Our Newsletter

Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 62, Number 09

September Light

Our 62nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

Recent events in Charlottesville, VA brought back memories from 30 summers ago, when I went to Nicaragua as part of a Unitarian Universalist Witness for Peace delegation.  WFP, which still exists, began in 1983 out of concern for the Reagan Administration’s funding of a guerilla war against the Sandinistas, who were in power after overthrowing the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. Throughout the eighties, many faith-based delegations traveled to Nicaragua under their auspices.  Our trip was in August of 1987.

The aim was threefold.  These trips were educational, giving Americans the chance to meet with Nicaraguans of many perspectives, and to see for themselves the effects of US policy.  They involved witness and advocacy, encouraging delegates on their return to share what they had seen and heard, and to seek to influence public policy accordingly.  And there was an element of accompaniment; the hope was that the continuous, peaceful presence of people of faith would shield Nicaraguan peasants from the violence of war.

The message was clear, to stand with the community to say that hate has no place here…They had their guns and shields. We had our songs, our faith, our love. And we had each other.

Susan Frederick-Graay, Unitarian Universalist Association President

When white-supremacist and anti-Semitic groups showed up for a “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville, people of faith showed up in force to meet them.  Susan Frederick-Gray, newly elected UUA president, was among them, along with other UU clergy and lay leaders.  Looking at photographs of this peaceful act of witness and accompaniment, I was proud to see the bright yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” stoles and shirts interspersed through the crowd.  “The message was clear,” writes Frederick-Gray, “to stand with the community to say that hate has no place here…They had their guns and shields.  We had our songs, our faith, our love.  And we had each other.”

On the Sunday night following, a few hundred Las Crucens showed up in the downtown Plaza.  It was good to be there, and to see many of you.  These times cry out for us to show up in the public square, bearing witness to UU principles of justice, equity, compassion, and the inherent worth and dignity of all.  It’s especially important for those of us who are white to show up, to say loudly and clearly to supremacist groups, “You do not speak for us.”

As the late Elie Wiesel reminded us, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Upcoming Services

Our regular two-service Sunday schedule begins on September 10, with services at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM. Note that there is only one service on September 3.

Upcoming Roundtables

The Roundtable Discussion Group meets from 10:30-11:30 AM every Sunday beginning September 17, 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.

No Events

Featured Articles

Congregational Survey

Coming Soon! A Survey from Your Ministerial Search Committee!

In a continuing effort to understand our congregation as completely and accurately as we can, the Ministerial Search Committee has worked diligently to create a survey to gauge the priorities and beliefs about this congregation and our identities as Unitarian Universalists. This work began with our Casita Meetings and will continue into this next phase. We are currently testing the survey to insure that it works optimally and asks the questions that will give us the most relevant information.

We expect to roll the survey out by the week of August 28th. Please look for it to arrive in your email inboxes as well as to be announced in a postal mailing; complete instructions for taking the survey will be included.  We are excited to read your feedback and move another step forward in our search process.

Your Ministerial Search Committee (Susan Bagby, Renee Beltran, Nora Brown, Peggy Brown, Rachel Courtney, Elisa Sanchez, Dave Steele)

Sep 10 Beyond Categorical Thinking

Save this important date, Sunday, September 10 for day of “Beyond Categorical Thinking.”

The Ministerial Search Committee is excited to announce a Beyond Categorical Thinking Worship Service (offered at both 9 am and 10:30 am) and Workshop to be held on Sunday, September 10.

The Beyond Categorical Thinking process is designed to promote inclusive thinking and prevent unfair discrimination during a congregation’s search for a settled minister.  Through a combined experience of a Worship Service and three-hour workshop, offered by a UUA-trained facilitator, our congregation will have the opportunity to examine beliefs that we as individuals may hold that could limit our openness to a diverse array of ministerial candidates.  In keeping with UUA bylaws, this training will help us all to strive toward nondiscriminatory practices around hiring in regard to issues of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, ethnicity, mental health, class, age, and size.

Help us to promote inclusive thinking and prevent unfair discrimination during our search for a settled minister.

The Ministerial Search Committee

We will offer a luncheon in the Great Room following the 10:30 Worship Service. Please look for sign-up sheets for this very important event..  Aside from having tremendous import for our ministerial search, this workshop is an important opportunity for each of us as individuals and the congregation as a whole to work toward honoring our Unitarian Universalist values.

We know many of you are curious and eager to understand the process and timeline that this ministerial search involves. Please look at our bulletin boards in the Lobby and Great Room for more information about the sequence of events and timeline for a search.

