April Light

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Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, Vol. 72, Num. 4

Services Every Sunday of the Year
We are a transformational Force for Love and Justice in Our Community

We gather to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other and our community, seek truth, and work for justice.

Our church administrator is Cathy Cox and the church office is open Mon.-Tues. 10-2, Wed. 2-5, Thurs.-Fri. 10-2
Library hours Mon.-Fri. 10-1

Join us for Zoom Worship Sunday at 10 AM, See past worship services on our YouTube channel
Deadline for Light submissions is the 25th of every month

Our Minister

The Reverend Rod Thompson

Rod’s Ruminations

Greetings all! The Soul Matters theme for April is Interdependence, which gives me the opportunity to brag about us a little. I see examples of how you all work together and how you support each other and how you listen to each other with respect. That is the mark of a much smaller church. It is not easy for a congregation of more than 170, but you do it all the time! Thank you!

One support of our Interdependence that your office offers us all is in the number of communications opportunities we share. Just think of all the ways we share what’s happening – besides how we interact on Sunday mornings. There is the monthly Light. The weekly At a Glance and calendar. The frequent updating emails. The streaming of our Sunday Services for those members and friends, close by and far away, (I was one of them for years) to stay connected with us. And our Social Media posts offer additional connections. There is so much going on and so many opportunities for us to connect with each other. Thank you, to all of you who manage these connections.

I do have one request along these lines. I know how much we want to connect with our friends, and how many of us want to do church business face-to-face on Sunday mornings, but I am asking you to use at least the first 15 minutes after the Service and at the Coffee Hour to focus on our visitors and those people you don’t know. During those first few moments, visitors are deciding if they want to come back, and a friendly conversation can help them decide. Talking with someone you don’t know well can be important for both of you. Look for those standing off by themselves and go get to know them. Besides, there will be plenty of time for church business and catching up with your friends.

I hope April will be as kind to you as you are with each other. See you in church.

Our President

Susan Hychka

picture of susan hychka

Visioning Casita Meetings – Share Your Hopes and Dreams for The Future of
the Church

Recently, a long-time member of this church shared a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi – “There go my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

Current church policies direct the Board to set priorities for the year, so we ask, “Where do you think this church should focus its efforts?” We are fortunate right now to have many members and friends who are involved in the life of this beloved community, a minister who enjoys bringing people together to advance the work of this church, and an enthusiastic group of new members who are eager to find ways
to contribute. Let’s get together and think big!

Help chart the course for the church in 2024 and beyond by participating in a Casita Meeting. Casitas are small group gatherings where participants will listen as each participant talks about their hopes and dreams for the future of the church and suggests priorities – ways we can pursue our mission “to gather to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other and our community, seek truth and work for justice in the world.”

UUCLC has a big mission, one that no individual or small group can achieve alone. Here’s what you can do to help. First, sign up for a Casita Meeting. Sign-up sheets are available after Sunday Services, or you can call Cathy Cox, Interim Office Administrator, during office hours or come to the office to choose a meeting day and time that fits your schedule. Note that there are Zoom options as well as in person gatherings. Second, attend that meeting prepared to share your ideas and listen to others.

  • April 11, Thursday, 5:30-7:30pm Host: Trustee Bill Fitzgerald
  • April 12, Friday, 5:30-7:30pm Host: President Susan Hychka
  • April 13, Saturday, 11:00am-1:00pm Host: Trustee Carol Stanfill
  • April 15, Monday, 1:00-3:00pm Host: Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald
  • April 15, Monday, 6:00-8:00pm Hosts: Susan Hychka & Rev. Rod Thompson, ZOOM
  • April 16, Tuesday, 1:00-3:00pm Host: Vice President Linda Ruchala
  • April 19, Friday, 3:00-5:00pm Host: Treasurer Jan Thompson
  • April 22, Monday , 10:00am-12:00pm Host: Trustee Rabbitt Loring
  • April 25, Thursday, 1:00-3:00pm Hosts: Susan Hychka & Rod Thompson, ZOOM

Third, please mark your calendars now to participate in an all-church Visioning Action Day on Sunday, May 19, following the Sunday Service. We’ll have lunch together and then work to group our Casita Meeting ideas under broader themes, priorities that will focus our efforts to care for one another and serve the greater community. Thanks for your support.

