Dear Friends,
           By now, most if not all of you have heard about the recent decision of the Judicial Council regarding the nomination, election, assignment and consecration of an openly gay bishop in the Western Jurisdiction. This decision was in response to a request for a declaratory decision by the South Central Jurisdiction, of which we are members. It is the expressed authority of each jurisdiction to elect bishops of the church. There are five jurisdictions within the United States.
            The Judicial Council ruled that the consecration was against church law; however because of jurisdictional authority, stopped short of ruling on the other matters of nomination, election and assignment, pending the completion of an administrative or supervisory complaint process. In the United Methodist Church all clergy are entitled to due process under church law. It is my understanding that there are several complaints in process regarding the actions in the Western Jurisdiction and until that process is complete, no decision can be made.
            I want to ask that all of us remain calm and continue to focus on the mission of the church. Some things are out of our control and hands. We have processes and methods in place to address this issue. We also have a recently appointed Commission that is meeting to present a report in February 2019 to a called session of General Conference to determine a way forward for the church. I hope we will continue to have renewed patience in the midst of our differences and difficulties. The 2016 Book of Discipline has not and did not change regarding the issue of human sexuality. As your assigned bishop, I took a vow at my ordination as clergy and also at my consecration as a bishop to uphold the order and discipline of the church. I intend to do that and keep my commitment with grace and humility. The District Superintendents join me in this commitment to uphold The Discipline. I'm asking each of our clergy, as well, to remember your ordination vows and to continue to lead in a Christ-like manner as we seek a way forward in the church.
            I want to thank all the churches and individuals who committed to pray for the church and ask that you continue to pray for the church. It is through prayer and fasting that we are able to be sustained and nurtured in the midst of adversity.
Grace & Peace,
Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe


Click here for all appointment news. 

Albuquerque District United Methodist Men Forum
     
 
  The ABQ District United Methodist Men (UMM) met on rainy, cold Saturday, April 28th to discuss how to bring more men into Men's Ministry.  Christ Caldes of Mesa View UMC served as the MC.  Rev. Todd Salzwedel gave an introductory message about the importance of men of integrity and faith providing role modeling opportunities for other men.  There were lots of sports references, not surprisingly.  Participants broke into groups to discuss the ministry on-going in their churches and what might be needed to encourage more men to join them.  If you would like more information on any of the District UMM organizations, please contact Jim Mogford, UMM Conference President at jakmog@comcast.net or 505-903-4334.     

 

Focus on NMAC17

FAQ's
1. What is the 5 Star Dinner?   The 5 Star (Cinco Estrella) Dinner is sponsored by the Conference Board of Global Ministries. It will highlight the Cinco Estrellas, Sively & McCreless Award winners and also celebrate the Mission & Ministry of the NMAC as a whole.  All are invited.  Please RSVP during registration.
2. My church secretary registered me and several other members.  Why didn't I receive a confirmation?  Your secretary will receive one confirmation in the email she used for all.  If you have a question, please call Maryann or Roselie at 505-255-8786.
3. What accommodations are there for children?  We have safe, secure & appropriate accommodations for children at University UMC, which is about a 5 minute's drive from the Convention Center.  Please call Roselie at 505-255-8786, ext. 101 for more info.
4. I only want to attend the "free" Early Bird Workshops.  How do I RSVP for the workshops without having to pay any fees?  Please call Maryann or Roselie at 505-255-8786 to RSVP for the particular workshop you will be attending, so we have the best space allocation.
5. How will our new Retirees and recently departed be honored?  We will be hosting a "Legacy Luncheon" on Wednesday.  Each of the 7 new Retirees will address the Conference.  We will offer a special participatory memorial service during this lunch (not during opening worship) for the 12 members we lost this year.  Please RSVP with your registration.  

Any other questions? Contact us at 505-255-8786 or rjohnston@nmconfum.com

Target 500 - Otero Detention Center  
     First United Methodist - Los Alamos took on a month-long service project which started from a "simple spark" that was placed in Deaconess Ann LePage's heart after watching a news commentary regarding a lawyer who assists detainees in NM.  While many of us may think "Wow...What can we do?",  Ann took it upon herself to contact the chaplain at Otero County about the situation and asked how can our Methodist church help these people...show God's love for them in the midst of the situation? 
     Chaplain Berry's reply:  clothing & large print Bibles.  The replacement clothes will be issued to the men when they are leaving the facility to be deported. While they are on site at Otero, these men have assigned suits to wear.  The clothing that many have on when processed are rags.  Sending them back across the border with fresh clothing and a Bible speaks volume to the work of Christians regardless of denomination.  Deaconess LePage approached the mission team of FUMC with the idea and it was implemented immediately.  Additionally, Ann spread the word to other faith-based congregations who brought items for the men. Items collected include: Large Print Bibles:  50 Spanish & 50 English; 360 Underwear; 428 sock sets;  153+ pants; 130 shirts.   As FUMC is highly involved with Kairos Ministry, several members of FUMC also baked cookies to accompany the delivery to Otero.

