The Conference Office is Closed to Honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Retired Bishop Woodie W. White's Annual Letter to Rev. King 

   
Dear Martin:
     This letter almost did not get written this year. I needed more time to sort out the meaning of events during this election season and the election itself. My wife, Kim, however, gave me a rather stern lecture, and insisted that I share my reflections.
     So, here goes!
     A few weeks before the election, I was having a casual conversation with a young adult African-American male, and out of the blue he said, "Bishop, I hate white people!" Astonished by this revelation, from one typically soft spoken, low key and not otherwise given to anger or hyperbole, I asked, simply, "Why?" He replied with little emotion, "Because they hate me!"
     That is often the way of hate, especially group hate or prejudice. It finally settles on an individual, a single person; someone's mother or father, son or daughter, brother or sister. It is a person who is hated, abused, marginalized.
Sadly, the election season and presidential campaigning were filled with ugly rhetoric of a racial and ethnic character. The emergence, at least in the news, of neo-Nazi and white nationalists groups has been more prevalent. Our racial conversation has been polluted by prejudice and racist words and behavior. Increasing acts characterized as hate crimes are reported across the nation.
     The late poet Maya Angelou wrote in her award-winning   I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, "When people show you who they are, believe them."
Click here to read the full letter


NM Conference Story on Ministering to Central American Refugees
Published by the United Methodist News Service
Rev. Nema LeCuyer waiting for refugees to disembark.

     The NM Conference January 2nd Newsletter included an article and video which covered the ministry of Rev. Nema LeCuyer, El Calvario UMC, University UMC and several other Las Cruces churches called "Backpacks of Hope".  The article and video were published by The United Methodist News Service(UMNS) in their Thursday, January 5, 2017 Daily Digest
. Click here The last time a NM Conference article was featured in UMNS was 2012.  In addition, Kathy Gilbert at UMCOM has requested permission to produce a follow-up piece. 
     One of the NM Conference goals for 2017 was to better communicate with the United Methodist Connection the good work that our local churches are doing in their communities.  "Backpack's of Hope" was a perfect place to start.  We have a list of articles/videos that we will be producing in the future.  If you have a unique ministry or idea for a story, please contact Alli Costello, Communications Director:  alli@nmconfum.com or 505-255-8786, ext. 111.    

St. Paul's UMC - Socorro - A Time to Serve




 
Pastor Reuben Thomas painting local food pantry 

    During the holiday season, St. Paul's UMC in Socorro decided to focus on giving back to the community; to follow Jesus' command to love our neighbors and make a difference for Him. Borrowing from a program described in The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson, St. Paul's implemented "A Time to Serve" during Advent.
     From Thanksgiving until Christmas, 49 members of the congregation contributed over 180 hours of service to the local community. The outreach projects included enduring the cold weather and wind on each Saturday during Advent at a local grocery store ringing the bells for the Salvation Army; helping with meals and Thanksgiving dinner at the local homeless shelter; caroling at the local nursing home; painting a room and installing blinds at the local food pantry; distributing food to senior citizens; sending Christmas cards to the homebound; conducting a food drive for the local pantry; making prayer shawls; and hosting two Children's Christmas parties, one for the children of the Alamo Reservation.
     In addition, two members participated in a mission trip to Santa Elena with the Community UMC in Ruidoso.
     The communion offerings in November and December and the offerings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were designated for the local homeless shelter and food pantry; each organization received a check for over $2,000. Of course, these are not one time events; St. Paul's goal is to continue to expand its outreach to the community in service to the Lord.
  

