The Light

Services Every Sunday of the Year ⋅ Volume 65, Number 2

We are a transformational Force for Love and Justice in Our Community.
We gather to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other and our community, seek truth, and work for justice in the world.

February Light

Our 65th Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

Note: January 5, there will be only one service at 10:30 AM.

Office Administrator, Cherie Coffelt’s hours will be Tuesday-Thursday 9:30 AM until 5 PM.

Sermons Online
Listen here.


from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Hola mis amigos,

February epitomizes the expression, “Big things come in small packages.” This is the shortest month, but it has big celebrations. It’s Black History Month, it has Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. There’s also the biggest unofficial US holiday: Super Bowl Sunday!

This year is also a leap year. For those born on the 29th, it’s a special year, too.

We are celebrating Black History Month at the UUCLC with our first African American Read-in. It’ll be on Feb 15. Kay Wikel and Trudy Gallegos are working feverishly to make it a success. Keep your eyes and ears open and don’t miss out.

Whatever your plans or celebrations for February, I wish you well. Go big, not small!

Hasta proximo vez!

Rev. xk

Community Quick Hit

Your church staff is busy and hard at work on your behalf. We want to remind you that Mondays and Fridays are reserved for Cheri Coffelt, Church Office Manager, to complete essential work that cannot be done on other days. If you need her assistance, please email her to schedule your time on Tuesday – Thursday, 10am – 4pm.

We are looking for a person with PC and audio/visual skills who would like to assist Elwin Nunn on Sundays and serve as a backup. The volunteer position involves working with and other volunteers to produce the projected video and DVDs afterward. If you are interested, please contact Elwin at

Choir and Music

Catherine Massey
Catherine Massey

Music Notes

Catherine’s article will return in the March Light.


Catherine A. Massey,
Director of Music
AUUMN Credentialed Music Leader


Upcoming Services

Resilience and Bounce

We as a people must keep bouncing back. This date frames two significant deaths in American history: Malcom X and Trayvon Martin. Both symbolize tragedies and turning points in our culture and society and frame how we understand ourselves. What does it take to maintain … read more.

Upcoming Roundtables

Education never ends. Come join our discussions. Our goal is to learn more about all sides of issues and more about each other. If you have a comment or suggestion, email it to

Roundtable: My Goals As District 2 Councilor
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:30 AM in the Library

Presenter: Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, Las Cruces City Councilor, District 2

As an advocate and mother, Councilor Abeyta-Stuve shares her ideas on creating a thriving future for all residents and building community in District 2.

Please Note

These Items of Interest

Time to Adjust Your Payment Schedule

If you make pledge payments or other contributions to the church by credit card through InFellowship, please check to make sure that your credit card number and expiration date are correct. You may also want to adjust your scheduled payments if you changed the amount of your pledge for 2020. If you have a problem updating your card or changing your payment schedule, you may contact Lyn Pearson by email or telephone.

How to Increase Your Pledge

If you wish to increase your pledge, please contact Shirley Davis or Lyn Pearson.

Service Associate Training Coming Soon (2nd reminder)

Have you ever imagined yourself assisting with a Sunday worship service? What is holding you back from making that daydream a reality? The Sunday Services Committee is always eager to include new volunteers in our ranks of Service Assistants and Associates. Early in the new year, we will be having training to prepare volunteers to be service assistants and service associates. Please contact either Haney Pearson or Maggie Locatelli if you would like to help with Sunday worship. Co-chairs: Haney Pearson and Maggie Locatelli

Paganism: The Month of February

Imbolc is a pagan holiday celebrated from February 1 through sundown February 2. Based on a Celtic tradition, Imbolc was meant to mark the halfway point between winter solstice and the spring equinox in Neolithic Ireland and Scotland. The holiday is celebrated by Wiccans and other practitioners of neopagan or pagan-influenced religions. Imbolc is just one of several pre-Christian holidays highlighting some aspect of winter and sunlight, and heralding the change of seasons.


Imbolc celebrations took the form of a festival in honor of the pagan goddess Brigid, who was evoked in fertility rites and oversaw poetry, crafts and prophecy.

