In the Neighborhood Initiative FAQ’s

In the Neighborhood Initiative FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions…

Who is our “neighbor”?

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 shown below.

[NM Small Area 52; UNM Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program, 2018]

Based on this map 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.

Why are we limiting the focus of this initiative to the physical neighborhood around UUMC?

The Carruthers family offered a matching grant in order to fund In the Neighborhood Initiative. As part of that agreement, the family felt that actions directed locally would have a ripple effect that will ultimately reach far outside of the immediate UUMC physical neighborhood. Even now, the task force is considering programs and approaches that could potentially be duplicated and implemented in other neighborhoods and locations.

The passion of the Carruthers family is to encourage home grown initiatives. Governor Carruthers and his wife both came from humble beginnings, but through programs offered locally, they were able to attend college and embark on careers which have positively impacted many citizens in New Mexico and the United States. Thus, their wish to focus the efforts of the In the Neighborhood Initiative close to home are envisioned as bearing fruit that will enrich lives far beyond the physical boundaries identified by the task force.

Can I still donate to the endowment for the In the Neighborhood Initiative?

The short answer is yes! The endowment was established as an ongoing endeavor, so that the church can continue to add to the principal and thus help to increase the expected interest earned. Because we only use the interest earned to help fund the efforts we are envisioning, we can assure you that every little bit helps. Please know that if you do choose to donate further to this fund, you simply need to designate that donation on your offering envelope or on your online contribution.

How can I stay informed about the In The Neighborhood Initiative (ITNI)?

Read the excerpts posted in the church Bulletin every week, or listen to them during services – they will be read during both online and in-person services each week. You can also visit the ITNI website, or go to the church website any time, and scroll down to the In the Neighborhood Initiative section. There you will find buttons you can click to learn more about the initiative and to meet the task force members.

If you can think of any other methods to help us get the word out, please go to the feedback form ( and scroll down to the additional comments or questions section and let us know what’s on your mind. As always, you may also reach out to the committee co-chairs. Shelly Stovall can be reached at; Carol Owensby can be reached at