February 11, 2015

Eucharist of Holy Closure takes place Sunday at Resurrection, Lakewood

February 15, at 1:30 p.m.


As followers of Jesus Christ, death is nothing for us to fear. We know that just as a seed must die in order to bear much fruit, so death and change can lead to abundant life. This can be just as true for the life of a congregation as it is for individuals. The resources that result from the closing of a congregation will bring new life to other new and renewing ministries.

That is not to minimize, however, the sadness and grief that we as the Rocky Mountain Synod experience as we accompany the faithful members of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Colorado, as the congregation's ministry comes to an end on Sunday. All are invited to join in giving thanks for the congregation's 57 years of ministry on Sunday, February 15, at 1:30 p.m. Clergy are invited to vest, and the color of the day is White. A light reception will take place prior to the  worship. 

Holy Closure defines the process by which the congregation discerned they were no longer viable, even while the members continued with vitality and energy. They are closing with generous assets still that will be shared with the ELCA, the Rocky Mountain Synod, other synod ministries, and other community ministries, to bring "Resurrection" life to others.

The congregation is located in Lakewood near the intersection of Mississippi and Wadsworth: 

7100 W. Mississippi Ave.

Lakewood, CO 80226



New resource for conversation about our mission together


We are eager to share with you the resource 

Claimed, Gathered, Sent: A Guide for Conversation. The resource also offers ways to understand more fully the ELCA's global and ecumenical commitments, which are a vital part of who we are and what God is doing through us.

Claimed, Gathered, Sent: A Guide for Conversation

Please consider joining in this timely conversation about the life of our church. Your engagement will lead to a deeper understanding and a clearer sense of our identity, our mission and our calling to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be agents of God's love in the world. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel!

Register now for CO 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 (corrected link!)


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!


Include these 5 bulletin inserts in your Lent bulletins

Rocky Mountain Synod congregations are receiving a mailing of five bulletin inserts for Lent 2015 to help tell the story of how we are "Church Together" in our mission and ministry. Electronic versions (both .pdf and .jpg) are now posted for your use. Please share these stories in your church bulletins each week during Lent! If you need additional electronic formats, please send a reply email and let us know what you need! Download electronic files here.



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.

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains: Guess the pins in the jar!

Benefitting the LFS Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling Program, this fun fundraiser invites your donations.


Last year Lutheran Family Services started a program connecting  youth and young adults with faith-based non-profit work. As part of the program, they were tasked to create and complete to raise awareness/funds for specific LFS program area. one of the participants created a website on crowdrise, and for a small donation, you can guess how many pins are in the jar.


All of the donations will be benefit  the Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling program. You have until Friday, Feb. 20 to guess how many pins are in the jar. After all the guesses have been submitted, the two people with the closest guesses will receive a special prizes. Follow this link:

fundraiser/laurenhellmuth to make your guess and support our Youth Ambassador who is raising awareness and funds for the LFS Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling program. If you have questions, please contact Becca Sager Dolan at: becca.sager@lfsm.org





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.






RMS is in the lead of all synods, to reach the health assessment goal!

As of January 31, we officially had 95 with ELCA Portico Insurance take the health assessment out of our needed 158! How fantastic is that!  But it's not over until it's over!




ELCA PORTICO INSURANCE MEMBERS must take the assessment and then register to win an Apple Watch or other fitness watch.



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!

Volunteer needed for assembly book store, please contact Erin Power.




The Summit: Youth Ministry Retreat is April 13-15 at Rainbow Trail 


Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp would like to invite everyone working professionally in ministry with youth, young adults, children, and families to The Summit: Youth Ministry Retreat, April 13-15, 2015. Designed as a time of personal renewal, professional development, continuing education, and networking, this year's Summit will be led by Rozella White, ELCA Program Director for Young Adult Ministry. This event is FREE for those in the RMS ELCA. Check out more information at





Pastor Kim Gonia is now serving at Intercession Episcopal Church, 3101 E 100th Ave. Thornton, Colorado. The liturgy of welcome will take place as a part of the Sunday worship services on Sunday, March 1 at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. (a Spanish-language service). The Episcopalian Canon Missioner, Lou Blanchard, will be preaching at all three services in English.




Dr. Arthur Harold Becker (January 21, 1921 - January 23, 2015) died on January 23, 2015, at Bay Harbor Care Home in Alameda, California just two days after his 94th birthday. Art was the Norman A. Mentor professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Arthur retired to Estes Park Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, where they were founding members of Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church. A memorial service will take place there this summer. Our prayers surround the family of Dr. Becker as they give thanks for his life and ministry.







St. Mark Roswell, NM 

Lavone Johnson 

St. Peter Carlsbad, NM 

Geri Cunningham 

Sunday February 15
Transfiguration Sunday


Almighty God, the resplendent light of your truth shines from the mountaintop into our hearts. Transfigure us by your beloved Son, and illumine the world with your image, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.





