Annual Report

Four .pdf versions are provided for your use, in print, or electronically:


lower resolution "landscape" orientation for electronic

high resolution "portrait" for print 

lower resolution "portrait" for electronic  



Rostered leaders: please complete
your annual report to the bishop by February 15


New .pdf forms for annual rostered leader reports for both active and retired leaders are now posted on the ELCA website. Use this link to find the forms for rostered leaders. Right-click on the form you want and save it on your computer. Then open it in Adobe Reader. Complete on the screen and save it. Then email it in. 

All reports are due February 15. Rostered leader reports to the Bishop are to be completed and saved, and then emailed as an attachment to Janice.

Erin Power consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA on Saturday

Erin Power serves in the RMS as our Synod Minister for Hospitality and Mission. On Saturday, she was consecrated for this ministry in a beautiful worship celebration. We share in celebrating her ministry. More photos by Dale Horkey.

Diaconal ministers are consecrated to ministry of Word and Service, at the intersection of church and world. Diaconal ministers work to seek wholeness in the world, sharing the hope of Christ and equipping others for healing and justice in the world. Diaconal ministers serve through agencies, institutions, and traditional church programs as they build bridges between the church and the world.



A Lenten Invitation
from Bishop Gonia

"A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person." 

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together



Our time together at our Synod Assembly will be framed by the theology and practices that ground us in our Lutheran Identity. Our assembly will begin with a corporate confession, knowing that we are also the Church: Better Together when we take time to name out loud the places of hurt and ask God to help us begin again.

We invite you and your congregation to spend some time during Lent reflecting on the ways we as a body have made mistakes, missed opportunities, and hurt God's people by our words and deeds. We hope that this exercise provides an opportunity for honest conversation, a safe place to share concerns, and an invitation to grow as a congregation into who God is calling you to be, as we leave behind those things that are holding us back from living the Gospel.

We invite you to compile your reflections and send them to Erin Power.  These will be compiled and shared during our time of confession & forgiveness as we begin our assembly.








We have 101 people who took the health assessment in January and submitted their name towards our goal of 158, which is fantastic!  Pastor Dan Smith is the winner of a new Fitness Watch! Congratulations, Dan!




OK, then do it by February 28 if you didn't do it in January


All with ELCA-Primary Medical Insurance are asked to take the annual health assessment by February 28 if you didn't do it in Janaury!


1. Take the Assessment now at this link.

2. Submit that you took it on this log page.


The list of those who have logged that they took the health assessment already is at this link. If you took it, but your spouse has not (if applicable), please ask that they do so also.






Our Life Together

2015 Synod Assembly

May 1-3
Sheraton Hotel

Salt Lake City, UT 

Important Pre-Assembly Information 

Please download the Pre-Assembly Packet and share with your leadership. 

Celebration of Ministry Requests
If your organization would like to request a display table or a page in our Ministry Booklet, fill out the online request form. Email Jan Philpy with any questions.
YouTube Video Challenge
Bishop Gonia has extended a "YouTube Challenge" to everyone in the Rocky Mountain Synod.  Create a 2 minute video using this script, upload it to YouTube, and share the link with Kent Mueller.  Winning videos will be featured during the assembly.  Prizes for the fan favorites!  Click HERE to see a sample entry!

T-Shirt Contest!
1)  Create a design that symbolizes "We are Church:  Better Together" and represents the Rocky Mountain Synod
2)   Make sure it fits in 8.5x11 inch area turned in either direction
3)  Submit as crisp black on white sent in as a hard copy on paper or a high resolution graphic
4)  Turn in to Kent Mueller by MARCH 15!
5)  Win a free T-shirt just for entering the contest
6)  Win 20 shirts for your congregation if your design is chosen!





Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp "Ride with the Ranches Bus Trip" to the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering

ky Ranch Lutheran Camp is excited to partner with the congregations of the Rocky Mountain Synod, as we travel together to the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering: Rise up! Along the way, you get to know new friends and form a community with other high school youth and adults going to the gathering allowing you to jump right in when we arrive in Detroit.


