From the Conference Director for 2024

click for 2023 Archives

IPL Permian Immersion Retreat Experience
May 9-11, 2024

This experience is meant to introduce people of faith and conscience to frontline communities in Southeast New Mexico and learn about the oil and gas industry and its effects on people and environment. Experiencing the realities, talking with frontline community members, reflecting and praying are pieces of the experience that culminates in each person making a commitment for solidarity work with the communities through Interfaith Power and Light. The experience is led by Sr. Joan Brown, executive director IPL and Kayley Shoup, organizer for Citizens Caring for the Future, Carlsbad. Contact or 505-266-6966. Registration intent by April 25.
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the Journey Project

NMCC has already launched the new Strengthening the Church Initiative sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, The Journey Project, with our first quarterly event held during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January, 2024. We are now planning for the second quarterly event, a gathering around the Theology of Environmental Justice, Unchartered Times, to be held April 10, 2024. For more information, check out the flyer.    

We are also very close to being able to offer the small group study, "The Journey Project", with free books for all churches interested. We have reserved the Norbertine Spiritual Center for our free Clergy Retreat for August 4-6 (see flyer); and look forward to the other events including a pilgrimage offered under the guidance of Rev. Tiffany Curtis. We are currently building the website that will provide all the information! So stay tuned....exciting things are on the horizon!
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Second Quarterly Event of the Journey Project
Breakfast and Conversation: Strengthening the Church

Register Here

Call for Sanity

Read the flyer for more info to stop the insanity regarding nuclear bomb development in NM.
Download the Flyer

"Our Sacred Lands"
A NM-IPL Event

March 6th at 6:00 PM (virtual and in-person)
First Congregational United Church of Christ
ABQ 2801 Lomas Blvd SE

Join us for ahybrid event uplifting the voices of those at the center of our food systems inNew Mexico and beyond. We will hear about themulti-facetedchallenges facing farmers and ranchers - from mental health to local challengesto national legislation such as the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act. Join our wonderful panelists to learn about the ways we can bring awareness andadvocacy to this most sacred vocation of tending our food systems.
More Info

Interested in Studying to be a Spiritual Director?

There is a 3-day program Spiritual Journey at Ghost Ranch week in May (13-19) this year, as well as August (5-11) week.  It is a retreat but can also serve as pre-requisite for those interested in The Art of Spiritual Direction but who are not clergy/chaplains/soul-care workers. Space is available both weeks.

The deadline to register for the May week is April 1. The cost for room/meals/program is $1958 (a little less if there are still shared bath rooms available). For more information, check out the Stillpoint website

The New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue's Annual 2024 Colloquium

This year’s theme is Religion in the Modern World
Tuesday, March 5th, 1:00-5:00 pm
Congregation Albert  
3800 Louisiana Blvd, Albuq. NM
For details and registration information, go to or call 505-792-1356
More Info

Press Release for Grant Award to NM Conference of Churches from The Lilly Endowment Inc.

The NM Conference of Churches has received a $1,065,608.00 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish The Journey Project, in support of local churches across the state. The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the initiative to encourage the flourishing of congregations by helping them deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the vitality of their communities and the world. 

The Journey Project will offer faith communities across the state a group study, quarterly presentations, a retreat for faith leaders, and an annual pilgrimage. All of the events are meant to build up churches, support local faith leaders, and engage communities in conversations regarding unity, peace, racism/white privilege, and environmental issues. “This is an opportunity for the NM Conference of Churches to actively support local faith communities across the state with opportunities to reflect upon their histories, mission and values, consider the role of the church in the Post COVID world, foster spiritual growth and community building, engage in study that addresses racial biases in our churches and communities, and consider their outward ministries past, present and future,” writes Conference Director Rev. Lynne Hinton. 

NM Conference of Churches is one of 105 organizations that has received grants though a competitive round of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Reflecting a wide variety of Christian traditions, the organizations represent mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, peace church and Pentecostal faith communities.  

“Congregations play an essential role in deepening the faith of individuals and contributing to the vitality of communities,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We hope that these programs will nurture the vibrancy and spark the creativity of congregations, helping them imagine new ways to share God’s love in their communities and across the globe.” 

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it isa separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

Information about Federal funding
available to houses of worship for energy efficiency

Read the letter from the ecumenical community on crisis in Israel/Palestine

UCC and Disciples join ecumenical community in letter to Congress on crisis in Israel/Palestine - United Church of Christ

Regarding the Violence in Israel
An article from Sojourners Magazine

Do you need a supply preacher and want to include ecumenical partners as guest preachers?

Do you need a supply preacher and want to include ecumenical partners as guest preachers? We have a list! Contact Lynne Hinton if you'd like to have the contact information from ministers in our area available to preach at

Assistance for Ukrainian Seminary

Assistance for Ukrainian Seminary. Please read the attached letter from Fr. Roman Fihas, the Director of the Ecumenical Studies program of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) asking for financial support.

