It is an exciting time to serve among the faith leaders in the state of New Mexico. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside people who care deeply about social justice issues and seek to find ways to integrate their faith into all parts of their lives. Presently, the Conference is working on prison reform initiatives including a sign-on letter about the Prison Rape Elimination Act, seeking to enforce this act not just in federal facilities but in all prison facilities and detention centers across the state and in local counties. We are working with NM Interfaith Power and Light to reduce methane pollution in our state and advocating in other areas of climate change. We work with our partners Interfaith Hunger Coalition and FaithWorks in areas of poverty and hunger and in Albuquerque with asylum seekers and the unsheltered in the city. And we are partnering with Bread for the World for their regional gathering this fall.
We continue to work on offering a Winter Talk in 2023 and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January, 2022 and are seeking ways to improve relationships with faith communities and the Indigenous People of New Mexico. We are also working on providing ecumenical worship opportunities and service projects for young adults.
The Conference will also host two retreat days for faith leaders, one for Advent and one for Lent, providing the opportunities for rest and building ecumenical relationships.
The state of New Mexico offers so many opportunities for the sharing of beauty, both in our natural resources of the high desert country and in the natural resources of our members of faith communities seeking to bring God's reign here and now. It is such an honor to serve with the Conference.
Graphic Artist: Mapping our Churches Project
Data Clerk: Mapping our Churches Project
English/Spanish Translators: brochures and bulletins
Office Assistant w/ Internet Skills: building our ecumenical calendar
Heeding Jesus’ call to strive for
unity, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation,
we are people of faith ministering to bring healing and hope to New Mexico.
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-19 in 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.