The Light

Services Every Sunday of the Year ⋅ Volume 64, Number 08

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.

August Light

Our 64th Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

Office Administrator, Cherie Coffelt’s hours will be Tuesday-Thursday 9:30 AM until 5 PM.
During the summer Rev. Kacela will be in the office on Wednesday 10 AM until noon, and working at home Mon, Tue, and Thurs, 10 AM until 4 PM.

Gratitude for Our Religious Education Leadership and the Way Forward

I offer sincere gratitude to Susan Freudenthal for her 13 years of service to the UUCLC. Susan is a person dedicated the Unitarian Universalist faith and growing young people’s UU identity. Her legacy of service and love will live on in the congregation through the families and children that her ministry touched and staff who enjoyed working with her. We wish her and family the best as they transition to the next phase of life.

I also am grateful for Paige Ramsey’s service to our Faith Formation Program. Paige, who worked as an assistant, is leaving to pursue her master’s degree in Colorado. She’s a brilliant young woman with a bright future ahead of her. I’m confident that she will continue to shape lives and carry Unitarian Universalist values into the world.

Briefly, our plan is to conduct a search for a new Director of Religious Education over the next year and hire by next August. It could happen sooner. But, I’d like the congregation to gain a clear vision of what today’s families and children desire from religious education. Then, use that vision for our search process.

We’ll be surveying former and current families and inviting UU staff to help us create a profile for our next Faith Formation Program leader. In the meantime, let’s all pull together and support our families and children with love and care.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Rev. Kacela

Community Quick Hits

  1. Upcoming summer series: “Two Peas in a Podcast.” This will be a discussion group about selected podcasts episodes facilitated by Reverend Xolani and Tamara during the month of August. The podcasts are: On Being with Krista Tippet, Secrets of Wealthy Women, Insights at the Edge, and one still to be determined. Stay tuned for the episodes!
  2. We’ll celebrate In-gathering on September 1. Please begin collecting water from your travels for the water ceremony.
  3. We’ll resume two worship services on September 15.

Choir and Music

Catherine Massey
Catherine Massey

Music Notes

I am conscious that now is another good time to practice positive approaches to change.  This fall will be a busy one for our congregation as we move into our second year of settled ministry with Rev. Kacela and plan for his service of installation.  We are looking at some ways to enhance our music program, with the help of great people in our congregation who want to contribute their talents.  With improvements on the horizon, I am grateful for the annual national conference of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM).  It is where I get all the resources I need to support the program we have in place and the one we continue to re-envision.  And as an organization, AUUMM models how to implement needed changes.

As you read this, the conference will have been held in Denver, and I anticipate that it will be memorable for many reasons.  For one thing, it is paperless!  Everything we need is on iPads, which are rented for those of us who do not own one.  Believe it or not, that is less expensive, and a more environmentally-friendly approach, than printing out the materials on paper.  Another emphasis this year is to prioritize the use of music by composers of color.  This assists UU directors of music around the country in being active agents of change, while our national association addresses the need to dismantle white supremacy. It expands our knowledge so that we can bring this music forward.

For September’s Music Notes I will feature the highlights of this conference for me, and talk about upcoming additions to our music program.  Our choir season begins this month, and we will be preparing quickly for our Ingathering service and the many other music-making opportunities this season.

Catherine Massey, Director of Music
AUUMN Credentialed Music Leader

Faith Formation

Faith formation is a team effort. Lead by staff, members and friends of the congregation, our mission is to help people grow  by offering experiences that further the congregation’s mission. In the coming months there will be a variety of things to participate in and should you feel the call to offer something yourself, please contact Rev. Xolani at

Adult faith formation series:  Philosophy https://en.wikipedia.orglwiki/The_Good_Place 101 (through the lens of The Good Place)

Thursday, August 15, 22 ,29 and Sept 5th 2:003:30 p.m.

The show, The Good Place, has a unique take on life after death using the “afterlife” as a means to explore  basic  philosophical questions. Imagine a show about death  where there’s no mention  of a god or religion? In its place, exploration of ethical dilemmas and values. The show is also funny. We’ll watch a selection of hand picked episodes before digging into the philosophical conversations.

Two Peas in a Podcast

Two Peas in a Pod, a discussion based group using podcasts selected by the Reverend Kacela and Tamera Kacela. Based on Krista Tippets’ series “On Being”. Specific podcasts will be announced soon. Facilitated by Xolani and Tamera Kacela.