Board of Trustees

Board Officers
President: Susan Hychka
Vice President: Linda Ruchala
Secretary: Laura Jones
Treasurer: Jan Thompson

At Large
Rabbitt Loring
Bill Fitzgerald
Jean Gilbert
Carol Stanfill
Kevin Fitzgerald

Full board minutes are sent to church members in a private emailing.

Religious Education

Kellie Ingram, Director of Religious Education

Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.

Anita Krizzan

Like all of you reading this, I’m hoping the arrival of April, will bring an end to our desert winds! I’m personally looking forward to the longer, warmer days! I see camping in my future. I also see traveling! This April, (for the first time in-person!) I will be attending the
Finding Our Way Home conference. This annual retreat is hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Association for Unitarian Universalist religious professionals of color. It offers community building, spiritual reflection, and collegial support. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to gather with these friends and mentors, as partners in service, witness, and advocacy.

Religious Education is looking forward to the warmer weather so that we can make good use of the newly built fire pit on campus! We look forward to toasting marshmallows and banana boats at our Last Monday Potlucks. We’ll also be soaking up the sunshine on an April Sunday, as we take part in the Children’s Auction! Youth (of all ages) are invited to “bid” on fun and educational items. If interested in hearing more about our program and events, please reach out to me , or any member of the Religious Education committee.

Music and Choir

Catherine Massey, Director of Music

Music Notes

Everything around us is singing, because it’s spring!  Last month I helped to host the annual Elder Gerald Hand Shape Note Singing Convention. Fifty-seven singers from eight states and Canada came. The energy from those sounds reverberated from every surface of the classroom at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park grounds –energy we will carry with us through this year. I have sung with many of these singers before, but it had been five years since I’d seen them (pre-COVID). I was glad to be able to tell them I’d missed them – Chris, from Galveston, and David, from Albuquerque, and the Tucson singers. David is older and cannot see well enough to see the hymnal anymore.  I said, “You don’t need to, though, do you?” to which he responded, “No, not really.” He knows most of it by heart.

Through the recent writings of Unitarian Universalist Troubador Matt Meyer, I’ve learned that this particular singing tradition was promoted by William Billings, a Revolutionary-period Unitarian minister who wanted congregations to sing “better.”  The structure of the tradition he engendered put community participation at its center, a tradition that holds true.  By the way, these “singing schools” gave rise to more congregational singing, as well as to church choirs. 

Singing from the Sacred Harp hymnal for the last 20 years has given me some great reading skills, and has helped me be less dependent upon a musical instrument to figure out pitches and harmony, since we sing a cappella. This helped us out at our recent family gathering near Dallas. We brought along our Cokesbury hymnals – forerunners in usage to the modern Methodist hymnals, including treasured songs many Americans know by the tune and/or words. My brother John, sister Linda, and I took turns selecting the songs. I helped us get pitches (the tune, plus bass), and we sang for about two hours until we couldn’t anymore.  It was very meaningful and gave us some happy memories.

Now the birds are singing their hearts out – the mockingbirds with their dazzling repertoire, and the little finches with their twittering.  By the time this version of The Light is out, we will have been among the cherry blossoms in DC.  We will hear amazing music on Easter Sunday, my first Easter off in 26 years! Busman’s holiday for me – we’re going to historic All Souls Unitarian Church where my colleague Keith Arnold is Interim Director of Music, and Rev. Bill Sinkford is delivering the sermon.  And we have tickets to the Sondheim musical Company at the Kennedy Center. Every Sunday at UUCLC offers opportunities to sing–so sing out!


Cathy Cox, Church Administrator


Please note that church office hours have changed. They are now Mon.-Tues. 10 AM until 2 PM, Wed. 2 PM until 5 PM, Thurs.-Fri. 10 AM until 2 PM, and the library is open Mon-Fri 10 AM until 1 PM. You can email the .

Committees and Programs

CUUPS by Cassandra Calway –

“Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.”

The Sixth Source of Affirmation of the Unitarian Universalist Association

CUUPs April 13, (note date change). Please join us. All are welcome and bring a friend! We will start with potluck at 6 and the discussion will begin at 7.  This month our presenter is Ginnette Novello a member of The House of Netjer Kemetic Temple since 1998. She will present Sekmat: Warrior, Healer, Enforcer Of MA’AT. An exploration of the ancient Egyptian Goddess.

Divini Tea is May 19! This is always a fun event and is a fundraiser for Las Cruces Pagan Pride Day. Join us for an afternoon of tea, snacks and divination tickets are $35.00 for 3 different forms of divination. Here is a link for the flier with all the details and how to purchase tickets or you can contact Cassie directly or email with any questions. You may also call CUUPS new phone number 575-249-5372.

