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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Leaders of the Church

When I walked into the sanctuary of Abiding Hope in Littleton, the first thing I saw was 50 smiling teenagers at the front, ready to lead worship. I knew that I was attending the Teen-Lead service, but I was blown away by the passion and confidence of the kids. Each student had role in the worship service, whether it was being a part of the many skits they did, being a part of the music, or being in the liturgical dances that they performed to praise God. Everybody had a chance to share their gifts with the congregation.
To quote a part of the service, “We must trust that God is going to work on us, and we’ll break through the obstacles we face for the sake of life.” The message the youth conveyed is that we have to break through the hard things in life that would lead us away from God, or the false expectations/masks we put on ourselves that separate us from God in order to truly experience our life and our relationship with God.

However, that’s not always easy. One of my favorite part…

First Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs

First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs has a heart for serving. They are connected to a variety of local service ministries in the Colorado Springs area, and have many members from the church that actively volunteer at the different ministry sites. One program that First Lutheran is actively involved with is the Marian House Soup Kitchen. A long term volunteer from First Lutheran wrote the following piece about their service at the Marian House:

First Lutheran Church has been partners with the Marian House since its beginnings in a local church basement in 1970. Pastor Paul Peel (recently retired) encouraged FLC to support the Marian House and Catholic Charities throughout his 48 years’ tenure at the church.

Since 1985, the Marian House Soup Kitchen, under the direction of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, has been serving people who are in need in downtown Colorado Springs. Hot, nutritious meals are provided for 600 or more people most days. Towards the end of the month, the …

You Always Have Your Voice

Last week, Peter Severson who serves as the Director for the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Colorado, and I journeyed to downtown Denver to Senator Cory Gardner’s office to speak about the new Senate healthcare bill that was released that morning. Although Peter hadn’t been able to read all 140 pages of the bill that morning (understandably), he had read a variety of summaries that allowed him to have a basic understanding of what the bill proposed. The bill has severe cuts to the Medicaid program, and also puts a cap on the total benefits a person can receive from Medicaid in their lifetime. Once the limit is reached, that person can no longer receive benefits. In short, under the proposed bill, Medicaid would no longer be a guaranteed benefit.
In Peter’s words:

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would cut federal Medicaid spending by half in ten years, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

But the funding cut is not the most alarming part of these policy proposals. T…

Seeds in Good Soil

And Jesus said, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
St. Mark’s in Aurora has been presented with ample opportunity to care for their neighbors in the ways that Jesus calls us to. Their building happens to be in an area that experiences a lot of homelessness and low-income families, and even though not all of those people go to St. Mark’s, St. Mark’s asked themselves how they could be servants for those people. Thus, new programming was born. Every Wednesday night St. Mark’s hosts a hot meal for people experiencing homelessness in their neighborhood. They truly wish to give food to the hungry, and use their resources to help those that have none.

Another way St. Mark’s shows hospitality to the larger community is through their community garden. Each summer, St. Mark’s opens up over a dozen plots in their garden for both church…

Young Adults in Global Mission: Ryan Campbell

The Rocky Mountain Synod is blessed to be sending four Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) abroad this August to engage in an intentional year of service around the world. I reached out to them in hopes that I could share their stories and the amazing ministry that they’re about to start with the rest of the Synod.
Ryan Campbell is one of the YAGMs leaving in August; he will spend the next year in Rwanda. Here is his story:
I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. I was baptized in a Lutheran church there, but I grew up at First Presbyterian Church. In high school, I went on my second mission trip to Zambia. There I felt called to serve others, and I explored that calling at St. Olaf College. I kinda did the liberal arts thing there, and took a bunch of everything. I settled on Political Science. While there, I felt called to return to Africa, and so went to study in Tanzania for a semester, through the Lutheran Colleges Consortium of Tanzania. I had a blast, learned Swahili, traveled, c…

When Church Leaves the Building

“God’s Work, Our Hands” and “Christ’s Church, Better Together” are slogans that I’m sure many of the people in the Rocky Mountain Synod have heard before, which makes sense as they are the ELCA and RMS slogans. The Aurora Church Together Strategy (ACTS), composed of St. Matthew, St. Marks, Bethel, All Saints, and HKBP Montclair congregations, has taken these slogans to heart.

Acts is an Area Ministry Strategy. What's an Area Ministry Strategy, you say? Well, an Area Ministry Strategy is a group of churches that come together with three goals in mind: individual spiritual growth of the members, congregational renewal of the participating congregations, and collective impact in the community.
What makes  ACTS’ work unique is that they don’t just aim to help people in their community through charity, they try to get at the root causes of what is causing problems for people in their community. Within their community work, they found that their community was most affected by  poverty, h…

Young Adults in Global Mission- Katharine Jones!

The Rocky Mountain Synod is blessed to be sending four Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) abroad this August to engage in an intentional year of service around the world. I reached out to them in hopes that I could share their stories and the amazing ministry that they’re about to start with the rest of the Synod.
Katharine Jones is one of the YAGMs leaving in August; she will be serving in Jerusalem/West Bank for a year. Here is her story:
Hello!! My name is Katharine Jones and I am a Colorado native who is passionate about deeply understanding and caring for other people. I was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boulder, which became a second home for me. I was very involved at Trinity, as well as with the synod Junior High and Senior High Youth Gatherings, the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans in 2012, and Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, as a camper and staff. All of these experiences were important to my spiritual development and my growth as a leader, and a…

Hello! Intern Here!

Hello readers of the Rocky Mountain Synod! My name is Kaari von Bernuth and I am serving as the Synodical Life Intern at the Office of the Bishop this summer. One of my main tasks is to find out the cool and amazing ways that you (yes, you) are doing God’s work in the world, and to share that with the rest of the synod!
As a college student there were times when I feel really disconnected from the world and the church. I’m very involved in the Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin) at Colorado State University (Go Rams!), but even that felt somewhat separated from the rest of the church. As I began the process of becoming an Intern at the Office of the Bishop I began to think of how this position could be a position of connection. How could I help make the connection of Campus Ministry to the rest of the church more apparent? And even bigger than that, how could I help connect congregations and ministries around the Synod to each other? El Paso is very far away from Fort Collins, but we’re …