In Memoriam
The Rev. Ralph Rohr

The Rev. Ralph Rohr, 68, died unexpectedly on Sunday morning, April 10, 2016, at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie Wyoming. A service to give thanks for his life and ministry will take place at Trinity, Lutheran Church, Laramie, Wyoming, on Thursday, April 14 at 2 p.m.
Pastor Rohr served at Trinity from 1988 to 2013. Prior to that call he served at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Fort Morgan, Colorado, from 1980 to 1988. He also served in Chillicothe, Missouri, and Carleton, Nebraska. 
We give thanks for his faithful ministry in Christ's church.

In Memoriam
The Rev. Obed O. Sunde

The Rev. Obed Olaf Sunde, 87 of Colorado Springs, CO died after a brief illness, surrounded by his family, on Good Friday, March 25, 2016.
His first call was to Christ Lutheran Church in Pickrell, Nebraska. He continued his ministry serving congregations in Hawaii and Arizona eventually completing his lifetime of ministry in Colorado churches serving the congregation of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church for 17 years before ending his career in La Junta, Colorado. No formal service is planned in accordance with his wishes.


On Sunday April 24, at 3:00 pm 
Pastor Ann Hultquist will be installed as the pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church in Denver, CO. Everyone is welcome! Rostered leaders: the color of the day will be white. 5000 E Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80246.

On Saturday, May 14, at 5:00 pm, Pastors Breonna and Ryan Roberts will be installed as the pastors of St. Luke Lutheran Church, Albuquerque, NM. Everyone is welcome! Rostered leaders: the color of the day will be white or red (yet to be determined).  9100 Menaul Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112.


St. Paul Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico ,is concluding its 125th Anniversary year with a dinner on Saturday, April 16, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, followed by celebratory worship on Sunday, April 17.  Bishop Gonia will preach. Your prayers for the congregation, and Pastor Patricia Holman are invited.

Prayer of the Day

O God of peace, you brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep. By the blood of your eternal covenant, make us complete in everything good that we may do your will, and work among us all that is well-pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Bishop Jim Gonia
  • NM Conference of Churches Retreat
  • St. Paul 125th Anniversary
Pastor Ron Roschke 
  • First Call Theological Education, Sacramento CA
  • Lilly Grant Development
  • Candidacy Appointments 
  • Assembly Planning
Pastor Sarah Moening 
  • Transitions Work
  • Interim Pastors
  • FaithFormation Network
  • Mount of Olives, Rock Springs
Pastor Judith VanOsdol
  • Churchwide CSM All Staff Meeting, Chicago, IL
Pastor Kent Mueller  
  • Assembly Projects
  • Transitions Administration
Erin Power, Diaconal Minister
  • Assembly Planning 
Ruth Hoffman - 
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, NM  
  • NM Conference of Churches retreat
  • St.Paul 125th anniversary
  • Peace Lutheran, Las Cruces
  • Medicaid subcommittee
Peter Severson- Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, CO
  • Churchwide CSM All Staff Meeting, Chicago, IL

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APRIL 28-30 
2016 Synod Assembly 
Embassy Suites 
Loveland, CO

2016 Theological Conference 
Little America 
Cheyenne, WY



MAY 5-7
2017 Synod Assembly
Antlers Hilton Hotel
Colorado Springs, CO



2017 Theological Conference




MAY 3-5
2018 Synod Assembly
Westin Hotel
Westminster, CO




Rocky Mountain Synod invited to apply for three-year Lilly grant

The Lilly Endowment has invited the Rocky Mountain Synod to apply for a three-year grant of up to half a million dollars to address the financial challenges facing rostered leaders in our synod. 

If the grant is awarded the synod would use the work generated by the grant as a significant part of our strategic planning process. We are currently applying for a pilot grant with Lilly which would underwrite the development of objectives for the three-year program. 

If awarded the pilot grant, then over the summer the Office of the Bishop will be conducting research to generate anonymous hard data on the actual financial challenges faced by rostered leaders. This past week's Strategic Planning Conversations with rostered leaders began data-gathering for this project. 