Tickets can be purchased at las-cruces-pagan-pride.square.site

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by a range of modern pagans, marking the year‘s chief solar events (solstices and equinoxes) and the midpoints between them.

Yule: Celebrates the winter solstice.
lmbolc: An ancient festival welcoming the first wave of spring.
Ostara: Celebrates the spring equinox
Beltane: Celebrates May Day
Litha: Celebrates the summer solstice
Lughnasadh (Loo-nas-ah): Celebrates the beginning of the harvest season
Mabon: Celebrates the autumnal equinox
Samhain (saa-wn): Celebrates the end of harvest season

The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) is an organization dedicated to networking Pagan-identified Unitarian Universalists (UUs), educating people about Paganism, promoting interfaith dialogue, developing Pagan liturgies and theologies, and supporting Pagan-identified Unitarian Universalist religious professionals.

Facilities by Charlie Scholz –

Facilities will have an article of interest next month.

Finance by Ed Long –

The Finance Committee would like everyone to know that Ed Long, the chair is home and recuperating from surgery. We hope to see him back at church soon.

Generous Giving by Jack Welch

During March we received five generous donations for our Change 4 Change Fund. The donations were made by Doyle and Pam Daves, Dale Emmert, Svea and Mark Peterson, Lucy Silva, and Marie and Karuna Warren. We also wish to thank the many individuals who deposited their “pocket change” in the collection baskets each Sunday.

The recipient for our Change 4 Change this quarter, April, May, and June, is Casa de Peregrinos, a local food pantry.

We offer our thanks to Cathy Caver and Jeanne Gilbert for their support of our Little Pantry and to Jane Asche, Shirley Davis and Merlyn Risser for their generous support of Peace Village, a summer youth program. 

For each of our generous donors we say many thanks. 


Thanks to the various covenant groups and committees that take turns supplying the goodies, setting up and cleaning up for fellowship after our Sunday services. You may have noticed the plexiglass box on the serving table inviting your free will donation. Your donation helps cover the cost of tea, coffee, creamers, cups, etc. that the Hospitality Committee ensures is on hand each Sunday so we can concentrate on the goodies and each other! Thanks for your generous support. Ed Gomolka and Bill Fitzgerald

Hospitality Rotation Schedule

This schedule is now permanently located on the Members page of our website under Sunday Hospitality Rotation. A new addition to the hospitality rotation is the Caring Committee, which will be handling 5th Sundays throughout the year.

Library by Rabbit Loring

Be Multiculturally Aware

Over a dozen books were on display in our breezeway for two Sundays in March. The Multicultural Awareness Group highlighted books read over the past several years as it educated its members on
racism and what can be done about it. The group continues to read and discuss texts relevant to our
tumultuous times and welcomes new members. The list is included here in case you missed picking up
one of the handouts of book summaries. Most of these books are available in our library. Check one out
and get inspired!

American Apartheid by Stephanie WoodardOnce I Was You by Maria Hinojosa
Breathe by Imani PerryStamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Caste by Isabel WilkersonThe Sum of Us by Heather McGee
An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-OrtizTen Lives, Ten Demands by Solomon Jones
How To Be An AntiRacist by Ibram X. KendiUprooting Racism by Paul Kivel
I Never Thought of It That Way by Monica GuzmanWaking Up White by Debbie Irving
My Grandmother’s Hands by Menakam ResmaaWhite Fragility by Robin D’Angelo
On Repentance and Repair by Rabbi Danya RuttenbergWidening the Circle of Concern by UUA Commission on Institutional Change

Remember that library hours have been expanded to include the hours that the office is open. Checkout is with the card box near the door. Instructions are posted there. Please remember to return your book and then tear up the card. Our library has a lot to offer. Come check it out!

Our two book carts, one in the lobby and one in the library, are always available for you to find a wonderful book to purchase. Proceeds from sales are donated to the church library fund.

Membership by Lyn Pearson –

Thanks to Our February Greeters

In February, our greeters were: Steve Hychka, Katie Fitzgerald, Carol Stanfill, Mark Sukontarak, Cathy Cox, Lucy Silva, Jamie Gibbard, Cindy Backman, Susan West, Lisa Stevens, Janet Pitt, Tom Packard, Jean Gilbert, and John Seeley.

