From the Conference Director for 2022

a Pilgrimage in Place, a self-designed offering of Gratitude

Dear Pilgrims,

Fall is in the air; leaves are turning golden and falling; days have fewer hours of light; nights are leisurely and long; thanksgiving is in our hearts; blessings abound. And it is time to prepare our hearts, minds and bodies for a Pilgrimage in Place, a self-designed offering of Gratitude, November 25-27, 2022. Our practice has a rhythm and dependable aspects. You are free to map out your own pilgrimage to a place that is holy to you, by a route that stretches your endurance, with a heart holding the prayers of others and a mind focused on a particular scriptural text. So, on this day I’m asking you to register for the Gratitude Pilgrimage and to use these questions/resources to guide your preparation:

• The Theme: Walk, Pray, Give Thanks. Keep it simple: just one step and then another; pray for the intentions and concerns collected from others; explore the place of gratitude in your heart and life.

• Where will you walk? Holiness hides in plain sight. It may be in an untended cemetery or a pristine church building; it may be where hundreds have paused to pray or a quiet spot known only to you; it may be along flowing water or on a windswept mesa/mountain. Walk to a destination with the assurance that the holiness of God awaits you there.

• The Text: the Beatitudes Matthew 5: 2-12. Read these daily; use different translations; engage in conversation, research and reflection; may these Beatitudes be your spiritual compass.

• With whom will you walk? Walking alone provides the opportunity to converse with yourself: the  have been, the self you are, and the self you are becoming – each within the frame of blessings. Walking with friends allows your heart to listen to another’s story and your mind to open to new perspectives – these too are framed by blessings. Walking with folks you don’t really know invites even deeper listening and opening; you might consider sharing this pilgrimage with someone from another faith or tradition; learn from them what gratitude means.

• The Community of Pilgrims: Once we were mainly from New Mexico, but over the past three years we’ve expanded north, west and east – the furthest south is Las Cruses and Los Angeles! Still we gather twice as a community of pilgrims: at the Opening Zoom on Friday, Nov. 25 @ 8 am/MT and again on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 6 pm/MT for a Closing Zoom; each gathering includes voices of pilgrims, prayers, reflections, music and time for small group conversation. Knowing you are not alone as a pilgrim is a blessing deepened by these Zoom connections.

• How will you walk? Devote one day to a longer walk or two or three days to shorter distances. Request and send in intentions to be shared; pray these intentions every day. Personalize your plan according to your context (rural or urban, uphill or level, enjoying the sunshine or prepared for stronger weather). Photo document and share your pilgrimage on the website. This is your pilgrimage, it is not a random ramble. Celebrate gratitude by being a pilgrim.

Remember to share the attached flyer with your community of faith, your family and friends. Encourage others to register and step out as pilgrims. Pray for the Steering Team as they design and fulfill their tasks. And most of all, be blessed and bless others.

Peace,
Pilgrim Kay

Housing Forward ABQ

Hello Faith Leaders,
I hope this email finds you well on this brisk autumn day. I wanted to take a moment to share some information on a new initiative the City will be working on in the coming months called ”Housing Forward ABQ.”

Housing availability and affordability has decreased dramatically in recent years. At the most fundamental level, this is a supply issue that has led to rising costs for everyone from renters to first-time home buyers. The numbers around this are quite telling, with rental prices increasing 22% in the last year and home prices upwards of 30%. Today, nearly half of all renters are paying 30% or more of their income on housing, and that numbers is even higher for Black and Native American households. It is estimated that Albuquerque needs somewhere between 13,000 – 30,000 units of new housing to escape the current supply challenges.

With this in mind, Housing Forward ABQ is designed to be the most comprehensive and proactive housing plan the City has ever pursued. The idea is to increase the availability of all types of housing, and the City has set a goal of creating 5,000 units above what the private sector would typically create by 2025. The strategy is to create housing for all incomes, with an emphasis on populations that are most precariously housed.

This is a multipronged plan, with some facets of this being listed below.