Please watch for future announcements regarding the status of the grant application and additional ways you might contribute to this important work.
Invitation to join in part
of the 2016 Synod Assembly

Opening Worship
Thursday, April 28
th 7:30 PM
Embassy Suites, Loveland, CO
Join us for worship led by Our Saviour's Fort Collins and the installation of Pastor Paul Judson, recently called to CSU Campus Ministry in Fort Collins.

California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary Interactive Workshop
FIND YOUR PURPOSE: Wondering about college? Ever considered seminary? Searching for your calling and purpose? Join faculty, staff and alumni from California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary at the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly on Friday, April 29 from 4-7pm at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO for a free interactive workshop. Dinner (and free school swag!) included. Participants do NOT have to be attending the assembly. Students, parents, anyone considering lay or ordained ministry, and anyone curious about Lutheran higher education are especially welcome. 
RSVP Required:  Maria Sutton at the Office of the Bishop.
Beer and Hymns/Hymn Sing
Friday, April 29, 7:30pm
BYOH:  Bring your own Hymnal!
Embassy Suites
Closing Worship
Saturday, April 30, 11:00am

Not too late for assembly registration

The registration deadline has passed for the 2016 Synod Assembly, which is April 28 to 30 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado. But you may still register late. Please review the FRIDAY late afternoon EXCURSIONS before registering. Assembly information is at Late registrations will not be received after Thursday, April 21

Note that the Embassy Suites hotel is now sold out. Please make arrangements at a neighboring hotel. 

Strategic Planning Survey:
We invite your response by April 18

At the direction of the Rocky Mountain Synod Council, we as a synod have entered into a time of discernment and strategic planning for the future of our life together. Your feedback is important, and your participation in our survey will help shape our future. All responses will be compiled by a third party and reported anonymously to the leadership of the Synod.

We invite responses and opinions from every corner of our vast geography that comprises the Rocky Mountain Synod. Please submit your survey response by April 18. Thank you!

2016 Churchwide Assembly: attend as Congregation Observer or a "Grace Gathering" participant

Each congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may register with the secretary of this church one congregation observer for the Churchwide Assembly prior to May 31. The assembly takes place in New Orleans August 8-13, 2016. Transportation costs, housing, other meals, and related expenses are the responsibility of the registered observer or sending congregation.
The registration fee for congregation observers is $100. Please note the meal package is not included in the registration fee, but may be purchased separately when registering. Online registration will open in April at Please contact the assembly hotline at 800-638-3522 ext 2911 or the registrar via email to if you have any questions.
Or, attend portions of the assembly as well as other companion events and workshops as a part of the ELCA Grace Gathering, overlapping some of the assembly dates. More information at .


Singing God's Song as a Rostered Leader
Would you like to know more about ways in which you can serve God as a rostered leader in the church? A workshop will take place during the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly on April 29 from 4-7 pm which will give you an opportunity to learn about how a person becomes a rostered leader in the ELCA. You do not need to be attending the Assembly to come to the workshop, which will be at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.
During the workshop, you will find out about the different forms of rostered leadership and have an opportunity to meet leaders who are already serving the church and hear their stories. If you'd like to attend, please email Janice Ladd-Horkey by April 22

Portico Primary Health Plan Members: 
Final, final, final deadline is April 30 when the assembly is happening. Do it now instead! 

We need 32 more Rostered Leaders (and/or applicable spouses) 
to take the annual health assessment! in the last two weeks of April!

Take the health assessments by logging into their My Portico accounts. Completion of the assessment earns you $150 in wellness dollars, with the opportunity to earn $250 more in follow up activities. Taking the assessment also helps the synod reach its 65% participation goal, saving your congregation 1% in health contributions. When you have taken the assessment, log it here. If applicable, have your spouse take it and log it, too!

Rostered leader transitions and openings
Rostered leaders include pastors, diaconal ministers, associates in ministry, and deaconesses. View the list of congregations in transition at this link on the new RMS website:

Monthly RMS Eucharist

We invite you to join us the second Wednesday of each month for a staff/community Eucharist Service at 11:30 am at the Office of the Bishop. Email Maria Sutton if you are interested in leading worship!  
Non-rostered positions available

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR:  Want to work in a fun and dynamic environment?  Want to help people use their God-given gifts?  To help our ministries grow and the people of KOG to connect? King of Glory, Arvada, is hiring a Volunteer Coordinator, approx. 5 hrs/wk.  If you are interested, the complete job description is on the front page of our website,   Please contact Pastor Todd,, for more information or to apply.