We can always use more greeters and it’s one of the best ways to become more familiar with our members who love to see a smiling face on Sundays. If you’re interested in becoming a greeter, contact Mark Sukontarak at .

Eating Out

On Friday, April 19, at 5:30 PM, we will dine out at Andle’s Restaurant at 1950 Calle Del Norte #1-3, Mesilla. Note that this is not their other nearby restaurant, The Dog House. Please reserve your spot as soon as possible, but not later than Wednesday, April 17. Contact Janet Martinique at to make your reservation.

Roundtable –

We will meet from 11:45-12:45 in the library. Roundtables will also be available on Zoom, at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88973973837?pwd=bkZhVEduOThGR2xtODYvaVRNZlNoUT09

Education never ends. Come learn with us. We have discussions, not arguments. Our goal is to learn more about all sides of issues and to learn more about one another. If you have a topic you would like discussed, contact Janet Martinique, Jan Thompson, Steve Hychka, or Charlie Welch. You can also send email to .

April 7 Kasandra Gandara   

Kasandra spent nearly 30 years in Social Work as a case worker, Program Specialist, Supervisor and Manager. She was elected to the Las Cruces City Council where she served as Mayor Pro-Tem.  In 2019, she turned her social work into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  From that developed Resilience Leaders Program and was responsible for getting it funded by $1.5 million.  This program provides training to Directors and task forces that works with children.

April 14 Kevin Bixby, Co-Executive Director of Wildlife For All

Kevin realized that as long as long as the people making all of the decisions viewed wild animals as soulless resources, “re-wilding” would remain a distant dream.  So he developed the national program, Wildlife For All.

April 21 Brad Lancaster

Brad will present a Power Point Presentation on “Harvesting Rainwater – Evolutions in the Planting of Rainwater for Drylands and Collaborating With Life.”

Brad Lancaster is a Tucson leader in harvesting water and planting trees that bear food.

April 28 Shannon Reynolds     

Nearly all members of our church members know our District 3 Dona Ana County Commissioner. Since his election he has tried to modernize the Commissioner’s Court. He can tell us how successful he has been.

Social Justice –

Barking News and the Cat’s Meow

Updates from the church’s Animal Advocates Ministry

Animal Advocates is delighted to report that of the eight initial nominees for our church’s “Change for Change” program (one nomination was subsequently withdrawn), three were animal rescue groups: Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary, Cat’s Meow, and Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary. And of these, two were voted into the top four—Dharmahorse and Cat’s Meow. Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary is a fabulous organization that church supported through the Change for Change Program two years ago. We want to thank all those who voted for any of the “rescue” nominees. And we want to thank the entire church community for its support and commitment to expand the circle of compassion for all beings.

Apr 30 Animal Advocates and NM Environmental Rights/NM Green Amendment at the church auction

These two groups will be sharing an information table at the information “fair” that will take place at the “Sunshine on Your Shoulders Auction Day on Saturday, April 20. Please stop by to learn more about the work of Animal Advocates and about the initiative to amend the NM Constitution to make the right to clean air, clean soil, clean water, and sustainable ecosystems part of our Bill of Rights as citizens of this great state.

Cans for Critters

And when you’re thinking about coming to the auction, this would be a great time for you to bring your aluminum cans for the “Cans for Critters” program! We’ll be collecting on that day. Let’s see how many times we can fill and refill the collection bin. Remember the money we raise through reclamation is used to help animals in need of veterinary care or in meeting basic expenses OR special donations to one of the many excellent animal rescue groups in town. Contact Dave and Ilene Steele or Jean Gilbert at , if you have questions.

Peace Village

A New (but old) Social Justice Program

At the March board meeting Peace Village was approved as a program sponsored by The Social Justice Committee. In the past, many church member worked on this program as volunteers. In the summer of 2005, three Las Cruces Friends worked at the Peace Village camp in Alto, NM. They were excited to come back and start a Peace Camp for kids here in their hometown.

While Peace Village started as a program of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, it quickly became an ecumenical community-wide, diverse “different kind of camp” for kids in Las Cruces.

A core curriculum was developed that included academically rich classes focusing on the themes of media awareness, social justice, and non-violent communication. Cooperative games were part of the morning activities. Enrichment activities, designed to enhance the morning’s learning and provide creative outlets, would happen in the afternoon.

Our mission is to teach the messages and practices of nonviolence and peacemaking from various world traditions in a fun and cooperative atmosphere.

