Our Newsletter

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Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 63, Number 04

April Light

Our 63nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

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For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

Last October, you may recall, a group of us attended Mosaic Makers 2017, a denominational conference in San Diego.  This church’s delegation included then-President Sally Atkinson, Committee on Ministry Chair Rod Sauter, Chuck Campbell, and I.  It turned out to be a powerful and illuminating experience for all of us.

The conference gave us the chance to see an intentionally multicultural congregation in action, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego.  We heard from First Church leaders about the decision to become multicultural.  We visited the South Bay campus in Chula Vista, a predominantly Spanish-speaking town near the US-Mexico border.  And we were present for the ordination of The Rev. Tania Marquez, a bilingual Meadville-Lombard graduate who will be the main minister at South Bay.

How does white supremacy culture hurt white people?

In addition to exploring Unitarian Universalist diversity initiatives, we examined certain habits of mind that can get in the way, which fall in the category “white supremacy culture.”  This is something I’ve been concerned about for many years, but learning is a lifelong process.  For me, a standout experience from the conference was the opportunity to hear from Chris Crass, a white antiracist organizer who’s also a Unitarian Universalist.

Chris spoke on Sunday to the entire conference, and on Monday to white ministers and other religious professionals.  He left us with a provocative question:  How does white supremacy culture hurt white people?  We’re accustomed to hearing how it hurts people of color, but are there ways in which it harms all of us?

White supremacy culture is a social construct invented to distract poor and working-class white people from addressing their own oppression.

Many answers are possible.  Some come from history and sociology, for example in the argument that “race” is largely a social construct, not a hard and fast reality.  From that, we can infer that white supremacy is also a social construct – not part of nature, but invented to distract poor and working-class white people from addressing their own oppression.  Beyond the academic answers, there are answers from our lives.  These are answers we can live into, accessing memories, noticing reactions, and collecting insights as we go along.

With the ministers, Chris Crass invited us to get deeply personal.  He divided us into small groups with the question, “What have been the negative effects of white supremacy in your own life?”  The sharing that followed was deep, emotional, and of necessity confidential.  But in the large group conversation, some reflections emerged with potentially wider application: For example, if we identify as white, do we tend to emphasize perfectionism at the expense of relationship?  Do we lift up self-reliance – having it all together – over holding a space for vulnerability and grief?  Are we so focused on “getting things done,” that we forget to stop, to listen, to pray?

Reflecting on questions like this can help us build a culture of nurturance and resilience.  It can strengthen our sense that we are all in this together, or in Dr. King’s words, “tied together in the single garment of destiny.”  And it can help us work with people, not in a paternalistic way, but with the understanding that our liberation is bound up with the liberation of people everywhere.

Love and blessings,
Sue
The Reverend Suzanne Redfern-Campbell

Upcoming Services

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@uuchurchlc.org.

Sun, Apr 29, 2018, 10:30 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Guns II, and Update from 2 Years Ago

Presenter – Dan Townsend

Dan has a representative of weapons technology of 1791, the year the 2nd Amendment was adopted.  The tortuous journey of this amendment included language insisted upon by Patrick Henry and George Mason (both Virginia plantation owners with some 300 slaves each), to accommodate “Slave Patrol Militias” organized to prevent slave revolts.  Are recent interpretations of the 2nd Amendment enslaving us?


Featured Articles

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Leadership Development

Based on our Bylaws, the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) is not only responsible for nominating individuals to serve on the Board of Trustees and the Committee on Ministry, we are also charged with helping to grow the leadership of the Church.  To that end, the LDC is announcing its new “UUCLC Foundation of Faithful Leadership Formation” tool.  Any individual member or group within the Church can use this user-friendly self-assessment.  This tool is for EVERYONE.  We understand “leadership” within our congregation as intentional participation.  Just as everyone is essential to shared ministry in the church, so we each have a current or potential “leadership” role(s) to play.

The LDC will present information about this tool at the Roundtable on April 15.  We will introduce the 12 aspects of Faithful Leadership included in this assessment tool, and discuss how you can use it for your self-examination and learning, and/or as part of a Church committee or group.  We hope you come to this introduction to become familiarized with the tool.

In the meantime, if you would like to take a look for yourself, it’s easy: Just click this link: http://www.uuchurchlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/UUCLC-Leadership-Development-Tool-2-12-2018.pdf (Or if you want to get there yourself — 1) Go to the church’s home page at  http://www.uuchurchlc.org/ , 2) Click  “Members”,  and then  “Leadership Development” where you’ll  see  “2018 Leadership Development Tool”).  You will discover that blue resource links are available for each of the 12 aspects of Faithful Leadership.  These links are active, and offer the ability to explore many wonderful resources (books, videos, web articles, podcasts, on-demand webinars, and links to other websites).  These resources are provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association to facilitate targeted, self-directed learning.

