CHURCH RETREAT

The Sacramento Mountains in January - "Take your boots, take your heavy coat, take your hat and gloves," they said. "You'll freeze," they said. Well, 'they' couldn't have been more wrong; the weekend of January 12-15 was sunny and beautiful at our Methodist Camp. The roaring fire in the fireplace was lovely - primarily for creating a mood. The company was delightful, the laughter was frequent, the food was wonderful (really - it was) and included homemade donuts and avocados on almost everything, the teaching was excellent, the knowledge imparted was new to most of us. The wagon ride was fun, the snacks were like Methodist snacks always are - plentiful and varied, the camp itself was a treat to see (after years of improvements and new ideas), the rooms were warm, clean and the beds were definitely 'sleep-able'.
CREDO - the name of our retreat experience - is the set of beliefs that guides the action of, in our case, Methodism; it's what makes us what and who we are. Learning about this naturally led to learning about John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Most Methodists know that - the retreat attendees now know a lot more! 

Pastor Scott led us through several sessions about Wesley and Methodism - from the beginning of the church as a 4 member "holy club" at Oxford all the way to a discussion about the 2019 Conference that will discuss (and hopefully resolve) the issue revolving around homosexuality and our Church.  

Pastor Scott started our first session in a very interesting way by asking all of us 3 questions:
  • Where were you born (if you can believe it one of the responders didn't have the right answer for this)?
  • What was your most memorable meal and why?
  • Who in your life influenced you the most?  
If you have a group you can do this with, do so. You'll most definitely be surprised at some of the answers - and learn some interesting things about the folks you're with! 

While Pastor Scott was engaged with the adults, Pastor Kelly led the kids through experiences with ducks (be sure and ask her about her room full of the little creatures), baptism, communion and prayer. 

Hopefully, there will be another opportunity for more of our congregation to experience this. It was tremendously informational and far beyond the purview of this newsletter to pass on that information, but here are a few highlights:
  • John Wesley was the 15th child in a family of 19 children.
  • Wesley rode far enough on horseback to circle the earth 10 times.
  • Wesley had serious doubt about his faith.
  • Wesley never intended to split from the Church of England.
  • Wesley believed you could never be a Christian on your own.
  • Wesley was a man of one book - the Bible. 

This church retreat was a meaningful experience of learning about our Methodist heritage, learning more about our faith. It was a time of bringing the faithful together away from everyday distractions and responsibilities. Being in a totally different environment and time frame, new relationships developed and existing relationships deepened. It was a special time for some of God's people to be closer to God and each other. It was a time you'll definitely want to take advantage of when its offered!
A Heart Strangely Warmed
Milestones, mountain-top experiences, serendipitous moments, epiphanies, the still small voice whispering in our ears, hearts strangely warmed. No matter what you might call them these things happen to all of us at one time or another and shape our lives or at least the next steps we choose to take. 

Richard Rohr says this about these moments, “The spiritual journey is a constant interplay between moments of awe followed by a process of surrender to that moment. We must first allow ourselves to be captured by the goodness, truth, and beauty of something beyond and outside ourselves. Then we universalize from that moment to the goodness and truth and beauty to the rest of reality, until our realization eventually ricochets back to include ourselves.”

John Wesley had such a moment that led to the creation of the Methodist movement that ultimately led many of us to this church and to a greater knowledge of God’s love and grace. 

We hear stories such as Wesley’s often out in the world, especially encounters with God in near death experiences. In the Bible we can find many, a few of the most well-known include:
  • Jacob’s dream, Genesis 28:10-22
  • Moses and the burning bush, Exodus 3
  • David’s encounter with Nathan, 2 Samuel 12 that led to Psalm 51
  • All of Jesus’ miracles and healings
  • Paul’s Conversion, Acts 9
JOHN WESLEY'S HEART STRANGELY WARMED
DAN GRAVES, MSL
 
John Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and found little comfort in his religion. To Peter Böhler, a Moravian friend, he confessed his growing misery and decision to give up the ministry. Böhler counseled otherwise. "Preach faith till you have it," he advised. "And then because you have it, you will preach faith." A wise Catholic once made a similar statement: "Act as if you have faith and it will be granted to you."