Protect Oak Flat:
Defend Indigenous Religious Freedom and Preserve Our Land, Water, and Air!

On March 21, the Apache Stronghold’s case – Apache Stronghold v. United States --challenging the transfer of traditional and sacred Apache territory from the Tonto National Forest in Arizona to Resolution Copper [a consortium of two Australia-based mining companies] will be heard in the 9th circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, CA.  The Apache Stronghold will argue that allowing the destruction of their traditional territory by a copper mining company is a violation of their right to religious freedom.  The Apache legal case asks that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) be used for its original, good purpose: to protect their religious freedom. 

They are standing in defense of Oak Flat, their traditional place of worship that has been scheduled to be decimated by the largest copper mine in US history. 

 Oak Flat is the unceded traditional homeland and territory of the Apache people.  It is a sacred site to many Indigenous Peoples, including  the Yavapai, O’odham, and my relatives, the Hopi and Zuni.  It is a sacred place of worship. While the Apache were removed to a reservation along with hundreds of other Native American tribes, they have continued to care for it and worship there even though it was designated a national park, part of the Tonto National Forest, in the 50s.  The waters of this sacred land, and many traditional plants the people gather, are healing.

In December 2014, a rider attached to a defense appropriation bill authorized the US to trade forest land for parcels of private land owned by Resolution Copper, which is owned by mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP.  The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act authorized the transfer of 2,400 acres of Tonto National Forest land to Resolution Copper.   

This transfer is a desecration of one of the Apache people's holiest sites as well as one of Arizona's rare riparian zones. To obtain copper ore, Resolution Copper will use a method known as block cave mining. Excavations tunnel under the ore body; excavations are then collapsed, and theore transported via another tunnel to a crushing facility.  Eventually the ground under Oak flat will subside or collapse, leaving a crater 1,000 feet deep and two miles across.   

Underground water channels and major aquifers will be damaged or destroyed.  In the Arizona desert.
The proposed mine would use at least 3 billion, 845 million, 46 thousand, 520 (that’s 3,845,046,520) gallons of water from the Colorado River.  It would take 2 billion, 153 million, 226 thousand, 051 (that’s 2,153,226,051) kilowatt hours, produced mostly by burning carbon, to bring that water up to the mine site.  The solar panels that Shalom Mennonite Church in Tucson hopes to install on its church roof this year would take 100,000 years to produce that energy. 

That’s just the energy to get the water there, not to run the mine! If Oak Flat were to be destroyed, a native year-round source of flowing water and deep well of aquifer water would be destroyed. In 2021, the Bureau of Reclamation declared its first-ever water shortage, cutting more than 500,000 acre-feet of water going to Arizona. An acre-foot of water would generally supply three average Phoenix households with water for a year. The loss of the carbon sink of ancient oaks and other vegetation would also increase the speed of rising heat in this already very hot region and cause more use of water stolen from Mexico, with its energy costs and the impacts on the Mexican population creating more climate refugees.  

Two decades of hotter, drier conditions amplified by climate change have eroded the flow of the Colorado River and pushed the Southwest to the brink of shortages, shrinking the amount of water that's available to offset pumping and to replenish groundwater.

Consistent with their worldview that places them in relationship with Oak Flat, the Stronghold Apache have championed the protection of Oak Flat since the very beginning of prospecting in this region. 

The Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery is standing with the Stronghold Apache to protect Oak Flat.  We can join in solidarity as water protectors, as land protectors. 

By Sarah Augustine,Executive Director, Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition 

A statement about the killing of Tyre Nichols
as published by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches:
advocate for the passage of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act

The murder of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers while being beaten 80 yards from his home is an affront to the entire human family. Not only were Tyre’s human rights violated, so was his humanity.

Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “The Creation,” etched upon the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, depicts God touching the fingertips of Adam as an expression of the spiritual giving of life to humankind. This painting also represents that within each one of us there is a spark of divinity.

On January 7, 2023, in a Memphis, Tennessee neighborhood, 5 police officer, deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff Department and emergency technicians not only failed to render aid to a beaten man; they also neglected to see his humanity and the spark of divinity within him.

The color of the “public servants” does not matter; the culture which perpetuates violence against Black bodies and the over policing of Black communities does. These are issues with which our faith communities and policy makers must grapple. Addressing the inherent violence that exists within our society calls for a systemic analysis of the many failures that cause crime, poverty,and the disintegration of communities. One of the factors impacting communities of color is overpolicing and the blatant disregard for Black and Brown lives by law enforcement.

One way that we can act is to advocate for the passage of the George Floyd Justice and PolicingAct.This bill which passed in the House but died in the Senate in 2021 addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices,enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements. The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement.

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 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:

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.

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


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  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: 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  /  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.

CONTENT IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH is available in the toolkit.

From the Conference Director
2023 Archives

video from
the Interfaith Hunger Coalition
A NMCC partner

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.