Your Ministerial Search Committee (Susan Bagby, Renee Beltran, Nora Brown, Peggy Brown, Rachel Courtney, Elisa Sanchez, Dave Steele)

A Few Words About Stewardship

We are approaching that time in our congregational year where we ask you to pledge money to support the programs and the operation of this church. We call the start of that Pledge Drive Stewardship Sunday, which this year will be October 8.

Since I’m new to the Stewardship Committee, I was unsure of the actual meaning of the word. So I went to that repository of all knowledge, Wikipedia, and here is what I found.

Stewardship is personal responsibility for taking care of another person’s property or financial affairs or in religious orders taking care of finances. The term used in a general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something one does not own.

‘A responsibility to take care of something one does not own’ comes close to what I believe Stewardship should be. But even that definition misses the mark at the end because when we talk about Stewardship in this congregation, we’re referring to taking care of our church, and this is something we all ‘own.’

So, when you get your Pledge Card in the mail in October, think about how much you care about this congregation and how much you can afford to give to support the the programs of this church. In other words, think about your Stewardship.

Charlie Scholz, Chair
Stewardship Committee

More Articles

Equal Justice Initiative Launches Lynching in America Interactive Online Experience

On June 13, 2017, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), announced its,official launch of Lynching in America, a new interactive digital experience created in partnership with Google.

The website, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, features EJI’s full report in both digital and downloadable formats, with more data, information, and analysis than was previously available online. The site brings together EJI’s extensive research and resulting data with the stories of lynching victims, as told by their descendants. Through audio stories and short documentaries like Uprooted, visitors will experience a detailed examination of the tragic legacy of racial terror lynching in America and its continuing impact on families and issues today.

Visitors can also explore interactive maps that include the locations of racial terror lynchings and in-depth profiles of people whose lives were forever altered by these acts of violence. Data visualizations track the Great Migration, a time when millions of African Americans fled the terror of the South to find refuge in the North and West, shaping the demographic geography of our country today.

We are also sharing a high school lesson plan, which will equip educators with tools to thoughtfully teach students about the era of racial terror lynchings and bring this largely unacknowledged history into the classroom.

Lynching in America is meant to foster an honest discussion about our history of racial injustice so that we can better understand the implications of our past for addressing the challenges of the present. We hope that you will visit the website and share these stories with others.

EJI is working to create a national conversation about the legacy of racial terror in America today. Next year, EJI will open the Memorial to Peace and Justice, a national monument commemorating more than 4000 African American victims of lynching, and will open a new museum, From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which will explore America’s legacy of slavery, racial terror, segregation, and mass incarceration.

Learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative.

Sep 15 Dining Out

Dining Out is at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 15, at Cattle Baron, 790 S. Telshor Blvd. Please sign up in the lobby by Wednesday, September 13, or send email to DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

Sep 21 Social Justice Movie

7 pm in the church administration building.

McFarland, USA

Based on a real story, this movie exemplifies personal potential regardless of one’s background.

Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California’s Central Valley. Coach White and his new students find that they have much to learn about one another, but things begin to change when White realizes the boys’ exceptional running ability. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions.

The Social Justice Committee welcomes everyone to join our monthly meetings held on the second Tuesday of every month from 1-2:30 in the library.  Our next meeting will be July 11, 2017.

MUSIC NOTES

Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

The Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) annual conference in Arlington, VA in July was rich with professional development and worship experiences that I can use this year.  They fall into two general categories:  dismantling white supremacy, and music for social action in these times.

Just as the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is actively engaged in naming and dismantling white supremacy, the UUMN is striving to do the same.  Our Professional Development Day was spent with Dr. Natalie Fenimore, Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister, religious educator and African American, for a course on UU history, theology and race.  She is also serving on UUA’s newly created Commission for Institutional Change.  Her hope for a reimagined UU includes interconnecting with those on the outside of our association, innovation in renewed worship, and embracing a theology of abundance as we realize our faith’s impact beyond our numbers.

Love, once again, break our hearts open wide.

The Reverend Jason Shelton, Unitarian Universalist minister, composer, arranger, and conductor

To support musicians’ roles for social action in these times, we met the Rev. Erik Martinez Resly, organizer of The Sanctuaries in D.C., who shared with us how the arts promote resilience and resistance.  I met UU minister Mary Grigolia in her workshop “Heart Songs for Activists.”  She shared many of her own songs and others in the context of the practice she recommends now for all activists:  Feel and name the pain; lift up a “go to” source of strength; strengthen your heart and sense of self; let yourself be transformed.  Several UUMN members demonstrated a method of empowering so-called “non-singers” by embodying song.  And Yara Allen, who works with the Rev. Dr. William Barber, creator of “Moral Mondays” in North Carolina, shared what she knows about “Singing for Justice.”

