Monthly Newsletter


Services Every Sunday of the Year | Volume 62, Number 06

June Light

Our 62nd Year

Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

Your Board of Trustees


Sally Atkinson, President
Joel Courtney, Vice President
Rebecca Richins, Secretary
Carol Winkler, Treasurer

At Large Members:

Lyn Pearson
Chris Ramsey
Charlie Scholz
Sara Stinson

Upcoming Services

From May 28 until September 3, there will be one worship service at 10:30 am.

05/28/2017 10:30 am

In Praise of Goofing Off

One service only at 10:30 AM. This service is designed to help us get ready for summer, with its more relaxed pace.  It also lifts up the value of Sabbath throughout the year.

06/04/2017 10:30 am

Things I Learned In Childhood

Single service at 10:30 AM. Things I learned in childhood that are reflected in our 7 principles. Part 1, Dr. Seuss.

06/11/2017 10:30 am

Back to the Future

One service at 10:30 AM. As we prepare for a new minister and finalize our governance policies we need to ask ourselves Three Questions: What is the purpose of this church? Why are we here as individuals? How can we work together to make it the best church it can be?

06/18/2017 10:30 am

Ministry at the Museum

Founded in 1959, the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) is a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. This Sunday I will share some of my experiences as a Unitarian Universalist docent in the secular world of public school and art appreciation. Please note, there will be a short ritual honoring Father’s day at the beginning of the service.

06/25/2017 10:30 am

The Power of Belief

One service at 10:30 AM. We all know that our beliefs shape our lives and our lives shape our beliefs, but how can challenging our beliefs make our lives better and how can we make the world better by challenging others’ beliefs?

07/02/2017 10:30 am

The Power of Myth

One service only at 10:30 AM.

Upcoming Roundtables

The Roundtable Discussion Group meets from 9-10 AM every Sunday from May 28 through September 3, 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

Sun, May 28, 2017, 9:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: What is Osteopathic Medicine & What are DOs?

LeAnn D. Jons-Cox D.O., Assistant Dean, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

This presentation will explain the history and philosophy of osteopathic medicine, with discussion of the differences between MDs and DOs. The presenter will talk about how the osteopathic approach is being taught to the students at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Finally, there will be a demonstration of the different types of osteopathic manipulative treatment techniques and explanations of when each particular technique is used in patient care.

Sun, Jun 4, 2017, 9:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: I Am Me

I Am Me: Understanding the Intersections of Gender, Sexuality, and Identity is an educational training film that explores the challenges our LGBTQ+ young people face and how adults can be supportive allies.  JT Perez, Board member of Equality New Mexico, will be on hand to field questions and comments following the film.

Sun, Jun 11, 2017, 10:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Water Wars

Water Wars: The world’s shortage of fresh water and New Mexico’s own water issues. Preserter: Steven Hannes, Hydrographer for USGS New Mexico Water Science Center, will tell us about water issues from the global to the local level.

Sun, Jun 18, 2017, 9:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: This Church and Social Justice

Elisa Sanchez, chair of the Social Justice Committee (SJC) will facilitate the discussion. Social justice has deep roots in the history of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  How do we in Las Cruces contribute to this effort?  We will discuss the new vision and mission statements of the SJC, and process and report on the congregation’s social justice profile gleaned from the current congregational survey.  Where do we go from here?

Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 9:00 AM in the Library
Roundtable: Past and Present Algeria

Past and Present Algeria: The Tantalizing Past of the Tassili n’Ajjer, the Ruins of Rome’s Breadbasket, and Contemporary Experiences in Algeria. Margaret Berrier recently returned from exploring rock art of Tassili n’Ajjer (Rock Art of the Plateau of the Rivers) in southeastern Algeria.  It is unique because of its isolation and its evidence of climate change which will be demonstrated by looking at the imagery from the early Neolithic through the complete desertification that exists today.  Margaret will also have us visit the Roman ruins of Timgad, Djemila and Timpasa.

The Tombaugh Gallery

2018 Tombaugh Gallery Call for artists

Duologue: Conversations between Poetry and Pastels

Boulders & Bluffs, Block Island MS

The Tombaugh Gallery presents “Duologue: Conversations between Poetry and Pastels.”

Melody Sears is a pastel artist and her husband Chuck Barrett writes poetry; the work of each artist both inspires and reflects the work of the other.