John acted on the advice. He led a prisoner to Christ by preaching faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins. The prisoner was immediately converted. John was astonished. He had been struggling for years. Here was a man transformed instantly. John made a study of the New Testament and found to his astonishment that the longest recorded delay in salvation was three days--while the apostle Paul waited for his eyes to open.

The Moravians assured him their personal experiences had also been instantaneous. John found himself crying out, "Lord, help my unbelief!" However, he felt dull within and little motivated even to pray for his own salvation. On this day, May 24th, 1738 he opened his Bible at about five in the morning and came across these words, "There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should (be) partakers of the divine nature." He read similar words in other places.

That evening he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Luther's Preface to the Epistle to Romans. About 8:45 p.m. "while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

It took him some time to learn how to live the life of faith, for he was not always possessed of joy and thought he had fallen from salvation. It took time for him to see that it is not Christ and good works, but Christ alone who saves, resulting in good works.

As time went on, John Wesley was mightily used of the Lord to reform England. His Methodists became a national force. John rode thousands of miles (as many as 20,000 a year) preaching as only a man filled with the Holy Spirit can preach, telling the gospel to all who would listen. He acted "as though he were out of breath in pursuit of souls." Wherever he preached, lives changed and manners and morals altered for the better. It is often conjectured that his preaching helped spare England the kind of revolution that occurred in France.

The article was found on Christianity.com – we hope you find it enlightening and inspiring.
Inside The Walls
Trustees’ Report – Maurice Ikle

It was a challenging but overall a positive and productive 2017 for the Board of Trustees. Many projects were started and many were completed including the retrofit and upgrade of the chiller system thankfully just before the hot summer months began. The boiler system was also inspected and serviced and both the chiller and boiler systems are now professionally maintained to help ensure efficient and uninterrupted service moving forward. 

The Board of Trustees looked into ways the church could become "greener" or more environmentally friendly. This included our participation in the City of Albuquerque recycling pilot program and the PNM/Rebuild NM lighting upgrade program which was recently completed. Significant savings in our electric bill are anticipated. Although not something on the immediate horizon, solar has also been looked into in the past and is something the Board of Trustees would like to consider again at a later date. In an attempt to be "greener", the church no longer uses Styrofoam products.

In order to improve overall campus safety and security and become a "harder target" in 2017, the Board of Trustees installed signage including “No Trespassing”, “No Smoking”, “No Firearms or Weapons”, “No Thru Traffic”, and “Notice-Do Not Leave Valuables in Vehicles” signs. Chain link fencing and wrought iron spikes on top of the perimeter wall have been installed to help secure the chiller area from unauthorized access. Chain link fencing was also installed to help secure additional equipment located near the YMCA entrance. In order to improve parking lot safety and reduce thru traffic, the Board of Trustees has installed one pipe gate near the north cul-de-sac entrance. Another speed bump is also to be installed near this entrance in an effort to slow down thru traffic. An additional pipe gate is to be installed at the south main entrance. The gates will be used in conjunction with Park-it-Place to restrict traffic during specific times of day or night or during special events that take place on our campus from time to time.