Peace Village relies on volunteers for the camp to succeed. You can get involved by volunteering at the camp, donating, advocating, teaching or sharing an enrichment activity. To more information or to get involved, please contact: Svea Peterson or Sandra BarMcq at .

Vegan Las Cruces

A New Social Justice Program

The church’s Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed a new program proposed by the Social Justice Committee under the auspices of the Animal Advocates Ministry and the Climate Action Group. This program—Vegan Las Cruces—is an information sharing and support group for persons who have adopted vegan dietary patterns or are considering reducing or eliminating their consumption of meat, dairy, and egg products. This group will be hosted and facilitated by Andrew Schepers, who recently moved to Las Cruces from Seattle. Andrew is a practicing vegan and an experienced support group organizer and facilitator. Dave Steele, Social Justice Committee member and UU Animal Ministry Chapter leader, will be the church liaison to the group. Andrew will also be reaching out to the broader Las Cruces community and New Mexico State University.

Where and When

Beginning Thursday, April 4, 2024, the group will meet the first and the third Thursdays of each month from 7-8:30 PM in the Religious Education building great room. Please join us. Everyone is welcome — vegan, vegetarian, or just curious about food choices!

Contact Dave Steele at Thank you!

Change for Change — Apr 1 through Jun 30

This Quarter’s Change for Change recipient is Mesilla Valley CASA a non-profit organization that advocates for children in foster care to protect their interests, ensures that every child has a safe, supportive, and permanent home, and helps children replace a life of hurt with one of hope. The funds will go directly towards meeting the needs of local children who are in foster care or those who have recently aged out.

Church member Carol Stanfill is a Mesilla Valley CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), directly working with and advocating for these youth in Las Cruces. Church religious education student Savannah Skow has also partnered with Mesilla Valley CASA for her Girl Scout Gold Award project to bring awareness to those aging out of the system, recruit volunteers for the CASA program, install lockers and a filing system at CASA for the aging-out youth to store their belongings, and to produce video documentaries highlighting the perspective of both youth and volunteers. We appreciate your support!

If you have questions about Change-for-Change, please direct them to David Rice at .

Climate Action Group by James Caufield

We are putting together a basket for the auction.  It will contain foods that are already or soon will be endangered by  climate change—nothing important, except coffee, wine, chocolate, yikes!

CAG has been working on a pamphlet for the lobby.

The next CAG meeting will be moved to the 3rd Wed. of the April, 7 PM.  After that we shall resume our usual 1st Monday, 7 PM meetings.

Apr 17, 2024 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4914069685?pwd=OVhyckExbTVJNWRocjhrbDUvWEJrZz09&omn=84223304554

The Little Free Pantry

Imagine you are alone and very, very hungry. How happy would you be to find our Little Free Pantry? Food! So close, and look, there is a can of your favorite beans. Your mouth begins to water and your stomach rumbles. You reach for the can only to find…you can’t open it. You don’t have a can opener. Or maybe it’s a can of peaches, but even you can tell it’s long past its sell-by date because the top is bulging. The huge jar of jalapenos would probably make you sick, even if you didn’t have a completely empty stomach, and how are you going to cook raw eggs without utensils or a pan? You turn away nearly in tears and still very, very hungry.

This is not what any of us wants for the people who come to our pantry for relief from hunger. Please, don’t donate unusable or outdated foods to the pantry. We only have to dispose of them and that makes extra work for our volunteers. Please make sure your donations fit within these parameters:

  1. Small size
  2. Easy to open
  3. Shelf-stable foods (that can be safely stored at room temperature) that are NOT expired
  4. Canned or boxed beverages
  5. Toiletries in travel-size containers

Clients of our Little Free Pantry continue to clean it out daily! Jan Thompson’s 7-member crew restocks the pantry daily and demand is brisk. Your donations of useful items or money are greatly appreciated. This is one way we serve those in our community in food stress. You can donate to this worthy cause by clicking here or on GIVE at the top of the website.

Sunday Services by Charlie Scholz –

We’re looking forward to an exciting schedule for the Month of April.

  • Apr 7 Reverend Rod will be leading deliver a homily on National Superhero Day.
  • Apr 14 Reverend Rod will share his thoughts on our Seventh Principal, “The Interdependent Web of Which We Are a Part.”
  • Apr 21 The Mindfulness Group will lead the service
  • Apr 28 Kellie Ingram and Rihanna Thomas along with Haney Pearson will speak about Our Whole Lives training.