Melody and Chuck will be donating the proceeds of sales to NM Café, (Communidades en Accion y de Fe), which mobilizes community members to work for social justice and opportunities for all in New Mexico.

Regular gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am – 2pm.  The exhibit continues through June 23rd.

For details, contact 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.

Featured Article

29076445771_ae0447bfd8_oDear Chairpersons,

Thank you for your commitment to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces mission and to the work you and your committees accomplish for the church.   The Leadership Development Committee (LDC) is working on the annual recruitment of church leaders. We are identifying potential leaders for vacancies on the following committees:

  1. Board of Directors
  2. Committee on Ministry
  3. Leadership Development Committee

We invite you and your committees to give thought to leadership and its important role in the church and to help us identify a few congregational members whom you believe we should consider for the upcoming vacancies.  The Leadership Development Committee will be pleased to consider your suggestions in the vetting process.  Please provide, to any of the LDC members (listed below), your thoughts and suggestions by July 17, 2017, so that we may consider them during the current recruitment effort.

This church values all members and hopes that everyone who would like to give of their time and talents will step forward. Together we make our church a welcoming and functioning community.  Thank you for your participation.  We look forward to hearing from your committees soon!

Marie Sauter

Leadership Development Committee: Chair Jo Ingle, Tom Dormody, Martin Rodriguez, Marie Frias Sauter, Robert Severance

Headline Articles

Jun 15 Social Justice Film — Lost Souls

Augie and Gino were living the American dream. Raised and educated in the United States since childhood, they were also proud veterans of the U.S. military. But in 1999, these two brothers were forced to leave the only country they’d ever known — and one they’d sworn to protect. Deported to Mexico by the U.S. government, they had to start over and forge new lives in an unfamiliar “homeland.”

PBS Independent Lens is television’s largest showcase of independent documentary film. Each week we bring you another original documentary film, made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today.

Jun 16 Dining Out

June Dining Out will be at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 16, at Aqua Reef Restaurant, 141 N. Roadrunner Pkwy. (North of Lohman)  Please sign up by Wednesday, June 14.  For more information, please send email to

Aug __ Volunteer in Religious Education

Time Commitment: Sundays,  3-4 months for three weeks each month;volunteer in re

10:30AM-11:30AM Your choice of age group!

We provide curricula along with a weekly outline of the day’s session; outlines include goals for the day, chalice lighting words, suggested activities and the day’s theme.

We aim to provide everything you need for each session.  Art supplies, storybooks, snacks, games and more!

There will be a short orientation and training session in August where you’ll learn about the mysterious supply closet, how to be reimbursed, how we monitor attendance, an introduction to the developmental stages of your chosen group, an introduction to the theory and philosophy of Lifespan Faith Development.

  • The Rainbow Children, this class is for our youngest ones, intended for ages 3-6 years.
  • The Emerson Class, our elementary aged group, ages 7-9 or 10 years.
  • The Junior Youth are our middle school aged tweens, ages 10-13 years.
  • The Senior Youth are our high schoolers.

Contact Susan Freduenthal,

*All of our volunteers must pass a criminal background check and be regular UUCLC attendees for six months prior to working in the classrooms.

Sep15th-17th WomenSpirit

Registration materials will be available sometime around the middle of June. You’ll find them here in the newsletter but, in the meantime, if you want to learn more about this event, click here.


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.

This month, a specific person or group was not recommended for kUUdos so we will give a big THANK YOU to all of our members who do so much for the church and greater community.

Many Thanks

greetersThank you to all our greeters!

The greeters for May were Diane Taylor, Nora Brown, Peggy Devlin, Tom Packard, Jack Welch, Gail Trantham, Lyn Pearson, Jane Ashe, Judy Licht, Beth Bannister, Ilene and Dave Steele,Joel and Peggy Brown, Susan Bagby, Carol Winkler, and Jeanne Gilbert.
Peggy Devlin and Joan Dormody, Greeter Coordinators

Generous Giving

Our thanks go to Julie Woody for her generous gift to the Music Endowment fund. We all, also, thank Julie for her long term commitment  to our much appreciated choir. Judy Licht and Jerry Black made a memorial contribution for our recently departed members Barbara Hall, Clyde Eastman, Stu Devlin, Barbara Myers and Bill Skinner. Thank you Judy and Jerry for remembering these beloved members. (Jack Welch)

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

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

For the Time Being —

Rev. Redfern-CampbellNotes from the Developmental Minister

Look for a return of this column in July.


