In the Neighborhood Initiative

In the Neighborhood Initiative

INTI Weekly Update…

This week, the In The Neighborhood Initiative would like to clarify what we consider to be the neighborhood we are serving.
When we began the ITNI, we started by identifying an area that we thought best fit the immediate vicinity of the church, while also making sure we incorporated our existing connections with the families of University Hills Elementary School and students/faculty of New Mexico State University. That is when we were presented with some statistical information based on the geographical area labeled “NM Small Area 52”.
From this data we learned that nearly 50% of the households in our immediate neighborhood are living at or below the poverty line, nearly 17% of those old enough to work are currently unemployed, and only 25% of those 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Based on this, we began to structure what the “neighborhood” of University UMC looks like. We realize that a majority of the current congregation who attends and are members of University UMC do not live within these boundaries. That is why we also recognize the reality that when we speak of neighbors we do so in a manner that is inclusive of all God’s children. Therefore, as we focus our attention on the needs and desires of the people and families located immediately around us, no one will ever be excluded from the table who wants to be a part of God’s kingdom.

As always, if you have any questions regarding how we are proceeding with the ITNI, please email either Shelly Stovall at sstovall@nmsu.edu or Carol Owensby at panddmom@gmail.com.

Our  mission statement reads as follows:

To become ‘one neighborhood’ by embracing the beauty, diversity and unique strengths and challenges within our collective neighborhood through the talents, knowledge, and experience of all neighbors. Together, in partnership with one another, we empower and equip our community with opportunities for education, economic stability and spiritual wellbeing.

In the Neighborhood Initiative

The Why…

  • Nearly 50% of the households in our immediate neighborhood are living at or below the poverty line
  • Nearly 17% of those old enough to work are currently unemployed
  • Only 25% of those 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher

What is the need?

  • To provide safe spaces for neighborhood children and youth where they can grow and develop important life skills that will allow them to be healthy contributing members of the community.
  • To provide services and opportunities to the families of our neighborhood that will help them in the here and now, but also facilitate self-sufficiency for the future.
  • A place that helps our neighbors during times of family crisis and hardship, and in times of joy and celebration.

The How…

  • By partnering with other neighborhood entities and organizations, such as University Hills Elementary School and New Mexico State University, to understand the needs of our neighborhood and how we can work together to fulfill them.
  • By expanding current programs while also developing new ones for neighborhood children and youth, such as recreational sports teams or scouting groups, that will foster a sense of community and provide opportunities for University UMC to mentor the next generation.
  • By continuing our current family support service ministries, such as the food pantry and NM Ramp Project, while also developing new ones.
  • By developing a set of programs that will give families in our neighborhood the tools and resources they need to get a hand up rather than asking for a hand out.

Money raised to date: $226,857

We are so excited to share the news that thanks to your continued steadfast generosity we have already met and exceeded our “In the Neighborhood” campaign goal of $200,000

Because of your support this new permanent “In the Neighborhood”  Endowment fund will help support current and future mission & ministry in the areas of early childhood development, at-risk children & youth development, and vulnerable adult education and support services.

As with all our endowment funds, you can continue to contribute and through God’s unmatched grace we can touch that many more lives in and around our neighborhood. So we encourage you to continue to give and continue to be blessed to see what a difference we can make together!

We invite you to join us and make an investment

“In the Neighborhood” today!

*All contributions to the “In the Neighborhood” Initiative can be made to University UMC either by check, cash, or online at

uumc-lc.org/give

To make arrangements for a special contribution (i.e IRA dispersal, wire transfer, gift of stock, etc.) please contact Kate Lewis in the church office; office@uumc-lc.org