The LDC hopes that the “UUCLC Foundation of Faithful Leadership Formation” tool will be a useful resource to all church members, and will promote healthy growth of leadership within our congregation.  Please join us at the Round Table on April 15.

Naoma’s Notes

A Moment for oUUr Financial Well-Being

Have you ever sat down to a delicious cup of tea and found yourself wondering, “What is the Finance Committee, and why do we need one?” Well, we have too (of course) – and so thought that we’d take a moment to share three fun facts about the Finance Committee with you!

We, the UUCLC Finance Committee:

  • Are a committee of the Board of Trustees, and exist because the bylaws say the church needs us to!
  • Works diligently (an average of 138 service hours per month) to ensure the financial well-being of the church.
  • Track best practices from the Unitarian Universalist Association and are always on the look-out for ways to make it as easy and rewarding as possible for you to financially support the church.

If you have any questions for or about the Finance Committee, please email us at finance@uuchurchlc.org.

Black and White and NOT Red All Over!

Do you know what that new black and white checkered thing is on the back of the Order of Service? It says “E-Giving” but what is it, and how does it work? Simply put, it is a QR Code: a two-dimensional bar code that can be read by smartphones. In order to read QR Codes with your smartphone, you need to have the appropriate app installed, then you can make donations to the church directly from your phone (have your credit card handy). To find a QR app, go to your preferred smartphone app store and search for “QR code reader” or “QR scanner,” install it and you’ll be able to use the church’s QR code.

We on the Finance Committee work diligently to ensure the financial well-being of the church, and are hoping that this helps make it easy to support our community.

If you have any questions for or about the Finance Committee, please email us at finance@uuchurchlc.org.

Dates to Remember

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Apr 6 Dining Out

April Dining Out is at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 20, at Santorini, 1001 E. University Ave. Please sign up by Wednesday (16th). You can sign up in the church lobby or contact DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

Apr 7 Junt@s Vamos Fund Raising Dinner

An Evening of Solidarity with a Cancer Support Group in Ciudad Juárez
Saturday, April 7th, 5:30 – 8:00 PM.

Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano Dr., Las Cruces

Junt@s Vamos (Forward Together) is a support group in Ciudad Juárez which grew out of the need to create a space for individuals with cancer to share experiences and emotional support and learn about alternative therapies and patients’ rights. The group’s goal is to help each other pass with dignity through the difficult experience of cancer. This goal is especially challenging because pet scans, radiation, and chemotherapy are not available in Juárez. This fund-raiser will go towards the cost of travel to Mexico City for members of Junt@s Vamos to receive PET scans as well as to the costs of constructing a recuperation house where women with cancer can recuperate after receiving treatments and before returning to their homes.

Cristina Coronado, founding member of Junt@s Vamos, will speak at the dinner & show a short video.

Mary Alice Scott, Kayla Myers, and Christine Eber will read from a forthcoming ethnography, masters thesis, and novel based on their work with Mexican women. Musical entertainment will follow.

A raffle will be held for a basket of Maya textiles from Chiapas, Mexico.
The menu will include a Mexican buffet, iced tea, and water.
The dinner is $15 ($12 for students)

We encourage you to RSVP by emailing or calling/texting Mary Alice Scott at (336) 512-0573 or maryalicescott1@gmail.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted.

If you cannot attend the dinner, but would like to donate to this cause, please send a check payable to “Sophia’s Circle” (a 501c3 organization) with “Junt@s Vamos” in the subject line to 1825 Myrtle Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001; or 2) Go to http://weaving-for-justice.org/become-a-member/ and click on the membership button at the bottom of the page and scroll down for donation options. If you donate online, please email weavingforjustice@gmail.com stating that you donated to Junt@s Vamos. For more information contact Mary Alice Scott (see contact info above).

Apr 8 Pastor Appreciation Day

Our partner church, Bethel Second Baptist, has invited us to attend a special program they will have on Sunday, April 8, at 3:00 PM.  It is the 4th anniversary for their current pastor, The Rev. Brian Harvey, and they want to celebrate.  The program will feature a guest speaker and two guest choirs.  We began a partner relationship with Bethel when we voted to join the Black Lives Matter movement.  Let us share with them on this happy occasion.

Apr 21 Church Events and Services Auction

See special church mailings and watch for in-church announcements.

