Words From Our President

Susan Hychka

First on my mind is our good news! At our Sunday Service on November 27, service leaders Katie Fitzgerald and Lyn Pearson introduced the congregation to Rev. Gary Kowalski, who will lead a Consulting Ministry Program here from January through mid-May 2023. He will be joined in this work by Rev. Munro Sickafoose.

The purpose of the Consulting Ministry will be to help the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces experience a five month span of stable, competent part-time ministry, enabling the congregation to gather the confidence and organizational resources needed for its next step to professional religious leadership.  The Consulting Ministers will report to and be responsible to the Board.

Each minister will be on site in Las Cruces one Sunday per month and lead an in-person worship service.  The ministers will both be available for on-site meetings and programs for one weekend per month, Friday through Sunday.  The Consulting Ministers will request assistance from the Minister Emeritus to preside at Memorials and other life passages.  Ministerial responsibilities and workloads will differ.

As Lead Consulting Minister, Rev. Kowalski’s first task will be to engage in a series of conversations to get a reading on the congregation’s overall health, strengths, and challenges.  The LCM will reach out to Board Members, past residents and past ministers, families and youth, major donors, disaffected members, and others to gather a full spectrum of experience and opinion regarding the church’s direction and future. This work will be conducted through phone conversations and Zoom meetings in addition to in-person meetings.

Rev. Munro Sickafoose, Consulting Minister for Programming, will also be on site in Las Cruces one Sunday per month. He will assist with pastoral care and be available to consult with the church’s Social Justice ministries, especially regarding honoring indigenous peoples and focusing on efforts secure a livable future for our planet.

Please consider how you individually can help these ministers to help us grow and prosper. The future of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces is in our hands.

My holiday wish for each of you is Singing the Journey #1031, “Filled with Loving Kindness,” verse three, which is based an ancient Tibetan Buddhist meditation:

May you be filled with loving kindness.
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.