• Converting Hotel/Motel Properties to Supportive/Affordable Housing
• Converting Commercial/O­ffice Buildings to Housing
• Converting Problem or Neglected Properties into Housing
• Expanding Housing Workforce
• Allowing More Options for Housing Type in City Zoning Code
• Preventing Rental Discrimination by Enforcing the New Source of Income Ordinance (visit the website cabq.gov/soi for more information on the ordinance.)
• Housing Stability Fund: we are working with community partners to launch a $750,000 landlord mitigation fund to help Albuquerque landlords rent to prospective tenants who might be considered higher risk based on credit history, income, or other concerns. The fund will provide support to landlords and tenants by providing incentives, risk mitigation and assistance paying for some costs related to housing voucher requirements.
• Limiting Short Term Rentals
• Protecting Tenant Rights: The Consumer Protection Office will propose changes to existing laws to protect tenants from predatory practices.

We have created a webpage that goes over these bullet points in depth: cabq.gov/housingforward

I know there is a lot of information here, so if you have any questions at all please let me know and I am happy to discuss. For those interested in learning more about how to get involved, please reach out to me. We would love to hear input from the faith community on this initiative, and we thank you for all you do for our city. All the best,

Doug Small

Save Oak Flat Act

We are in the home stretch for the 117th Congress and are continuing to work for the passage of the Save Oak Flat Act. I wanted to pass along the thanks of the San Carlos for your support in this advocacy effort to protect their holy ground.

BJC is still recruiting signers for the individual petition. If you have the capacity, could you share the link for the petition on your social media channels next week? We are hoping to recruit 300 signers in the upcoming week. That goal is exceeded if each organization receiving this email recruits just 3 signers from among your staff and constituents.

Together, we can #SaveOakFlat! If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Free Seedlings

Is your congregation interested in planting trees? Here's some information about free seedlings being offered from NM IPL

Interested in a Clergy Corhort or Clergy Coaching?

Interested in a Clergy Corhort or Clergy Coaching? Check out these offerings from Pinnacle Leadership Associates:

- Transformational Pastor Cohort - provides the support of a clergy cohort while providing training and education on adaptive ministry in changing times
- Clergy coaching - A coach can help in a variety of ways, from communication issues, dealing with stress or navigating transitions

Asylum Seekers Need Donations

Albuquerque is a stopping place for those seeking asylum in our country, coming from El Paso, Texas. Here is a list of donations needed and contact information. Thank you for your assistance!

template for a Service of Prayer and Lament

As we continue in difficult times here is a template for a Service of Prayer and Lament that can be used alone or in community.

a multi-issue Faithful Voter Reflection Guide

Interfaith Power & Light recently released a multi-issue Faithful Voter Reflection Guide to help educate and inform people of faith and conscience about issues that are at stake in the 2022 elections. Printed guides are now available for purchase for you and your faith community. As people of faith and conscience, we believe elections are a referendum on the values that will shape our future. We need elected leaders who share our values. We know that we have to participate thoughtfully in our elections if we want a country that reflects our highest values.

We hope this guide will stimulate the kinds of conversations that we need to have in order to renew our democracy. Some of the ways you and your faith community can use the printed guide include: making copies available to your congregation, discussing the guide and its reflection questions (adult education, committee, youth group, etc.), offering copies when you register voters or deliver social services, or asking political candidates a question from it.
Purchase your voter guides in English or Spanish now. You can also download a free digital version of the guide and watch IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot discuss the guide and this election season with some of our partners.

Our Indigenous neighbors are fighting to protect their holy ground

Our Indigenous neighbors are fighting to protect their holy ground. You can help by asking Congress to #SaveOakFlat. Don't let a mining company destroy this sacred space and natural wonder! Sign the letter here