Do you have a great idea? A passion or skill to share? Adult exploration depends on you! What interests you?  Are you willing to lead or co-lead  a book study?  A conversation? A class? Contact Rev. Xolani and let’s talk about what you might do in Adult Faith Formation.

Board of Trustees

President Charlie Scholz

Fine Tuning

Churches require constant maintenance and upkeep, and what I call, Fine Tuning. We look at the areas that are out of sync with the Vision and Mission of the Church and try to being them back in line. We adjust the programming and the personnel to meet the current needs of the Congregation. Fine Tuning is one of those time
consuming and sometimes tedious jobs. But it needs to be done in order to make the Church work at its very best.

I was reminded of this concept during the past two weeks in which I rebuilt the gates to our yard. These are metal framed and plywood covered pieces, that I designed and built about ten years ago. Over time the original plywood delaminated and some of the trim weathered and started to rot. So I tore it down to the bare metal frame and used my woodworking skills to restore it.

Although I did a trial fit of all the new wood before painting it, when it was finished and re-installed, I discovered that the two pieces interfered slightly with each other. So I have to do a little Fine Tuning. I’ll get out my rasp and shave off those spots that don’t quite fit. And I’ll touch up the paint.

Of course, when I’m finished with my gate, it will be done. But the Fine Tuning that we’re doing here at the church is an ongoing process. It’s part of the Journey we are all on.

I’ll see you in Church, Charlie Scholz, Board of Trustees President


July 17, 2019, Board Meeting

The purpose of this column is to keep you informed about recent Board of Trustee actions. Complete minutes of all Board meetings may be viewed in the office; please contact the Congregational Administrator. The board meets on the third Wednesday of the month .

The Board voted to:

  • Spend a session with Nancy Barnes-Smith, who specializes in working with nonprofit boards. We will meet with her from ten until two on Saturday, August 31st.
  • Approve the Facilities Use Policy now located on the website at
  • Revise both the Vision and Mission Statements after reviewing feedback from the congregation. The vision statement now reads “Vision – We are a transformational Force for Love and Justice in Our Community.”  The mission statement now reads, “Mission – We gather to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other in our community, seek truth and work for justice in the world.”
  • Create a Planned Giving Committee. Current members are Peggy Brown and Dick Bagby.

Upcoming Services

Shape Note Singing

This morning we welcome back Shape Note Singers for our annual summer service with them. This group practices regularly at our church and includes members from our congregation and other singers as well. Shape note notation has been used in the U.S. for the past … 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

Spiritual Odyssey: Haney and Lyn Pearson
Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 9:00 AM in the Library

The reverberations of too many untimely deaths are most likely what brought Lyn to Unitarian Universalism but there are many reasons why she’s stayed in the church for 30 years. On the other hand, Lyn’s Jewish father-in-law told Haney he was a Unitarian Universalist long before he finally joined the church. We’ll hear why he’s found this a church home for 30 years.

Social Justice

Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters (Amos 5:24)

August Update for Hospitality for Refugees

Hooray! We have been granted an additional $1,956 by the City of Las Cruces with which to assist asylum seekers. Thank you, Las Cruces! We’ll be asking for help in creating travel packets for the individual asylum seekers in the next few weeks.

Weekday hospitality provided by the Border Servant Corps (BSC) continues at Peace Lutheran Church.  In August we’ll provide and serve dinner (about 4:30 to 7 p.m.) on these days:

    • Tuesday, August 13
    • Wednesday, August 21
    • Tuesday, August 27

A New Opportunity

And here’s a new opportunity to help, especially if driving at night is a difficulty for you. We need 3-4 people to help prepare and serve lunch (about 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). On these days,all food will be provided:

    • Wednesday, August 14
    • Thursday, August 22
    • Wednesday, August 28.

To sign up, please contact Susan Bagby, or add your name to the sign-up sheets in the RE Great Room on Sundays.

Undies Sunday Returns

Please remember Undies Sunday on August 3. Needed now: Men’s and women’s underwear (new) in small sizes. Contact Gillian Leng for more information.

Work Directly with the Border Servant Corps on Projects

Contact BSC at (522-7119) to volunteer in other ways:

    • Sort donations – Mondays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Set up dormitory – on the days that guests arrive
    • Do laundry – Tuesday-Thursday when guests are in residence (sheets, towels, blankets)
    • Take down dormitory – usually Thursdays after most guests leave
    • Transport guests to bus/plane – time varies
    • Provide entertainment for adults and children – time varies
    • And if you speak Spanish, help with communication – time varies.