To help ensure the safety and well-being of clergy, staff, members, and guests, the Board of Trustees has approved installation of a video camera surveillance system for the church building and grounds and is currently negotiating with two vendors. In another attempt to improve campus safety and security, the Board of Trustees is hoping to sponsor safety and security training classes for all those interested in 2018. It is the belief of the Board of Trustees that it is important for the members of our congregation as a whole to be educated, knowledgeable, and aware of our surroundings and potential dangerous situations and how best to respond to those situations once they have been identified

Other projects completed in 2017 include: completion of the long-awaited ADA bathroom after numerous delays, installation of automatic door openers for the ADA bathroom and the two bathrooms located in the upper level classroom area, retrofit and upgrade of the church bell tower including new ropes and safety equipment, and retrofit and upgrade of the backlighting for the Jesus "Come unto Me" sanctuary stained glass window. The old lights were replaced with more energy efficient LED lights and the illumination was increased. In addition, the maintenance committee once again has completed numerous repairs and upgrades throughout the year and Board of Trustees is thankful for their dedicated service. In addition to the many projects completed in 2017, the Board of Trustees entered into a mutually beneficial five-year lease with annual escalations with Park-it-Place. A one-year lease extension was also executed with YMCA of Central NM for use of the day care facility and kitchen.

It appears 2018 will also be a challenging year for the Board of Trustees. Major projects already completed this year include: emergency replacement of the kitchen hot water heater just the other day, installation of a new garbage disposal, and purchase of a new ice machine. Critter Control Inc. will soon be installing bird spikes on all of the west facing window ledges above the YMCA playground. The pigeons continue to roost on the window ledges causing damage to the stucco and a potential health hazard to the YMCA children and staff. Some of the Spanish roof tiles are loose in this area and potentially pose an additional safety hazard. Negotiations to hire a contractor to remove the loose tile are ongoing. The Board of Trustees is currently working with Air Pro Inc. and EEAA Consulting Engineers to retrofit and upgrade the HVAC system for the Life Center and the furnace and duct system for the YMCA classrooms, hallway, and choir room located in the lower level. Currently these systems are not fully operational due to age and condition. These proposed projects along with implementation of a campus safety and security plan have been identified by the Board of Trustees as priority items for 2018. 

The Board of Trustees wishes to acknowledge and say thank you to all those in our church who helped the Trustees meet some of our obligations to provide a campus that is efficiently operated, welcoming, and safe for members and guests alike. Without the collaborative support of our clergy, staff, and members the Trustees simply could not have accomplished all the things we did. Thank you for your past and continued confidence.

Maurice W. Ikle, MCRP, President- Board of Trustees
Compass Points – Janice Honeycutt-Hering

The Compass Points Committee met for the first time in 2018 on January 7.  

The committee has decided to work with Ken Willard with Leadership4Transformation to help us create a Pathway for Discipleship for CUMC. What exactly does that mean?

Leadership Transformation tells a story about going into a gas station and seeing an ad for a counter clerk. But the ad actually showed a pathway from counter clerk to lead, to assistant manager, to store manager. So, the gas station communicated that they didn’t just want a clerk, but someone who could move along the path. Well, we don’t want people just sitting in the pews. We want people who want to, and who we can help to grow closer to the full likeness of Christ in all areas of their lives.  

Some of us are at the entry point of this path and others of us are at more mature places. But we all have a gift that we can share to help those around us along, or to follow those who have gone before us.

God said he would build the church. Matthew 16:18 states, “I’ll build my church on this rock [Peter].”  He instructs us to make disciples. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19 states, “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations….”  

We will be including you in the conversation as we go. We will be identifying ways that you can contribute to the work and we hope that you will find your path to discipleship so that you can grow closer to the full likeness of Christ in all areas of your life.    

For more information go to leadership4transformation.thinkific.com to watch a 20-minute video that will explain our initial work in more detail.
New at Central
The new Giving Kiosk is now available at the Front Office Counter. You can make a contribution to Central United Methodist Church using our Giving Kiosk! The new Giving Kiosk will allow you to make a contribution using your credit card. There is no signing up-all you need to do is select the Ministry you would like to give to, type in the amount and swipe your card. Central’s Giving Kiosk is located at the Front Office Counter, and our office volunteer will be happy to assist you.
Who Is?
MUSICIAN IN STILETTOS

Music Director Karen Marrolli came to Central at the beginning of 2018, immediately diving into the challenging job of getting to know the various facets of our music program. Music at Central has many moving parts and Karen expresses her deep desire and commitment to engaging all of those parts in a positive way. 

