The Bridge-Odessa - One Matters Award Recipient
Reaching a Younger Demographic  
Bishop Bledsoe congratulates one of the youngest Bridge members.

The Bridge's Champion Softball Team.
*We are targeting a younger demographic and they are very active.  One of the things we did was sponsor softball and volleyball
 teams as well as have some tournaments of our own.  We did a summer tennis league and tournament.  It was a great way for our young families to reach out and invite their friends.  This is not a new idea, but it really worked well for us.

*We hosted some Mystery Dinner evenings in the Fall.  It was another way to invite friends and have them come and check out The Bridge in an informal setting.

*We hosted Tables of 8 several times a year.  People would sign up to either participate or host a meal.  We would then assign people randomly to groups.  The meal was a potluck.  It was a great way to get to know others at The Bridge and also be able to invite friends to a meal.  It was just about a meal and fellowship.  Everyone loved being a part.

*We sponsored food packing nights at our local food bank.  We helped with Food2Kids which fit our demographic.  Families and their kids would come and pack food for our local schools.  It was also a great way to invite friends to participate. Submitted by Donnie Williams

Review your Safe Sanctuaries Policies
Melissa Thacker
I would like to take some time to remind us all of the importance of Safe Sanctuaries training and policies. A few years ago, The New Mexico Annual Conference partnered with Protect My Ministry to provide background checks and online training at a discounted price. The discounted price is available to all churches in the New Mexico Annual Conference. Information regarding cost and what is included, as well as several links to helpful resources can be found on our conference website at:
We understand that it may not always be convenient to take the time to train your staff and volunteers, but this program is built to make this process easier for you and for them. Training can be completed from anywhere, online, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and only takes a couple of hours to complete. If your church has opted not to use Protect My Ministry, please be sure that your church has a program complying with the Safe Sanctuaries Policy of the New Mexico Annual Conference.
I would like to ask that if you have not taken the time to look at your church's Safe Sanctuaries Policy in the last year, that you please do so. Keeping our churches and our people safe is very important. We do recommend that you go over your policies annually to assure that they are as up to date with the changing times as possible. In regards to background checks, it is industry standard that background checks are completed annually. Please use your own best judgment.
As a heads up, at your scheduled upcoming Charge Conference we will ask that you give your District Superintendent a current copy of your church's Safe Sanctuaries Policy, so please be prepared to provide it to them.
As a reminder, current Sexual Misconduct and Child Abuse Forms should be signed and dated by all full time and part time staff, including volunteers. It is required these forms be signed annually and be submitted with your Charge Conference forms as usual.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (505) 255-8786 ext. 117 or toll free at (800)678-8786 ext. 117 or by email at .
Thank you,
Melissa Thacker
District Administrative Assistant
Albuquerque, Clovis, El Paso Districts

NM Conference Disaster Response Trainings 
Submitted by Hap Escue, ABQ District ERT Co-Coordinator
UMCOR relies on Early Response Teams (ERT) as part of their disaster response approach.  There are a few important facts about ERT: 
  • ERT are called out starting just after the emergency (fire, flood, storm, etc.) has been made safe.  The ERT mission is to help the survivors of such emergencies to stabilize their situation and know the presence of Christ's love in their lives.
  • ERT are composed of you and me.  Local persons who are willing to give up 3 to 5 days, normally 3, to help their neighbors in need.
  • In New Mexico, we are just getting started in growing our disaster response capability. We have an equipment trailer (pretty well equipped) and 15 persons trained to be members of an ERT.  To be able to respond to a disaster and provide rotating teams of people anywhere in New Mexico, we need a lot more than the 15 persons we have trained so far.
That's where YOU come in.  We are starting to train more people so we can respond when needed.  We  hope to hold 2 more basic ERT training courses this year, one in Las Cruces on September 23rd at University UMC and another in Farmington (location tba) on November 18th.  Another course will be held in Albuquerque just after the first of the year. Registration will be $40 and will include all course materials and food.  Please send your name, address, and phone number to Dru Kuntz at the Conference Office,, or call her at 505-255-8786, ext. 102.

