Our Newsletter


Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 63, Number 06

June Light

Our 63nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces


For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

“Goin’ to Kansas City – Kansas City here I come…”  This year, from June 20-24, Kansas City, MO is host to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly, “All Are Called.”

KC is vastly underrated as a destination.  During my last year as interim minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Chuck and I commuted regularly between New Mexico and Missouri.  Often enough, Kansas City was a convenient meeting place.  We found much to enjoy – attractive parks, an excellent art museum, a World War I memorial and museum, grand old Union Station, tasty barbecue (including Arthur Bryant’s, which Calvin Trillin made famous to non-Missourians), and the 18th and Vine District, which includes the American Jazz Museum and Negro League Baseball Museum.

Troost Avenue and institutional racism

Those two museums are among our favorite places to visit, but their location is a reminder of a sad part of Kansas City history.  The 18th and Vine District lies east of Troost Avenue, a north-south thoroughfare dividing the city east and west.  Often, the Avenue is called “The Troost Wall.”  That’s because the area to the west is predominately white and affluent, while the area to the east is largely black and impoverished.  The disparity is not accidental, but is the result of deliberate real estate practices, including redlining, restrictive covenants, and school segregation.

It’s not to late to register for the June 20-24 General Assembly in Kansas City

Last year’s General Assembly, held in New Orleans, had a strong racial justice focus.  That theme will continue this year, with the city itself serving as a laboratory.  For example, local Unitarian Universalists have organized a tour, “The Story of Segregation in Kansas City,” which will help ground in reality discussions of institutional racism and white supremacy.  And the national organization Black Lives UU (BLUU) is organizing this year’s Public Witness around the cash bail system and its unfair impact on people of color.  Information about this, and much more, is available at www.uua.org/ga.

It’s not too late to register for GA in person!  It’s an excellent way to experience the wider Unitarian Universalist movement of which this congregation is a part.  Chuck and I are going.  While there, we look forward to spending time with Rev. Xolani and Tamara, and I will be recognized at the Service of the Living Tradition (SLT) as a retiring minister.  If it’s not practical for you to go to Kansas City, you can view many of the proceedings, including the Service of the Living Tradition, on-line.  You can even register as an off-site delegate – speak to a Board member if you’re interested.

Love and blessings,
The Reverend Suzanne Redfern-Campbell

Upcoming Services


Midsummer also known as Summer Sostice or Litha, is a celebration of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and we celebrate the sun’s full power. We will celebrate the light we all have in us and that we see in each … read more.

The Declaration of Dependence

America places a high priority on independence, which helped push many people to amazing achievements, fame, and fortune. Unfortunately, we sacrificed some of our sense of community and the bonds that held us together and encouraged us to work together and succeed together. Let’s celebrate … read more.

Upcoming Roundtables

Education never ends. Come join our discussions. Our goal is to learn more about all sides of issues and more about each other. If you have a comment or suggestion, email it to roundtable@uuchurchlc.org.

Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 9:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Unlock Your Brain’s Potential

BrainWorks Neurofeedback technology operated by Brandi Lozada-Johnston, BCN will demonstrate how you can witness and control your brain functions. Take a closer view of a new technological tool for self-discovery as well as witnessing the brain mechanisms that relate to learning, mood and peak performance.

Featured Articles


General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.

General Assembly 2018
June 20-24, Kansas City, MO

All Are Called

Grounded in a deep belief that we are all prophets, Unitarian Universalists ask, “How can we faithfully meet the demands of our time?” The call to witness and act for justice in our society and in the world is clear. So, too, is the call to examine our structures and practices, dismantling and transforming those which fail to recognize the full humanity of all people and to honor the interdependent web of life. Join us in Kansas City as we dive deeply into questions of mission for our Unitarian Universalist Association, for our congregations and communities, and for each of us as individuals. Together, we’ll ask:

  • Who and how are we called to be at this time, individually and collectively?
  • How are we called to act and to live?
  • How does our Unitarian Universalist  legacy strengthen us in living out our mission? In what ways does our legacy present challenges and impediments to answering our call?

