February 18, 2015

Every Day in Lent:  Be Still


Beginning today with Ash Wednesday all are challenged to "Be Still" for 5-10 minutes each day to center your soul, breathe deeply, and spend time in prayerful gratitude, while lighting a candle. More ideas about how to Be Still from Portico.

"Be Still" is Portico's 2015 featured wellness activity since intentional, daily practice can help us calm our minds, clarify our relationship with God, and restore our sense of self. Less encumbered by fear and anxiety, we're more resilient people. 

"Be Still" during Lent as a meaningful spiritual practice. Those with Portico health insurance can log this 6-week wellness activity when completed.



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.



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 20


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.



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.






Rostered leaders with Portico health insurance: take the assessment this month!




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





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. Timothy El Paso, TX 

Michael Hamilton 

Trinity Las Cruces, NM 

Jerry Reynolds 

Trinity Hobbs, NM
Kirsten Sauey Hoffman 


First Sunday in Lent
Prayer of the Day

Holy God, heavenly Father, in the waters of the flood you saved the chosen, and in the wilderness of temptation you protected your Son from sin. Renew us in the gift of baptism. May your holy angels be with us, that the wicked foe may have no power over us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever -




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.  More info: 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.




Free Practice Discipleship Webinar:
"Story of Scripture" on March 3rd!

The second in our 2015 series of Practice Discipleship Initiative webinars is coming!

Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm (central standard time)
Presenter: Dr. Julia Fogg

Webinar Description: Discover God's story as revealed in Scripture and how that enduring story shapes the unfolding stories of God's people. Through reading the stories of a God who breaks boundaries and crosses borders to reach people, you are invited to connect with the ministry of Jesus and orient your story to receive, follow, and pursue God's good work.



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 March 11.


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




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. 




Bishop Jim Gonia

  • Exit interview, First Lutheran, Longmont, CO
  • Preach at Trinity, Fowler, CO
  • First Third of Life Team
  • Dean's WebEx

Pastor Ron Roschke 

  • Operation One Nation
  • Consultation on RMS relations with California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
  • El Camino Colorado (Vocational discernment at CU-Boulder Campus Ministry)
  • First Third of Life Faith Formation Task Force
  • RMS Campus Ministry Committee

Pastor Sarah Moening    

  • Conference Coordinator WebEx
  • Call Process interviews and meetings

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Ministry Reviews
  • Developer/Redeveloper Training 

Pastor Kent Mueller   

  • Lutheran Center Administration

Erin Power

  • Assembly Planning
  • Ministry Review- St Andrew, Arvada

Ruth Hoffman - 

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM   
  • NM Association of Food Banks Board meeting
  • Legislative session
Peter Severson - Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Grace Lutheran Church, Boulder, CO (Adult forum)


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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




Wyoming Middle School Youth Gathering 

is March 20-22 in Casper


Wyoming Conference Middle School Youth Gathering is March 20-22 at Grace Lutheran in Casper. All Wyoming congregations are invited to attend the Wyoming MSYG, where we will explore 'Here We Go--A Journey Through Acts.' We will have time for Bible study, mission, fun, and worship.  If you are interested in more information, contact Pastor Brenda at Grace Lutheran at 307-235-6329.


Good Shepherd plans Lenten series in Casper


Practical and transforming prayer will be the Lenten
emphasis at Good Shepherd Lutheran's evening worship services in Casper, Wyoming. The community is invited to a 40-day teaching on how connecting with God through prayer can touch communities, strengthen believers' lives, and witness to the power and love of God for all. We will be showing a short video series, hear the read Word, and sing together of the Christ whose life was a complete sacrifice of grace and joy. Good Shepherd is located at 51 Primrose Street in Casper. For more information, call the church office at 237-3503





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.


more information


To reserve your place at the table, RSVP to kris.stoever@gmail.com




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.