Our Newsletter


Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 63, Number 01

January Light

Our 63nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces


For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

“Well, so that is that.  Time to dismantle the tree, Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes – some have got broken – and carrying them up to the attic…”

These words, from W.H. Auden’s great poem, “For the Time Being,” capture for me the post-holiday feeling of being plunged into January.  The “happy morning” of Christmas is over, and now we are back in ordinary time, a world of “darning and the eight-fifteen,” where “the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.”  The invitation given us in this workaday world is to make the time being meaningful  – in Auden’s words, “to redeem from insignificance.”

With the New Year comes the reminder that our work together in Developmental Ministry is almost over.  Your Ministerial Search Committee has been hard at work preparing for the search for a settled minister.  Soon, it will learn the names of those UU ministers who’ve checked the on-line box saying, “Yes, I am interested in this congregation.”

13 ministers have shown interest in our church!

I’ve been monitoring the Unitarian Universalist Association Transitions website, and last I looked, a lucky 13 ministers have shown interest in our church.  (I know only the number, not the identities of the ministers.). This is a healthy number; only a few congregations outside the Boston area, which typically draws many ministers, have generated that much interest. Thus, I’m cautiously hopeful about your prospects in this search cycle.

Don’t “wait and see.” Show your love and commitment to the church now.

I would caution you about something, however.  Times of transition, such as the one we’re in together, are crucially important.  What happens during “the time being” – and what you do in the next few months – will help determine the outcome of your ministerial search.  In other words, this isn’t the time for you to take a “wait and see” approach to church life.  It is, on the contrary, an especially important time to show your love and commitment to the church.

When you demonstrate your love and commitment – through your participation, your enthusiasm, and your strong stewardship – you will redeem this particular “time being” from insignificance.

Love and blessings,
The Reverend Suzanne Redfern-Campbell

Upcoming Services

Services are at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM, unless otherwise stated. Note that there is only one service on December 24 & 31.

01/21/2018 9:00 am

Freeing the Church for Ministry

Services at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM. Looking back on her almost five years as the church’s Develomental Minister, Rev. Sue will share her reflections on the work we’ve done together since 2013, and some thoughts for possible initiatives in the future. This sermon will form part of her Annual Report to the congregation.

01/28/2018 9:00 am


Services at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM. What does it mean to call a church a Sanctuary? We’ll explore this question in a general way, and then consider what it might mean to become a Sanctuary-Supporting Congregation near the U.S. southern border.

Upcoming Roundtables

The Roundtable Discussion Group meets from 10:30-11:30 AM every Sunday, except the 24th and 31st of December, in the church Library.

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, Jan 21, 2018, 10:30 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Communities in Transition

Presented by Diana Bustamante

The Colonias Development Council, www.colonias.org, is improving the quality of life through the promotion, development, and cultivation of an equitable standard of living in colonia communities in southern New Mexico by nurturing transformative leadership through community and economic development.

Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 10:30 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Museums as a Spiritual Experience

Presented by Ray Kiihne

Art teacher and painter Ray Kiihne will take us on a trip to art museums from Minnesota to Iowa, and down to Marfa. We will view art works which evoke the spiritual, from 19th century art which uses images of light as God to 21st century works which use actual sunlight to create meditative spaces. Ray received his MFA in painting in 1971 from the University of New Mexico. He continues to paint and has taught in California, Oregon, Brazil, and Minnesota.

Featured Articles


A Few Words About Stewardship

Our Pledge Campaign for 2018 is winding up. And as I write this, we’re close to our new goal. Thanks to all those members and friends who have already pledged.

Some people have asked me if it’s important to Pledge. Of course, I would say yes. It’s in our Bylaws, as a requirement of membership, to make a financial contribution to the Church.

But beside that, I expect you to pledge, or make a contribution of record, because you support the mission of the Church. That’s the important thing. Financial support is another way of saying I believe that what we’re doing here at the church is worth doing.

Thanks for your support. Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Charlie Scholz, Chair
Stewardship Committee


SECTION 1 – MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS:  Any person who is at least 14 years of age, who is in agreement with the purposes of UUCLC as set forth in Article II, and who makes a financial contribution of record, may become a member of the church by signing the Membership Book and recording the date in the presence of the Lead Minister or a member of the Board of Trustees.  The contribution requirement may be waived in individual cases at the discretion of the Lead Minister.

Change 4 Change

If you would like to nominate a worthwhile organization for Change for Change please send an email to change4change@uuchurchlc.org. You may take a letter to the church office addressed to “change 4 change.” Your email or letter must include the following eight items:

  1. The full legal name of the organization,
  2. Its correct mailing address,
  3. Its mission,
  4. A contact name and phone number,
  5. An 1-2 paragraph explanation about why you think the organization should receive three months of change from the church Sunday plate,
  6. Your name,
  7. Your email, and
  8. Your phone number.