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO ASSIST ASYLUM SEEKERS IN TRANSIT THROUGH ALBUQUERQUE

More asylum seekers are being admitted to the United States at El Paso, and are in transit to sponsors throughout the United States. ABQ Asylum Seekers Welcome has established a hospitality site near the Albuquerque Sunport, and has been serving busloads of immigrants, but is stretched to its capacity. Members of ABQ faith communities are coming together as the Immigration Interfaith Team, to provide services to additional busloads of migrants, also at the same site. We have an urgent need for volunteers to lead and to staff the Intake, Travel, Food Service, Clothing, Medical, Travel Packages, Transportation, and Overnight Teams. ABQ Asylum Seekers Welcome will provide on-site training. Members of the Travel team should be fluent Spanish speakers. Members of the Intake Team should have some conversational Spanish. Hours vary by team. Buses arrive between 4pm and 7pm, and the greatest need for volunteers is during the several hours after a bus arrives. FEMA, through CABQ, covers the costs of lodging and catering. But donations of selected clothing items and of money to cover other costs of these services are also needed. If you would consider helping this effort, and/or would like further information, please contact John Maddaus, by email at john.maddaus@maine.edu  Thank you!

Read the article from World Council of Churches from the acting general secretary regarding the war in Ukraine

Project ECHO

Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is partnering with the New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care Department (ECECD) to distribute a survey to families of children ages 0-5 to assess the availability and utilization of programs and services throughout the state. The New Mexico Early Childhood Support Survey will be ready for distribution very soon, and we would appreciate your help with the distribution.  The aim of this survey is to engage with families throughout New Mexico to understand their experiences and needs of early childhood services. The survey will provide information to guide ECECD policies and programs to best serve the needs of all young New Mexicans and their families.   Our goal is to reach 3,000 or more families of children ages 0-5 throughout the state to assess the availability and utilization of early childhood programs and services as well as their future needs. We are offering a $5 e-gift certificate to the first 3,000 families that answer the survey.  

To connect with families representing our diverse population and communities, the survey will be available in the four main languages spoken in New Mexico:
English, Spanish, Navajo, and Vietnamese.  

We ask your assistance to join us in our outreach and distribution efforts to members of your community. Our ECHO Education Team has developed flyers and messages for social media posts, newsletters, and direct email.  We will provide you will all materials necessary for outreach in electronic form, hard copy, or both depending on your needs, including posters that can be displayed on your Community Board.  

Please fill out the interest form via this link:https://bit.ly/ECHOSurveyDistribution This will enable us to assist you and your team in distributing the survey, either online, flyers for community board or with paper surveys.   After we compile the results of the survey, we will share our finding with a summary report that could inform your organization and possibly share insights into the community you serve.  

Thank you for time and consideration of working with Project ECHO and ECECD to allow all families in New Mexico to voice their experiences, needs and concerns about early childhood programs and services. The responses collected will inform programs and access to early childhood services in New Mexico, and help shape policies that reduce disparities in our state.  

Please email Carolina Romero at anaaromero@salud.unm.edu  / echoNMECSurvey@salud.unm.edu  or call (505) 600-1029 if you have any questions.

Read the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament

Archbishop John Wester writes Living in the Light of Christ's Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament. This Pastoral Letter shares insight into the special role The Archdiocese of Santa Fe plays in advocating for nuclear disarmament given the presence of the Los Alamos and Sandia nuclear weapons laboratories and the nation's largest repository of nuclear weapons at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM.

City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Indian School Cemetery Healing Reflection and Memorial Event

Click on the link below to see the City of Albuquerque and the  Albuquerque Indian School Cemetery Healing Reflection and Memorial Event video.  It was held on September 25, 2021, at the Native American Community Academy campus.                                                                                                                                        

Path to Citizenship

Find information below regarding a budget resolution passed by congress that includes a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants across the country.  

This recent development means that we are another step closer to delivering a path to citizenship. The We Are Home Campaign and its partners are building on the momentum to get this done via reconciliation in the weeks to come.

PLEASE USE THE SOCIAL TOOLKIT BELOW TO TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW.
CONTENT IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH is available in the toolkit.

video from
the Interfaith Hunger Coalition
A NMCC partner

Midweek Musings Archives 2022

Midweek Musings Archives 2021

On Oct. 5th the NMCC Board authorized a new job description for the next NMCC Executive, established a Search Committee and timeline, as well as crafted the Budget for 2017! The future is approaching.