From Salt Lake City to El Paso: Better Together

Sunday's Mexican fiesta to support Juan de Dios at Zion, Salt Lake City, raised $1227
Lopez in seminary study!  From Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City to Cristo Rey Lutheran in El Paso, as our Bishop Jim Gonia never tires of saying, "We are Church. Better together."



Suicide Prevention Summit
May 4-6 at Regis University

Please join us for the 2016 Bridging the Divide (BtD) Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit on May 4-6, 2016 at the Regis University Lowell Campus in Denver. The theme this year is "Pathways to Resiliency, Strength and Recovery."

This year the conference will examine promising evidence-based practices that decrease the likelihood that suicide will occur, assist those who struggle with suicidal thinking, and help survivors of suicide loss regain their equilibrium following a loved one's suicide attempt or death.

Service! Intentional Community! Simplicity! Spirituality! 

Urban Servant Corps is a year-long, full-time volunteer program that allows for personal growth and professional development -- if you (or someone you know) are asking, "what's next?!" this could be the answer you are looking for! 

Urban Servant Corps volunteers live in intentional community with other full time volunteers and serve at a non-profit organization providing direct service. Food, housing, healthinsurance, a monthly stipend and an annual "growth and development" allotment are provided. 

Are you dedicated to social justice and a simpler way of life? Do you hope to explore your faith? Do you want to gain experience in the non-profit/service field? Come to Urban Servant Corps! Apply at

Interfaith Force for Good
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado works to promote justice, religious liberty and interfaith understanding. They bring together diverse people and communities of faith to empower positive spiritual voices in the public sphere. Our values are grounded in religious liberty, human rights and equality, and moral government.
They are looking for five people across the state of Colorado to serve as Area Coordinators. These individuals will support building a network of diverse religious communities and leaders who share common values. Coordinators will reach out to congregations to encourage commitment to working for equality, opportunity and wholeness for all people regardless of race, religion, class, gender or sexual orientation. Particular focus for 2016 will be to oppose the use of "religious freedom" as permission to discriminate against others.
Strong connections in diverse religious communities in his/her area of the state. Connections with civic and nonprofit leaders a plus.
Self-motivated, strong detail and follow through skills.
Being clergy is not required
Allocate 5 - 10 hours per week
More detailed job description at 
Areas of the state:
Northern Colorado: Ft. Collins / Loveland / Greely
Eastern Plains: Sterling / Akron/ Ft. Morgan / Limon
Metro Denver
Western Slope: Grand Junction / Montrose / Glenwood Springs
Southern Colorado: Colorado Springs / Pueblo
$500 per month, contract for 2016, possible extension
If you know someone to recommend, or are interested, please contact: 
Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Program Facilitator, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado

Discovering God's Economy Toolkit: April 19 Workshop

TOOLKIT is a one-day workshop that helps church leaders imagine how they could use FINANCE AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. It is a great, mind expanding, empowering experience. It is happening in downtown Denver on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $299.
TOOLKIT is a fully participatory workshop, where you bring your issues and your faith commitments and have a structured way to practice designing solutions at the intersection of faith and finance. You will come away with a new understanding of the systems of finance, a deck of cards that clearly explain financial terms and concepts, and several strategies on how you can lever the system of finance as a tool to for the social change you'd like to see in the world.  More information at this link

New Resource for Congregational Discussion of Death Penalty

The death penalty has been a source of much controversy in recent years. A new, high-quality resource is now available for the faith community to study this issue from the faith perspective. This four session video study features some of the top faith leaders in Colorado (including Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop Jim Gonia) and can be downloaded for free. Although the presenters are Colorado faith leaders, the study is not Colorado-specific.
This 2.5 minute video explains the video study series:
You can download that video to use for promotion by going to
May God bless the groups in your congregation as they explore this important moral issue.
Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan
Doing Justice, LLC