Apr 27-29 Pacific Western Region Assembly

The four districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s -UUA’s- Pacific Western Region -PWR- will gather April 27-29 in Portland, Oregon for the 2018 Regional Assembly. Speakers include civil rights activist, the Rev. Dr. William Barber; Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights; and the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, newly elected UUA president. Programming includes workshops, worship, district meetings, and an optional social justice activity. A day-long Professional Day designed for religious professionals is planned for Friday, April 27, before the start of Regional Assembly. Discount lodging is available at the Portland DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, site of the Regional Assembly. Childcare and youth programming will be available. Registration will open by January 4. Watch the PWR website (www.uua.org/pwr) for full details to be posted soon.

Sep 14-16 WomenSpirit Retreat

Save the Date for the Unitarian Universalist WomenSpirit Retreat to be held September 14 through 16. The 17th Annual UU WomenSpirit Retreat will be held at the Sacramento Camp and Conference Center in the mountains near Cloudcroft, NM.  The retreat is open to all women 18 years or older from the church and from the community at large. Also offered is the option to arrive one day early on September 13th.  Stayed tuned as the planning committee announces workshops and activities.

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Susan Freudenthal
Expanding Love, Building Identity, Exploring Beliefs

As the end of school year draws near, so to does our more traditional Sunday programming for children and youth.  We will end this season with programs as varied as exploring our interconnections with the earth, Bible literacy and a series from the not for profit Teaching Tolerance organization; https://www.tolerance.org.

Adults will continue to feed their spirits with a continuing book study group, beginner’s meditation group and a six session of Tapestry of Faith program called “Building the world We Dream About.”

The spring sessions  for all classes officially end on Sunday May 20th.  Summer programming begins on Sunday, May 27th.

This summer, our Sunday programming for all ages is based on J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter series. We’re calling it “ A Hogwarts Summer” and is intended for both children and adults. Come as you are! The program is scheduled for the 10:30 service hour in the Religious Education Building.  Using themes from the book series, we will offer the following sessions;

  • Community Building and sorting where you belong
  • Potions (and the power of chemistry)
  • Divination and our Unitarian Universalist principles
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts (justice work)
  • Herbology (traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts.)
  • Muggle Studies (philosophy 101)
  • Transfiguration (imagining our perfect selves)

Of course this program will require enthusiastic volunteers to really fly!  If you are interested in helping out, please let me know. There will be detailed lesson plans to follow but you are encouraged to add your own flair (ideas) as well.

Single Sunday commitments are fine and I guarantee you will have a blast!

The program begins on Sunday, June 3rd at 10:30 AM in Great Room (Religious Education Building). Sessions are scheduled for sixty minutes each week.

Dates of the program are as follows:

  • June 3, 10, 17 and 24.
  • July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
  • August 5 & 12

“Let us step out into the night and pursue that mighty temptress, ADVENTURE.
Albus Dumbledore

See you there!
In gratitude,
Susan Freudenthal, Director of Religious Education


Adult Exploration depends on you!  What interests you?  Are you willing to lead or co-lead a book study?  A conversation? A class?  Fill out a request/proposal and I’ll help you make it happen.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ldBkScTcz8T6wl_t68EbJ8O-FdxD9RI1rDXx991mMko/edit?usp=sharing

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MUSIC NOTES

Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

Looking back at Music Notes from the past, I found this one from April, 2011 that might come in handy at this time:

“Considering that we all seem to be living in stressful times right now, it might be good to review what music can do.  One thing I plan to do more often is toning.  Just lie on the floor or sit comfortably in a calm setting and sing one note on one syllable meditatively, breathing deeply when you need to.  If you feel like switching notes or syllables, do it.  Try it for about two to five minutes.  This increases endorphins, lowers blood pressure and I’ve been told the other physical benefits are equivalent to those gained by 20 minutes of silent meditation…

Singing might just save your life.

“Singing has many physical benefits, including boosting one’s immune system.  Sing in the choir, sing on Sunday mornings, sing along with your radio or just sing in the shower.  Singing is an expression of joy, so don’t hold back!  I have noticed that no matter how my day has gone, I feel better every time I spend an evening singing at rehearsals for the Mesilla Valley Chorale.

“Singing might just save your life.  I had a friend who encountered a mother bear in the Gila wilderness years ago and who escaped a dicey situation by singing to her!  My partner, Tammy, and other cyclists riding in Glacier National Park territory sing while they ride to let grizzlies know humans are approaching.  Perhaps singing can also just chase away bad vibes, too, but at the least you’ll ward off bear attacks.

Listen to good music and relax.

“Listening to good music is just a great way to relax.  Whatever you love to hear, find some time to just sit and listen. It can be calming and inspiring.  Music is a universal language.  People from all over the world, from many cultures, can come together to make music and seemingly transcend what divides us through this medium.  This makes me think peace is possible, and gives me hope for our world.