Infinite Possibilities

Sally Atkinson

Board Report

Our church Delegates to the General Assembly requested input from the Membership about the issues upon which they will vote. To that end, the Board scheduled a Congregational Conversation Meeting on June 4, 2017 at 12:15 PM.

The Declaration of Conscience statement of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) was discussed at the May meeting. While individuals may sign the Declaration, it seems appropriate for the Membership to discuss whether the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces should sign as an organization as well. The text of the joint Declaration is found at:

Given the level of activity of the UUA and the UUSC, especially since the November 2016 Elections, it seems appropriate to reactivate our UUA Liaison position. Dick Bagby served in this capacity for several years, and since his decision to move to other committees, the position has been vacant. If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please let a member of the Board know.

The Board continues to work on policies to guide its decision making. This policy work is in addition to the other business of the Board, and we’re pleased to report that we’re moving forward slowly and surely! Once the Board policies are complete, we’ll work with various committees to clarify their policies. If you happen to have copies of any policies in a file at home, if you know where some policies might be located, please bring them to a member of the Board. It is our hope that all policies, procedures and practices ultimately will be stored in electronic format.

Wishing everyone a blessed Summer,
Sally Atkinson, Board of Trustees President

Religious Education Matters

Susan Freudenthal

Systemic Change; change that pervades all parts of a system, taking into account the interrelationships and interdependencies among those parts.

Social action means taking steps to change the things that are wrong in our society and introducing new ideas and processes for doing things better in the future.

Dear Friends,

Remember when you found Unitarian Universalism.  The feeling of having found a group of people whose search for truth and meaning does not become dogmatic.  Learning that our beliefs may be as varied as our hair color but held together by love and in covenant to stand with each other on our individual paths. Understanding that how we live our lives each day matters more than taking a stand on God/Goddess/ atheism/humanism.  Acknowledging that all people have worth regardless of orientation, identity, race, class or education.

If we are to survive into the future, we must replace the current voices of intolerance with our own.  To practice justice, to walk in peace, to live within the interconnected circle of all life, to support each other on our journey through the maze of life as equals. This is why we must ultimately grow.

I know that world has become more unbalanced lately.  We appear to have a government in turmoil.  Our neighbors, many of whom may not have the “right” paperwork to be in our cities are justifiably anxious.  As an aging female, this administration leaves me feeling invisible and scared.

And yet, our church, our faith can be a haven for anyone who chooses us. I wonder, despite all that is negative and just plain wrong, maybe this is the time to shine our light, our beacon of open hearts and open minds.   This is the time that we need to be more open, more welcoming, less angry.  Keep our Unitarian Universalist ancestors in the forefront of our minds.

People who did not bend toward injustice, those who gave us a theology of universal love.

It’s time. Next time you’re standing for justice or caring for a stranger, invite them in.  I promise I will welcome them in love.  We’ll be here, all summer doing the work of justice together.

  • June: Privilege (exploring how much we have and what we need)
  • July: Jardin de los Ninos fundraiser
  • August: Backpacks for Foster Care

Details and information about what we will need will be made available in the weekly NUUS, posted in the Great Room and on Facebook.  Thank you.

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.


Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey (from April, 2015)

The choir and I are completing the choir season and ending with a service celebrating music.  Mark Sunkontarak has kindly agreed to serve as Worship Music Coordinator for our summer services—a big role, and do let him know you appreciate him if you get the chance.  The choir has also been asked to sing for the annual community AIDS vigil.  I know that I sound like a broken record, but music and singing are great sources of strength in times of need and resistance.

Recently we performed (with the help of featured singer Cathy Small and singer and guitarist Mark Sukontarak) our “Auction Song,” requested and purchased this year by Sara Stinson.  It was a song from another era of political strife–“Chicago” by Graham Nash, written in response to the arrest of the “Chicago Eight” (later “Seven”) for anti-war demonstrations during the National Democratic Convention in 1968.  The song assures us that “We can change the world.”

As I continue to struggle through the challenges facing all of us at this time, I derive much energy from working with the choir and practicing individually to prepare for our Sunday worship services.  Even so, I need music to listen to for my own needs.  It is my practice to sing Hindu chants each morning (either “Gan, Gan, Ganapati” or “Sita Ram”), led by a recording by Ragani.  But sometimes listening is helpful.