Her background certainly makes that challenge one she is more than capable of meeting. Karen is from New Jersey and went to school at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Unlike many of her peers, Karen did not come from a musical family - no singing and playing instruments in a family setting for the Marrollis. In fact, she states that her artist mother wasn't really excited about Karen's choice of a career. However, Karen was sure - sure at a very young age that singing and writing music was her passion. After getting her undergraduate and masters degrees at Westminster, Karen furthered her education at LSU finishing with a doctorate in Choral Conducting. When asked exactly what that involves, Karen explains, "It's studying music and practicing, practicing, practicing the technique of conducting; using the fact of muscle memory to turn the difficult 'talking' though hand gestures into automatic conversation. The goal is complete communication without words. I knew very early on in my education that I wanted to conduct sacred music, magnificent music. I wanted to be a part of using music and words to create a message of strength and healing; I felt an immediate rightness of place." 

CUMC Chancel Choir is not the first choir Karen has conducted, but it is the largest. Her first experience of New Mexico was as a part time church choir director in Santa Fe, where she also directed the Zia Singers (a Santa Fe women’s chorus) and the Santa Fe Men’s Camerata. From there she went to Birmingham, Alabama as choir director at a Methodist church, followed by her return to New Mexico and CUMC. She expresses delight at being back in New Mexico; the beauty of the surroundings and wonderful hiking and running trails are "perfect".  

Karen has a definite philosophy as Music Director. She sees it as her mission to help individual singers to improve by asking questions of them and helping them to work out their own answers, knowing that better individual singers create a better choir. She sees the choir's purpose as fitting into the worship service, facilitating and deepening the message. She enjoys incorporating different kinds of music, understanding that individual listeners respond to different varieties of music.  

She hasn't been at Central long enough to make long range plans other than working to help the existing musical groups express themselves at their best, but sees great possibilities using Central's facilities for concerts and dinner entertainments. She hopes to incorporate the youth and children into various existing groups, helping them to discover, explore and use their talents in a manner that doesn't necessarily dictate that they fit into a separate choir. She is excited about both the musical reality she comes into and the future possibilities she sees at Central. 

We are fortunate to have Karen, with her talents and knowledge, leading CUMC's musical future. Both the musical folks and the listening folks are looking forward to enjoying the new heights the Lady in Stilettos will take our already amazing music program into.
What Can You Do?
(Change begins with Small Steps)
Homebound Communion

Four times a year (February, May, August, November) on the first Sunday of the month volunteers deliver and serve communion to our Homebound members/friends. If you are interested in sharing the Lord's Supper with one of these gracious folks, please contact Pastor Kelly or Anne Downing (717-1020).
January 24, 2018 Lowell Food Bank 
  • Total Families Served: 60 (45 existing families & 15 new families)
  • Total Adults: 78 (45 existing adults & 33 new adults)
  • Total Children: 125 (85 existing children & 40 new children)
  • Total Seniors 65 years plus: 11 (6 existing & 5 new)
  • Number of volunteers (not all from CUMC): 27 volunteers
50 Ways to Support Your Pastor’s Well-Being – summarized from Wespath (wespath.org/cfh/thirteen-factors/)

Good health is a foundation for effective pastoral leadership. Of the 13 factors identified by the Church Systems Task Force (see link above) that have a direct impact on clergy health, at least seven may be influenced by the congregation and the Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee, including:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Relationship with congregation
  • Work/life balance
  • Living authentically
  • Marital and family satisfaction
  • Eating habits at work
  • Appointment changes/relocation

Following are some of the suggestions from the “50 Ways” that the Pastor/Staff/Parish Relations Committee and the congregation can use to support their pastor’s health and well-being in all of its dimensions – physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial – and thereby also support the mission and ministry of the congregation.

