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December 1, 2014 - First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque

The Messenger
December 2014
AlbuquerqueCarlsbadEast MountainsSocorro
More Praise for Messy
A swirling, silty, partly salty,
cloudy, fertile river delta. That’s the
image in my mind’s eye this month.
Like a river spilling into the ocean,
holidays and milestones pour us
into the future. Fall turns to winter, first semester
classes end and students sign up for the next round,
Thanksgiving turns to Christmas (sometimes before
the turkeys hit store shelves—too early!), and 2014
turns to 2015. Friends and family visit and depart.
It’s beautiful chaos. And within it: the fertile chaos of
our lives!
Holiday ads may be filled with smiling perfect
“families” (or phamilies?), but we know the real fun
happens when you get raucous Aunt Lois together
with conservative Uncle Joe, and watch him taste her
jellied cranberry pimento dish, while she gets a taste
of his politics. Who wants dessert?
Every family has its quirks, whether that family consists of twenty people, or one person and a cat. Of
course, sometimes those “quirks” are significant—
they may involve painful family histories, new losses,
or conflict. They may be disheartening or hilarious,
minor or maddening, or all of the above.
ly: the peace of healing where healing is needed
and possible, of forgiveness where forgiveness is
needed and possible, and of acceptance where a
more perfect peace cannot be attained. Most of all,
may you have peace in your heart.
There is one other kind of transition that takes
place at First Unitarian at this time: the turnover
of fiscal years. This too is an important and sometimes unpredictable time as we compare what we
expected to happen, moneywise, with what really
happened. This year, our expenses came in higher
than expected, while our income came in lower.
The result is a $46,000 gap that we must close in
order to finish the year with balanced books. This
is crucial. At stake is the expanded mortgage the
congregation voted for, that would pay for a new
roof on our dear old (leaky!) social hall and some
outstanding debts from building the new sanctuary. If we don’t close the gap, the bank may decide
not to give us the larger amount, putting us in a
very tough spot. Can you help by sending a tax
deductible gift before December 31? Your
gift will be a huge help! Contact our bookkeeper,
Alan, by phone (884-1801) or email
(, or send your gift by
mail 3701 Carlisle NE, Albuquerque NM, 87110.
The essayist Katie Roiphe writes, “There are things
that can’t be measured and quantified in studies, and
I imagine the multitudinous varieties of family peace
are among them.” May you have peace in your fami-
Celebrate our Environmental Stewardship!
Join us in the Social Hall on Sunday, December 14 after services (10:30 am and 12 pm) to celebrate our Sanctuary’s Platinum LEED Certification and to bless the new array of solar panels installed on the Sanctuary roof.
Our architects, the Board, and Earth Web members will explain what was involved in attaining the rigorous
LEED designation. Also take a look at the solar energy monitoring display installed in the Social Hall, based on
the generosity of Premium Power Energy (from whom we lease the solar panels) and a Social Justice Council
grant to Earth Web.
Sundays & Holidays
Explorations, 9:30
Light and Dark in this Season.
Angela Merkert, facilitator.
season. The service will include a
The Rev. Angela Herrera
December 21
“Letting Go and Beginning Again”
The poet William Stafford used to
rise early in the winter to run
before dawn, in moments he
called "little gems of darkness." A
sermon on the spiritual wisdom
of darkness, whether it is the
darkness of the season or a dark
night the soul. The first in a two
part series.
The Rev. Christine Robinson
In this activity-based service for
everybody school aged and over,
we’ll celebrate the post-Christmas
season and look ahead to the new
year, using some of the indoor
and outdoor spaces on our
campus. What shall we leave
behind? What shall we carry
forward? What shall we
celebrate? What values does our
family want to celebrate next
year? Bring your smart devices for
a group tweet! Toss old stuff into
the fire! Make resolutions as
individuals and families! Child
care provided for little UUs.
Plenty of peace-and-quiet for
those who just want to sit, think,
and listen!
December 7
Music: Wojciech Milewski
Explorations, 9:30
Is There an Afterlife? UU Views.
Ron Friederich, facilitator.
