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As part of the Rocky Mountain Synod commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Bishop Jim Gonia put together a five-part video series around the gifts we claim as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). All videos can be found on the RMS Vimeo page (links are external).

Part 1:  Introduction 

Part 2: Theology 

Part 3: Practice 

Part 4:  Ecclesiology 

Part 5: Legacy 


















Rev. Jim Gonia


Bishop Jim Gonia was elected to a six-year term on April 28, 2012 at the Rocky Mountain Synod’s annual assembly in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was installed on September 23, 2012.


He served as a missionary in Madagascar from 1988 to 1998. In 1998 he was called to be the associate pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Denver. From 2009 until his election as bishop, he served the ELCA’s churchwide ministries as Global Mission area program director for West Africa, Tanzania and Madagascar. In this position Bishop Gonia was responsible for overseeing the ELCA’s programs and relationships with Lutheran church bodies and partners in nine African countries.

Bishop Gonia received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind. in 1982, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in 1988, and a Master of Theology degree in Islamic studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1997.

gifts of the ELCA

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