Dear Ecumenical Community,
Our communication has been reduced since May. This was a time of prayer and reflection for New Mexico Conference of Churches. Fortunately,each church body has been doing great work, especially in these critical areas:
· Your denominations led in discussions and plans about reopening regular church life.
· Clergy stress prompted reimagining systems and encouraging ministries .
· The churches continued to share love and justice of Jesus .
· And finally, the church has been persistent in prayer.
As the judicatories fully engaged, the Conference of Churches was discerning its future.
Ours is quieter work. Now, the first phase of data is gathered; plans for the September 16th Zoom Board Meeting are being crafted; and the new NMCC will be enriched by responses to the emerging social awareness of systemic injustice, the sorrow of mourning world-wide, and the still, small voice of the Spirit within the tumult of life. This is blessed work that will become a blessing to many. I continue to ask you to encourage those who minister, to pray for the mission of the church worldwide and to seek the welfare of the community in which you live.
With an expectant heart, I remain.
Kay Huggins, Interim Executive Director, NMCC
Two commandments guide our corporate lives as Christians: to love God and neighbor,especially our neighbors in need. The member churches of the New Mexico Conference of Churches firmly believe love casts out all fear; we are dedicated to heeding Christ’s call to strive for unity, justice, peace and the integrity of creation as people of faith ministering to bring healing and hope to New Mexico.
As we consider the implications of the medical crisis, we face difficult questions and choices. These are our guiding questions: How will our response be remembered by the next generation of faithful ones responding to the pandemic of their day? Will we be remembered for our love and ministry? Will the fruits of our compassionate service inspire gracious responses in the future?
Regardless what the future brings,this moment is a life-shaping experience for all of us: we may be victims, we may be helpers, we may be both. Because of the presence of COVID-19in our state, we will be changed. With a common voice, the leadership of the New Mexico Conference of Churches commends the witness of our member congregations, respects their decisions to adjust corporate life, and prays for our state, our government leaders, all medical professionals, and the vulnerable -- the medically fragile,their caregivers, the fearful, those without homes or family support, the isolated and the forgotten. We are committed to loving God and serving neighbors.
Grace and peace accompanied by hope and love,
The Rt. Rev. David Bailey, Bishop Episcopal Church in Navajoland
The Rev. Earl Bledsoe, Bishop New Mexico Conference United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Kim Fields-Haley, Regional Connection Minister, New Mexico/El Paso, Christian Church
Mr. Ken Gingerich, Moderator Mountain States Mennonite Conference
The Rev. Jim Gonia, Bishop Rocky Mountain Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rt. Rev. Michael Hunn, Bishop Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande
The Rev. Dr. William M. Lyons, Conference Minister Southwest Conference United Church of Christ
Elder Conrad Rocha, Stated Clerk/Executive Synod of the Southwest Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Santa Fe - Roman Catholic
The Rev. John Williams, President Rio Grande Mission Center, Community of Christ
The Rev. Dr. Kay E. Huggins, Interim Executive Director New Mexico Conference of Churches
Front Row L to R:
Elder Conrad Rocha, Executive of the Synod of the Southwest of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Reverend Jean Campbell, Deputy for the Episcopal Diocese of Rio Grande , Carolyn Good, Liaison for NM Church Women United The Reverend Tiffany Curtis, Deputy for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)The Reverend Kim Fields-Haley, Regional Minister for NM and EL Paso, Christian Church (DoC) in the Southwest The Reverend Susan J. Quass, Executive Director (until 12/31/2019) The Rev. John Williams, President, Rio Grande Mission Center, Community of Christ The Rev. Adam Berndt, Deputy for the Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA
Bishop David Bailey, Navajoland, Monsignor J Bennett Voorhies, Deputy for the Archdiocese of the Rio Grande, Roman Catholic Bishop Jim Gonia, Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Back Row L to R:
Sharon Yates, Deputy for the Synod of the Southwest, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Bishop Michael Hunn, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande Ken Gengerich, Moderator, Mountain States Mennonite Conference Judith Messal, Liaison Lutheran Advocacy Ministry NM Ruth Hoffman, President of the NMCC Board The Reverend Randall Partin, Secretary and Deputy for the New Mexico Conference United Methodist Church Elder Stephen Rhoades, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Santa of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Elder George Huggins, Treasurer
Our leaders know the importance and the challenge of ecumenical engagement; that is why they set aside days for sharing their Christian faith, for the mutual encouragement as denominational leaders, and for setting directions for the common work of the New Mexico Conference of Churches. This year’s retreat was especially significant as it coincided with the announcement of the resignation of the Reverend Susan Quass and the selection of the Reverend Kay Huggins to serve as the Interim Executive Director.
To initiate the interim period the Board decided to employ an outside consultant to facilitate a process of refinement of NMCC’s identity and purpose.
· Communicate: read and share our newsletters; like and share events posted on Facebook; contribute your ideas and programs to NMCC@NMChurches.org.
· Speak up: let us know how ecumenical and interfaith work happens in your local setting; we know there is significant collaboration throughout the state…but we might not know your perspective.
· Show up: the wealth of programs, workshops, services and gatherings are extensive; make a commitment to participate in one ecumenical or interfaith event every month!
· Volunteer: let us know your interests and skills; we will connect you to an appropriate network, congregation, agency or ministry partner.
Kay Huggins is known to the New Mexico Ecumenical community through her work as Chair of the Board of the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry and as instructor and associate director of the St. Norbert Master of Theological Studies Program in Albuquerque; she also previously served as Interim Executive Director prior to the tenure of Susan Quass as Executive Director.
Huggins is a member of the Presbytery of Santa Fe, honorably retired, and serves on the Commission on Ministry. She serves as Parish Associate at Second Presbyterian Church and as moderator for the Laguna United Presbyterian Church.
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