 Matt 17:20 (NLT)  Jesus told them, "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."
Thought>What opportunities are being placed on your heart that you might not be able to do alone but your church family and community will embrace?
 
 Otero County Processing Center Update:  Delivery 4/29/17
     Many thanks to all the church and community members who contributed clothes and/or money to this project. Thursday evening, April 27th, Don Siebe and Tito Hinojosa packed more than 25 bags of clothes into Jeannie Gibson's car. If you had seen my guest room filled with bags, you would not have believed that all that could fit into one car.  Jeannie and I left early Friday morning for Otero County.
     We met the Chaplain (whom I had been talking to for the last several weeks), the under-warden and many staff. They were all gracious and welcoming. They were blown away by the fact that we brought homemade cookies.  They were amazed by the amount of clothes we brought, and commented to each other about all the new items. Chaplain Berry asked if we would be visiting them again.  We don't often get the chance to see how our donations are received, so this was an especially awesome project for me. You all can be sure that those donations will be used by those in need and with heartfelt thanks. 
 

Evangelical Group Plans for What's Next 
by Heather Hahn
Photo by Tim Tanton, UMNS

     The United Methodist Church could be on the verge of a Paul and Barnabas moment - where Christian leaders decide to go their separate ways.
     "Paul and Barnabas don't allow their personal disagreement to derail the mission because the mission's more important," the Rev. Jeff Greenway said, citing   Acts 15: 36-41. "So Paul takes Silas and he goes off to missionary fame, and Barnabas takes John Mark, and we never hear from him again."
     Greenway was speaking to the second public gathering of the   Wesleyan Covenant Association, a newly formed unofficial United Methodist group that holds church prohibitions against the practice of homosexuality to be part of Christian orthodoxy. Greenway is the chair of the association's leadership council as well as lead pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church near Columbus, Ohio.
     About 600 United Methodists attended the association's second public event, titled "We Believe in the Church!" Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis hosted the April 28-29 event. 

Keeping Focused on Four Areas of Focus
by Sam Hodges 
Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr.
 
     Keep faith with the denomination's Four Areas of Focus. But make sure the specific ministry application is effective and relevant in local contexts, especially the local church.
     That was the message hammered home May 3 as the United Methodist Council of Bishops continued its meeting in Dallas.
     "This is not just a program," Nordic-Baltic Area Bishop Christian Alsted said of the Four Areas of Focus. "This is our way of being as United Methodists."
Adopted in 2008, the Four Areas of Focus stress ministering with the poor, developing principled Christian leaders, creating new and renewed congregations and improving global health.
     Bishop Sally Dyck of the Northern Illinois Conference referred to both the Four Areas of Focus and the  Vital Congregations initiative as particularly important when denominational unity is severely tested because of  disagreements over homosexuality.
     "I sometimes wonder if we didn't have these Four Areas of Focus and Vital Congregations as a guide, how we would go forward together in this time," she said.
     Bishops heard from Dan Krause, top executive of United Methodist Communications, that the denomination's messaging about ministry emphases needs to reach the local church.
     "We want every local church to be able to see themselves in the Four Areas of Focus," he said .
 

Upcoming Events


May
May 15th - Last day to RSVP for NMAC17 w/o $25 late fee 
May 30 - Early Bird Workshops - Las Cruces Convention Center
May 31-June 2 - Annual Conference, Las Cruces, NM
June
June 9-11 - King's Kids Camp (grades 2-4) - Sacramento
June 19-23 - Ritmo Camp (grades 7-grad) - Sacramento
July
July 3-7 - Sacramento Family Camp - all ages
July 9-14 - Music on the Mountain - (grades 7 - grad) - Sacramento
July 10-14 - Promise Seekers Camp (grades 4-6) - Sacramento
July 31-Aug. 4 - Camp Sunshine - Sacramento

August
Aug 11-12 - Lay Servant School - FUMC-ABQ  
 
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

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.