As I write this, I have been in Las Cruces and at First Christian Church just less than six weeks. And these have been very packed and varied weeks as I try to get to know you and this city.
On my first Saturday, I was able to get to the Farmers’ Market since everyone was so enthusiastic and encouraged me to attend. There I bought some amazing mixed greens and had an opportunity to speak with the young family that have set up a table with the invitation to speak about their Muslim faith. And we did. The following Saturday I joined the “March for Our Lives” gathering on Lohman in response to the recent deaths at a high school where many held “Not One More” posters. I spoke with a variety of people from many different places that day and had an even better sense about this community.
On a sad note, within this family of faith we gathered for the first of fourth deaths over the past six weeks. We celebrated the life of Rayburn Jones on March 27. On April 19, we held Michelle Cates in embrace as we said goodbye to her mother, Dorothy. The life of Tommy Dobson, Deb Cook’s father, will be celebrated on May 5 in Alamogordo. The life of Nancy Hall will be celebrated on July 14 at 10:00 am. I am sure Ken would love a visit from you. He is at Heritage on Lettuce Lane.
I have been to a couple of board meetings and am getting to know your wonderful leadership. You are certainly blessed with many gifted people in this congregation. I ask that you keep those in leadership in prayer as next steps are discerned during this interim period. Please keep First Christian Church itself in prayer that God continues to shed a light and provides guidance for this church in this place in Las Cruces. We’ve been told that “pride goeth before the fall,” however risky that may be, I believe you can continue to be proud of the continued work and mission of First Christian Church. Your voice and presence and hope is needed in this hurting world.
On a personal note, thank you so much for your warm and supportive welcome and care. Please note you can reach me at 928-554-4024 in case of an emergency. If not an emergency, you can text me at that number or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. and I will get back to you. Mondays and Tuesdays are generally days off and I try to honor this Sabbath time.