Our Newsletter


Services Every Sunday of the Year ⋅ Volume 64, Number 04

April Light

Our 64th Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces



Among the first people that I met at the church was brother Chuck Campbell. He and Reverend Sue were warm, welcoming and easy to connect with. I immediately felt I was among trusted friends in their company. During our trip to Albuquerque in January, Tamara and I connected with Chuck for what would be our last time. We connected deeply over our love for Unitarian Universalism and jazz. Chuck died and I’ll really miss him. Our deepest condolences go out to Reverend Sue and her extended family.

Deep connections are what people seek most in religious community. One of my dreams is for everyone who comes through the church doors to experience that with someone they meet. If each of us strives for true meaningful connection, especially with newcomers and visitors, I bet we’ll become known as one of Las Cruces’ most beloved churches!

Wholeness is our April ministry theme. What a wonderful way to begin the Spring. All spiritual paths lead to wholeness of mind, body and spirit.

One way that we examine wholeness is through Easter and Holy Week. This year, we’ll hold special services that commemorate our Judeo-Christian origins. These include Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Easter. Then, we’ll share a Seder meal following the 2nd service on April 28. Everyone is invited to all services. Bring your friends and family.

I hope that you are attending to your spirit. Listen closely. Respond with curiosity and often. Be whole.

Blessings, Rev. Xolani

Latest Article In Minister’s Musings

There is a variety of articles the congregation may find interesting in this section of our website’s home page.

Who Doesn’t Read Books In America?
About a quarter of American adults say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year. Who are these non-book readers? Read the article.

Board of Trustees Actions


March 19, 2019, Board Meeting

The purpose of this column is to keep you informed about recent Board of Trustee actions. Complete minutes of all Board meetings may be viewed in the office; please contact the Congregational Administrator. The board meets on the third Wednesday of the month.

  • Robert Floyd was accepted as the newest member of the Board of Trustees; he will fill out Laurel Irwin’s term.
  • Jan Thompson and Elisa Sanchez will be certified as delegates to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Spokane, WA in June of this year.

Community Quick Hits


Short Updates for the Church Community by Rev. XK
Nachison departure – People are asking why the Nachisons resigned their membership in the church. Unfortunately, Jerry disagreed with our perspective on programming. We hold them in our hearts. If you ever consider leaving the church, I hope you first will make an appointment to visit with me. Let’s resolve differences and remain in covenant with one another.

Auction – A big shout-out to all persons contributed services and events to our annual auction. Be sure to place your bid for Tamara’s and my auction items. Show love for the church! Bid high!

Social Justice community-wide project – Wait for it, wait for it…it’s coming soon. Be on the lookout for an announcement from the Social Justice Committee. We’re looking for full church participation!

Religious Education Building – We are working feverishly to clean up the odor in the Religious Education Building that seems to be a result of the new roofing. If you discover a blower running, it is for reducing the odor. There is no health risk by being in the building.

Lobby water – Although the water has an odor, it has been tested and found healthful. The odor results from lack of use of water taps. We need more activities in the building to relieve this problem!

Remember! Love in all you do!

Upcoming Services

Upcoming Roundtables

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

Roundtable: Reality Reconciles Science and Religion: (Video)
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:30 AM in the Library

Presenter: Michael Dowd at TEDxGrandRapids, Carol Felsing, and Richard Wright

The challenges ahead threaten to overwhelm. What an honor to be engaged in the GREAT WORK of fostering a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship! Supporting one another through the stages of grief and inevitable challenges along the way is surely medicine for our collective soul.

Roundtable: Accomplishments of the Last Legislative Session
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 10:30 AM in the Library

Presenter: Senator Bill Soules

Senator Soules was asked to participate in a discussion on the accomplishments of the current Legislative session and what he thinks still needs to be done in the future for New Mexico.

