For Christmas Eve

  Great God our Redeemer, we sing your praises. Your glorious love shines in the face of Jesus, born a babe in this dark world. We marvel that he generously humbled himself to bring salvation. How precious is your gift of love! Let the light in our sanctuary and our songs of praise spill through the windows to neighbors dwelling in darkness. May our gifts and offerings reflect the light of Christ and, as beacons in the night, draw people far and near closer to you. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. (Titus 2)

21st Century Africana Liturgy Resources:  
Worship Resources for Christmas Day

 by Sharletta M. Green
Poem/Prayer Based on John 1:1-14
Creator God,
In the beginning, you spoke all that is into existence, and breathed life into the world.
You made light in the midst of darkness and all that you made was good.
What a labor of love. You loved until it hurt.
You sent John as a witness to the light you would send.
You did so that we might believe through this, your vessel, coming into the world.
What a labor of love, you loved until it hurt.
The light of the world who aided in the world's creation came to the world,
but the world did not recognize its creator.
The son came to his own people, and they rejected him.
What a labor of love, you loved until it hurt.
When you call us each by name to draw near to you to find life in you, we turn away.
We cause harm to others and scoff at your sweet grace and mercy each day.
You continue to love us, protect us, and wait patiently as we find our way home to you.
What a labor of love, you loved until it hurt.
You give us the opportunity to be called daughters and sons of the Most High God
You call us to believe in the one you sent to us a reflection of you, a means to your love.
What a labor of love, you loved until it hurt.
Though we constantly reject you and find love hard,
Though our thoughts and deeds are often evil,
You still find ways to care for us and call us your own.
What a labor of love, you loved until it hurt.
"And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
What a labor of love.
What a labor of love.

Samantha Nash's Teddy Bear Drive Reaches 600 Toys! 


 

Last year, 10 year old, Samantha Nash (daughter of Pastor John Nash of Mesa View UMC in ABQ) asked the local fire department if collecting donations of teddy bears and stuff animals would help children who have been in car accidents and fires.  They said that it would be very helpful to ease their fears.  She raised about 300 stuffed toys last year.  This year, she set a goal for 300 but exceeded her goal, receiving 343 stuffed animals!  Congratulations, Samantha and thanks to everyone who donated their well-loved toys. 
Click for the news video

Note: In last week's newsletter, the caption below the picture for the article "29 Simple Acts of Kindness..." erroneously listed Covenant as the location.  It was last year at Mesa View UMC - Samantha's first stuffed animal donation drive.    

Church Statistics Webinar
Thursday, January 5th at 10:00 am

Join Cathy Anderson, Conference Statistician for a webinar on how to fill out the annual online church statistics forms.   
Please call 505-255-8786 or frontdesk@nmconfum.com to receive log-on information. 

As usual, you will receive the brochure, "By the Numbers" which includes step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the online forms and individual church usernames and passwords.   
DO NOT THROW IT OUT before you submit your statistics.  Questions?  Contact Cathy at 505-255-8786, ext. 103 or canderson@nmconfum.com

 

The deadline to submit
2016 Shared Ministries money
is JANUARY 10th.
Questions?  Contact Cathy Anderson:  505-255-8786, ext.103 or canderson@nmconfumc.com
Bishop Bledsoe & NM Conference Reps Travel Across the Conference

Bishop Bledsoe will be visiting towns across the Conference on a spring itineration. Joining him will be the DS of location, CF&A representative, Insurance/Benefits representative, Randall Partin, Provost and Sid Strebeck, Conference Lay Leader.  

The United Methodist Church is facing change and challenge from within.  Simultaneously, we have the opportunity to bring light and grace to an uncertain world without.  The Bishop felt compelled to travel throughout the NM & NWTX Conferences to provide an update and address questions and concerns.  At a time when our differences tend to be more prominent, this will be an opportunity to talk and focus on what binds us together.  Please choose a time and location that is most convenient and join us for a time of sharing.  The Conference wants to hear from you!  Questions?  Contact Randall Partin at (505)255-8786 or randall@nmconfum.com.


Bishop Bledsoe Announces Appointment of Rev. Wendell Horn
     On behalf of the cabinets of The Northwest Texas and New Mexico Annual Conferences, I am delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Wendell Horn as the Director of Mission and Administration for The Northwest Texas Annual Conference. Rev. Horn has been serving as interim director and has done an excellent job.
     Rev. Horn currently serves as interim Director of Mission and Administration, having been selected to serve following the election of Rev. Dr. Jimmy Nunn to the Episcopacy earlier this year. Rev. Horn brings to the office a wealth of experience to lead the conference. He has served in a number of churches as well as serving on numerous conference committees, such as: Insurance, Equitable Compensation, Council on Finance and Administration, Trustees, and Board of Ordained Ministry. He has also been involved with the communities where he has served, thus giving him a well-rounded background.
     Over the last few months, the personnel committee, representing various entities in the conference, reviewed the Director of Mission and Administration job description, assessed priorities, and determined future directions for the position. It was determined that we wanted to keep the position at cabinet level and continue to focus on the progress being made with the Strategic Planning Task Force. After a strategic search process involving clergy and lay leadership, it was determined that we would keep Rev. Wendell Horn in the position of Director of Mission and Administration and remove the designation of "interim".
     We would ask that each local church and conference leader support Rev. Horn as he continues in this role within the conference.
     For more information or questions, please contact the Bishop's office at (505)255-8786 or email: bishopbledsoe@nmconfum.com.