Nominations must be received not later than January 17, 2018.  The four recipients for 2018-19 will be chosen at a Social Justice Committee meeting on February 4, 2018, 11:45 AM after Roundtable and second service.

News About Our Friend Emilio Gutierrez

For several years members and friends of the church have worked to help Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez achieve asylum in the United States. It’s been a roller coaster journey for Emilio and his son who are under threat of death because of Emilio’s reporting on Mexican cartel activities. Here is an update on Emilio’s situation.

Bureau of Immigration Appeals Agrees to Reconsider Asylum Request of Jailed Mexican Journalist

December 28, 2017 | By Kathy Kiely | kkiely@press.org

The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals has agreed to reconsider National Press Club Press Freedom award-winner Emilio Gutierrez’s asylum petition following a campaign by club members and allied professional journalism organizations to prevent the Mexican reporter from being deported to his home country, where he is under a death threat.

The NPC and its nonprofit Journalism Institute received word of the BIA decision this week; nonetheless, Gutierrez and his son, Oscar, remain in an El Paso immigration detention facility. They have been confined since Dec. 7, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials took them into custody after an ICE attempt to deport the two men was halted by an order of the BIA. Read entire article.


More Articles


Jan 14 Will We Stand Up and be Counted?

On January 14, during Roundtable, we will begin discussing our possible role in the Sanctuary movement.

In 2014 when my dad was deported I wish I would have known which congregations I could turn to for support. …a sanctuary supporting congregation could have helped keep my family together.

Myrna Orozco
Sanctuary Organizing Associate at Church World Service

We all have an opportunity right now to make sure millions of immigrants know sanctuary is an option to keep their families together, and that congregations all across the country stand ready to support immigrant communities as they resist unjust and inhumane deportations.
What is a Sanctuary Congregation?
A Sanctuary Congregation is one that chooses to take prophetic action and protect people through various actions that range from housing immigrants in immediate danger of deportation to providing legal assistance, accompaniment to court, organizing alongside us, and much more. If you are already doing some of this work, then you are a Sanctuary Congregation!

Jan 19 Dining Out

January Dining Out will be at 5:00 pm on Friday, January 19, at India Hut, 1605 South Solano Drive (one block north of Missouri)  Please sign up by Wednesday, Jauary 17, or send email to DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

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.





Expanding Love, Building Identity, Exploring Beliefs
Susan Freudenthal

Vision creates something out of nothing. Carey Nieuwhof

Dear Friends,

For those with eyes that see, remember to look
For those with ears that hear, remember to listen
For those who breath, remember to live
For those who are alone, remember we are with you.

Words of grace by Susan Freudental

Welcome to the New Year! Looking ahead, there are several Adult Faith Formation classes coming up soon. Please see below and check the NUUS for details.

There are a few changes afoot for the children’s and youth program. Beginning this month, we will gather together every week in the sanctuary for a shared time of worship followed by age appropriate immersion classes.  Adult classes will be scheduled for Sunday mornings and will include a beginner’s meditation group for all ages. Sunday mornings will be even fuller this year!

I hope we may continue building a community of lifelong learners together. Onward!

What’s coming up for adults?

Adult enrichment and family programming happens all the time and all over this campus. Tai Chi, Bridge, Navigators, Friday Playgroup, Lunch Bunch, Quilters, SASS, Roundtable and Social Justice Movie Nights. What catches your interest?

How can we feed your soul or transform your world?

Susan Freudenthal and the Rev. Sue Redfern-Campbell

A new crop of Adult and family enrichment experiences will offered. Notices will appear in the weekly NUUS and in the Great Room.

A  workshop series using the Gil Rendle book Leading Change in the Congregation co-lead by Rev. Nancy Anderson and Rev Sue.

What Moves Us? an exploration of Unitarian Universalist theologies using personal experiences and reflections to help us articulate the spiritual power of our shared faith. Lead by Susan Freudenthal.

And what would you like to see?  To learn, to lead?  Let me know via email to dre@uuchurchlc.org or leave a message with Naoma in the office.

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


Naoma’s Notes


Happy 2018! We sure kept busy in 2017! I’m sure you saw it in our facilities, at least! Installation of the commercial dishwasher, metal shade structure, and front sign. Cleaning up all around the church buildings and grounds in preparation for the adventures of this new year. Producing another building and grounds priorities list for 2018.

But there are internal things that you may not know about, and I want to keep you all updated. As you know, my role as Congregational Administrator is multi-faceted and complex! Some of my basic functions are to support the Finances of the church, and the Membership & Facilities Committees, and to keep the office running and open.

