From Jemez Valley Messenger (newsletter of the Jemez Springs Presbyterian Church), January 01, 2004

It Was a Year Not To Be Forgotten

“Vacation Bible School a Beehive of Activity”…”Bible Studies Are Drawing Crowds”…”Church To Kick Off Annual Super Bowl Celebration.”

Those were some of the headlines in the Messenger covering the year that was.

For members and friends of Jemez Springs Community Presbyterian Church the year 2003 was an eclectic one – spiritually, socially, musically, and by just about any other measure.

We auctioned and prayed and sang and picnicked and spiffed up the physical church more robustly than ever before.

Under our three-quarter time, but seemingly at times full time pastor, we went from a Bible Study utilizing the Beverly Hillbillies to an experimental Taizé I enter

cooks may want to remember, sent more kids to camp than ever before, packed a record number of Christmas boxed and took part in a number of innovative worship services.

Following are a few highlights – necessarily brief and not without omission – of the year 2003 at Jemez Presbyterian:

January/February: Rosemary Cart, Barb and Dennis Smith became members of Jemez Springs Community Presbyterian Church. The first annual Super Bowl party took place.

March/April: Taizé, a form of meditative worship, was offered once a week during Lent. A Navajo Taco dinner benefited the summer camp fund. New windows and screens and a new furnace were installed downstairs.

Wanda Higgins led a Grief Workshop at Hummingbird Music Camp. Long-time member and friend Mary Kelley died in Texas, and Luigi Leggiero, owner and chef for Consetta’s died March 15.

May/June: Emmett and Jeannette Shelton sent packages to our soldiers in Iraq. Kari Dole, Shannon Kilburg and Jesika Beasley were confirmed on Palm Sunday. The cemetery got a spring cleaning on Memorial Day weekend. Youth from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque led our Vacation Bible School. Nearly three dozen children took part. The Young at Heart Choir gave a concert during a June Sunday morning worship.

July/August: The church’s annual outdoor picnic was enjoyed at Hummingbird in July, and the music was led by Bob and Lydia Hoppman. Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic church received the icon of the Black Madonna given to our church by then Vice Consul of Beijing from Germany, Brunhilde Kommander, during the annual Corpus Christi celebration and procession. The youth led a rousing worship service on August 24th during which they taught the congregation some of the songs they learned at camp. This event is organized by Mother John Paul from Handmaids of the Precious Blood, Cor Jesu Monastery.

The Smiths invited everyone to a potluck luncheon at their home, in part to say farewell and thank you to choir director Javier Mendoza, and also to nursery caregiver Lauren Caffrey. Our young people attended various summer camps. An enormous rainbow, created by Pat Bjerke, was carried by church members in the traditional July 4th parade.

September/October: A successful auction raised $1,700 for the Deacons’ fund. A new and expanded kids’ library was donated by Barb Smith’s sister, Liz Quakenbush. October was the first anniversary of Pastor David Whiteley’s ministry here. Anthony Strain installed new toilets in the downstairs bathrooms. Ed and Julia Blewer became associate member.

November: The hugely successful Christmas Cookie Caper was launched by Laurie Lauer and Barb Smith. A new stove top and double oven were purchased and installed in the kitchen by Dale Bjerke, Anthony Strain and Jack Taylor. A piano was donated to the church by Sherry and Horris Crane. Mary Joyce Pate moved to assisted living in Albuquerque. The Santa Fe Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry came for their tri-annual visit. Shoe boxes were presented to the Samaritan’s Purse project, organized each year by Rosemary Cart. Church member volunteered to help out at the public school book fair. A web page was installed as part of the Jemez Springs Village web site, designed by Jadie Curran, assisted by Juan Reyes in the Village office. Ten of our women attended the Women of Virtue annual conference in Albuquerque. An ecumenical Thanksgiving service was held this year at our church, with the Rev. Fr. Gregory McCormick preaching.

December: $780 was raised by the Christmas Cookie Caper. The two adult Bible studies (on Sundays and Thursdays) were reportedly growing in leaps and bounds. Christmas and Thanksgiving boxes had been distributed by Chuck Francis, together with Nahum Hillhouse in November, and with Len Hilgartner in December. They were packed by the Prayer Warriors. The Jemez Helping Hands Angel Tree project was contributed to be many members of Jemez Springs Community Presbyterian church. Clay creations were placed on the Communion Table by the congregation on Stewardship Sunday, representing who or what they felt called to be or do in ministry in addition to giving of their money. There were 109 in attendance at the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve.