News for the week of December 18, 2017
In this Newsletter:
  • John Rivas, Director of TMF for NM Conference Departs
  • CCYM Launches their New Website
  • Safe Sanctuary Policy Training Online
  • NM Conference Office Adopts Next Door Day Care for Christmas
  • "The Florida Project":  Movie about our Hidden Homeless
  • Finding a Way Forward Booklet
  • Lay Servant Ministries School
  • New Direction - New Year: Coaching Workshops
  • ROC 2018 - March 2-4 @ Sacramento
  • End of Year Tithes & Stats Reminder
John Rivas, Director of TMF for the NM Conference Departs
"Sometimes feelings come in pairs."  So, it's with both sadness and appreciation that we share the news that John Rivas, Director of TMF Operations in NM, has accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Northern Rockies headquarters of Volunteers of America, based in Cheyenne, WY.  He will begin the new position on January 1. 

John was the key figure in the unification of the NM Methodist Foundation with TMF, bringing his gentle pastoral style, his deep knowledge of the philanthropic world, and his ability to form deep relationships to that work."  Please join me in wishing John the very best in his future endeavors.

John Thornburg
VP for Area Representatives, TMF
CCYM's Launches New Website
Kathy Salazar reports that the CCYM team will launch their new website on Wednesday.  Information on upcoming events, contacts and district teams is available. 
Click here to view the website.
Does your Church have an Up-to-Date Safe Sanctuary Policy?

Online workshop - Intensive 5-Day Safe Sanctuary Policy Workshop
Date: Jan. 8 - Jan. 12, 2018 (Central Time Zone)
Prepare for your children and youth programs with this five-day online workshop for congregations that don't have a Safe Sanctuary policy or whose policy is outdated, needs revision, doesn't meet the needs of current ministries, etc. Participants will learn why congregations should have an up-to-date policy, what the policy includes generally and specifically, and how to get a policy written, approved and implemented - or edited. Because this is an intensive workshop, participants will need to be involved on the site every day to receive a completion certificate. Plan on reading two documents, posting a response to one question, and posting responses to at least two other participants every day - a minimum of an hour a day. You are required to read "Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth," by Joy Thornburg Melton, as a part of this course. Participants need access to a copy of this book throughout the duration of the course. Following this workshop, you may decide to schedule six additional weeks of support while you get your policy written or edited. The additional time would consist of once-a-week, one-hour conference calls or chat room conversations, for an additional $150. This course is eligible for 0.5 CEU. Price: $50.  Click for info & registration.
Questions about Safe Sanctuary Resources?  Melissa Thacker -

Santa's Helpers:  Roselie Johnston, Maryann Harrison & Melissa Thacker.
NM Conference Helps Santa Out at Next Door Day Care Center
Over the last couple of years, the Conference Office has adopted the Southwest Day Care and Early Learning Center next door.  For Christmas last year, we gave all 140 children mittens and provided gifts from Santa to a classroom of 20.  Our Front Desk Receptionist, Maryann has been the organizer and the one responsible for making sure none of the children had been left out, which meant searching for tiny mittens at the last hour. 

This year, we adopted a class of 20 four year old children.  We got their wish lists and each one of us took a few to fill.  The children were so appreciative and excited.  One little girl hugged District Administrative Assistant, Melissa Thacker cheek to cheek and would not let go.  We were told that most of the children do not receive much at Christmas.  A little boy asked for a Christmas tree and ornaments.  He particularly liked the dinosaur ornament.  After opening their gifts and showing everyone, they recited a little poem to welcome us into their family.  It was such an amazing expression of how, so many times, giving transforms the giver.

Note:  We received permission to take photos of the children provided that they were not shared on social media.

The Florida Project Trailer 
The Florida Project Trailer
 "The Florida Project": Movie about our 'Hidden Homeless'  
Film director Sean Baker wanted to tell a story about the hidden homeless, but he needed access to their world along U.S. 192 in the shadow of Disney World. The Rev. Mary Downey, executive director of the Community Hope Center in Kissimmee, opened the door for him.
Downey, a United Methodist deacon, started the center-also known as Hope 192-in 2013. It is the primary outreach agency that serves the homeless in Osceola County, a tourist mecca with a severe housing crisis.

People come to the agency all the time offering to help, Downey said, but usually, nothing comes of it. Baker and writer Chris Bergoch were different. They kept coming back.
"They seemed like really good people," Downey said. "Their intention was to tell a story honestly, without sensationalism. That was super important to me. They didn't want to paint the families in a negative way."

Finding a Way Forward Booklet 
Resources for Witness, Contextual Leadership & Unity
A handbook for UMC Bishops on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward

Click to read booklet
Lay Servant Ministries School
January 19 - 20, 2018
Hosted by: El Paso District  
First United Methodist Church, 206 W. 4th Street, Van Horn, TX 79855
Hosted by Big Bend Missional Sub-District of the El Paso District
Basic Course for New Candidates
Advance Course: Leading in Prayer/Let the Whole Church Say Amen!
(Must have taken the Basic Course in the last three years)
Lay Servant Ministers please note:
The 2004 General Conference determined that for a Local Church to be current, their Certified Lay Servants must maintain an active status by completing a course or facilitating a course every 3 years.
For additional information about these courses contact:
Pastor Frances Gonzalez
915-240-1783 or
New Direction - New Year 
Developing Coaching Skills
January 9th @ 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Highland UMC - Odessa
Instructors: Rev. Cheri Lyon & Rev. Doug Mills
$10 by Dec. 27th. Cost increases thereafter.
Workshop Goals:
  • Basic building blocks of coaching
  • Participate in group coaching
  • Use coach approach to ministry 

Introduction to Coaching - Clovis
Saturday, January 20th @ 9 am - 4 pm
Clovis, NM (site tbd)
Approved for CLM CEC's & Advanced Lay Servant Training
Cost $40 (Checks payable to NMAC & sent to 11816 Lomas Blvd. NE, ABQ, NM 87112
Register: Contact or 505-440-6849

Introduction to Coaching - ABQ
Saturday, January 27th @ 9 am - 4 pm
Mesa View UMC-ABQ
Approved for CLM CEC's & Advanced Lay Servant Training
Cost $40 Checks payable to NMAC & sent to 11816 Lomas Blvd. NE, ABQ, NM 87112.
Register:  Contact or 505-440-6849

ROC 2018 - March 2 - 4 at Sacramento  
Middle School Students  
ROC 2018 is going to be awesome! Check out our leadership team: Camp Pastor, Travis Bennett, Camp Nurse, Shay Carillo, Camp Director, Xavier Torres, Camp Worship Leader, Chris Cramer, Camp President, Chelsea Marsh. We also have strong Wesley Foundation student leaders and a strong Sacramento staff.  For more info, contact Xavier:  Cell 575-571-5910 (call or text).

Your December Tithes are due by January 10th.  
Church statistics are due by January 24th.   
The website to input your info will by open  
on December 31st.  For assistance, please call 505-255-8786.

Upcoming Events
Dec 22 - 26 - Conference Office Closed for Christmas
Dec 29 - Jan 2 - Conference Office Closed for New Year's
January 13 - ABQ Emergency Response Team Training - Christ UMC
Jan 19-20 - Lay Servant Ministry School - FUMC-Van Horn 
Feb. 9-11 - CCYM - Sacramento
March 2-4 - ROC - Sacramento 
April 5-7 - TX UM Historical Society Meeting - Trinity-First UMC, El Paso 
Annual Conference - June 13 - 15, 2018 - ABQ Marriott
NM Conference | 505-255-8786 ||