We do need some volunteers to help us with these services, particularly with audio/video technology. Mike Yaczko, who currently runs our streaming outreach on YouTube, is willing to train volunteers to do to handle both streaming services and ZOOM programs, such as Roundtable.

Contact me if you are willing to learn this work.

Tombaugh Gallery by Lurene John –

Searching For Artists

We are looking for artists to feature in our Gallery for next fall and winter. Do you have a favorite local artist that you would recommend? Call Lurene so we can make contact or drop an email to

Tombaugh Gallery Quarterly Report – January through March 2024

After years of unstinting service, Judy Licht and Barb Williams independently moved into advisory roles for the Committee. While their continuing input is allowing the Gallery to maintain and expand its schedule of shows for the balance of 2024, not enough thanks can be given to them for their past and ongoing contributions to the Tombaugh Gallery.

Despite those changes, the Tombaugh Gallery is up and running in 2024! Lurene John has accepted the responsibility of Committee Chair. Cathy Cox remains Vicechair and “Docent Wrangler,” while Greg White joined the Committee as second Vicechair. Our team of Docents are involved and enthusiastic.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Gallery organized and produced three shows representing nearly twenty artists. The Gallery’s Committee and Docents also repaired broken light fixtures, replaced bulbs which were off-colored or not working, painted display pedestals, added seating, began using professional labels for the art, and performed other repairs and maintenance. The Gallery is beginning to shine!

Those actions led us to identify other actions which will improve the Gallery. The walls are blotchy from years of use and need to be painted. Six canister lights intended to illuminate the gallery’s walls are not working and should be replaced with directional floods, and the wiring repaired. The contractor-grade lights located over the central area of the Gallery create dull and non-directive light and should be replaced with track lights to create professional quality illumination.

Fortunately, under Judy and Barb, the Committee maintained a prudent reserve of funds from art sales and those funds will pay for painting the room and fixing the lights. We plan to have the majority of that work done when the Gallery is closed in July, using our own labor, help from the Facilities Committee, and the services of a painter from within the Church community.

We are actively scheduling shows for the fall of 2024 and the spring of 2025. The Gallery will continue to represent lesser-known local artists and, in 2025, will add a series of shows by regionally important artists. Shows will vary in duration from two to six weeks and openings may be moved to “First Friday” evening events. We are also considering changes to the Gallery’s hours of operation. Decisions on those options will be based on discussions with the Docents and the Board of Trustees. Finally, we are researching on-line advertising options to augment our existing outreach activities.

We believe our actions will increase attendance and sales and will allow us to meet our other primary goals: increase the amount and number of scholarships we provide and increase the revenues we provide to the Church. We look forward to the rest of this year!

UUCLC Book Club by Danny and Deborah Hawkins

We had a great time at our first book club gathering on Feb 8th.  During our inaugural meeting we selected our first three books to read and discuss over the next few months:

  1. February – Handmaid’s Tale
  2. March – A Dog’s Purpose
  3. April – Mad Honey

We are all looking forward to our reading adventures and time spent together to discuss our literure selections.  Read on! Danny and Deborah Hawkins

Requests and Items of Interest

Delegates Needed

June 19-23

The Board of Trustees is looking for Delegates to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly to be held from June 19 to June 23. This year, you don’t even have to travel to attend as it will all be virtual. The church is entitled to 4 Delegates and the church has budgeted some money to assist with your registration fees. We can even watch some of the sessions together. Please see Jan Thompson if you think you might be interested in serving in this capacity.

Auction Volunteers Needed

Mar 23, 30, and Apr 6 Auction Volunteer Sign ups – Join in on the Fun!

Our church auction on Saturday, April 20, needs volunteers to run smoothly. Shifts are short, with a range of jobs from kitchen help in the morning to beverage servers and silent auction helpers in the afternoon, and spotters in the live auction in the evening. Volunteer sign-ups will be Mar 23, Mar 30, and Apr 6 at 11:00 AM right after the service. Please see Sara Thomas at the Volunteer Sign up Table near the religious education building to reserve your slot. If you aren’t planning to be at church, please feel free to call her. We appreciate our volunteers without whom the auction couldn’t happen!

Gallery Volunteers Needed

The Gallery Committee is still in need of volunteers to help manage the art gallery, mostly to serve as docents. You will be fully trained. Many volunteers have expressed joy at spending some quiet meditative time in the gallery. The shifts are just two hours.  Cathy is our Docent Wrangler, email her at .