Our goal is to make getting to and from the ELCA Youth Gathering as meaningful and stress free as possible for everyone, especially the adults! The cost (approximately $650) includes almost everything you need to travel to Detroit and get home safe and sound. The number of spots available will be determined by the number of buses that we are able to fill. For more information on Ride with the Ranches or to reserve your spots contact Kathryn Seyfarth at Kathryn@skyranchcolorado.org or call 970-493-5258. 




Upcoming Celebrations:



Our Savior Alamogordo, NM 

 Kristi Koppel 

Peace Las Cruces, NM

 Jared Carson 

 Laura Carson 

Peace El Paso, TX

 Dalene Rogers (Interim)

Sunday February 8
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Prayer of the Day

Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 


Young Adult Pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 12-25, 2015                                                                                                                                      

This is an amazing opportunity for young adults leaders

(ages 18-30) to travel to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage of peace and justice! The sign-up application and additional trip information can be found at Facebook.com/RMSPNW2015.  Contact Melanie or Natalie at RMSPeaceNotWalls@gmail.com if you have any questions. Please share this flier with any young adults you know who may be interested in joining us on this journey: more information.


Pilgrimage to the Holy Land:
June 4-18, 2015

See the ancient stones, the holy sites. Meet the living stones-the people who work for justice and peace in the land today. Experience the culture of hospitality; worship with Lutherans in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Sponsored by Peace Not Walls, Rocky Mountain Synod. Led by Pastor Alena Lamirato and Jan Miller. More information. Contact Jan at 303-332-1263.

Please help publicize the trip by using the bulletin insert and announcements below:


MSYG evaluation

Anyone who attended the Middle School Youth Gathering is encouraged to complete an evaluation form at this linkhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C6WZTWY


Mediation Skills Training Institute
for Church Leaders

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will be offering mediation skills training on the west coast in 2015:
March 16-20, 2015
At Hope United Methodist Church in San Diego, California
October 5-9, 2015
Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon
This five-day, hands-on training is useful for church leaders of all types: judicatory leaders, clergy, laity, and committee members. Tuition covers lectures, case studies, small group discussions and role play, manual, handouts, and lunch for Monday and Friday.
To download a brochure with information and registration form, go to: www.lmpeacecenter.org

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center can be reached at 630-627-0507 or by mail: admin@lmpeacecenter.org

Seeking several appliance donations!

Have a good, used fridge to donate?

If you're in the Denver area and you happen to be remodeling your kitchen, Cristo Rey, Denver, is in need of a fridge for the church parsonage.

Contact Kent at kmueller@rmselca.org if you have items we might consider for a donation.


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 February 11.


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


Minister for Faith Formation:

FoCoLu Ministry

The joint ministry of FoCoLu in Fort Collins Colorado is seeking a full time minister for faith formation. Trinity, Our Saviour's, and Spirit of Joy in Fort Collins have created a joint ministry and position for middle and high school youth and families. We are interested in experienced and qualified candidates. Please request the full job description from Pastor Leta Behrens. Then submit resume and cover letter to her at leta@our-saviours.org. Check out the FocoLu Ministry website.



Bethany Lutheran College, Lindsborg KS


Bethany College is looking for a campus Pastor. More information




Bishop Jim Gonia

  • Dean's Retreat
  • St. Luke, Buffalo WY
  • Legislative Luncheon
  • New Mexico Retreat

Pastor Ron Roschke 

  • Region 1 and 2 Campus Ministry Consultation, Seattle

Pastor Sarah Moening    

  • Dean's Retreat 
  • Church Development institute

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Ministry Reviews
  • Latino Development Training

Pastor Kent Mueller  

  • Office of the Bishop administration
  • Prince of Peace, Denver, CO
  • Dean's Retreat


Erin Power

  • Event Planning
  • Ministry Reviews
  • Dean's Retreat 

Ruth Hoffman - 

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM   
  • Legislative Session
  • WELCA North New Mexico Cluster Annual Meeting
Peter Severson - Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Dean's Retreat
  • Christ the King, Durango, CO


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Global Links logo


Get your Global PalceMaps for annual meetings and Lenten meals!

Inspire your members with a PlaceMap which shows where God is working through ELCA Missionaries, Young Adults in Global Mission, scholarships for International Leaders, and Global Ministries outreach and education. This FREE resource is perfect for dinner place mats, displays or coloring sheets. Download an 11x17 copy at www.ELCA.org







website calendar




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






Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM

Bishop's Legislative Luncheon

February 10



The Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-NM Bishop's Legislative Luncheon will be Tuesday, February 10.  Make plans to attend and be sure to make your reservation (or a reservation for a group from your congregation!) to attend this annual gathering which will begin at 12:30 pm at La Fonda in Santa Fe. 