Social Justice

Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters (Amos 5.24)


Social Justice Committee (SJC) Monthly Update

The Social Justice Committee meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 1:30 in the library.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Hospitality for Asylum Seekers

This thank you recently arrived at the church from the Border Service Corps (BSC).


Thank you so much for your donations collected for Undies Sunday! We also appreciate your continued support with meals, requests for peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, etc. THANKS!

Carol Blaschka for Border Servant Corps” (www.borderservantcorps.org)

The Social Justice Committee adds its thanks to everyone who has contributed to and participated in preparing and serving meals to the refugees housed by BSC at Peace Lutheran Church. In March we added a third meal, and based on your generous response, we have committed to providing three meals in April as well:

  • Lunch on Wednesday, April 3
  • Dinner on Tuesday, April 9
  • Lunch on Wednesday, April 24

If you want to help prepare and serve these meals, you can find sign-up sheets in the Religious Education Building Great Room at coffee time on Sundays, or contact Susan Bagby.

Important News

The Border Service Corps (BSC) now serves as site manager for regular “weekend hotels,” providing hospitality in local motels for groups of 50-70 refugees. (The size of these groups is expected to grow significantly in coming months.) All the services provided during the week by BSC at Peace Lutheran and other hospitality centers must also be provided on this larger scale every Saturday and Sunday: clothing, food, wellness checks, travel arrangements, travel supplies, and transportation. Volunteer organizations are stepping up to help.

So, in addition to the weekday meals we provide at Peace Lutheran, Our church will provide refugees with a sack lunch on the first Saturday in April, May, and June. The cost of these lunches has been almost entirely covered by several generous donations.

Our first sack lunch will be Saturday, April 6. If you want to help assemble the sack lunches, you can find sign-up sheets in the Religious Education Building Great Room at coffee time on Sundays, or contact Susan Bagby.

We welcome donations to this important humanitarian project. If you wish to donate, here’s how:

  • Church members and attendees: Go to your InFellowship account and chose “Your Giving” then in the “Give to” block select Hospitality for Refugees.
  • If you don’t have an InFellowship account you can go here and in the “Give to” block select Hospitality for Refugees.

For other options and more information, please see Susan Bagby.

Sunday, April 7, is “Undies Sunday”

We need boys and girls 2T/3T underwear, boys 4 through 14/16 underwear, and men’s x-small and small, especially boxers. Questions? Gillian Leng, Co-chair of the Social Justice Committee

May 17-18 Workshop on Mobilizing Congregations for Social Justice Work

Greetings Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces:

I would like to invite you to join us at First Unitarian in Albuquerque (UUABQ) for two workshops with Matt Meyer, a talented musician, song-leader, social justice activist, and community organizer from Boston, MA. Matt is a co-founder and director of Sanctuary Boston. He has led music at Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly and many regional events.

Matt will be at First Unitarian May 17-18.

On Friday evening, May 17, he will lead a 90 minute workshop on mobilizing congregations for social justice work. Attendance is free for active members of UUABQ Social Justice Council.

The 3-hour Saturday morning workshop is for worship leaders, worship teams, religious educators, and musicians. The workshops are free for members of UUABQ and our branch congregations: worship leaders/coordinators, RE curriculum planners/teachers, choirs, band, Family Sing song-leaders. Folks from other churches are asked to pay a moderate admission fee, as shown on the flyer. Child care will be provided, but please let us know in advance if you need it.

Matt will be leading worship at Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Fe on Sunday, May 19, and leading a workshop there Sunday afternoon, “Drumming With Spirit”.

Here is a flyer for this event. To reserve a spot or get more information, please contact me by email or phone, Susan Peck speck@uuabq.org 541-207-2889 (cell).



Would You Like to be Part of a Covenant Group?

Covenant groups are groups of six to eight Unitarian Universalists  and Friends who meet regularly for six months to a year to share and support each other on their spiritual journeys.

They provide:

  • A way to maintain a “small church” feeling of fellowship within the larger church.
  • A place that provides a personal touch to keep us feeling connected to UUCLC.
  • A place to explore and ponder some deeper issues of life.
  • A place where we can have meaningful connections with other UU’s.

