Our Newsletter

Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 62, Number 11

November Light

Our 62nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

Generosity is good for us.

The results are in – generosity is good for us!  It doesn’t seem to matter, furthermore, whether we’re generous with our time, talent, or financial resources.  However we’re generous, it enhances our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Research indicates that generosity lowers our blood pressure.  It reduces our risk of dementia, or cardiovascular crises.  It promotes “better living through brain chemistry” – opening up the “mesolimbic pathway,” the “reward center” in the brain, to release the pain-blocker dopamine, and the “tranquility hormone” oxytocin.

A variety of studies support the connection.  One involving Alcoholics Anonymous indicated that AA members who helped other alcoholics were twice as likely to maintain their own sobriety.  A United Way study showed that people who volunteer sleep better than those who don’t volunteer.  They have better friendships and social networks, and fewer feelings of anxiety, helplessness, or hopelessness.  Perhaps that’s why another study indicated that older people who volunteered were 44% less likely to die in the next five years than those who didn’t.

Worth noting for our current Pledge Campaign:  On the side of financial generosity, similar results show up.  A National Institute of Health study showed that giving money, like volunteering, releases endorphins that boost the immune system and reduce pain.  Another one indicated that withholding generosity and feeling bad about it leads to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol.

In study at Duke University, each participant was given a Starbucks gift card.  Half were told it was for their own use, while the other half were asked to take the card and give it to someone else.  That night, the researchers called all the participants and asked questions about how happy they were feeling.  Those given the card for themselves reported no uptick in happiness. But those who gave the card away said that yes, they were feeling happier than they had in the morning, before they were given the card.  If that result holds up in other experiments, then the adage “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” will have empirical support!

Not that we should be only givers, and never receivers.  If someone offers us a gift, or some kind of assistance, we’re not doing them any favors by turning them away.  There are times, of course, when the help offered is intrusive, or not what we need.  But it’s also possible to refuse help for the wrong reasons – thereby denying someone the joy of generosity.

One Unitarian Universalist hymn goes like this: “From you I receive; to you I give.  Together we share, and by this we live.”  These words characterize the church, which has proven over the years to be a congregation of generous people.  Ultimately in community, there is no separate giver and receiver.  When we receive, we give – and when we give, we receive.

Love and blessings,
The Reverend Suzanne Redfern-Campbell

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.

11/19/2017 9:00 am

A Harvest of Gratitude

Services at 9:00 and 10:30 AM. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the harvest, and for everything that blesses our lives. The minister preaches at the 9 a.m. service; the 10:30 service is an inter-generational celebration.

11/26/2017 9:00 am

Thanks for Giving

Services at 9:00 and 10:30 AM. We will honor those members who volunteer Time and Talent to help make our Church run.

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.

Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 10:30 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Consumers of News Need to Get More Demanding Again

Walter Rubel, Editorial page Editor of the L.C. Sun-News.

Traditional news outlets have some form of oversight by industry standards and FCC to present fair and accurate information. Facebook and Twitter have none, as was evident in the 2016 election. We need to move beyond that history and develop some new norms for these new social media outlets—as they affect the integrity of our democracy.

Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 10:30 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Trump/Republican Tax Proposals Cannot be Justified

Paul O’Connell, Ph.D. Economist, presents.

Based on analysis of several economists and financial experts the benefits will primarily go to the super rich, will not grow the economy, and will increase the debt. We will discuss the arguments against these tax proposals.

Featured Articles

A Few Words About Stewardship

While we are in the midst of our Annual Pledge Campaign, it’s good to remember that Stewardship is more than just financial contributions. It’s also about the donations of Time and Talent that you give to our Church. If you were in the Worship Services on October 8, when we kicked off our 2018 Pledge Campaign, you heard one of our newest members, Vickie Freeland, talk about how our Annual Auction reflects the time and talents of the many church members that help make the auction a successful fundraising and fellowship event every year.

Time and talent, our other treasures.

Our Church runs on volunteers, those people who believe that their donations of Time, and the use of their Talents, is another way they can exercise their Stewardship.

This month, the Stewardship Committee is going to honor individuals who have contributed to the Congregation in this way. We’re calling it an Appreciation of Time. Look for it in upcoming services.

Charlie Scholz, Chair
Stewardship Committee

Ministerial Search

Report to the Board, Wednesday, October 18

The Ministerial Search Committee completed its congregational survey Wednesday, Oct. 18, with responses from over 165 members and friends. We’re pleased with this strong response. Now comes the hard part: analysis of the answers to our questions. We hope that analysis will agree with what we learned in the casita meetings. The summary of findings will be available to the congregation.

We’re following up on the Sept. 10, Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop with a 45-minute congregational meeting right after church on October 29. We’ll review some ideas presented in the workshop and the responses to questions posed at that time, and because we think there’s still some work for the congregation to do in this department, we’ll break into small groups to explore some related case studies.

The committee is also working very hard on the packet that will be submitted to ministerial candidates in late November.