Events of Note

Apr 19-20 – Connect with other UUs in the Pacific Western Region. Our 4th Regional Assembly will be held in Denver on April 19 and 20, at the beautiful First Universalist Church. You can attend either in person or online. The keynote address will feature a conversation between our Unitarian Universalist Association President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt and the new President of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson. There will be inspirational worship, workshops, and a craft room. There will be a reception Friday evening. We will also host a continental breakfast and catered lunch on Saturday. This is a family friendly event, with childcare.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Cherry Creek.  Sign up for no-host dinner groups Saturday evening to continue the conversations. We hope to connect with you at RA! Register Today at: https://www.uua.org/pacific-western/calendar/pwr-uua/pwr-threads-connect-stories-inspire

Sep 13-15 WomenSpirit!

Save these dates for WomenSpirit! Our favorite time in the mountains for fun, food, and friendships is set for September 13-15, 2024. The theme is Circles of Women – Together We Grow. Wonderful workshops are being planned so mark your calendars! Questions? Ask Sara Thomas

The Tombaugh Gallery

The Tombaugh Gallery Features

Church member, Charlie Scholz, will have a pop-up show on April 7-9. Charlie thinks of himself as a cartoonist, not in the comic strip sense, but in the way he draws and in what he draws. He tries to create the most expressive drawings in the simplest form possible, usually in black and white but sometimes with added color.

The Gallery, located in the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2000 S. Solano Drive, is regularly open Thursday–Saturday 10am–2pm and Sunday 11:30am–2pm. For details, call the church office at 575-522-7281.

Regularly Scheduled Activities

Every Tuesday

T’ai Chi, 10-11 AM in the Religious Education Building great room.

T’ai Chi, 5:45-6:45 PM in the Religious Education Building great room.

Every Wednesday

Caring Conversations meets on Zoom from 9-10 AM. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87064121421?pwd=QmNhYVlrUTltK1cxRDhSRVdOU01rdz09, Meeting ID: 870 6412 1421, Passcode: 564007

Weight Watchers meets at 9:30-11:00 AM in the Religious Education Building great room.

The Bridge Group plays bridge every Wednesday at 2 PM in the church lobby. If you want to play, contact Nancy Anderson by email, phone, or at church to let her know you would like to be on her weekly contact list.

Every Thursday

T’ai Chi, 10-11 AM in the Religious Education Building great room.

T’ai Chi, 5:45-6:45 PM in the Religious Education Building great room.

Every Friday

Yoga, 12 noon until 1 PM in the Religious Education Great Room.

T.G.I.F. – Zoom Together. A great way to end your week with your fellow Unitarian Universalists. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5755227281?pwd=OEp3RTNkcWNid0tTNHFDNHEzUFNIUT09
Meeting ID: 575 522 7281
Passcode: 7777777

Join members and friends at small, intimate dinners in the homes of our volunteer hosts. We recruit hosts and guests in December, March, June, and September for dinners held in January, April, July, and October. If you would like to learn more, please email .

2nd Friday – Game Night

Join us at 6:30 PM in the Religious Education Building Great Room. Bring a snack to share and a favorite game. Hope to see you there!

3rd Thursday – Death Cafe

Please join us the third Thursday of each month for an opportunity to sit with others and share your experiences with death and grieving.  In the church Library 6:30-8:00 PM.  Contact Brooks Lewis at or leave a voice message at 512-826-1472. 

2nd Saturday – UU Crafters

The UU Crafters Group meets the second Saturday of each month at 1:00 in the Religious Education building. Come join us to learn new crafts, share your projects, and have fun. All are invited, guys, gals, teens, members, non-members, new crafters, and experts. We share project ideas and always learn fun new crafts. Carol Stanfill and Sara Thomas. Questions? Email

3rd Friday – Eating Out

Our March Eating Out will be March 15th, 5:30 PM at Paisano Cafe, 1740 Calle De Mercado, Las Cruces. Please contact Janet Martinique at to make your reservation by March 13.

3rd Saturday – Desert Spirit CUUPs

This is the 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 .

2nd Saturday in Feb, May, Aug, Nov – Fine Dining Experience

Dinner at the J Paul Taylor Detention Facility with a group of 14-21 year-old young men. Contact Haney Pearson if you would like to participate.