The call of our faith has a place for each of us. Join us in Kansas City to build courageous, collective leadership with tools, skills and connections.

WomenSpirit Funky Fun Shop

Now in the Religious Education Building great room you will find a donation box for the WomenSpirit Funky Fun Shop.  All proceeds go to the scholarship fund!

Please donate ‘out of the ordinary’ items that are clean and in good shape.  Good sellers are: ethnic items, jewelry, scarves, music, and hip, handmade items.  These items do NOT sell: jeans, purses, shoes, and knick-knacks.  Please NO books. If you have something that won’t fit in the box or need more information about WomenSpirit, then please contact Sara Thomas.

Newsletter Archive

The Light will now be archived under the website’s News tab. This idea results from a suggestion by Marie Sauter and serves a number of purposes. Since the online newletter is dynamic and services and Roundtables roll off as the weeks go by, the archive will serve as a permanent record of these activities. If you like to print out copies of the Light, you’ll never miss a complete version since they will be kept in the archive. Finally, our Light Editor Emeritus, Elwin Nunn, always kept copies of the Light for historical reference, which we think is an excellent practice.

Dates to Remember


Jun 15 Dining Out

June Dining Out will be at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 15, at Aqua Reef Restaurant, 141 N. Roadrunner Pkwy. (North of Lohman)  Please sign up by WednesdayJune 13.  You can sign up in the church lobby or contact DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

Jun 18-24 Western Unitarian Universalist Life Festival

Grant Stump, the Board Director for WUULF (Western Unitarian Universalist Life Festival) invites us to Ghost Ranch. This year’s festival will be focused on “Letting Go in the Desert.” The festival features long time Unitarian Universalist minister, Christine Robinson, as well as Improv Master Dee Masters.

The festival has opened registration for 2018 and welcomes members of our congregation. More information on WUULF, including their catalog, can be found at www.wuulf.org. You can look at the festival brochure here and Grant can be reached at grant.stump@gmail.com or at (719)482-8435.

Jul 15 Final, Final Goodbye

John Northcutt invites you to join him, Rev. Sue and Chuck at the High Desert Brewery for a couple of beers of your choice plus snacks. This is a great opportunity to support the church as well as chat with Sue and Chuck to let them know how much they will be missed. Lyn Pearson will have the signup sheet in the lobby every Sunday through the end of June. The $15 per person charge will be added to your auction bill.

Jul 20-22 Annual Campout

Mark your calendar for July 20-22 when the annual church campout will take place in the Gila Forest near Lake Roberts. Close enough to the lake to go boating or fishing, but far enough away to avoid the noise and mosquitoes. In this piece of The Land of Enchantment, you will be nestled in among the ponderosa pines, surrounded by mountains and interesting geological formations, under a spectacular night sky, with the opportunity to share space with nature and wildlife.

Due to the Sapillo Campground becoming overrun in recent years with groups running dirt bikes and four wheelers all over the campground at all hours of the day, this year’s campout is being moved to a new area that should offer a little more peace and quiet in order to enjoy nature. The new site is approximately a mile east/southeast of the Sapillo campground as the crow flies, but only a quarter of a mile or so from the box canyon that has been a popular hiking destination during past church campouts (and as a bonus, we’ve discovered that there’s a second box canyon to explore that runs parallel to the original). The entrance to this new area is 1.7 miles closer to Mimbres (1.7 miles farther from Lake Roberts) than the entrance to the Sapillo Campground.

This is a family event where people of all ages mix and have fun together.

The tradition of the annual church campout in the Gila has a long history.  It was started by the Rev. John Trantham, continued by the Rev. Mark Christian, and organized in recent years by members of the congregation. This is a family event where people of all ages mix and have fun together.  It takes a village to raise a child and this is when our Unitarian Universalist village is at its best.  The Bagby, Basler, Carlson, Harris, Nunn, Richins, and Trantham children grew up attending the campouts with excellent results.  Just ask them.

