From the Conference Director for 2022

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.

NM Legislature 2023
"Striving for the Integrity of Creation"

In Case You Didn’t Get Update Yet! The Senate version of the Green Amendment – SJR6 – has been assigned to just two committees, Judiciary and Rules!

This is great news!  Last year’s 3 committee assignment in a 30 day session was certainly an uphill battle and yet we still made great progress. This year’s 2 committee assignment on the senate sign bodes well for our success. We are still awaiting assignments in the House.

Stay Up To Date – Get On the New Green Amendment Action App
To be sure you are up to date on all the hot news and opportunities for engagement, and to share your own good ideas and intel with the rest of us, be sure to sign up for the New Mexico community on the new Green Amendment White Label App.  You can join from this link, or go to the app store on your phone and search for Green Amendments FTG.  Be sure to sign up for the New Mexico community.

Interfaith Power and Light – New Mexico & El Paso Region
Administrative Coordinator Position Open

Location: Remote, New Mexico, preferably Albuquerque
Terms:
Contractor, 10 hours per week
Rate:
5-10 hours per week at $25.00 per hour contract services

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.

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.