Physical Dimension
Consider fruits and vegetables, or other healthy food as a welcome/appreciation gift instead of baked goods.

Emotional Dimension
Recognize that the role of a pastor requires a great deal of emotional energy (e.g. dealing with deaths, conflicts in the church, and multiple demands from members, the district superintendent and others). Be sensitive to more demanding times of the church year and arrange for additional support from lay members.

Spiritual Dimension
Recognize that Sunday is a work day for the pastor. Encourage him/her to observe a Sabbath day, other than Sunday.

Social Dimension
Understand that “social” events with church members (although fun for everyone) are not always truly social events for the pastor who can be pulled in to the pastoral role at any time.

Financial Dimension
Compensate the pastor fairly, according to his/her experience, education and effectiveness.
Watch For More Details
For Love of Wesley

UNM Wesley invites all to attend its annual “Love of Wesley” dinner and silent auction. The dinner will be held on Friday, February 2nd at St. John’s UMC from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. Dinner tickets are $15 each and may be purchased from Wesley Board members or at the door. Donations for the silent auction are accepted and appreciated. Contact Ed Vigil at 505-221-0041 or by email at edvigilabqnm@yahoo.com for additional information, dinner tickets or for donation pickup.
Thrift Shop Jewelry Sale

The Jewelry sale is being held Sunday, February 4th in the Gathering Area. All funds generated by the Thrift Shop Ministry are used for repairs and improvements to the church building and grounds. The Thrift Shop welcomes your donations of no longer needed items and clothing any time of the year.
Services and Classes

Ash Wednesday worship service will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 7:00pm in the Life Center. This service will feature some of the Taize songs from our hymnal, the choir, the imposition of ashes, and time for prayer and reflection.

There will be a couple of study opportunities for you. Pastor Kelly will be offering a study at 11:00am on Wednesdays at the Starbucks near Lomas and Washington. In addition to Kelly’s study, Scott will offer a study on Thursday evenings at 6:00pm in the Conference room of the church. There will be more information soon about the focus of these two studies and how to get the resources.

Before Lent begins, we will have our annual Fat Tuesday pancake supper at 5:30pm on Tuesday, February 13. This year, we are pleased to announce that Jazz To Go will be providing music during the supper! Please mark your calendar today to join us for dinner on the 13th.
  • The newsletter committee is working on changing the monthly newsletter format to a magazine format for expanding content and ease of reading! We hope that the March edition will be the “unveiling”!
  • Do you want anything in the March Newsletter? --- Deadline for the March edition is Monday February 19, 2018. Any questions, please ask the Communications Team. Contact information is at the end of this newsletter.
Wesleyan Heritage Tour 2018
"Would you like to experience the history of the Methodist Church and the Wesley Family in a different way? Please join Pastor Scott and Pastor Kelly on a journey of a lifetime - The Wesley Heritage Tour"
In May, Central is embarking on a 10-day trip to England to experience the historic birthplace of John Wesley, and what would become the Methodist movement. This trip will be an exciting and faith-growing adventure.
For more information and registration materials, please contact Pastor Kelly at kellyb@centraltolife.org
Communications Team Information
Deadline for the  March  edition is  Monday February 19, 2018 .
Any questions, please ask the Communications Team

Visit the Welcome Desk in the gathering area for: answers to your questions from a member of the governance team, printed copies of the newsletter (also, in the Narthex), and other written information. Classes and ministries consider placing informational flyers for a study or event at the desk. Connect cards are available at the desk and in the pews to update your contact information for the church and so we can email the newsletter to you.

Phone #: (505) 268-1009 [Briggs Family]

Co-Chairs: Chris Briggs & Pat Briggs

Current Team Members:
Donna Faulhaber, Barbara Fuller, Jesus Valdez,
Rev. Scott Sharp, Rev. Kelly Brooks