A typical meeting:

  • Is scheduled twice per month
  • Lasts two hours or less
  • Begins with a brief check in allowing us to catch up with each others’ lives and get to know one another on a deeper level.
  • Continues with shared reflection on a theme, possibly related to recent Sunday sermon topics, often topics with which we struggle but have few places to explore and share our thoughts, feelings and questions. This strengthens our ties to each other and offers expanding opportunities for growth, caring and connection within the congregation.

If you’d like to meet with a small group of Unitarian Universalists to share stories, speak from the heart and form new friendships, join a Covenant Group. Contact Chris Ramsey clramsey@zianet.com

Tombaugh Gallery Call For Artists

The Tombaugh Gallery is calling for regional artists within a 200 mile radius of Las Cruces to submit proposals for exhibitions for the 2020 calendar year. Non-traditional media or subject matter is welcome. All artwork must be for sale. Submissions should contain a proposal with information about the artist, type of work to be shown and USB flash drive containing eight (8) representative images as JPG files. For group shows, supply a list of all members and 1 or 2 images from each member. If a show theme is being considered, please explain the theme fully.  The Tombaugh Gallery has 44 linear feet for wall display, and in addition, has several pedestals.

Submissions should be postmarked no later than April 15, 2019. Submissions will be reviewed, and applicants will be notified by May 15, at which time possible show dates will be discussed. Artists/shows not selected will be notified at the same time. Artists who want their media returned, must send a SASE.

Artists who prefer to send an electronic submission may contact Judy Licht at gallery@uuchurchlc.org for instructions.

Gallery Website: http://www.uuchurchlc.org/about-us/our-art-gallery/

Address submissions to: Judy Licht, Committee Chairperson, Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, 2000 South Solano Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88001


Don’t Forget These Dates


Apr 19 Dining Out

April Dining Out is at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 19, at Lorenzo’s, 1753 E University Ave. Please sign up by Wednesday (17th). For information contact DiningOut@uuchurchlc.org.

Apr 27 A Night At The Ranch

The Annual Auction is April 27, 2019, at 5:00 PM and the theme is “A Night at the Ranch”.  PLEASE LET THE AUCTION COMMITTEE KNOW IF YOU INTEND TO BRING CHILDREN TO THE AUCTION.  We need to know as soon as possible so we can arrange childcare for them.

Auction raffle tickets and gate tickets are now available online at http://www.uuchurchlc.org/member-utilities/.

May 10, 11 & 13 Photography Sessions

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a church picture directory so we are working with Lifetouch to develop a new one. We hope you’ll participate by having your picture taken. We urge all individuals and families to join in this project. Here is a very short video that explains why we think it’s important to have a new church directory.

We’ll have a lot more information for you soon but if you’re ready to schedule your pictures, just click on the picture below. Pictures will be taken on May 10, 11, and 13.


Jun 19-23 UUA General Assembly

The Power of WeGeneral Assembly is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of Unitarian Universalists that attend each June. Attendees leave with a renewed sense of energy, inspiration, and innovative ideas to take back to their congregations and communities. GA is even more enjoyable if experienced with a delegation of congregational peers who can share expenses and meals and provide mutual support during the conference. This year, in addition to Theme-Based Programming, the schedule will feature Role-Based Track Programming, including time for discussion among attendees, sharing inspiring models and stories, and concrete suggestions for how to further the work or “take it home.”

In order to raise interest and to help your congregations learn more about General Assembly, we have assembled promotional resources to download, copy, or print for further distribution.

Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof welcomes Unitarian Universalists to Spokane, location of the 2019 General Assembly (GA) on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane.

Board of Trustees


President Charlie Scholz

A New Leaf

I’m not a big believer in New Years Resolutions. I figure, if you want to do something to change the direction of your life, you could do that at anytime.