RMS Environmental Stewards

A group passionate about stewardship of creation meets as a WebEx video conference each month on the second Thursday at 1:30 p.m.  If you would like to attend the meeting, please hit reply to request from Kent the WebEx login information.


Anyone know a good surveyor in Denver?

We are seeking a surveyor in the Denver area for two projects. Any connections with someone who may be willing to donate services? Please email Kent by hitting "return" to this email.


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 


Music Director

St. John's Lutheran Church, Thornton, CO


St John's Lutheran Church is hiring a Music Director. The position will be responsible for accompanying all regular and special worship services using the liturgies of the church, arranging for special music, practicing and directing the choir and all other vocal groups.  Position is a 10 to 15 hour per week job, salary will be negotiable. Send a music resume to stjohns05@gmail.com, resumes will be accepted until February 13, 2015.



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.



Interim Training to take place in Denver


The Rocky Mountain Synod is sponsoring a Region 2 Interim Training series, consisting of three phases. Phase One takes place June 1-5, 2015, followed by Phase Two which is case study experiences. Phase Three will be January 18-22, 2016. Phase One and Three will take place at Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, CO. This training is specifically for those who will be serving an Intentional Interim during the Transition Time in a congregation, but the skills and insights are also valuable for every congregation leader. Specific details will be available soon. 



"Anxiety always ends up at the door of the clergy."


The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness of the Rockies will begin its' 60+  Retreat Series in the Rocky Mountain region this April 27-29 at Journey of Faith UMC, Denver and May 4-6 in First UMC Bozeman MT.

Why consider the Center?  Because there is a lot of anxiety across the country and our region is no exception. The elections, the war, economics, water, sexual issues, the changing face of the small town as well as the city, all add anxiety that impacts  the church and especially the life of clergy and their family both personally & professionally. It is absolutely imperative that clergy reflect on how they can deal with this anxiety because, much of the time, the anxiety gets focused, even fixated, on the clergy.  How do you manage yourself so that you can maintain leadership for the church, your family...for you?  Over 500 clergy have attended already.

The Center, including six 3-Day Retreats over 18 months, was created to Maintain Ministers in Ministry. Focusing on Family Systems in the Church, The Center is a "pastoral" model.  For info or registration contact Rev. Bill Selby at integrity4u@comcast.net. Or pastoraleffectiveness.org.





Bishop Jim Gonia

  • New Mexico Retreat
  • Latino Developers- St Mark, Aurora, CO
  • Resurrection Holy Closure, Lakewood, CO
  • Faith Advocacy Day
  • ELCA Assignment Process for seminarians, Chicago, IL

Pastor Ron Roschke 

  • RMS Global Mission Committe WebEx
  • RMS Environmental Stewards Webex
  • Preach at American Lutheran grand Junction
  • Campus Ministry Committee

Pastor Sarah Moening    

  • Faith Formation
  • First Lutheran, Longmont CO
  • Church Development institute

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Ministry Reviews
  • Latino Development Training
  • Resurrection Holy Closure, Lakewood, CO

Pastor Kent Mueller  

  • RMS Environmental Stewards
  • Bethany Adult Forums
  • Resurrection Holy Closure, Lakewood, CO


Erin Power

  • Assembly Planning
  • Ministry Reviews

Ruth Hoffman - 

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM   
  • Bishop's Luncheon & Issues Briefing
  • NM Conference of Churches Board meeting
  • Legislative session
Peter Severson - Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Faith Advocacy


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Global Links logo


Get your Global PlaceMaps 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



Mardi Gras Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner at Christ the King


WHERE: Christ the King Lutheran Church,10318 S Redwood Rd, South Jordan

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17, 5:30-8:00

WHAT: Pancakes, fruits, and other breakfast foods will be served. There will be other Mardi Gras themed activities as well.

All freewill donations will support the Youth Fundraiser on their trip to the Youth Gathering in Detroit.








Scout Sunday
at Elim Lutheran Church


Sunday, February 15, will be Scout Sunday at Elim Lutheran Church, Ogden, UT. Scouts and leaders will take almost all positions during worship service at 10:00 am.












Fourth Annual Hunger, Faith & Food Conference: 

Call to Action Faith Institutions and Community Partners Commit to Ending Local Hunger


March 19, 2015, 12:30­5 pm

Hosted by Abrahamic Initiative & Saint Johnıs Cathedral

The conference will directly address the realities of food insecurity and malnutrition. Grow connections and collaborate with movement activists and local nonprofits working to address hunger. Expand your reach by connecting those in need with those longing to serve.


For more information visit


To reserve your place at the table, RSVP to




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.


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.