It's Happening at St. Paul's UCC!
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Faith Evolving, Lives Transforming
St. Paul's United Church of Christ
1101 Golf Course Rd SE
Suite 101
Rio Rancho, NM

Mailing address
P.O. Box 15755, Rio Rancho, NM 87174-0755

Our core values…

Jesus Guided / Intentionally Inclusive / Peace Seeking / Justice Committed


Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Activities in February


Sunday mornings

Worship Service
10:30 am

Social Hour
11:30 am

- - - -

Wednesday evenings

Feb 1 and 8

DVD series: Myth in Human History

6:30 - 8:00 pm

See details below.

Friday, Feb 10

Give Your Heart Away

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Making origami hearts. Easy and fun!

See details below.

Friday, Feb 24

Whatever Floats Your Love Boat

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sharing stories of the people we love -- or pets, places, whatever.
Snacks, salty and sweet, to match our moods.

See details below.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Other meetings at our location



11:00 am - - - Tai Chi
12:30 pm - - - Overeaters Anonymous
6:00 pm - - - Buddhist Meditation

Second Thursdays

1 pm Parkinson's Support Group
Special session: Saturday, Feb 18, 10:30 am


Myth in Human History

Wednesdays, February 1 and 8

6:30 – 8:00 pm


February 1

“The Places of Myth – Mountains”

“The Places of Myth – Sacred Trees”


February 8

“Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth” with Bill moyers as seen on PBS


These two sessions which make use of DVD presentations
will conclude our stimulating class on myth in human history.


Come and join with us even if you have not attended other sessions of the course.


We learn. We have fun.




We'll gather at Church on February 10 and 24
for two special heartfelt activities
2 to 3 pm.


Give Your Heart Away

Maybe you've tried, with limited success, to do origami before, but the pattern to make heart shapes will take you by surprise on Feb 10. You say your fingers won't cooperate? No problem. Join in the laughter and the real surprise of what we're going to do with the hearts we make. (Road trip!)


Whatever Floats Your Love Boat

Do you know the story of how your parents met? Did you have a crush on your third grade teacher? What's your favorite movie love story? (Love Story? Don't make me sorry I asked.) You can tell us about a pet that touched your heart, or about a place that still lingers in your thoughts. Join us on Feb 24 for a stroll along the deck of our memories.


See you there!

Sandra Chapin


Happening in the Southwest Conference

On January 25th, 2017, President Trump issued two Executive Orders related to immigration. As part of the orders, all jurisdictions that attempt to ensure family unity within immigrant communities now risk losing federal funds. In response, First Congregational United Church of Christ (FCUCC) in Phoenix, Arizona, makes a public declaration of sanctuary to all families facing separation because of deportation.

“In times of crises people of faith have to return to ancient traditions. Refugees in the Roman Empire found sanctuary in Christian churches. Slaves in pre-civil war United States found sanctuary in the Underground Railroad and congregations across the country. Political refugees from the civil wars in Central America found sanctuary in over 500 churches in the United States when our federal government failed to offer asylum or refuge under existing laws. First Church joins the many congregations already offering sanctuary today in the face of one of the most urgent and large scale humanitarian crisis in the United States,” says FCUCC Pastor James Pennington.


The executive orders issued cover more than sanctuary cities. “President Trump is moving forward full speed ahead with the promises he made during his campaign. His executive orders are only the start towards what will become a massive detention and deportation machine targeting vulnerable populations,” states Laura Ilardo, a member of FCUCC’s Immigration Task Force.

“People of faith have to be careful of the rhetoric that will be used by President Trump in support of massive deportations. The administration will state that the focus will be on criminal immigrants; however, this country has spent over a decade criminalizing individuals for violations related only to their immigration status. We are not talking about criminal murderers, we are talking about families that can’t get a driver’s license so they are pulled over and charged for failure to provide identification,” states attorney Daniel A. Rodriguez, who will be providing First Church with legal assistance in the implementation of sanctuary.


“When a broken congress failed to pass immigration reform, when our President focuses on targeting families instead of fixing a broken immigration system, our faith cannot break. Our faith must be strong. Our faith must act. Sanctuary is a reminder that there is a bigger law we live by” states Brendan Mahoney.

Article posted 1-26-17





In love, God calls us
to mission among those in need:


For all who offer food or shelter or a listening heart;

For all who gently hold a troubled hand

or sit silently in simple accompaniment;

For all who offer therapy or surgery,

who bring intervention or enable rehabilitation

with a full measure of hope,

We give you thanks.


In love, God calls us
to care for the least among the children of God:


For all who honor and care for those who are aging,

who rock babies and children in need of comfort

in an unkind and terrifying world;

For all who offer care in community clinics and at health fairs,

who diligently work to end epidemics,

who value the disabled among us;

For all who see each person's worth

and actively oppose discrimination,

We give you thanks.