Forum, 11:00
Title I APS Homeless Project.
(Change for the Future recipient
for December 2014-February
2015.) Homelessness is a harsh
reality for thousands of APS
children and youth. The Title I
Homeless Project helps these
amazing students stay in school
and achieve their educational
December 14
The Rev. Angela Herrera
On the day of First Unitarian's
green energy celebration, the
second in a two part sermon
series on darkness and light.
What does light represent in
religion and spirituality? How
does it relate to darkness?
Music: Wojciech Milewski
“A Season of Stories”
The Rev. Christine Robinson and
James Galasinski
December 21 is the Winter
Solstice, the fifth day of
Hanukkah, and the Sunday
before Christmas. We’ll celebrate
all these holidays in song and
Music: The Chalice Singers
Explorations, 9:30
The Iowa Sisterhood: Pioneering
Female Ministers. James
December 24
4:30 pm: Christmas Eve for
A shorter service aimed at
families with children, featuring
the puppets’ favorite Christmas
story…the one where the animals
come to see the baby Jesus in the
manger. Children are invited
to come dressed as animals
or angels and join in the
story. Carols and candles will
round out our celebration.
7:30 pm: Christmas Eve for All
This longer and quieter service
will include carols, seasonal
music, stories, and commentary
by Christine and James on the
UU and Universal values of the
December 28
Music: Sue Spaven
Caroling December 20!
Join us from 3:30-5 pm for an
informal party in the Social Hall.
Come and sing some carols, eat
some cookies, and light a candle to
start off your Christmas week.
Bring a treat to share.
News & Programs
New RE Director
We Light a Candle
We light a candle for church
members Bob Baker and Micky
Stensrude, who died earlier this
We mourn with Karen Smith,
whose mother died, and with
Socorro members Ruth Hamilton
and Micheal Joniken. Ruth’s son
Brendan died unexpectedly in
Austin. We also hold Steve and
Rodene Phillips in our hearts, as
Steve’s mother is dying.
Our thoughts are with those
coping with health problems: Sue
Redfern Campbell, who had back
surgery; Margaret Lang and Dani
Delaney, who fell ill; Al
Switendick, who is recovering
from a stroke; Kathy Wallhagen
and David Bleakly, who are living
with untreatable cancer;
Margaret Rickert, who had a bad
fall; Maureen Bannon, who had
quadruple bypass surgery;
Heather Gram, who is recovering
from surgery; and Richard Brown
and his son Chris, who recently
had surgery and faces ongoing
treatment for his illness.
We send blessings to Kristen
Kennedy Sadek, who is dealing
with difficult issues; and to
Carmen Samora and Steve
Moffat, who have just set out on
an adventure abroad.
We are pleased to announce that
Mia Noren will be our new Director of Religious Education. Mia is
a church member who began
work with us at the RE Administrator, and then became the
Church Administrator (after a
brief stint as our communications specialist).
We know her to be a supremely
well organized, people-focused
person who will help us build the
teams of volunteers who run the
RE program. She will be enrolling in the UUA’s program to
train and credential religious educators so that she can round out
the education and experience she
has with the educational and theological sides of the job. In the
meantime, Christine and Angela
will be working with her and in
the program in new ways.
We have begun our search for a
25 hour a week Church Administrator. Check the church website
if you might be interested, and
please pass the link on to qualified and interested friends.
First U Christmas Feast
Yes, the year has rolled around
again and, yes, we will be having
our traditional Christmas feast in
the Memorial Hall this year. We
will gather in the RE Foyer beginning at 4:00 pm on Christmas
day, Thursday, December 25.
This has become one the most
festive gatherings in our community, so don’t miss out! Look for
the signup table on the stage in
the Social Hall each Sunday, or
contact Don or Sally New at 8844327 or
SJC Funds in Action
Do you ever wonder what happened to the proceeds of last
year’s social justice auction and
fair trade coffee/chocolate sales?
Last month the Social Justice
Council (SJC) awarded $6,300 in
grants to support justice work in
our church and community:
 ABQ Health Care for the Home-
less/Art Street: Studio and therapists for the homeless
 Animal Advocates: Food and
medicine for pets of the homeless
 First U’s Adult ESL Program:
iPads to aid instruction
 First U’s Sister Church in
Kenya: School fees and
 NM Faith Coalition for Immi-
grant Justice: Support for
border immersion trips
 ABQ Interfaith: Leadership
training seminar fees
 First U Food Pantry: Fruit for
holiday distribution
 Transgender Resource Center:
Partial funding for support
groups for teens
 First U After School Tutoring
Program: iPads and instructional apps
 First U Economic Reform and
Advocacy Group: Support for
Public Banking symposium
 Earth Web: Support for installa-
tion of a solar energy monitoring display
News & Programs
The SJC also allocated funds to support the Habitat
for Humanity Interfaith build initiative, paid full tuition for two mid-high youth to attend the UUSC College of Social Justice in New Orleans, supported Albuquerque Interfaith, partially subsidized the MidHi Gay Pride Parade float, and extended the
church’s membership in the ABQ Peace and Justice
Center. Thank you for your support of these
important initiatives!
Board Notes
The Board met on November 18 and limited discussion to financial issues related to the 2014 income
shortfall and planning for the 2015 budget. Expenses
are on target, but our 2014 budget was based on a
projected pledge number that we did not reach during the year leaving us with a $46,000 income shortfall. The Board followed the recommendation of the
Finance Committee that we make a year-end request
to the congregation to cover the shortfall. A letter
request will go out before December 1 and a pulpit
editorial was made on November 23.
The 2015 Stewardship Campaign is continuing with
87% of our goal raised. A reminder mailed in early
November has stimulated more returns.
The Board discussed direction to staff for developing
the 2015 budget and adjusted the projected pledge
contribution to the budget to ensure we don’t experience a similar shortfall next year.
The Board meets the third Tuesday of every month
and welcomes attendance by any interested members of the congregation. Please feel free to contact
Board members if you have questions about activities of the Board.
Let’s Build a House!
First Unitarian is a co-sponsor of Habitat for
Humanity Interfaith House. We are joining Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, and other churches to
build a house for a family. Our minimum commitment to be a sponsor is 30 volunteer hours, 2 lunches, and $5,000. We are raising the $5,000 exclusively through donations. “Let’s Build a House” is a symbolic house on display every Sunday in the Social
Hall between and after services. For a donation of
varying amounts, someone can “buy” a component
of the house (window, siding, roof etc.) and add that
piece to the display. We will watch our house being
built week by week until it is complete and we reach
our $5,000 goal. Please come visit our display and
help a family realize their dream.
A Gift That Has No End
As the end of the tax year and the holidays approach, consider dealing with both issues by making
a gift to the First Unitarian Church Endowment.
You’ll reduce your tax liability and help build the
permanent assets of the institution that has meant
so much to you.
Sanctuary Flowers Needed
Help brighten our Sanctuary this winter by donating
flowers. We need people to sign up for January 4;
February 1, 8, and 15; and other Sundays in 2015.
Please call Maryjean Bailey at 296-2130, or look for
Maryjean and her sign-up book in the Social Hall
after church services on December 28.
Patio Fair Update
Winter is approaching and our weather is unpredictable. Nevertheless, as we are continuing to hold
our Patio Fair on the second Sunday of the month,
it’s just likely to be in Memorial Hall rather than on
the patio! The next one will occur on Sunday, December 14, and you can be sure there will be lots of
items to help you out with that holiday shopping
list. There will be a hiatus for January, and we will
resume on February 8. Sellers donate 30% of their
proceeds to the church, and so far this year the Patio
Fair has raised $969.61!
Theology on Tap
Check out this new ministry led by our Ministerial
Resident, James Galasinski, and explore various
spiritual and theological topics while enjoying a beverage. Past topics have included calling, religion vs.
spirituality, and sacred space. We will meet December 7 and 14 at 7:00 pm at Q Burger, 301 Central
Religious Education
From the DRE
Greetings! I am very excited about my
new role as your Director of Religious
Education, and look forward to working with the ministers and with all of
you to build a vital and exciting RE program for our
kids. While my new position won’t officially start
until we have found a new Church Administrator, I
am interested in talking with anyone who has an interest in the program. Meanwhile, the program will
continue to run through the holidays in the very
capable hands of RE Administrative Assistant Alana
Rodgriguez, and RE Aide Meladee Montoya, along
with all our current wonderful volunteers and child
care personnel.
-Mia Noren, Director of Religious Education
RE 4th-5th Grade Class Has Moved!
We’ve moved! Attendance is growing, and so are the
kids! To allow more room to comfortably participate
in the curriculum, and have fewer distractions, we
have moved our 4th-5th graders to Room 1. MelaDee,
our RE Aide, did a fantastic job rearranging and decorating to make the room look nice for our kids. Take
a look below!
This Month in RE
December 7
 All classes start in the
 Children’s and youth choirs rehearse 12:30-1:15,
RE Rooms 1 and 3.
December 21
 TBD—watch the eBroadsheet and our Facebook
page for seasonal activities!
 Children’s and youth choirs rehearse 12:30-1:15,
RE Rooms 1 and 3.
December 28
 Intergenerational service—all classes in the
Safe Congregation Policy
1. Always sign your child in and out of RE!
2. After signing your child in, please be sure that
two teachers are in the class room before you
leave, in accordance with our safe congregation
policy. Please do not leave your child in the
classroom with only one teacher—wait until
another teacher arrives.
RE Room 5
Pre-K and K
RE Room 4
Spirit Play
1st-3rd Grades
RE Room 3
Tapestry of Faith: Faithful
4th-5th Grades
RE Room 1
Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox
of Faith
6th-8th Grades
Arnold Room
Dr. WhUU and Other
9th-12th Grades
La Amikoj Room
Self-Directed Topic(s)
Earth Web Green Corner
Interactive Lighting Display
When: Sunday, December 7,
10:30-11 am and 12-12:20 pm.
Where: Sustainability Table in the Social Hall.
What: Push buttons in an interactive display
and learn the benefits of energy-efficient electric
lights. How many more LED Christmas lights
will fit on single string? Fun for kids, too!
Monthly Earth Web Meeting
When: Sunday, December 14, 12:30-1:45 pm,
following LEED celebration (see front page!)
Where: Wesson Room
What: Help plan Earth Web activities for 2015,
when Barbara Leonard becomes Chair and Linda
Doherty assumes the role of co-chair. Everyone
welcome! Bring your own plate and cutlery, and
a dish to share.
Fundraiser for Animal Kind International
Join Animal Advocates Saturday, December 13, at
5:30 pm in the Memorial Hall for a vegetarian
potluck fundraiser. Animal Kind International
supports animal welfare and humane education
efforts in impoverished areas of Africa, Europe,
and the Carribean. A suggested donation of $10
(or pay as you’re able) will support these efforts.
The organization’s founder, Karen Menczer will
give a brief presentation. Check them out at
Get Some Holiday-Season Exercise!
Ten years ago the Church’s Earth Web group
adopted ten acres of the Rio Grande Bosque that
had been severely damaged by a wild fire. On Saturday, December 13, from 9:00 to 11:00 am, we
will be continuing our restoration work along the
banks of the Rio Grande. Care to join us? Contact
Ed Wallhagen at 293-3981 or
December Spotlight: Homelessness
The topic of December’s Spotlight is Homelessness.
In 2013, Albuquerque Heading Home identified 1,170
homeless adults in our community one deep winter
weekend; and the NM Coalition to End Homelessness estimates 17,000 individuals are homeless at
least part of the time in our state.
As its focus, SJC is working to promote our congregation’s awareness of issues and resources, improve
policy, and provide services. There are many avenues
for education and involvement. First U hosts meals
for Project Share; we collect personal hygiene items;
members re-established our Habitat for Humanity
group; and the Food Pantry distributes donated food
to an average of 85 families each Wednesday. There
will be a school supply drive in January 2015.