Contact your Conference Coaching Cadre?
    The lazy days of summer are fast coming to an end.  Soon we will be planning Christmas Eve services, if we haven't started already. You may feel a sense of being stuck and need someone to talk through some options.  Perhaps you know what you need to do to move your ministry forward but you don't have a clear idea of how to achieve your aim.  A certified coach can help you get from here to there more effectively. This is a great time to look ahead and identify goals and processes to get where you want to go. 
     Our Conference is fortunate in the number, quality and geographic diversity of the coaches whose services are available.  A list of our coaches is available: Click here.  If you have any questions about coaching in general, please contact Cheri Lyon at

NM Conference Summer Memory Book
Trinity-First UMC-El Paso

Five Tips for Addressing Racism with Children
     Rev. Will Willimon boldly exposits that   race is fiction, but racism is fact. The recent actions by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, attest to the reality of racism. Humanity is diverse in appearance and action on the outside. While we acknowledge (and even celebrate) diversity, we also await the day when we will unanimously recognize the Divine Spirit and human worth that exists within each of us. To bring about that day, we need to talk about and confront the reality of racism. It's not too late for us... nor is it too early to talk about it with our children.
     While racism is not a topic we're likely eager to address with children, it's a necessary topic - for they will learn of it through others or through hard experience. Use these helpful cues to address racism with young ones.

Click for the full article on addressing racism with children 

Back to School Photos
Don't forget to post your Back to School Event photos!  

Charge Conference Season is almost upon us!
Get your current forms!
Click here for Charge Conference Forms
If you have any trouble completing the Compensation Form, watch the video featuring our Conference Benefits Officer.
Compensation Form Instructions
Compensation Form Instructions

Click here for SPRC forms

AFLAC Enrollment News

     The NM Conference has an agreement on behalf of all its member churches with AFLAC, offering supplemental insurance to all clergy and lay employees working 19 hours per week or more.  The open enrollment period is September 1 - 30, 2017. 
     A representative will be calling each church to set up a time to discuss options with your employees.  There is no cost to the church.  You do not need to set up an appointment BUT each employee will need to sign a waiver form acknowledging that they are aware of the opportunities.  Each church will be receiving information to this effect from our Conference Benefits Officer, Dru Ann Kuntz. 
     Exciting News!  AFLAC is offering FREE 24/7 fraud protection and AFLAC Pass (discounts on vision, dental, prescriptions and hearing aids) to all employees even if they are not enrolled.  Interested employees must meet with the local AFLAC rep to register. 
     Questions:  Dru Ann Kuntz, CBO at 505-255-8786, ext. 102 or


Upcoming Events
Sept.8-9 - CLM Training - Asbury-Odessa
Sept. 22-23 - CLM Training - University-Las Cruces
Sept. 23 - ERT Training - University-Las Cruces
Sept. 27-29 - Leadership Institute - Leawood, KS
Oct. 1-4 - Fall Clergy Retreat - Sacramento
Oct. 14-15 - CLM Training - Asbury-Odessa
Oct. 14-15 - CLM Training - University-Las Cruces
Oct. 27-29 - Connect Rest - Sacramento
Nov. 3-5 - Explore Calling - Portland, OR
Nov. 7 - Be Strong & of Good Courage Workshop - FUMC-Roswell 
Nov. 10-11- CLM Training - Asbury-Odessa
Nov. 10-11 - CLM Training - University-Las Cruces
Nov. 18 - ERT Training - Farmington (tba) 
Fall Itineration Schedule
Sept 16 - Roswell, First UMC 2:00 pm
Sept 23 - Tucumcari, Center Street 3:00 pm
Oct 14 - Odessa First UMC 10:00 am (Central Time)
Oct 21 - Farmington, First UMC 10:00 am
Oct 22 - Albuquerque, St. John's 2:00 pm
Nov 18 - El Paso, Trinity-First 2:00 pm
Click here for the Conference Calendar

Conference Calendar
UMC website


New Mexico Annual Conference  

11816 Lomas Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87112

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Receptionist Hours: 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

(800) 678-8786 toll free; (505) 255-8786; (505) 265-6184 fax

 Click here to view our staff listing  



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