Composed by the Rev. William R. Johnson,
former Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (UCC)
Vice President for Member Relations, in 2008.


From the Editor's Desk
Ernie Dunn

In 1964, the celebrated novelist, James Baldwin, reflected on the shortcomings of his education and this is what he had to say: "When I was going to school, I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history because it seemed that that history had been taught without cognizance of my presence." He echoed the sentiment of many of his African American contemporaries and many who had preceded him. Among the latter was Carter G. Woodson who experienced a similar frustration about a half century earlier and concluded that "If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."


This concern inspired him to work cooperatively to lay the foundation for what would become the present celebration of African American History Month. In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The Association had two goals: (1) Provide the study of Negro history as a discipline, and (2) Celebrate the accomplishments of Negro Americans.


A decade later the Association launched the celebration of Negro History Week as a means of accomplishing these stated goals. That celebration was limited to Black communities and had little impact on the American educational system. As late as the mid 1960's, the most widely used history text for eight graders mentioned only two African Americans while covering the entire century following the Civil War. As a side bar, in my own education grades K-12, there was mention of only two African Americans. Thankfully, the ASALH was my link to my past and my hope for the future.


During the late 1960's and into the early 1970's, there was a widening recognition that such omission was a problem no longer to be ignored. Students in colleges and universities across the country launched celebrations that would lead to a wide observance of Black History Month. Shortly thereafter in 1976, President Ford, by executive order, made it a national observance in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Negro History Month and the American Bicentennial year.


From the beginning, there has been a theme around which the celebration is centered. The theme for 2017 is "The Crisis in Black Education." We are being prompted to consider what specific challenges African American students may face today in their education environment that may be hindering them from achieving their goals and what can be done to address this crisis. Education has always played a crucial role in the history of African Americans. A century ago Dr. Woodson wrote that "if you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race." Back then, as we do today, Woodson understood well the critical implications associated with the denial of access to knowledge and he constantly called attention to the crisis that clearly resulted from what were persistently imposed racial barriers to equal education. He was acutely aware of the fact that the crisis in black education began in the days of slavery when it was unlawful for blacks to learn to read and write. A short read of history will disclose that in pre-Civil War northern cities, free blacks were forced as children "to walk long distances past white schools on their way to the one school relegated solely to them." "Whether by laws, policies, or practices racially separated (and unequal) schools remained the norm in America from the late nineteenth century and well into our own time."


Throughout the last quarter of the previous century and continuing to the present day, the crisis in black education "has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a racial achievement gap, and confront policies that fail to deliver substantive opportunities." The result is the touted benefits of our education system remain elusive to many blacks of all ages. More tragically, some poorly performing schools serve as pipelines to prisons.


We must be aware and seek to address our nation's glaring educational inequity, the powerlessness of the poor and what has been described as "the four mile chasm that separates the rank of Excellence with Distinction from Academic Watch."


While we spend this month celebrating African American history, we should be aware that this history is rich in centuries-old efforts of resistance to this crisis, "the slaves' surreptitious endeavors to learn; the rise of black colleges and universities after the Civil War; unrelenting battles in the courts; the black history movement; the freedom schools of the 1960s; and local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire a love of learning and thirst for achievement."


My hat is off to the ASALH for reminding us how important it is for us to address the crisis in black education and that we should consider it to be one of the most important goals of America's past, present and future. Kudos to Black Enterprise for all the efforts that it is putting into examining the ways the crisis may be averted by programs instituted at the level of government, curriculum development at the national state and local levels and, of course, the crucial role that teachers, parents and community leaders might play.


The crisis in black education should concern us all. Education, a good education should be available to all. Dr. King, while still an undergraduate at Morehouse College, wrote a letter to the student newspaper in which he concluded that education enables all persons to "become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of life." Education prepares us to meet the challenges of life with quick, resolute and effective thinking. It is mainly via a sound education that we prevent our mental lives from being "invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda."


The well being of our nation, our communities will always be determined by the ability of all its citizens "to think intensively and to think critically." It is through sound education that we are able "to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction."


Dr. King penned the words quoted above in 1947. I believe that they speak just as cogently to us today as they undoubtedly did to his fellow students decades earlier. Amazingly, he ended his letter with a warning that if we are nor careful our education system will "produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts." What a prophetic ring that statement has for us today.


The Moderator Writes
Sandra Chapin

Who Can Turn the World On With a Smile?


“Love is all around” – part of the theme song lyrics for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” – is what is playing in my head these days, ever since the news of Mary Tyler Moore's death. Other items, far less cheerful, based on the news out of Washington and around the world vie for my attention. I find relief in turning back to remembering the 1970's comedy. Special programming aired highlighting Moore's talent and her real life struggles, along with the serious, cutting edge material woven into seven seasons of the show. It was a reflection of what American society was like in the 70's, but the laughter is what kept me and so many others tuning in each week.