Forums through May 2015 include presentations by
the NM Coalition to End Homelessness, Veteran’s
Program/ Emergency Shelter, St. Martins, New Day
Shelter, and HealthCare for the Homeless. Come to
the SJC table and bulletin board throughout December for more information!
Save the Date!
Social Justice Council Auction
February 21
Thanks to your involvement, the $4,442 raised
from last year’s auction has helped to provide food
for those in need, after-school tutoring for local
children, adult ESL instruction with free childcare,
and much more.
Help us make this year’s total even higher! We
need your ideas for enticing services to auction:
Sewing classes, meditation workshops, exotic dinners, handy-person help, urban chicken raising,
reflexology, and more.
You can also lend us your talents to plan the
event—we’ll have teams working on publicity,
sales, set up, entertainment, and a cook-off. Please
contact Nancy Kilpatrick,
or Pat Diem, or for more
Ongoing Groups—Newcomers Always Welcome!
Animal Advocates
12:10 pm, fourth Sunday of
the month
Wesson Room
Sacha Bush,
Beginning Yoga
Bring a mat and a donation of cash
or canned food for the food pantry.
12 pm every Saturday
RE Foyer
Ann Walton, 265-4675 or
Bread, Wine, and Book Club
Holiday Get-Together, No Book
7 pm, second Friday of the
12100 St. Mary’s
Connie Molecke,
Covenant of UU Pagans
7 pm, second Friday of the
Michelle Burns,
Drum Circle
7 pm, second Friday of the
Memorial Hall
Theresa Watson,
Earth Web
Healing the Earth. Bring your own
plate, cutlery, and a dish to share.
12:15 pm, second Sunday of Wesson Room
the Month
Valerie Smith,
Humanist Discussion Group
7 pm, second Tuesday of
the month
Roy Ellis Moody, 344-8930 or
Integral Meditation and
Discussion Group
7 pm, first and third Friday of Arnold Room
the month
Jac Estes, 255-4191 or
Monday Afternoon Book Club
Bring your favorite poems!
2 pm Monday, December 15 68 Piñon Hill
Place NE
Linda Bairstow, 828-1944
Nature & Spirituality Discussion
7 pm, first and third Tuesday Wesson Room
of the month
Kathryn Haase, 255-4191 or
Nonfiction Book Discussion
Wednesdays, 2:00 pm
Wesson Room
Bob Wood, 352-0212
Project Linus
Making blankets for children in
Tuesdays at 1:30 pm
RE Room 3
Terry Gutierrez,
Public Banking Group
Studying how to start a regional or
local public bank.
10 am, third Saturday of the
Wesson Room
Sally Jacobsen, 971-570-2922
Secular Buddhism Study Group
7 pm, second Monday of the Wesson Room
Roy Ellis Moody, 344-8930 or
Tao Te Ching Study Group
6:30 pm, second and fourth
Thursday of the month
Wesson Room
Torre Near,
UU Buddhist Fellowship
7:00 pm, fourth Monday of
the month
Wesson Room
Roy Ellis Moody, 344-8930 or
Wednesday Afternoon Book Club 2 pm, every Wed.
Arnold Room
Joan Meyering,
Wisdom Circle
Potluck breakfast and explorations
of a new model of aging.
Memorial Hall
Gary Carlson, or
9:30 am, every third
Memorial Hall
First Unitarian Church
3701 Carlisle Boulevard NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
phone (505) 884-1801
Albuquerque, NM
Permit No. 80
Sunday Worship Services
9:30 and 11:00 AM
In the Sanctuary
4:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church
309 W. Shaw
East Mountains
10:00 AM
UU Congregation, E. Mtns.
1 Deanna Ln.
(off Dinkle Road)
4:00 PM
Epiphany Episcopal
Church, 908 Leroy Place
UU Congregation, East Mountains: Nancy Leski (left) and Jim
Zacharias (right) present a check to Sue Marsh, of Walk N’ Circles
Horse Rescue, the recipient of UUCEM’s Change for Change collection of coins.
We have a mobile giving page. Scan the QR code
to the left to access our mobile giving page. Thank
you for your generosity!
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