Thanks to an early birthday present, I now have a double-CD set of Garth Brooks’ music.  Who knew this would be what I could turn to at a time like this?  I feel that I have discovered a new world.  I shared with the choir my new (to me) favorite of Garth’s—“The Change.”

“And I hear them saying you’ll never change things
And no matter what you do, it’s still the same thing
But it’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me…

 “This heart still believes that love and mercy still exist
While all the hatreds rage and so many say
That love is all but pointless in madness such as this
It’s like trying to stop a fire
With the moisture from a kiss.

“And I hear them saying you’ll never change things…              

“What I do is so
This world will know
That it will not change me.”

I hope that you find music to sustain you, for all the work that you do in the world.

-­-­Catherine Massey
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader

Naoma’s Notes


June is here already? Obviously, the year is flying by from a congregational administration perspective. I have had a productive year so far, and am looking forward to making additional progress on my goals: contributing to membership’s mission, supporting finance, running the office, and managing facilities. This quarter, I’ll share with you more about facilities’ work over the past year. And because we are doing a tremendous amount of work, I thought you might like to know how we have set our goals for the coming years and months!

In the monthly Facility Committee meeting last year we kept busy getting a sense of ongoing facility needs, generating a list of the upcoming tasks, and developing a method for prioritizing these projects. Based on the input of our seven-person committee, I drafted a table of the top fifty (50) facility needs for the coming 1 to 5 years. Twenty four (24) of these priorities are short term (1-3 years), while the remaining twenty six (26) are long-term or ongoing needs (3-5 years).

Process Overview: 2016-2017 Facilities Priorities Table

  • Generated a score , ranked projects based on a combination of Urgency and Impact.
  • Urgency measured by: Frequency (how often project occurred), and Need (Congregational Vote (10), Function (5), Safety & Accessibility (4), Maintenance (3), Aesthetic (2), As-Needed (1)).
  • Impact measured by Mission (one point each for: Increasing ‘welcoming-ness’, Making a loving physical space, Facilitating more inclusivity in our space, or Meeting social justice goals), Number of Groups and Number of People (interior facility use – drawn from MMK research/architectural study; exterior facility use – MMK Architects (designers of our master building plan) figures, combined with traffic count figures).
  • After I generated a score based on these numbers, I ranked them “top number” to “lowest number”. The Facility Committee discussed, modified and agreed on this ranking at January meeting. I then presented the 2016-2017 Facilities Priorities Table to the Board (February).

Since presenting to the Board, I have diligently worked to address our most pressing needs and concurrently collected bids for our prioritized work. Depending on the scope of work, I am collecting between 2 and 4 bids each project. I anticipate finalizing the bidding process for the top 24 priorities by the end of summer. Once these bids are collected, I will present them to the board.

Our top 23 priorities:

  1. Shade Structure (Congregation voted priority)
  2. Replace Dishwasher (Congregation voted priority)
  3. Finish Solano Strip (Congregation voted priority)
  4. Internet (Wifi and internet access throughout entire facility)
  5. Sanctuary Audio (new speakers, audio equipment to improve the sound in the sanctuary)
  6. Hearing Loop (install hearing loop, as prioritized by equal Inclusion)
  7. Storage Solutions (organizational solutions in Education building)
  8. Flags (maintaining decorative flags on campus for regularly occurring events)
  9. Sidewalk Resurfacing (resurfacing sidewalks to remove slick and dangerous surfaces)
  10. Signage (replace and improve directional signage on campus)
  11. Drywall Repair (repair drywall on ceiling in breezeway)
  12. Wooden trim/Fascia (repair and maintenance)
  13. Professional Tree Maintenance (Phase I: remove dead & diseased/maintain trees)
  14. Remove Admin Exterior Closet
  15. Stucco (repair and repaint stucco)
  16. Tables & Chairs (inventory all tables, chairs)
  17. Install security lighting
  18. Drip System (repair, replace, improve)
  19. Steeple (remove)
  20. (2) Roof Maintenance (inspect and repair roofs)
  21. Electric (inspect, upgrade electric in sanctuary)
  22. Carpet (replace carpet in sanctuary)
  23. Commercial Playground Equipment (select, install)

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

Naoma Staley, Congregational Administrator

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 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 or email

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 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:

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 ( or 860.751.9150) or Laurel Irwin-Atchison
( 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 and scroll down the page to the calendar and events listings.