At our Annual Meeting this past Sunday I was asked to talk about what I thought this coming year would be like for St. Paul's. Thinking quickly on my feet (or wheels, as it were) I managed to say things like... though we're in a transition period without a pastor, the life of our church will remain strong. We'll continue to learn and grow, and we'll get to know each other better. The Mission Team is planning good projects and we'll have other activities. I said I had a few things in mind... but my mind was not geared up to elaborate.


So I left it at that, much like an ongoing television series where we might see a teaser about the next episode. Now, more relaxed, I see parallels between our Church life and that tale of Mary Richards, the heroine portrayed by Moore.


Miss Richards, at age 30, seeks to reinvent herself by moving to Minneapolis, finding employment in television news. She has little experience in that kind of work, but is hired as the Associate Producer. She establishes an easy rapport with news writer Murray Slaughter and learns to appreciate her crusty boss Lou Grant. The befuddled and vain news anchor Ted Baxter is the object of much workplace humor, but it's not mean-spirited. All this sounds simple and perhaps a bit too sweet, but Mary Richards has vulnerabilities that endears her to the viewing public. She makes mistakes, gives lousy dinner parties, and, though she tries to resist, is drawn into the lives of the quirky people around her.


In many ways, St. Paul's UCC is reinventing itself, too. Thankfully, we're not moving to the midwest, even though Minneapolisis is the twin city of St. Paul's. Mission and vision are things that churches revisit on a regular basis, and what we say often on Sunday mornings – that we're a progressive Christian voice in Rio Rancho and the Westside – is something that we will explore this year. At the moment we may not know what it means for our Church, what it looks like in a tangible way. We may not think we have what it takes, but like Mary Richards, we're willing to give it a try.


Over the last five years we've gelled into a faithful and quirky group, a small congregation but one that does enjoy the time we spend together. New faces have become become “regulars” in our weekly productions. Like the newsroom staff at station WJM, we develop a bond with one another. When concerns are expressed, we listen. When joys are shared, we laugh. We are writing our own script.


Mary Richards grows in her confidence and becomes Producer, moving up from the title of Associate. She moves out of her studio apartment into a larger one. Her best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern, moves to New York. In the last episode of the series, her workplace family is forced to move on as everyone is fired, except for one notable exception. No, not, Mary.


Change. It happens. Mary is still spunky after all these years, and also mature enough to know that the future holds opportunities. In the final moment of the show we witness her sense of satisfaction for all that has taken place as well as her optimism for what is yet to come. The story of our Church continues. Our “show” is renewed for many episodes ahead.


As Mary Tyler Moore was being remembered, many were interviewed who said what a difference her role as Mary Richards had in their lives. Some of them were comedians or other onscreen people who felt she blazed a trail in the industry. Others were offscreen people who felt enriched by the show's twist and turns and the genuine goodness of the human spirit. The clever writing appealed to men and women, but for women the journey of a 30-something year old woman taking risks and succeeding in a carreer gave them permission to follow their dreams.


Beyond our Church family, what impact are we having? Don't answer quickly. Find a place for that question in your thoughts and nurture it. Keep it under your hat until you're ready to toss it heavenward. What does it mean for our Church to succeed? I can say this: We're going to make it after all.


St. Paul's UCC Leaders 2017
Pastoral Transition Team
Rev. Ernie Dunn, Lois Gray, Sandra Chapin

Music Director
William W. Williams


Church Council

Sandra Chapin

Anita Curtis

Financial Secretary
Yvonne Dudley

Assistant Treasurer
Assistant Financial Secretary
Carol Smith

Church Clerk
Yvonne Dudley
Sandra Chapin and Anita Curtis

Trish Herron and Karen Schafer


St. Paul's View Staff
Ernie Dunn
Sandra Chapin
Publications Manager




Wendelin Jacober


Taken on July 18, 2013

Public domain


Core Values

Michelle Grewe

Vintage Rose Heart Button

Uploaded on April 20, 2016

Public domain





Uploaded on September 24, 2015

Public domain


Myth in Human History

Benjamin Balazs

Home at last

Taken on April 29, 2015

Public domain


Love Those Friday Afternoons

Coconut Cove


I see through Windows

Uploaded on October 13, 2016

Public domain


Happening in the SWC

Alan Levine

Glyph Couple

Taken on October 27, 2016

Public domain



Jane Gross

Couple hands

Taken on June 24, 2015

Public domain


From the Editor's Desk

Seattle City Council

CDSA preschool photos

Taken on November 13, 2013

Public domain


The Moderator Writes



Taken on June 8, 2016

Public domain



Tanay Mondal

109-color-ful-PurpleSherbert_Sharing Love And Happiness Makes Life More Beautiful_ZORmSA

Uploaded on October 13, 2015

Public domain


View Staff

Michelle Grewe

Heart Box

Uploaded on April 20, 2016

Public domain



Lulia Melicenco


Great image idea

Uploaded on January 30, 2017

Public domain


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