February 25, 2015

Every Day in Lent:  Be Still


We continue the Lenten challenge 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" during Lent as a meaningful spiritual practice. Those with Portico health insurance can log this 6-week wellness activity when completed.


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.





Our Life Together

2015 Synod Assembly

May 1-3
Sheraton Hotel

Salt Lake City, UT 

Registration and hotel deadline is March 27

Start the registration process here.


Nominations and Resolutions are due March 6

View the list of needed positions in your conference and download the nomination form. Download the resolution submission form.


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!




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 still need 45 more to reach our 158 Health Assessment goal!


ELCA PORTICO INSURANCE MEMBERS must take the assessment by February 28, 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.



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



First Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO

All are invited to a Farewell Reception. Come and share in Thanksgiving for Pastor Steve Berke on Sunday, March 1 at 12:15 as he concludes 11 years of ministry in Longmont. The church is located at 805 3rd Ave, Longmont CO, 80501. Pastor Berke is called to serve as the interim pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Highlands Ranch, Colorado. 



3/1 First Lutheran Church Longmont, CO 

 Steve Berke

 Paul Judson 

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Longmont, CO

 Mark Peterson 

Christ the Servant Louisville, CO 

 Stephanie Lord 


Second Sunday in Lent
Prayer of the Day

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. -





On Ash Wednesday Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church (Fort Collins, CO) and Mustard Seed House Churches (a new ELCA synodically authorized worshipping community) participated in a joint worship service, kicking off the season of Lent together with song, prayer, communion, and the imposition of ashes. 

Pastor Andy Boesenecker, mission developer for Mustard Seed House Churches, preached and presided at the worship service, and volunteers from Mustard Seed helped out with the service. In addition to a wonderful evening together, Spirit of Joy has graciously agreed to give their mid-week offerings to Mustard Seed House Churches for the season of Lent. This mission support and partnership is so valuable to a new ministry like Mustard Seed! 

If you or your congregation would like more information on how you can support a variety of new ministry opportunities happening right here in the Rocky Mountain Synod, please contact Pastor Stephanie Quick-Espinoza at




Sharing and Learning with Robin Brown

The Core Team of the Hunger Network invites pastors and lay hunger/outreach leaders to meet with Pastor Robin Brown, Associate Director of the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, at 1:30 pm on Thursday, March 5, at the Office of the Bishop (7375 Samuel Drive, Denver).


The agenda is simple:  What drives your personal and congregational generosity around issues of hunger and poverty and the work of ELCA World Hunger in particular?  How can Robin and other staff help you?


If you are unable to join the face-to-face meeting, you can participate via WebEx. Email Kent Mueller if you are unfamiliar with exactly how to do this.   The web address for joining the conference is http://tinyurl.com/hungernetwork.

Please RSVP to Carol McDivitt (970.669.4090 or mcdivittc@mindspring.com




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 

House of Purpose Music Leader 

House of Purpose is an evangelical ministry offering the hope and love of Christ to veterans and area residents in the East Colfax neighborhood. We are seeking a musician to help plan and lead the music in our 10:30AM Sunday morning worship services. House of Purpose is flexible on the number of services per month.  Contact: Dr. Jack Lindsey, (a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, CO) House of Purpose Board Member, drjacklindsey@comcast.net.



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

  • Holy Shepherd, Lakewood, CO
  • Kim Gonia Installation

Pastor Ron Roschke 

  • Lutheran Campus Ministry and Committee
  • ELCA Assistants to the Bishop Consultation, Jacksonville FL
  • Congregational Ministry Board Collaboration

Pastor Sarah Moening    

  • CDI Utah
  • Mountain of Olives, Rock Springs

Pastor Stephanie Quick Espinoza

  • Ministry Reviews
  • Developer/Redeveloper Training 

Pastor Kent Mueller   

  • Lutheran Center Administration
  • Assistants to the Bishop Gathering, Jacksonville FL

Erin Power

  • Assembly Planning
  • El Camino CU Boulder

Ruth Hoffman - 

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM   
  • Legislative session
Peter Severson - Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Assembly Planning
  • CCHI Healthcare Advocacy Day at the Capitol

    Colorado Social Legislation Committee

  • Voices for Justice


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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



Assembly Bookstore Volunteer Needed 

One of the ministries offered at Synod Assembly is an Assembly Bookstore, which provides new books and resources on topics related to the assembly theme and other relevant topics related to ministry. Because of the assembly location, the Cokesbury Bookstore is able to send resources but does not have a representative available. We are looking for someone (or 2 people) to run the assembly bookstore Friday afternoon/evening, and Saturday morning/early afternoon. Volunteers would be able to sit in on plenary session, meals and t-shirt also provided. Contact Erin Power for more information.  




Wyoming Middle School Youth Gathering  

is March 20-22 in Casper


The 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



Desert Springs Lutheran Church Will Be Using The Alpha Program During Their Mid-Week Wednesday Meetings


Alpha is a worldwide phenomenon. Itıs found in over 169 countries. Itıs run in tens of thousands of schools, prisons, homes and churches of all denominations. Itıs given more than 19.6 million people the opportunity to explore the meaning of life.

The Alpha course covers the basics of Christianity. It answers questions 
like: Who is Jesus?, and Why did he die? Many other questions are covered in the series.  No cost, no pressure, just an informal gathering of people who wish to better understand their Christian faith.

The series will run each Wednesday during the Lenten Season at the church located at 1685 Caballo Road beginning at 11:00.  Bring your lunch (if you

wish) and plan to spend an hour with your fellow neighbors.  Father Peter

Cacoperdo will be leading the series.   The first session will be

Wednesday, February 25. 





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.