September 2017 Connection - Rocky Mountain Synod


September 2017 Roster Changes MARCH 2017
 The Rev. Todd Hawkins from On Leave from Call to Pastor Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Denver, CO 3/1/2017
 The Rev. Paula Stecker from Metropolitan Chicago Synod to Pastor Christ the King Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO 3/1/2017
 The Rev, Daniel (DJ) Dent from Associate Pastor Christ Lutheran Church, Highlands Ranch, CO to Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod 3/1/2017
 The Rev. Christopher Heller from Pastor Messiah Lutheran Church, Albuquerque, NM to On Leave From Call 3/20/2017
 APRIL 2017
 The Rev. Patricia Mohr-Kelly from Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod to Interim Pastor Lutheran Church of the Servant, Santa Fe, NM 4/1/2017
 Deacon Richard Mohr-Kelly On Leave From Call from Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod to Rocky Mountain Synod 4/1/2017
 The Rev. Frank Philipp from Interim Pastor First Lutheran Church, Longmont, CO to Pastor On Leave From Call 4/1/2017
 The Rev. Garrett Struessel from South-Central Synod of Wisconsin to Pastor First Lutheran Church, Longmont, CO 4/5/2017
 The Rev. Donald Zundel Pastor retired from Southwest Pennsylvania Synod 4/7/2017
 The Rev. Donald Zundel Pastor retired deceased 4/8/2017 MAY 2017
 The Rev. Cynthia Josephson from Pastor On Leave From Call to Pastor retired 5/1/2017
 The Rev. Elwood Carlson from Interim Pastor Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO to On Leave From Call 5/1/2017
 The Rev. Barbara Johnson from Pastor American Lutheran, Grand Junction, CO to Minneapolis Area Synod 5/16/2017
 The Rev. Armando Rangel from On Leave From Call to resigned from Word & Sacrament roster 5/31/2017 JUNE 2017
 The Rev. Michael Ross Pastor Retired from Northwest Washington Synod to Rocky Mountain Synod 6/7/2017

The Rev. Benson Bartell deceased June 8, 2017
 The Rev. David Ryder (RCA) from New York to Pastor Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO 6/10/2017
 The Rev. Richard Brenton from Central States Synod to Pastor Ascension Lutheran Church, Ogden, UT 6/18/2017
 The Rev. Gail Mundt from Interim Pastor Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO to Bridge Associate Pastor Christ Lutheran Church, Highlands Ranch, CO 6/22/2017 JULY 2017
 The Rev. Geoffrey Beebe from Pastor Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City, UT to Pastor retired 7/1/2017
 The Rev. Keith Prekker from Interim Pastor Atonement Lutheran Church, Lakewood, CO to Pastor retired 7/1/2017
 The Rev. Alena Lamirato from Pastor St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Buffalo, WY to Pastor Peace in Christ Lutheran Church, Elizabeth, CO 7/2/2017
 The Rev. Nelson Bock from Pastor retired to resigned from Word & Sacrament roster 7/8/2017
 The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey from Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod to Interim Pastor Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City, UT 7/16/2017
 The Rev. Debra Jimenez from candidate to Pastor Trinity Lutheran Church, Hobbs, NM 7/23/2017
 The Rev. Paul Carlson from Interim Pastor Trinity Lutheran Church, Las Cruces, NM to Interim Pastor American Lutheran Church, Grand Junction, CO 7/23/2017

RMS in the Neighborhood In this edition of Connection, we hear 3 stories of how youth and young adults are engaging in Church around our Synod. 

Equipping Young LeadersHow Do We Do That? Hello! My name is Kaari, and I just finished serving as the Synodical Life Summer Intern at the Office of the Bishop. I am 20 years old, a student at Colorado State University, and have just started the Candidacy Entrance process to become a pastor. I’d like to tell you why my faith and the church have always been a central part of my life. I grew up at First Lutheran Church in Longmont, Colorado. The things that made me want to continue to be active in the church weren’t necessarily youth activities, but rather the way that the congregation involved me in church life. Growing up, I wasn’t just another teenager who was really only seen in the youth room; I was given an abundance of opportunities to be a leader in the church, and was treated as a peer by adult parishioners.

Being involved in worship made me passionate about the church, and excited to go to church. Because First Lutheran has a full voting high school youth member on Council, I was elected to serve a three year term. I was able to interact with other members of the congregation, and the adults on Council quickly became my friends. I had a say in the workings of the church, was an advocate for the youth, and gave a younger perspective to church decisions. My voice mattered in a unique way. I am where I am today because of my congregation. I am here because of adult friends I made at my church who still treated me as a peer. I am here because growing up I had the opportunities  to lead in the church, and it has become a part of my identity. So, I challenge you, how can you let youth lead in your congregation?