  Managing Grief Following the Holidays
by Dr. Keith Wilks, Pastor at FUMC-Portales 
     So, we made it through the holidays. For some of us the holidays bring on or intensify our emotional pain from the loss of our loved ones. It is common during the holidays to have an increase in strong feelings of sadness, loneliness, isolation, anger, distance and fear. However, there are tools that can help us manage grief following the holidays. I am not aware of any fix that will completely remove the pain of separation after the death of those whom we love. But I do believe with faith in God and the practice of wellness principles we can experience transformation from an overwhelming grief into a life filled with peace & hope. In this article I want to share with you five steps that have helped countless people to move from paralyzing sadness to a more affirming and productive life. 
     Don't Suffer Alone - It is crucial to our emotional, mental and spiritual progress for us to find people with whom we can share our pain. There are those who genuinely care about us and will provide us with a listening ear. When we suppress our sadness, anger and fear it festers and is more likely to impede on emotions of joy, peace and a sense of connection with others. Call a friend, talk with a pastor, or join a grief support group. 
     Write Letters or Speak as though they are Listening - Though our loved ones are no longer present with us we can still share our thoughts and feelings with them. Take the time to write or say what we are thinking, how we are feeling or just give them an update of what has been happening in our lives. It is important for the content to be transparent and authentic without regard to parameters of logic or politeness. If you want to share feelings of hurt or anger, do so. 
     Give yourself a Break - There is no universal order that determines how long grief should last or to what degree grief should be felt. We are experiencing a once in a lifetime trauma. Though we will have multiple losses, each one is unique. Grief can be more like a circle than a straight line. There will be days when we feel we have left certain emotions and thoughts behind only to experience their reoccurring pain. We must give ourselves a break and accept the fact that grief cannot be controlled every moment of the day. It is important for us to set aside times and days to grieve in our own way without being critical of self.
     Seek God's Help - The pain of separation can be more than we can face without spiritual help from God. Our faith in heaven can provide hope for a reunion with the beloved. There are times when we call on God and ask for a change in our situation. Grief can be the time when we ask God to change us because there is no changing the situation. In grief, we must seek God's help in extending our patience and to bring a measure of healing to our broken heart. We all arrived in the world through the grace of God and that same grace is powerful enough to see us through every storm of life, including grief.
     Celebrate Life - While we are in emotional pain it can be difficult to celebrate life, but not impossible. Remember the gift of joy, connection and love that God brought to us through our loved ones' lives. The time we had with them can seem short, but the impact they made on us will last a lifetime. We missed them dearly through the holidays, but we are so glad to have memories that we can draw from for the rest of our lives. To have
known, to have lived, to have embraced, and to have shared life with them is reason enough to celebrate.



     On January 20, 2017, United Methodists around the United States are encouraged to host or join house/church parties from 6:30-8:30 pm for an evening of fellowship and food to discuss and engage in ways to Reclaim the Common Good. These conversations will be biblically and theologically grounded, affirm our core Wesleyan values, explore challenges in this moment as they impact our communities and nation, and offer opportunities to name ongoing faithful conversations as United Methodists. Please consider hosting a party throughout the week of the inauguration, if Friday evening does not work well for your community. Church and Society, Commission on Religion and Race, Commission on the Status and Role of Women, Higher Education and Ministry, and United Methodist Women are working together to provide resources for hosts to use to facilitate meaningful conversation.
    United Methodists participating in house/church parties around the country on the evening of January 20th will be able to connect with one another via social media to share visions for the common good using the hashtag #UM4CommonGood.
     For more information, contact Susan Burton at sburton@umc-gbcs.org.

NM Conference Advent & Christmas Shenanigans Book
Click here

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, Sid Strebeck, Conference Lay Leader and others.  

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.

Click here for the details 



Church Statistics Due Friday, January 20th. 
Click for data entry site & other info 
If you need assistance, please call Cathy Anderson, Conference Statistician at 505-255-8786, ext. 103 or canderson@nmconfum.com.

Don't forget to sign up for the Messy Church!
Workshop on February 11th at St. John's UMC, ABQ.
Click for more info & to register 

Upcoming Events

January   
Jan. 20 - Church stats deadline
Jan. 21 - Asbury UMC-Odessa Lay Servant Ministry Training
Jan. 27-29 - FUMC-Bloomfield Lay Servant School 
February
Feb. 5-8 - Mid-Year Clergy Retreat - Sacramento
March
March 3-5 - ROC & CCYM - Sacramento
March 26 - Mountainside UMC's 50th Anniversary - Bishop Preaching
April
April 9-15 - NM Conference Pray Our Way Forward Week 

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.