We’re on a journey rooted in justice and equality. We desperately need each other as we work together to find our freedom. The church has the power to come together and defy racism - not as an easy or cheap form of “one-ness” rather as a powerful movement of God’s presence in us. We offer ourselves together recognizing the inflection point in society and church which calls each of us to defy the standard of whiteness and live the standard of the cross. What are youwilling to give or give-up that we can be one?

-Pr. Richard Gianzero, Opening Worship, 2020 RMS Theological Conference

Struggling with Our Stories of Race

This discussion series is intended to create an experience  for each of us the chance to think about our personal stories of race and faith. This discussion guide includes a guided timeline experience and individual journal prompts. Participants are encouraged to engage as much of the materials as they are able. Synod Assembly Voting Members are specifically asked to engage this work as part of the preparation for the assembly, though anyone in the RMS is invited to participate. 

Full Curriculum 


The On The Road project is a series of stories shared by members of the Rocky Mountain Synod. These stories share how we have been awakened to the presence of racism in our lives. It is a journey. We have not arrived. We trust that Jesus is journeying with us; making our hearts burn within us as we catch glimpses of Beloved Community. We hope you will, too.

Beloved Community Story Project

Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

The Doctrine of Discovery was a set of royal and papal declarations in the sixteenth century that created the rationale for European Christians to seize the lands of the Western hemisphere and displace the peoples who had inhabited them for millennia. These actions that were set in motion by the Doctrine of Discovery led to the deaths of millions of people who had called these lands “home” long before Europeans set foot on them.  

The toolkit has been created  to support the commitments made by the 2016 Rocky Mountain Synod  and Churchwide Assemblies, and the continued work of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly, to deepen our repudiation of this doctrine and work toward greater justice and conciliation.

Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

Becoming a Sanctuary Church

This page seeks to provide information regarding the 2019 Churchwide Assembly declaring the ELCA to be a sanctuary denomination, as well as provide resources for conversation, learning, and communal discernment. We encourage congregations to begin their discernment using the 1991 Social Statement "Church in Society" .  Bishop Gonia recently reflected on actions of the Churchwide Assembly and the connections to our ELCA Identity.  This framing of the Assembly's decisions may provide a helpful lens for conversation.

Sanctuary Resource Page

ACT4RMS Anti-Racism Team

Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey
Brenda Fosse
Ihoby Rakotomalala
Rev. Gordy Sandquist
Rev. Paula Stecker


Jaen Ugalde
Rev. Penni Walsh
Deacon Erin Power (Office of the Bishop Liaison)
Bishop Jim Gonia