Our worship theme for the week, led by a collaborative team using Marsha McFee’s model as we did last year, was “Walls.” Through six worship services we explored all kinds of walls, including our own, and how to tear down the ones that are not helpful.  Brian Tate, our clinician (and composer of “Where Do We Come From?”), wrote a special gospel style anthem for our final service called “Break Down These Walls.”

Finally, we led a pluralist faith singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on our final Sunday afternoon.  There were about 200 singers from many faith traditions who sang on a bright sunny day, with many summer tourists at the reflecting pool stopping to listen or join in for awhile.  An empowering experience of public witness and unity, modeled by local UU music professionals.

I am writing this a week after the tragic and disturbing events in Charlottesville.  Jason Shelton wrote a chant and made it available the next day:  “Love, once again, break our hearts open wide.” I am so grateful for the energy, knowledge and insights I have gained from this year’s conference.  It will help me to help us to do the work we need to do this year.

-­-­Catherine Massey
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader

Religious Education Matters

Susan Freudenthal

Dear Friends,

Beloved Conversations is an experiential curriculum that provides a space to re-form/fuse the brokenness of racism into new patterns of thought and behavior ushering in social and spiritual healing. New ways of being are learned through the actions of conversation and probing dialogue. Developed and in continuing development by Rev Dr Mark Hicks and Meadville Lombard Cooperative.

Expanding Love, Building Identity, Exploring Beliefs

Rev Sue and I would like to bring this program to Las Cruces.  Take a little time and follow the link. Read for yourselves about the transformative work being done across Unitarian Universalist congregations.  Tell us what you think.

Beloved Conversations http://www.meadville.edu/beloved

Our children and youth will begin classes on September 10th.   Navigators will soon follow.

Come and join us as we explore the theology of love, our Unitarian Universalist identity.

What’s coming up this fall 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

Later this fall, a new crop of Adult and family enrichment experiences will offered. Notices will appear in the weekly NUUS and in the Great Room.

A book study Waking Up White by Debby Irving, lead by Rev Sue Redfern-Campbell.

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

kUUdos

heartKUUDOs is an ongoing feature to recognize people who have given something special to the congregation. If you have a nominee, contact Joel Courtney, Vice President.

Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

The greeters for August were: Jo Ingle, Martha Loustaunau, Diane Taylor, Dave and Ilene Steele, Chuck Campbell, Warren DeBoer, Sara Stinson, Diane Lee, Beth Bannister, Nora Brown, and Janet Pitt. Peggy Devlin and Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

Thanks to all, we are a generous giving congregation. (Jack Welch)

Please consider a gift to the church on behalf of a loved one or to celebrate a special occasion. It’s very easy to make a gift contribution through https://uuchurchlc.infellowship.com.

Donations in memory of members and friends become part of our Endowment Fund. These are gifts that keep on giving.

The Tombaugh Gallery

2018 Tombaugh Gallery Call for artists


Migration Towards Stillness

Works of Scott and Susan Goewey

Sunday, September 10, the Tombaugh Gallery presents “Migration Towards Stillness,” an exhibit of pottery, paintings and tapestries, by Scott and Susan Goewey, of Carrizoza, New Mexico.

The exhibit opens with an artist reception from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the gallery which is part of the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2000 South Solano Drive.  The exhibit continues until Friday, October 27

Susan Goewey’s works consist of landscape tapestries and paintings. Spinning the wool for her weaving, she also dyes the yarns with plants from her garden and the nearby desert.  Susan holds a BFA and has a presence in numerous collections and galleries across New Mexico, the USA and Japan.  Ceramic artist Scott Goewey studied with Bauhaus-trained Frans Wildenhain at The School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the 1960’s.  For many years he produced functional pottery for everyday use.  He has now added sculptural works and carved porcelain to his utilitarian pieces.  Scott has shown his work throughout the US, as well as in Faenza, Italy and Nagoya, Japan.

A second reception is scheduled for Sunday, October 1, from 11:30 to 1:00 at the Gallery.  Scott, who is also an accomplished poet, will read a selection of his poetry.

Regular gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am – 2pm.  The exhibition continues until Friday, October 27.

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 Bridge at Anna’s, the UU bridge club, plays bridge on the first, third and fifth Thursdays at 1:00 pm in the church foyer. 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. For more information, 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, contact Patrick Igo (patrickigo@yahoo.com or 860.751.9150) or Laurel Irwin-Atchison
(LaurelIrwin@comcast.net or 575.650.0705).

Quilting Bee: The UU Bee Welcome, meets every Wednesday from 10:00 to 4:00 pm in the Foyer. 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.