After that, we will begin evaluating interested candidates, so we take this opportunity to remind the congregation about our covenant of confidentiality, which protects candidates who have not announced their search intentions to their home churches.

Update and Requests from Leadership Development Committee

In January 2018, the congregation will vote on at-Large candidates to fill positions on the Board of Trustees (BOT), the Committee on Ministry (COM), and the Leadership Development Committee (LDC). As we make a transition to the January 2017 Bylaws, the LDC is now in the final process of seeking nominations for several of these positions.

Board Openings. There are two open spots on the slate for the Board: One slot for a three-year term and one slot for a one-year term. Currently serving are Sally Atkinson, Carol Winkler, Rebecca Richins, Sara Stinson, Joel Courtney, Chris Ramsey, Charlie Schultz and Lyn Pearson. On the new slate are Mark Sukontarek and Ada Moranescu. If you are interested in working with this great group, please reach out to anyone on the Leadership Committee.

Committee on Ministry. The current COM consists of Rod Sauter, Skip Shelton, Hale Huber, and Lola Woolf. Peggy Devlin has graciously agreed to be a candidate for one open at-large seat.

Leadership Development Committee. There is an open spot for a one-year term on the LDC. Currently serving are Jo Ingle, Marie Sauter, Martin Rodriguez, Robert Severance, and Tom Dormody. On the new slate are Carla Campbell and Maggie Locatelli. Prior experience is not needed for these opportunities. Come and learn with us.


(Community Initiative for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement)

CIVIC spearheads the US immigration detention visitation movement to end the isolation of people currently being detained in isolation and suffering from the profit-driven system of incarceration.  Established in Southern California in 2009 as a 501c3, CIVIC now reaches immigrants in over 43 detention facilities nationwide through volunteers who provide support, a listening ear and news of the outside world to immigrants who feel alone and abandoned. (excerpted from www.endisolation.org).

Tax-deductible contributions to CIVIC can be made at any time by clicking on “Give” in the top right of any of our webpages. If you have questions or might be interested in being a volunteer, contact Jan at janthompson0817@gmail.com.

More Articles

Nov 6 Social Justice Movie

Los Mineros will show on November 16th at 7:00 pm in the church library.

Los Mineros means “the miners” in Spanish and this PBS documentary documents a half century of struggle for equal rights by Mexican-Americans who worked in the copper mines in southwest Arizona. The mines around the towns of Clifton-Morenci, Arizona, were company towns under the thumb of the Phelps-Dodge Corporation, weren’t the big open copper pits. They deep shaft mines, going as far as 4,000 feet underground, dug in 1903 as the spread of electricity created a huge demand for copper wire.

The Mexican workers, whatever their citizenship, were given the toughest, most dangerous jobs, and paid far less than their Anglo counterparts. They were refused entrance into white run unions. For decades their protests and strikes were answered with repressive violence.

This is the story of their struggle.

The Social Justice Committee holds one meeting of every quarter in the evening. This quarter’s meeting will be held on the second Tuesday, November 8 at 6:00 pm in the church library.  Please join us.

Nov 17 Dining Out

Dining Out is at 5:00 pm on Friday, November 17, at Café’ a go go, 1120 Commerce Drive. Please sign up, call or email by Wednesday (15th) or send email to DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

Nov 25 A Time Out For Calm

During the holiday season (Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16) Reba Montera is offering a time out for meditation at her house on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 3.  No registration is necessary, people may come and go as they need to, and beginners to meditation are welcome.  Call Reba with any questions.


The 16th Annual WomenSpirit Retreat was a resounding success!  Thirty adult women from our church and the community at large nestled into the beautiful mountains south of Cloudcroft, NM over the weekend of September 15th – 17th.  WomenSpirit unites several generations and this year, more than others, many mother/daughter pairs attended and one aunt brought her niece.  The youth enlivened the group and the older generations passed on important life experience and advice.  For the first time in the history of WomenSpirit, participants could purchase a t-shirt designed by Bonnie Hosie and during a workshop had the opportunity to paint the design or tie-dye the entire shirt.

On Friday, after dinner, the opening ceremony focused on this year’s theme, “Heart Brain Connection.”  Then attendees congregated around a good old-fashioned campfire and warmed banana boats in aluminum foil. Saturday the bright sun made the mountains picturesque and a few even wore shorts. Some people were seen playing puzzles all day on the porch while others kept busy with classes on Comfort Measures, Yoga, Belly Dancing, Poetry, and Taize Singing Meditation. The more adventurous jumped on a trampoline with bungees or went hiking in the surrounding mountains. There was a group session of AccuDetox and a massage therapist was on hand offering massages for a reasonable cost.  In short, there was something for everyone!

The annual Talent-No Talent Show highlighted Saturday night.  Individuals and small groups entertained with performances of dancing, music, poetry, song, storytelling, and jokes galore!  There was “no talent” involved and it was great fun.   Our Funky Fun Shop made $138 and $103 donations were made to the scholarship fund for a total of $241 added to the scholarship fund. This year the WomenSpirit committee awarded one full scholarship and plans to award several more next year.