“However you connect with music, don’t forget it has the power to help us through our hardest times.”

Catherine Massey, Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader

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Infinite Possibilities

A Time for Communication

One of the concerns that came out of the Casita Meetings that were held last Fall, when the Ministerial Search Committee was gathering information about our Church, was the problem of communication. It seemed that some members of the Congregation were disappointed with the seeming lack of information about what was going on in the various areas of the Church.

We already have a weekly bulletin of timely information in the form of the NUUS. We have a monthly publication, the Light which gives us additional information about what is going to happen in the coming month as well as columns, like this one, which talk about topics that concern the Minister, the Religious Education Director, the Music Director and the Board.

In addition, we have a web page with links to our activities, a current calendar of events and times, and a Members Only section which has information specific to our membership. Finally, we have a very effective email system which is used to update the Congregation on matters of importance and notices of an immediate nature.

So, how else could we improve communication? Through face-to-face contact with other members of the Congregation by attending Sunday Services, going to Coffee Hour, meeting in Covenant Groups and serving on Committees.

Our Committee Leadership Breakfast was a fruitful discussion about improving committee communications.

In that spirit, your Board of Trustees sponsored a Leadership Breakfast on Saturday, March 17. We invited representatives from all the committees and programs that the Church supports. Twenty-one people attended and enjoyed pancakes, ham, fresh fruit, OJ and Coffee. Then I led a short meeting in which I asked each of the attendees to tell us who they represented and what programs or projects they were currently involved in. After that we opened the floor to a discussion as to how we could better share our ideas and find ways to work with each other. There was a wonderful outpouring of thoughts and ideas which were ably captured on newsprint and have been collected and published by the BOT secretary. If you’d like a copy it will be available on the Members section of the church website.

One of the Board’s goals this year is to improve the lines of communication between the leaders of the Church, the chairs of the committees and the Congregation. I think we’re off to a good start.

In faith, Charlie Scholz, President, Board of Trustees

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Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

Greeters in March were: Chuck Campbell, Robert Severance, Beth Bannister, Vickie Freeland, Judy Licht, Jan Thompson, Jane Asche, Susan West, Janet Pitt, Diane Taylor, Joel and Peggy Brown, Tom Packard, Skip Shelton, Linda Peterson, Lyn Pearson, Carol Winkler, Meredith Durr, Lurene John, Diane Lee, Martha Loustaunau, and Kathy Dolan. — Peggy Devlin & Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators
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Generous Giving

GENEROUS GIVING:  Generous Giving: Our sincere thanks go to Mark Reed for his generous donation in memory of his late father, Donovan.  This gift will go to our Minister’s Discretionary fund.  Donovan was a long time beloved member of our congregation before moving to Dallas about two years ago.  We, also, want to thank former member Cathy Bailey, now a resident of Huntsville, AL for her two special gifts.  One in memory of Donovan Reed and the second in memory of our late beloved member, Lucia Wilcox.  Cathy’s continued interest and support from Huntsville is much appreciated.  (Jack Welch)

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

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Call for artists for 2019 shows

Oh, I See

Photographer Karl Kohl and artist Peg Brown are collaborating in an art exhibit opening Sunday, March 4 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM in the Tombaugh Gallery. The artists’ talk and reception will be Sunday, April 1 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM Kohl’s photos of urban cityscapes are in the modernist style. Shot with color film but mainly black, white, and gray they play with perspective and subject. The title of the show “Oh, I See” is in reference to the reaction to the explanation of how the works relate to each other. Brown’s mixed media constructions and her collage works reflect her response to Kohl’s photos.

For details, contact Gallery@uuchurchlc.org, 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.

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Monthly Events

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 Pat Temple bridge@uuchurchlc.org 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 http://www.facebook.com/desertspiritcuups or email lascrucescuups@gmail.com.

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 signup 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 DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org 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 Susan Wells for more information or visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/342484072516356/

Navigators USA Chapter 55, Las Cruces is a coed, secular and inclusive educational and outdoor activity program. Our local group offers an alternative scouting experience for children and youth that emphasizes diversity, inclusiveness and all the lessons that Nature has to offer. For more information see our events calendar or contact Laurel Irwin-Atchison (LaurelIrwin@comcast.net or 575.650.0705).

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 Chris Ramsey.

Unitarian Universalist Children’s Playgroups (all are welcome): Parents/caregivers must remain on site with their children. The members of the group plan outings, holiday celebrations and other activities together. Contact Susan Freudenthal, DRE, for more information.

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