In pre-Christian times, Imbolc observance began the night before February 1. Celebrants prepared for a visit from Brigid into their homes by crafting an effigy of the goddess from bundles of oats and rushes. The effigy was placed in a dress and put in a basket overnight.

The day of Imbolc was celebrated by burning lamps and lighting bonfires in tribute to Brigid.


Over the centuries, Brigid was adopted into Christianity as St. Brigid.

One of Ireland’s three patron saints, the Catholic Church claims St. Brigid was a historical person, with accounts of her life written by monks dating back to the 8th century. Brigid (or Bridget) is the patron saint of Irish nuns, newborns, midwives, dairy maids and cattle.

Whether or not she existed, these stories contain aspects in common with the details of the pagan goddess and illustrate the transition from pagan to Christian worship.

Like the goddess Brigid, St. Brigid is associated with milk and fire. Born in Ireland around 453 A.D., St. Brigid was the daughter of a slave and a chieftain who was celebrated at an early age for her agricultural knowledge.


Don’t Forget

These Dates

Feb 2 & 9 Write Thank You Notes to Our Legislators

Social Justice Committee Animal Advocates announcement:

Dave and Ilene Steele will participate in the Animal Protection Voters of NM Lobby Day at the 2020 State Legislature on February 13.  The Legislative delegation serving the members of our congregation (Senators Soules and Steinborn, and Representatives Ferrary, Gallegos, Rubio, and Small) has an impressive record of support for issues related to animal welfare.

The Animal Advocates ministry of the UUCLC Social Justice Committee invites the members of our congregation to write personal notes to their respective legislators thanking them for their commitment. Dave, Ilene and Jean Gilbert will set up a table in the RE Great Room on February 2 and 9, following each service to give members of the congregation an opportunity to write their thank you notes.  We will provide the note cards!  Dave and Ilene will hand deliver to our legislators in Santa Fe on Lobby Day. Questions?  Contact Dave Steele.

Animal Advocates–Honoring our Seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle by serving animals and the people who love them.  Thank you for your support!

Feb 15 African American Read-In

Join us on Saturday, February 15, at 1-3 PM for the national African-American Read-In to celebrate Black History Month. The idea is to educate and raise awareness about African-American literary tradition, foster diversity, and promote a love of reading. If you would enjoy participating, bring a book by a favorite African-American author and plan to give a 2-minute reading.

This opportunity is open to all interested people of all ages, especially students and staff.

Feb 17-21 Education Building Great Room Gets a New Coat

Dynamic Painting and Drywall will be painting the RE Great Room and Kitchen from February 17-21. Check with Cheri in the Church Office for any changes in scheduling. Charlie Scholz, Chair

Feb 21 Dining Out?

We have enjoyed attending UU Dining at 5:00 p.m. every third Friday for more years than I recall. When we became the organizers several years ago. Since Frances and I have eaten out every Friday even before the kids left home some thirty years ago, organizing this was easy:

  • Choose a place.
  • Make a reservation for 8 to 15.
  • Call the day of to confirm the count.
  • Show up ten minutes early.
  • Enjoy the company and meal.

We hope someone decides to continue this tradition. We had originally planned to move in May, but circumstances change quickly when we secured a place in Missouri, where we have family and friends from our high school days. Our baker’s dozen years in Las Cruces have been delightful. All our best, Frances & Gordon Hill

Useful forms for planning Dining Out evenings can be found here

Apr 1 Watch For Your Census Packet

We are calling all superheroes to protect the future of Las Cruces. The US Census takes 10 minutes of your time and shapes 10 years of your life. By April 1, all homes should receive an invitation to participate in the Census and you will have three options to respond: Online – Phone – Mail

Questions call:  575-541-2100

Apr 25 Annual Auction

We are off to the races. It’s that time again to start thinking of the 2020 Auction Event. “An Evening at the Derby”. Come donning your favorite Derby Garb on Saturday, April 25th from 5-9. We want to see lots of hats and dresses, bowties and jackets, crazy patterns and colors a must, and some jockey fanfare too.

Members whip the reins on your creative imagination to spur on personal donation ideas for events, services, meals, baked goods or gift certificates for all members to bid on at the Auction Event. Donation forms will be out soon.