Do you Work with Tiny Methodists?  The Beyond Conference is for you!
January 27-28, 2017 in Fayetteville.
Click here for all the info & registration 


Survey Seeks Input for New United Methodist Hymnal

     Discipleship Ministries - United Methodists are being asked to name their favorite and least favorite hymns as part of the initial research conducted by Discipleship Ministries and a diverse committee to revise
     The United Methodist Hymnal after almost three decades.The first of several online surveys is under way to support the development of the new hymnal, which will be a hybrid print/electronic resource for use in multiple contexts.
     "We are a singing church, and this survey will help us launch an important new hymnal for our denomination," said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries, which shares responsibility for the denomination's hymnal with The United Methodist Publishing House.

 Click here for the survey 
 

GBHEM Introduces a New Scholarship to Address  
Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

     The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) today announced the creation of a new scholarship that launches January 3, 2017, for students enrolled in United Methodist seminaries. The Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship was created to help entering United Methodist clergy avoid excessive educational loan debt, minimize financial stress and build financial acumen.
     Wespath Benefits and Investments (formerly the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits), GBHEM and the National Association of United Methodist Foundations collaborated on a proposal and were awarded a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment's National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The proposal included implementing half of the grant as a "loan avoidance" scholarship for United Methodist seminarians pursuing elder or deacon ordination.
     To be eligible for the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship, applicants must be enrolled full-time as a Master of Divinity student at one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries/schools of theology, and be pursuing certified candidacy or a certified candidate for ministry (elder or deacon) in The United Methodist Church.


Wespath Benefits Agency Changed Name, but Kept Mission in 2016.
The Wespath Benefits and Investments building in Glenview, Ill.
 
    The name of the former United Methodist Board of Pensions and Health Benefits may have changed, but its mission to provide investment services to clergy and lay workers is still the same.
     While continuing to manage around $21 billion in church assets in a manner that honors the principles of United Methodism, the newly named Wespath Benefits and Investments also "does good" through programs like microfinancing in developing nations.
     In response to questions from United Methodist News Service, executive staff of the commission discussed the agency's role and accomplishments in the past year.

Click to read full article 

Upcoming Events
December 
Dec. 23 & 26 - Conference Office Closed for Christmas
Dec. 30 - Conference Office Closed for New Year's Eve
January 
Jan. 2 - Conference Office Closed for New Year's Day
Jan. 5 - Statistics Webinar
Jan. 10 - All 2016 Tithe Monies must be received by Conf Treasurer
Jan. 20 - Church stats deadline
Jan. 27-29 - FUMC-Bloomfield Lay Servant School 
February
Feb. 5-8 - Mid-Year Clergy Retreat - Sacramento
Feb. 11 - Messy Church
March
(Update)March 26 - Mountainside UMC's 50th Anniversary - Bishop Preaching

Important Deadlines
January 10 - 2016 Tithe Money Due
January 20 - 2016 Statistics Due


Bishop's Itineration Schedule 
January 21 - FUMC-Roswell - 2:00 pm  
January 28 - FUMC-Perryton - 2:00 pm 
February 4 - St. Paul's-Abilene - 10:00 am 
February 19 - Center Street-Tucumcari - 3:00 pm
March 4 - FUMC-Childress - 10:00 am
March 5 - St. Stephen's-Amarillo - 2:30 pm 
March 11 - El Paso - Trinity-First - 2:00 pm 
March 18 - FUMC-Odessa - 10:00 am 
March 19 - FUMC-Lamesa - 3:00 pm 
March 25 - ABQ - St. John's - 2:00 pm
April 2 - Lubbock - FUMC - 2:00 pm
April 8 - Plainview - FUMC - 10:00 am 
May 13 - FUMC-Farmington - 10:00 am

Annual Conference - May 31 - June 2, 2017
 
 
Click here for the Conference Calendar

Classifieds
Conference Calendar
UMC website
 


RELEVANT, PASSIONATE, AND LIFE-CHANGING CHURCHES

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  

 



 

Please send photos, articles, events, etc. to Alli Costello, Communications Director at alli@nmconfum.com.  Send classified ads to frontdesk@nmconfum.com.