Throughout my time in middle and high school, youth were always integrated into the worship services, serving as readers, communion assistants, worship assistants, and more, and it made me feel like I was valued in the congregation because I served in “adult jobs.” The high school youth also got to plan and lead a nontraditional Good Friday service every year. We spent months planning it, and we always tried to find new perspectives to view the cross. Each year was different, new, and engaging, and it was always well attended. My senior year of high school, my Pastor invited me to preach on Easter Sunday at all four of the Easter services.

Youth Lead Good Friday Service

Equipping Young LeadersCampus Ministry Meet Patrick, a junior at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying Business Administration. Every week during the school year, Patrick attends B+B and El Camino at CU’s Lutheran Episcopalian Campus Ministry! B+B (Bread and Belonging) is CU LECM’s main programming event. Every Tuesday, students share a meal while having discussions about a multitude of relevant topics. Patrick, has found Boulder to have a much different culture and demographic than he’s familiar with in his hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. He misses the diversity of Nashville, and Bread and Belonging is where he goes to find a piece of that diversity again. B&B challenges him to ponder how he can be engaged and present in the “real world”, outside of the college bubble. El Camino, the other main program at LECM, pairs students mentors from the community who partner with students and help them discern where their passions and purpose align with their career goals. Students and mentors meet individually at

least once a month, in addition to a large group gathering once a month where mentors and mentees gather and hear from different speakers from the “real world” about how those people made their passions coincide with and their careers. For Patrick, El Camino has been an essential part of his college experience. He describes it as being the reality piece that classes lack, especially in the business school. Patrick expressed interest in working for NGOs or NonProfits. While he is still learning valuable skills and information, unfortunately, the culture of the business school is very money oriented, focusing on how to maximize personal profit. It’s a very “me” oriented program, and is disheartening for a student like Patrick who has an outward focused career goal. This is where El Camino comes in! Patrick is again able to center himself and pull back from the negativity he feels sometimes in his studies by talking with his mentors. Discussing how he can use the concepts he’s learning while still pursuing non-profit business helps him put passion back into his studies, thanks to the help of El Camino!  

Some of the students and mentors in El Camino

Equipping Young LeadersOutdoor Ministry Kevin Beebe has always sought “the real.” It was this pursuit of authenticity that took him to Israel/Palestine through Young Adults in Global Missions; it was the pursuit of authenticity that took him to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and it was the pursuit of authenticity that brought him to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp. 2016 was Kevin’s first summer at Sky Ranch, where he served as the summer chaplain and worked on worship planning and support for both staff and campers. His chaplaincy was arranged through PLTS, so he really didn’t know anything about Sky Ranch before arriving at the camp at the start of the summer.

The worships for Wednesday highlighted examples of biblical figures who had doubted their call:  elderly Abraham who was promised a child, Jonah running away from God, Saul turned Paul, and Moses doubting his leadership ability. As Kevin reflected back on this exploration of doubt, he appreciated that Sky Ranch’s focus wasn’t “faith is always stronger than that doubt.” Instead, campers and staff alike were allowed a space to doubt, and to know that doubt doesn't make you a bad or unfaithful person. Sky Ranch (and outdoor ministry) allow for this authentic form of emotion. Kevin saw this authenticity throughout the summer. At camp, kids are willing to ask questions that others are too scared to ask. They’re willing to delve into the word and respond in unfiltered and wise ways, whereas adults are sometimes stymied.

But after seeing the summer and daily themes, and he was excited. Sky Ranch’s Authenticity is necessary for faith formation, 2016 summer theme was “Come As You and camp is an easy place to find that. Are”. On Wednesday, the theme of the Every summer, camps attract youth campers day was “Called”, as well as young which adult counselors specifically who come to focused on experience an doubting authentic faith. God’s call, Young people, which we all do like Kevin, who at some point. are passionate Kevin was about God, are in surprised and the church, but excited that Sky perhaps not Ranch devoted where we always a day to think to look. doubting faith. Worship at Sky Ranch 2016

The Office of the Bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA, is located on the campus of the RMS Lutheran Center, 7375 Samuel Drive, Denver, CO 80221. Connection editor is Erin Power: [email protected] Website is Facebook is An electronic .pdf of this CONNECTION newsletter is posted at


September 2017 Connection - Rocky Mountain Synod

September 2017 Roster Changes MARCH 2017
 The Rev. Todd Hawkins from On Leave from Call to Pastor Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Denver, CO 3/1/2017...

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