The kitchen crew at Sacramento Methodist Assembly was exceptional as always!  The kitchen accommodated multiple dietary restrictions and vegetarian options were available with each meal.

The weekend wound down with the traditional closing ceremony.  The dates for next year have not been finalized, but stay tuned for a save the date notice.

Expanding Love, Building Identity, Exploring Beliefs
Susan Freudenthal

A Prayer for the Season

Lay your burdens down
Before this circle of community and care
Before the presence of love and compassion
Lay them down, so that we might all be lifted up in this season of winter light.

Dear Friends,

Another Thanksgiving is upon us and with it the short and beautiful season of winter dark and light. This year, use the time to look back before anticipating the new one. Have you accomplished one thing you wanted to?  Has the world become your sorrow or hope?  What has this community done to walk with you, to love you into being your full self?

 We cannot prove that love will guide us, but we have faith it is so.

For our children and youth, as they experienced the theology of Unitarian Universalism through acts of love, we take stock in our faith community and our classrooms as well. We have talked about families (both chosen and those we are born into), we have learned that however you define your identity, feeling as if you belong is what matters. We have experienced the beauty of having flaws and the richness of our personal journeys as religious  people.  We talked about forgiveness and the awesome wonder of nature.  Ultimately,  we cannot prove that love will guide us, but we have faith it is so.

This is how we have spent part of our late summer and fall.  What have YOU been up to?

If you are interested in seeing the programs we are using this year, follow the links below.

This month our children’s worship will include honoring the indigenous American people and exploring the legacy of Thanksgiving as Unitarian Universalists.

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


Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

When reflecting on our service about “Civil Discourse,” I began thinking of music that supports order and clarity in times of chaos.  For several weeks I have been revisiting some of my old friends at the piano:  Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert.  The structures and voices of Bach’s two- and three-part inventions, and his preludes and fugues, are to me like the music ringing “thru all the tumult and the strife.”

Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Miles Davis: Order out of chaos.

During my childhood and high school years, I learned Bach pieces very easily, especially compared with Chopin and some of the other Romantics, and thought I just had a special rapport with his music.  I found out later that my oldest sister, who had graduated from high school the month before I was born and who cared for me, had intentionally played recordings of Bach piano pieces for me to hear as an infant and toddler.  It seems to me that this early exposure really helped me hear these compositions and feel comfortable with them as I explored them.  I am dusting some of these off to play in worship this year, and they resonate with me at this time.  Beethoven and Schubert also give me great comfort, with their passionate approaches and singing melodies.

Ironically, listening to Miles Davis accomplishes some of the same order out of chaos, in my mind.  Kind of Blue and other albums use the structure of themes carried by several voices—sax, trumpet, bass, piano, drum set.  I can’t remember what musician said he was told to listen to Kind of Blue every day for a year in order to understand jazz, but it has been a revelation to me, as well. I am enjoying pairing Bach with Brubeck, and finding how well they complement each other –for me as a pianist, and as a listener.

-­-­Catherine Massey
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader

Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

The greeters for October were: Jo Ingle, Diane Taylor, Robert Severance, Julie Woody, Chuck Campbell, Jan Thompson, Ilene Steele, David Steele, Susan Bagby, Jane Ashe, Shirley Davis, Jack Welch, Beth Bannister, Peggy Brown, Joel Brown, Tom Packard, Sara Stinson, Warren DeBoer, Nora Brown, Carol Winkler, Lurene John, Linda Peterson, Skip Shelton, and Peggy Devlin.  Peggy Devlin and Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

We give a major thank you Jo Ingle for her donation to our church Building Fund. Thank you, Jo, for your generosity.

Our church patriarch, Clayton Flowers, made two special gifts. One was to our Women’s Alliance Education Fund and the second to our youth program. For those who do not know Clayton, he will celebrate his 102nd birthday in December.

We sincerely thank Jo and Clayton for their continued support. (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

2018 Tombaugh Gallery Call for artists

Kingdom of Heaven
10,000 Year Green Tadpoles

The Tombaugh Gallery presents “Conversations in Color,” works by Las Cruces artist Ruth Drayer.  The exhibit opens on Sunday, November 5 with an artist’s reception from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM and an artist talk at 12:15 PM.

In Ruth’s paintings, colors speak a language without words – some paintings whisper, others speak out boldly.  In essence, Ruth is painting her love of colors and design abstractly, but with careful attention, viewers will often see images coming through.

Ruth has a background in many design fields: Managing two art galleries, creating pottery and sculpture, and studying art history and therapy.  While researching and writing the life story of artists Nicholas and Helena Roerich, she felt she needed an outlet for the colors blooming in her head and began painting.  Former arts editor of the Las Cruces Sun News, Derrickson Moore, wrote: “Drayer’s paintings reflect her lifelong quest for spiritual knowledge and are explorations into interwoven and layered washes or built-up areas of color that produce order, harmony and beauty by their relationships. Each painting is the result of a journey using the language of form, color and design.”

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.  The exhibit continues through November 25 (closed Thanksgiving Day.)

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 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. 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.