Update from Animal Advocates

In April, the Dona Ana County Commission on a 4-1 vote approved a new version of the contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service requiring them to use non-lethal methods to control animals in conflict with property owners in the county.  This new language effectively barred the agency from the indiscriminate use of poisons, inhumane and life threatening traps, and shoot-on-sight approaches.  The Social Justice Committee applauded this effort.

Then, on July 9, 2019, the county commission took a giant step backward by renouncing their previous vote and replacing the contract with a watered down version requiring that the agency make two attempts to control wildlife with non-lethal methods before resorting to methods that would result in the death of the target animal—and any other animal who might be collateral damage.

The Animal Advocates group of the Social Justice Committee wants you to be aware of what is happening in our own backyards as related to our seventh principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. We urge you to consider our 5th principle as well: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. If you would like to learn more about this social justice issue, please speak with David Steele or other members of the Social Justice Committee.

Tents to Rents

The Social Justice Committee will be participating in the annual campaign to assist Community of Hope in raising money for their project Tents to Rents.  The money raised will be used to help some residents (often veterans) move from a tent into a permanent living space.  Each move costs $6,000 which helps the resident get set up and provides support for that individual for one year.

The fundraising campaign will run from August 16 to September 30.  More information will be forthcoming in The NUUS but please remember you can always donate to Tents to Rents through In Fellowship. If you have an InFellowship account you can donate to Tents to Rents here: . If you do not have an InFellowship account, then click here to give to this very worthy cause.

Attending or Hosting an Auction Event?

Barking NUUS and the Cat’s Meow has an offer we hope you won’t refuse.

The Animal Advocates would like to remind all of the hosts and attendees at auction events (and everyone else in the congregation as well) that we have a good solution for the problem of what to do with all of the empty aluminum beverage containers that are left over from the fun and frivolity associated with the event.  Collect them, bring them in to the RE Great Room and deposit them in the Cans 4 Critters receptacle.  We’ll make sure those discarded aluminum cans get turned into cash to assist with the veterinary expenses of families needing assistance with those bills.  Thanks much to the church family for caring about the welfare of animals and the people who love them!  Questions?  Contact Dave Steele, Ilene Steele or Jean Gilbert.

Advocacy and Action Conference on Environmental Justice, Class and Race

Advancing Economic and Climate Justice as a Moral Issue
Building a Movement for A Green New Deal

Sunday September 15 at 11:15 AM –
Tuesday September 17 at 4:00 PM
Washington, DC
Advocacy & Action Conference on Environmental Justice, Class and Race
Learn how climate change is an economic justice issue
How UU values inform our justice work
How to lobby—and then go lobby on Capitol Hill
How to organize for upcoming actions, direct actions & strikes
How you can take this knowledge home and work locally
How Indigenous Nations people’s values can preserve the earth Scholarships Available

Tickets at

Conference sponsors:
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
All Souls Church Unitarian (Washington, DC)
Unitarian Universalist Ministry For Earth
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
and Side with Love

Please Note

These Items of Interest

Calling All Graphic Artists (2nd call)

The Stewardship Committee would love to include your art on the church’s 2019 pledge drive materials. We are just beginning to plan our print materials, so your ideas will be a tremendous help. Please contact Linda Peterson or Karen Hall for more information.

Room Use Guidelines

Please follow these guidelines when using spaces at church.

STOP!   Check the room before leaving it.

  • Return tables/chairs to their original places
  • Clean all countertops and tables and wipe up spills from the floor.
  • Place all food/drink refuse in the garbage bins.
  • Return air systems to their original settings and turn off ceiling fans.
  • Turn off all lights.
  • Recycle where appropriate

Please leave the space better than you found it, thank you! NOTE: These guidelines are also published in MEMBERS / Governing Documents on the website.

Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS)

CUUPS Has a Podcast

The CUUPS Podcast explores the world of Earth-Centered Spirituality and Unitarian Universalist-Paganism as it is lived in over 1,040 UU Congregations across North America. The podcasts include interviews, music and happenings from CUUPS members and chapters across the United States with occasional information from our sister organization the Unitarian Earth Spirit Network in the United Kingdom.