But I am very much aware of the changes that may occur in a life’s journey and the possibilities that those changes can bring. We sometimes call this turning over a new leaf, a reference to a 16th Century idea of turning a page in a diary or journal with the new sheet before you, blank and full of possibilities.

We’re about to do that at our Church

The demolition of the Rental Property is underway. The tenants are all gone. The water and electricity is shut off. Our crew has stripped and boarded up the building. We’ve hired a contractor to do the demolition. And we’re waiting on the lab results of the (possible) asbestos contamination.

Soon we will have an unobstructed view of the North wall that separates our property from that of our neighbors. Clearing this land is like turning over a new leaf. This is our blank page.

We will have the possibility of opening up the area to new development, and we will also have the possibility of getting to know our neighbors. Because as part of the demolition process, we intend to inform the neighborhood that the building is coming down. This gives us a great opportunity to spread the word about Unitarian Universalism and to remind our neighbors about the Church that lies right in their backyard.

I invite you to go with me when we knock on their doors to share this good news with them.

In faith, Charlie Scholz, Board of Trustees President

Choir and Music


Catherine Massey
Catherine Massey

Music Notes

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

The past couple of months have included a number of activities involving music beyond Sunday morning worship.  Our choir once again did a great job singing at the annual Spirituals concert at Bethel Second Baptist Church to close out Black History Month.  We love being included in this tradition, and having fellowship with the congregation of this 100 year old church. This year we sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “I’m On My Way.”

In early March, those of us who sing with the local shape note singing group helped to host the annual Elder Gerald Hand Memorial shape note singing convention—one day in our Religious Education Building great room, and one day at the WIA building in Pioneer Women’s Park.  We hosted singers from Washington State, New Hampshire, Colorado, California, Arizona, and Texas, and sang about 80 hymns in two days.  This is another tradition that is very fulfilling to me to participate in, allowing me to reconnect with friends I only see every year or two, and bringing together people from all walks of life.  I was chaplain this year, meaning that in this democratic tradition I was elected to deliver the prayers for opening, closing, and grace before meals.  This role helped me appreciate the responsibilities of our minister!

We have produced two concerts recently. Political satirist Roy Zimmerman has a new album called Rise Up.  Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter perform Celtic music on a variety of fascinating instruments in addition to telling stories.  These musicians have, individually and collectively, sold millions of CDs, and I would have liked to have had a larger audience for them.  Lisa invited those interested to put their hands on the strings of her Celtic harp afterwards.  I did so, and it gave me a thrill, and a glimmer of something I would like to do in the near future.

I am looking forward to continuing to offer special services during Holy Week—specifically on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (4/18 and 19).  These quiet, more reflective services give us the opportunity to focus on some of the big issues in life—life, death, suffering—before the Easter celebration of the miracle of living.  I’m glad that Rev. Xolani is willing to do them, and music will of course play an important role.

Catherine Massey, Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader

Religious Education


Susan Freudenthal
Susan Freudenthal

Expanding Love
Building Identity
Exploring Beliefs


Dear Friends,

Passover, a major holiday in Judaism, is celebrated as a victory of the Jewish people’s elevation by God to be the chosen ones.  By retelling the story of the Jewish people enslaved by the Egyptians, their fight for freedom and the establishment of Jewish identity as the chosen people, we lift up the following Unitarian Universalist Sources;

Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.

The traditional Passover story is seeped in justice issues and ritual.  It is a powerful story though no real evidence exists that indicates the Jewish people were actually enslaved in Egypt. And the ancient wondrous pyramids were built about one hundred years after the story was established.

But, Moses is the one person in Judaism whose relationship with God is more than a personal one.  Moses is charged with bringing the Jewish people into a new life, a new covenant with God as the individual tribes come together and agree to accept the Ten Commandments as the way to be together.

We continue to retell the story to honor both the ancestors and as a means to experience the ideas of freedom, responsibility and justice.