To make it to the finish line, we need volunteers. There is a lot behind the scenes action before the auction and even more help needed the day of the auction. Volunteers will be out to lasso you into the action between Sunday services during February. Signup while your favorite shifts are still available.

And the race is on to see which committee will come up with the winning raffle basket this year. Details coming to your church mailboxes soon. Please check your boxes.

This year’s auction committee is asking for “Beverage Sponsors” to donate funds for the committee to purchase the beverages. Please Contact Chairman, Kathy Willoughby to be a volunteer or a beverage sponsor.

Thanks to Our Greeters


Our January greeters were: Jo Ingle, Jan Thompson, Vickie Freeland, Susan West, Skip Shelton, Linda Peterson, Janet Pitt, Tom Packard, Joel and Peggy Brown, Martha Loustaunau, Diane Lee, Jack Welch, Gayle Trantham, Bob and Joan Pipkins, and Joan Dormody. — Peggy Devlin & Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators



Generous Giving

It is very easy to make a gift to the church through InFellowship. Donations in memory of members and friends become part of our Endowment Fund. These are gifts that keep on giving.


The Tombaugh Gallery

Gourd Artists


   The always popular gourd artists are back at the Tombaugh Gallery, this time showing off their spirit animals. Each of the four southwest artists has a unique style, but each gourd will embody the essence of an animal – turtles, giraffes, dragonflies, bears, cats, dogs, and horses are all represented. Their work encompasses everything from carving to painting, pyrography to embellishing with clay.

Sylvia Henrickson discovered the gourd as a canvas after moving to Las Cruces and finding wild buffalo gourds in the desert. Steph Ross exclaims that the gourd “is the most versatile canvas I have ever seen.” Brenda Blackwelder has been carving gourds for about 25 years. She likes to say that her “work is where the gourd ends and the art begins.” Terry McCatherin likes to create ornaments featuring southwest designs using the wild buffalo gourds. She tells people that her “ornaments are the result of a northeast tole painter meeting a southwest surface!”

A reception for the artists will be from 11:30 to 1:30 on Sunday, February 2 at the Gallery. All of the artists will be available to discuss their work and inspiration

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 – 2. For details, contact, or call the church at 522-7281. The Tombaugh Gallery is located inside the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 South Solano Drive, Las Cruces, NM and is open Wednesday – Saturday 10 am – 2 pm. Visit the gallery on Facebook.

Regular Monthly Activities

Unless otherwise stated, all events will be held at the church. Please check the church’s online calendar to ensure the most recent times and places for these events. Newcomers are invited to participate in these activities.

Bridge Group plays bridge on the first, third and fifth Thursdays at 1:00 pm in the church lobby. If you want to play, be sure to contact Nancy Anderson a few days before so we know the number of players.

Desert Spirit CUUPs is a Las Cruces chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. We practice and educate others on Earth-centered spirituality. We gather monthly on the 3rd Saturday of each month at 6 pm for a potluck and either ritual or an informative class. All events are open to everyone interested in learning and/or growing in their spiritual path. Events held at the church unless otherwise noted. Visit or email

Dining Out: A different restaurant every month and dinner with church members. Signup sheets are in the church lobby on the welcome counter. You should sign up not later than the Wednesday prior to the dinner. Look in the church newsletter “The Light” for the exact time, date and location or contact for more information or to reserve a place for the dinner.

Lunch Bunch is a weekly lunch-time get together. Everyone is invited to bring a lunch to the church library every Wednesday at 12:00 noon and enjoy the company of fellow Unitarian Universalists.

MoonSisters Group: This women’s group meets once monthly. Contact Cass Calway for more information or visit the group’s Facebook page:

Quilting Bee: The UU Bee Welcome, meets every week in the church lobby. The Bee is open to all levels of quilters, both members and non-members. It welcomes all styles of quilting work from machine-quilting to hand-quilting to appliqué. The purpose of a quilting bee is to provide an opportunity for quilters to spend time together as they work on their individual quilting projects and exchange tips of the trade, encourage and support each other, share new ideas, deepen friendships, and generally have a good time. A $1 donation per quilter will be given at each session to cover the cost of utilities. The contact person is Kris Northcutt.

Monthly Calendar: To get the information you need about the many and varied activities of our church, go to and scroll down the page to the calendar and events listings.