The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) is an association of Unitarian Universalists who identify with the precepts of classical or contemporary Paganism: Celebrating the sacred circle of life and guiding people to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. CUUPS members foster the development of “liturgical materials based on earth- and nature-centered religious and spiritual perspectives” as well as encourage “greater use of music, dance, visual arts, poetry, story, and creative ritual in Unitarian Universalist worship and celebration.

a Celebration in the Wheel of the Year

Mabon is a harvest festival, the second of three in the Wheel of the Year, that encourages pagans to “reap what they sow,” both literally and figuratively. It is the time when night and day stand equal in duration; thus is it a time to express gratitude, complete projects and honor a moment of balance.

Mabon is a time of balance and community. Harvest festivals in the past have served as a way to bring community together and prepare for the coming of winter. Please come out and join CUUPS for Mabon on Saturday September 21, at 6:00 for potluck and ritual. This is a community celebration and we make a basket onto which we tie our intentions for the upcoming year. We burn the basket from last year as we prepare for the beginning of the new year at Samhain ( Halloween).

Sunday Coffee Hour

Volunteering for Sunday coffee is really fun! Your welcoming smile and cheerful attitude is the face of this church to newcomers . You are the church and coffee or tea is the perfect medium for welcoming visitors, letting them know you’re glad they are there.

John and I love being in the kitchen. Offering a cup of coffee and something to snack on is so much more than just making coffee and snacks available! It provides a dose of much needed caffeine AND it makes us a welcoming and accepting place to be.

Contact the Hospitality Committee at
Mari Cowley and John Roesch

Don’t Forget

These Dates

Aug 3 Undies Sunday

Please remember Undies Sunday on August 3. Needed now: Men’s and women’s underwear (new) in small sizes. Contact Gillian Leng for more information.

Aug 13 Choir Retreat and Potluck

The choir annual potluck retreat will be on Tuesday, August 13th in the church lobby beginning at 6:30 PM.  We will preview our new choir season and pool our good ideas. Anyone interested in joining the choir is welcome.

Aug 16 Dining Out

August Dining Out will be at 5:00 pm on Friday, August 16 at Renoos Thai at 16151 US-70 in Organ. Please sign up by Wednesday, August 14. Please sign up by Wednesday, August 14. For information contact

Aug 20 Choir Ingathering and Rehearsal

Our Ingathering Choir Rehearsal will be on Tuesday, August 20th, from 6:45 until 8:30 PM.  Anyone who wants to sing and who is willing to attend rehearsals and sing with us in worship may join. Questions?  Contact Catherine Massey, Director of Music.

Aug Sometime

Watch your mail for a big, huge, mega-huge fundraising event! Information will be sent to you pretty darn soon–or even sooner.

Sep 6-8 WomenSpirit

WomenSpirit registration is now open. Download registration form here or look for printed copies Education Building great room or the church. You can also find the registration form on the WomenSpirit page of Lifespan Leaming in our website. Scholarships available. Invite a friend along! Join our NEW Facebook group. Questions? Please contact Sara Thomas.

Oct 6 Rev. Xolani’s Installation Celebration

Please keep Sunday, October 6, free in your calendar so that you can celebrate Reverend Xolani’s installation ceremony and congratulate him at the reception afterwards. Both ceremony and reception will be at Peace Lutheran Church beginning at 4 PM. The Installation Committee welcomes all contributions to the Minister’s Installation fund to help offset the costs of the event. If you desire to make a contribution, you may put a check, clearly labeled “Minister’s Installation,” into the Sunday plate. Members may give online through their InFellowship account, persons who do not have an InFellowship account may give here. In all cases, select “Minister’s Installation.”

Thanks to Our Greeters


Our July greeters were: Jane Asche, Jo Ingle, Diane Taylor, Lyn Pearson, Jan Thompson, Vickie Freeland, Jean Gilbert, Diane Lee, Chris Ramsey, Lurene John, Martha Loustaunau, Judy Licht, and Tamara Kacela — Peggy Devlin & Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

This month, we thank Jan Thompson for her loving contribution in memory of our member Judith Walker-Riggs. We also thank Haney and Lyn Pearson for their generous donation to Rev. Xolani’s Installation Fund. The purpose of this fund is to collect donations toward Rev. Xolani’s October 6 formal installation service, which will be discussed in this and upcoming Light and nUUs issues. Members can donate to the fund here, while non-members should click here.

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

The gallery will be closed in June, July, and August.

When shows resume, gallery hours will be 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.