Not too keen on camping? Prefer sleeping indoors in a bed?  There are limited number of cottages, motels, and bed-and-breakfast  places around Lake Roberts.  There is a Church Campout pamphlet  available at the church that  gives more detail on this as well as the campout in general.  It has a map that hasn’t been updated yet with the turnoff to the new campsite.

Watch the NUUS and The Light for more information.   Contact Charlie Welch or Jim Basler if you have questions.

Sep 14-16 WOMENSPIRIT Retreat

The 2018 WomenSpirit Retreat will be held September 14-16th. This is the 17th Annual UU WomenSpirit Retreat and it 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; registration opens later this month.


Naoma’s Notes


As I sit here writing this entry, its Sunday morning and religious education is having their Splash Party outside the windows of the office. I love how happy the kids are – and how simple their fun is. Isn’t it delightful that we get to be a part of a community which provides such safe, innocent spaces for our youth to grow and develop? I sure am thankful for my part in this church.

This spring, Administration was able to formalize a mission statement! It is: To create and maintain sustainable administration at the church.

How do I go about doing this? By mindfully creating and maintaining structures and mechanisms that facilitate a sense of belonging, fellowship and community.

I am inspired to follow the example of these playful kiddos just outside and accomplish the Admin mission by remaining playful and agile this summer! Past experience at the church has taught me me that Facilities demand a lot of my attention during the summer months, so I have set aside time in my yearly work flow to allow for the seasonal focus on facilities. Things are bound to break, grow incredibly quickly, or need fixing up before the fall brings us back together again. This year, I will also be preparing for the departure of the Rev. Sue Redfern-Campbell and the arrival of the Rev. Xolani Kacela. I’ll finalize the Congregational Administrator Handbook, Volunteer Handbook, Standard Operating Procedures, Aesthetics Guidelines, and church Graphics Standards. And while my husband is spending time with his “fictive kin” in Vanuatu, I’ll be exercising some child-like delight and will head out on two road-trip expeditions – one at the end of June and one in July.

Each of you is also invited to follow our kids’ example – and keep it simple! Please come by and see the different volunteer opportunities that I have ready, and that might fit your interests. We have opportunities for volunteers to update welcome packets, develop “about us” and “Social Justice at UUCLC” trifolds, to work on financial entries and money counting, help us maintain an up-to-date corporate binder, maintain the library, hang plaques, or folding and stuffing the order of service. And in the (entirely likely) case that none of these suit your fancy – l’d love to hear your ideas and interests and see what we can do together.

Let’s keep it simple, sustainable – and full of fun, love and joy–

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.


Susan Freudenthal
Expanding Love, Building Identity, Exploring Beliefs

A Hogwarts Summer begins on Sunday, June 3rd.  Core Hogwarts subjects such as Potions, Herbology and Defense Against the Dark Arts serve as a place to explore Unitarian Universalism. We will begin with an introduction to the Harry Potter series and get sorted!  Each session can stand on its own, no prior attendance (or knowledge of the books) is required.  Please register your child on the weeks you attend.

Sessions will include a focus on the following themes:

  • Celebrating the magic we find in the world
  • Moving beyond tolerance
  • Acceptance and love
  • Racism and discrimination

The summer program ends on Sunday, August 12th. Sign-in will be required for all who attend.

Dream with us

Something like this?
We already own 3 of these.  Where might they go?

Come dream a dream with us! This summer, you are invited to a conversation about our outdoor playscape. Bring your creativity and imaginations ot the Great Room on Sunday, June 24th at 11:30AM during Cookies and Conversation.  We need a fresh start with the outdoor areas underneath the new  shade structure. A space for play, to meet and talk, a space for outdoor worship?  What would you like to see outside for the whole community? How should we co-create an outdoor communal space with room for children to play and adults to enjoy?

