In the Neighborhood Initiative Taskforce

In the Neighborhood Initiative Taskforce

The role of the Task Force is to

  • Use their knowledge, experience and expertise to provide guidance to the church in identifying actions, projects and specific initiatives that will advance the mission of the ITNI
  • Provide support and identify additional existing resources that can be used to advance the mission of the ITNI
  • When and where applicable, help the church and the neighborhood implement projects and specific initiatives that have been identified and supported by the church
  • Create a proposal for use of available funds for the Steering Committee to take to the Administrative Council for approval.

The role of the Task Force Steering Committee is to

  • Liaison between the church at large and the ITNI Task Force (TF), including bringing the TF proposal to the Administrative Council for approval.
  • Communicate, educate and keep the church informed about the ITNI, including specific initiatives, progress, needs and opportunities to actively engage with ITNI efforts
  • Guide and direct the larger TF regarding specific projects and initiatives to ensure that they align with and continually advance the mission of the ITNI
  • Coordinate with the task force to apply the knowledge, expertise and experience of the TF members to implement projects and initiatives that advance the mission of the ITNI

The role of the members of UUMC at large in relation to the ITNI is to

  • Help identify and then embrace the mission and goals of the ITNI
  • Be knowledgeable about the ITNI, and able to share with others what the ITNI strives to do, and why
  • Contribute to the vision, direction and support of the ITNI as and where they are able, and feel called by God to do so.

Meet the Taskforce

Shelly Stovall;
ITNI Taskforce Co-Chair

Shelly is the Associate Provost for Program Development and Accreditation at New Mexico State University. Her background, education and professional experience includes music, education, higher education administration, learning assessment, accreditation and program development. Shelly and her husband Rusty have spent their adult lives in Las Cruces and have been members of University United Methodist Church (UUMC) for over 25 years; they have two adult children. Shelly has served in various roles and on various committees over her 25-year tenure at UUMC. Currently she serves on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, and now is delighted to be a member of the In the Neighborhood Initiative (ITNI) Taskforce and Steering Committee. She hopes that her professional experience and her collective service at UUMC will contribute to the efforts of the ITNI, and more importantly that the ITNI have a lasting impact on the lives and experiences of those “in the church” as well as those “in the neighborhood,” such that we soon do not recognize a distinction between the two.

Tammy Sprague;
ITNI Taskforce Steering Committee

Tammy Sprague has been connected with UUMC since 1993, when she first enrolled her son Parker at Mother’s Day Out.  Through MDO relationships, she began a job on the church administrative staff in Dec. 1998 and served until Nov. 2007.  She and her husband Guy have 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren, two of which attend Bright Beginnings Learning Center.  Tammy and Guy own a fundraising dealership which has them working with schools, children’s programs and non-profits.  She brings experience with a church staff perspective, a business owner perspective and a lay perspective to committees on which she has served.  She has a fledgling knowledge of gardening and grant writing, an abundant love for children and a heart for service – which hopefully will be of help to the ITNI Taskforce. 

Héctor Luis Díaz, Ph.D.
ITNI Taskforce Member

Dr. Héctor Luis Díaz was appointed Director of the New Mexico State University, School of Social Work effective June 1, 2020. Additionally, he now serves as Acting Department Head for NMSU’ Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Díaz has been a social worker or social work educator for 41 years. He worked as a social work practitioner for 15 years mostly in the areas of mental and substance abuse. He is originally from Puerto Rico but has lived and worked in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, California, Texas, Massachusetts and New Mexico. He has traveled to the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Dominican Republic, and Guinee-Conakry and Kenya in Africa.
Dr. Díaz lives with his wife in Las Cruces and regularly attends a local Spanish-speaking church. He loves to travel and to immerse himself into different cultures. He has a special interest in promoting the social and economic conditions of communities in need of this type of progress. He strongly believes that the best religion is the one we communicate through acts of love

Kate Lewis;
ITNI Taskforce Member

Kate grew up right here in the Mesilla Valley and has attended University UMC with her family since she was an infant. She and her veteran husband, Jeremy, met while he was stationed at nearby Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. They have 2 children, one girl and one boy. Kate has worked at University UMC for about the past 10 years after graduating from the University of New Mexico with a bachelors in English with a concentration in pre-law. She spent her first 2 years working in our Bright Beginnings Learning Center as a preschool teacher/aide before moving down the hall to our front office as Office Manager and now Church Administrator.