Recently, we have updated a few things, and I want to remind you of them – and give you a “heads up” for upcoming tasks:

– Office hours: we updated the office hours in order to allow me to work more independently in the mornings, and keep the office open for you all the same number of hours per week!

– Two Sundays a month: you will be seeing me around at least two Sundays out of each month. I’ll be making sure to meet you and will be observing the way things function on Sunday mornings!

– 2018 Facilities Priorities: last year we created a prioritized list of facilities projects for the church. These were scored, weighted, and ranked. If you would like to learn about this process, you are invited to join us on January 10th at the Facilities Committee meeting from 1 – 2 PM to hear more about it!

– Committee Support: actually, I’ve been doing this for awhile… and still! I want to remind you that Finance, Membership, and Facilities are all vital committees of this church, and we are pouring our energy and intellect into them! We look forward to serving you all in the coming year – and if you are interested in being a part of them, or just volunteering with us in some capacity, please email me at office@uuchurchlc.org for more information!

Thank you for all you do to make this church the best place it can be for one another and for the community here in Las Cruces!

Naoma Staley, Congregational Administrator

If you are interested in being a part of the Facilities Committee, would like to learn more about the project prioritization process, or is simply interested in seeing the full priorities list, please contact me! Email: office@uuchurchlc.org, or (575) 552-7281.



Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

Last month I took a moment to express my gratitude for those who have contributed in various ways to the success of our congregation’s music program.  I felt I had just begun when I went over my word limit before having thanked our other staff members, our Unitarian Universalist Association -UUA-, and Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network -UUMN- colleagues, or you, the congregation, for singing in worship even when sometimes you might not feel like it. Last month I realized I had already begun this month’s column.

Good humor, experience, and evidence of hard work…

It is so good to work with competent professionals.  Naoma Staley, our Administrator, brings good humor and great ideas to the mix.  Our Director of Religious Education, Susan Freudenthal, brings experience and extensive ties to our wider association. And, while I don’t often see Greg, our Sexton, I see evidence of his work every time I am on our campus.

Every musician who works in a church knows that having a minister who likes music and understands and values its role in worship is a big key to having a good music program.  The Rev. Sue Redfern-Campbell is a joy to work with.  She is a calm and gracious collaborator in planning worship.  Her work as our Developmental Minister has made it possible for me to move forward and to grow as a Director of Music.  I appreciate what she has done for us in her time here.

I could never have even thought of starting and conducting a choir here without the support and resources of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network.  Thanks to the congregation, I have attended every annual conference since 2000.  I could not do this work without the training, knowledge and connections that come from UUMN.    It gives us direct access to all the best Unitarian Universalist music sources, and to our wider association.  And, of course, we need the Unitarian Universalist Association, which articulates our values in the public square on our behalf, and inspires us through publications and General Assembly.

My favorite part of the job is…

Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of my job is.  I don’t have to stop and think about it—it’s leading congregational singing.  When I can help the congregation sing together in worship, from the piano or up at the podium, with strategic help from the choir at times—that is just magic!  It is so satisfying to bring together singers and “non-singers” alike to share that community of sound.  In that shared musical moment, involving the physical act of breathing and making sound together, is a start to building and nourishing our beloved community.  I can’t do that alone!  Your presence and willingness to try are a great gift, and I don’t take that for granted.  Thank you!

-­-­Catherine Massey
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader


Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

Greeters in December were: Jane Asche, Jack Welch, Gayle Trantham, Diane Taylor, Jo Ingle, Nora Brown, Lyn Pearson, Judy Licht, Lurene John, Ilene Steele, Susan West, Joel and Peggy Brown, Tom Packard, Kathy Dolan, Sara Stinson, Warren DeBoer, Peggy Devlin, Robert Severance, Chuck Campbell, Jan Thompson, Vickie Freeland, Joan and Tom Dormody.  Peggy Devlin and Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

Our Solano Drive median beautification project received a generous gift from Sara Stinson.  We very much appreciate Sara’s contribution to this on-going project. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund received a donation from Jack Welch and Gayle Trantham. (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


Masks, Maidens, and More

An exhibition of art gourds opens at the Tombaugh Gallery on Sunday, December 3.

The Tombaugh Gallery, presents Masks, Maidens and More, a multi-artist show, highlighting the work of four highly skilled New Mexico gourd artists:  Joanna Bradley, Sylvia Hendrickson, Karen Phillips, and Kathe Stark. Tickets for a drawing to win a piece of gourd art made by Kathe Stark will be available for purchase at the gallery with the drawing to be held at the conclusion of the show on Friday, January 26th.

The Tombaugh Gallery is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano, with regular gallery hours:  Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

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.


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.