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-NM will be advocating in 2015. 


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 (phone 984-8005 or email info@lutheranadvocacynm.org) to make reservations or for more details. The deadline for reservations is February 5.  







The Twenty First Annual 


Gallery of
Living Art


First Lutheran Church

1515 N. Cascade

Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Friday, March 20 at 7:30 pm,

Saturday, March 21 at 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm

and Sunday, March 22 at 3:00 pm


As the audience sits in the sanctuary, the story of Christ's Passion and Resurrection unfolds through live reproductions of fourteen sacred works of art staged by a 60 member cast, narrative scripture and music sung by First Lutheran choir.


Three new scenes will be presented this year - two are paintings: "The Last Supper" by Philippe de Champaigne and "The Triumphal Entry" by Ernst Deger. The third new scene is found in the nave of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and is a relief of Jesus with the Cross.


Admission is free and childcare is provided.


Prepare/Enrich Facilitator Training


Prepare/Enrich Facilitator Training is being offered on Friday, February 27, 2013, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Avenue, in Cherry Hills Village.  The workshop is designed to teach facilitators to utilize this tool to assist both premarital and married couples in understanding and improving their relationship. For more information or to register, please contact Beth Walker at  bethdwalker@gmail.com or 720.352.9915, or go to prepare-enrich.com.



Web Conference on Economic Equality

Evergreen Lutheran Church, Evergreen, Colorado, is hosting the Trinity Institute web conference this year on January 31. This year it is A Practical Conference for Economic Equality. 

From 9-4 on Saturday January 31 at Evergreen Lutheran Church. To register contact: kim@evergreenlutheran.org Cost is $25.00 lunch included.



Together Colorado's 2015 Statewide Faith Leader

Gathering is March 10, 2015

9:30 am-4 pm (including light breakfast & lunch) Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St., Denver (2 blocks north of the Capitol)

Help make real our vision of Together Colorado as a statewide non-partisan, multi-faith, multi-racial organization; and support our mission to unlock the power of people in our congregations and neighborhoods to address the community issues that most deeply impact their lives through community organizing. As trusted community leaders, clergy and faith leaders and guides are coming together through Together Colorado to support this transformational process, building a powerful faith voice in Colorado.


Cost:  There is no cost for participation in the statewide gathering.

Register by Wed., March 4, 2015 on-line  or contact Patty Lawless, Lead Statewide Organizer, patty@togetherco.org.



New Visions Training Program 

Peter L. Steinke Featured Presenter


MARCH 6-7, 2015

Friday 1pm - 8:30pm   Saturday 8:30am -12:00 noon

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

6322 So. Lakeview St., Littleton Colorado 


$250 individual   

$225 each for groups of 3 or more 

$100 student rate


A Training Program for Congregational Leaders,New Visions is about change: changing you, changing your congregation, and changing the world.  
New Visions is a congregational training program developed by Peter Steinke for congregational leaders.  Its purpose is to establish a mission environment within the congregation that raises awareness, enhances mission vitality, and increases mission activity. Because of the amount of material to be covered, all participants are strongly encouraged to read A Door Set Open prior to the training (Books readily available from Amazon.com or Alban/Rowman & Littlefield).

Realizing that at any given moment congregations have different needs and opportunities, the training will cover three (3) different courses of study that will allow you to deliver the material in a variety of ways. (For details go to

1. All Things Restored is designed for a ten-week, one hour per week class for adults.

2. Let's Go! is designed for a leader's retreat.

3. Like Fire can be adapted for a number of uses - Mission School, Leadership Training, Search Committees, Long-range Planning groups, and Mission Trip preparation.


Peter L. Steinke has been a pastor, therapist, educator, and consultant. Known for his work with systems theory in congregations, Steinke has authored ten books, including A Door Set Open. He has been presented the "Christus in Mundo" award by The Inter-Lutheran Organization for specialized ministry and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis honored him with the Doctoral Letters degree.

 To register go to www.EremosConsulting.com




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.