You are invited to join us on Sunday, April 28th in the sanctuary for worship followed by a Passover Seder Lunch in the Religious Education Building Great Room at Noon. We ask that each person bring something to share. We will provide the traditional ritual foods for the Seder ceremony.

Register by email or in person; sign-ups will be posted in the Great Room through April. Susan Freudenthal, susan@freudenthal.net or Naoma STaley office@uuchurchlc.org

April’s theme is Wholeness, discover where you fit and who you are!

  • In the Children’s Program this month we retell the stories of Jesus, Moses and the earth reborn into spring.
  • We will practice becoming whole through meditation, art and STEM Eggsperiments.
  • Our annual Easter Scavenger Hunt will be held on Easter Sunday following the second service.

See you all on Sunday!

Adult Faith Formation Program

Faith formation is a team effort. Lead by staff, members and friends of the congregation, our mission is to help people grow by offering experiences that further the congregation’s mission.  In the coming months there will be a variety of things to participate in and should you feel the call to offer something yourself, please let me know.

Register for classes by email: susan@freudenthal.net or to schedule a conversation!

What Is A Buddhist? Facilitated by Reba Montera beginning in April. This class will attempt to answer questions about what it means to be a Buddhist. What do they believe? What do they do?  How does their tradition fit in with our Unitarian Universalist tradition? Discussion will center around a text entitled Benefits of the Buddha’s Way of Life, which will be provided free of charge.  Other materials will be provided as needed.

Meditation: A meditation group is now meeting every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm in the east parlor of E Building at Good Samaritan.  It is open to all Unitarian Universalists and their friends of whatever level. It serves as an opportunity to take a break from a busy routine to re-center one’s self. It begins with a brief check in, followed by a 20-minute period of quiet seated meditation, a brief period of walking meditation, and another 20-minute period of quiet seated meditation. No sign up is necessary.  It operates strictly on a come-and-go-when-you-want basis. Any questions, contact Reba Montera  rebamontera@gmail.com

Book Study:  Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving.  Carla Campbell and Jane Asche will facilitate the last discussion based on reading this book at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday morning – April 27.

First Wednesdays Discussion Group: meet us in the Library for a lively conversation using materials from the Soul Matters program.  I can promise that we will veer off topic at least once! Bring your lunch. Facilitated by Susan Freudenthal in the Library at Noon-1:00 PM March 6th. Bring your lunch!

Have you a great idea? A Passion or skill to share? Contact Susan Freudenthal and let’s talk about what you might do in Adult Faith Formation.

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.

Congregational Administration

Thanks to Our Greeters and Hospitality Hosts



Our March greeters were: Jo Ingle, jan Thompson, Diane Taylor, Gail Trantham, Jack Welch, Susan West, Judy Licht, Robert Severance, Jane Ashe, Lyn Pearson, Jeannie Gilbert, Janet Pitt,Tom Packard, Nora Brown, Carol Winkler, Joel Brown, Peggy Brown, Skip Shelton, Linda Peterson, Diane Lee, , Lurene John, Chris Ramsey, Martha Loustaunau, Peggy Devlin, David and Ilene Steele and Susan Bagby — Peggy Devlin & Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving


We have five special gifts to acknowledge this month.  Jeanne Gilbert, Jack Welch and Gayle Trantham made gifts in memory of Chuck Campbell, the late husband of Reverend Sue. Hale Huber and Jan Thompson made gifts in memory of our late member Barbara Bishop. Jan, also, made a donation in memory of Jim Herrick. We thank each for remembering former beloved members in this generous and thoughtful way. We give our thanks to all listed here for their generosity. (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


Into The Night
The Tombaugh Gallery presents the work of photographers Victor Gibbs and Bob Peticolas, in the exhibit “Into the Night” from March 3rd through April 13th.

Both photographers are featuring night images of the Southwest.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 – 2. 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.

Regular Monthly Activities


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 Nancy Anderson 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 sign up 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 Cass Calway for more information or visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/342484072516356/

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.