Experience California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran
Theological Seminary at Workshop on April 29

FIND YOUR PURPOSE: Wondering about college? Ever considered seminary? Searching for your calling and purpose? Join faculty, staff and alumni from California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary at the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly on Friday, April 29 from 4-7pm at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO for a free interactive workshop. Dinner (and free school swag!) included. Participants do NOT have to be attending the assembly. Students, parents, and anyone curious about Lutheran higher education are especially welcome. RSVP by April 22 to Maria Sutton at the Office of the Bishop:

Celebrate Wartburg West's 30th year with the Wartburg Choir

As part of the 30th Anniversary celebration for the Wartburg West Urban Semester program, the renowned Wartburg Choir, along with members of the Denver School of the Arts choir, will present a concert at Saint Johnıs Episcopal Cathedral in Denver on Friday, April 22, at 7:30 PM. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Clergy Renewal:  JS Bach - A Journey into Joy / A Fortress Found
Join others in ministry for our unique 'day retreat' format as we let the music of Johann Sebastian Bach open areas of music, beauty and renewal.  Through his cantatas, we will explore that which seems to rob us of safety, joy and love. Through Bach's loves, humor and genius we will be guided by this mystical musician who gloried in the Word of God and mathematical marvels. Each participant will take home means and methods to expand personal areas of beauty, joy, genius, happiness and creativity all while keeping our feet on the firm foundation of our fortress.  Ministers from all settings are welcome!
Dates: Friday, April 15, 2016 & Saturday, April 16, 2016
Time: Day 1, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.,  Day 2 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Faculty: Schawn Kellogg, MDiv, RN, Kelby Cotton, MDiv
Cost:  $60

Lutheran Men In Mission Retreat is April 22-24

"One Year to Live" is an opportunity for men to explore the difference their Christian faith can make in their lives as they relate to families, people at work and others in the Christian community. The retreat is April 22-24 at Camp Santa Maria in Colorado. For brochures and registration:  Questions, contact Randy McNitt  303-910-4008, email:

Meet others interested in recovery ministry in Springs event

Nadia Bolz-Weber, Dr. Matt Russell, Dale Ryan, Gregg Taylor, Scott McBean and others will lead us in challenging discussions focusing on the messiness of ministry, particularly in the field of recovery, with thought-provoking suggestions and challenges for change. Dates are July 18 to 22, 2016, in Colorado Springs, CO. This event is intended primarily for recovery ministry leaders and pastors who are working in the local church context. Our focus this year will be on practical strategies for sustainable ministry development. More information:

Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy Retreat

A retreat of the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy will take place April 25-28, 2016, at the Highlands Presbyterian Camp &  Retreat Center. The agenda is a discussion of the Twelve Steps, fellowship, worship, and prayer. Cost depends on the housing arrangements. For information and registration, please contact Bohdan Vadis at 858-560-8688 or email:

Criminal justice speakers available on May 15 for your congregation

One of New Beginnings' Partners in Ministry is Prison Congregations of America (PCA).  Their next board meeting will be on May 15 in Denver.  The board, that is quite fluent on the subject of Criminal Justice from a faith perspective, has offered themselves to area congregations that Sunday.   
There are four ordained pastors, and one lay leader who also can do pulpit supply. Additionally, two lay leaders would be happy to lead an Adult Forum on Criminal Justice, the work of PCA, and how New Beginnings fits into that model in our synod. If you are interested in having one of these as a guest in your congregation on May 15c0j, please email Pastor Terry Schjang at


Saturday April 16, 2016 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Library 21c
1175 Chapel Hills Drive Colorado Springs, CO

Featuring Pastor Tim Bettger, Linda Slothower, the "Revelators"
Conference materials "The Return of the Prodigal Son: A story of Homecoming" 
available for purchase for $5.00
e-mail for copy or check out at your local library or book store.
Registration fee of $45 includes two meals.
Women ages 15-30 may attend free when accompanied by a registered guest!
Register by 4/1/16 on line here  you could also email 
or mail to: Carolyn Gardner, 1055 Golden Street, Calhan, CO 80808