Special thank you

A very special thank you to those who taught this year in the religious education program: Laurel Irwin, Judy Holmes, Rebecca Richins, Joel Brown and Sally Atchison. Our child care providers, who fill in whenever and wherever it’s needed: Eric Brekke and Paige Ramsey. And to Cliff Pelton and his late brother, Bumpy, we gratefully appreciate their generosity in helping us finally build a permanent outdoor shade structure.

Hope to see you all soon!
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

The Sunday Services Committee met to plan worship for the summer, before our new minister gets settled in.  We discussed possible themes, which seemed to converge into our overall summer theme of “Renewing Connection.” Many wonderful services are in store.

For me, and perhaps for the rest of our congregation, it feels like January—looking forward, looking back.  We will honor the retirement of Rev. Sue, while preparing to welcome Rev. Xolani.  The choir will extend their season a couple of weeks to help with Rev. Sue’s last services, and we reflect now on the choir season we are completing.  We will probably discuss our favorite anthems of the year and what we have accomplished and what we can do next year.  We had a good, enthusiastic group, with several new and returning members.  We sang old favorites, and stretched to learn new music.  Most importantly, the choir added energy to each worship experience.  They will be on hand to support our new minister’s messages from the pulpit.

Loyal guides in love and duty lead us with a trusted light.  Blessed are they whose inward beauty shows the path of truth and right.  Honor is their earthly prize.  By their worth we realize faith calls us on.
Jason Shelton

One thing I am very proud of is that our congregation sings!  This is a way of connecting that welcomes the stranger, and nurtures our beloved community.  Congregational singing is a solid base for worship and action, this summer and moving forward.  We renew that connection every time we meet. Let’s keep that up!

When Rev. Sue retires, we will all sing “Life Calls Us On,” our commissioned hymn by Jason Shelton and Kendyl Gibbons.  (Its dedicatee, Minister Emerita Nancy Anderson, will be in the choir to sing it for this new special occasion.) This verse particularly stands out now: “Loyal guides in love and duty lead us with a trusted light.  Blessed are they whose inward beauty shows the path of truth and right.  Honor is their earthly prize.  By their worth we realize faith calls us on.”  May it ever be so.

Catherine Massey, Director of Music

UUMN Credentialed Music Leader


Infinite Possibilities

You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”

There are times when the poetry of popular music says it all for me. This line from the Beatles 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album is a good example. This month we say Goodbye to the Minister who has been the third longest serving minister in the history of our congregation. And in two months we will say Hello to our next settled minister.

In case you’re wondering, what we are undergoing is called a Transition.

As William Bridges says in Managing Transitions.

  • Change is situational and happens without people transitioning
  • Transition is psychological and is a 3 phase process where people gradually accept the details of the new situation and the changes that come with it
  • Change is fast
  • Transition is slow
  • Communication is the key

So our job is to keep the lines of communication open so everyone will know what going on and how it might affect them.

In that mode, you’ve probably heard that Ed Gomolka and Shirley Davis have agreed to be the Co-Chairs of the Hospitality Committee. Many of you have already indicated your interest and given your commitment to work with them. At our May meeting the Board of Trustees agreed to help Ed and Shirley handle Hospitality for the month of September. We hope this will inspire other groups in out Congregation to do a month as well.

In faith, Charlie Scholz, President, Board of Trustees


Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

Greeters in May were: Jo Ingle, Diane Taylor, Jan Thompson, Chuck Campbell, Diane Lee, Rita Decker, Jean Gilbert, June Miller, Tom Packard, Nora Brown , Linda Peterson, and Skip Shelton. — Peggy Devlin & Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

GENEROUS GIVING:  Our thanks go to Paul and Marian O’Connell for their generous donation to our KRWG Underwriter fund. Rodney and Marie Sauter and an anonymous person receive our thanks for their support of our Minister’s Discretionary fund. Thank you all. (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


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.