Lay Leaders and Workshop Presenters

In addition to professional coaches, the planning team has a line up of lay leaders and workshop presenters bringing a variety of worship experiences, and Try Something New workshops. Click on this link for details about professional coaches. Below in scheduled order are the Tracking the Word, Embodying the Spirit lay leaders and workshop presenters. All events are free and open to the public.

Duffy Peterson, lay leader, 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 18, (Painting to Scripture), writes in her artist’s profile on the el Zocalo gallery website: The young girl in love with horses began to paint them, and then landscapes, then still lifes, then abstracts, then cats, dogs, buildings, anything… and finally, plein air! As an art major in college, she was led into other artistic endeavors, but never left painting behind. Moving to New Mexico, Duffy became a founding member of el Zocalo Art Gallery.” Duffy will paint to scripture while she shares what in the Word guides her brush strokes.

Caroline Rackley, Saturday, June 24, 1 p.m. (Listen to the Stories), in the Gathering Place, east wing of the church. Caroline writes that this was initially conceived as a drama workshop, but at its actual birth this workshop turns out to concern itself with story. Theatre, after all, is just dressed up storytelling. So, the workshop is dedicated to sharing personal experiences that make up the scenarios of our lives. In the one session we will have time to tell just a few, but a seed will be planted perhaps to make us better listeners to the stories of others and better advocates for our own inner sagas, anecdotes, tales, accounts, reports, falsehoods, truths, narratives, expositions, statements, and observations. Caroline suggests you wear super comfortable clothes and be prepared to relax. Come tell. Come listen.

With a degree in theater arts from San Francisco State University, Caroline is an acting coach who has enjoyed educating kids in theatre arts for over 40 years, writing and producing juvenile dramatic literature. “To children life IS theatre with endless creative possibilities. Perhaps their deepest and lasting learning takes place as they work and imagine together to put on a play. Theater can act as the hub of a great wheel of learning through study of the cultural and environmental background of the play’s story.” Wolf! Wolf!  is the first in Caroline’s series of ‘dramareader’ play books based on traditional stories from the world’s early cultures. Her second book Plays for Kids from Old Stories is on its way to publication in 2023.

Kayt Peck, Saturday, June 24, 3 p.m., (The Power of Words), in Perea Hall, west wing. As premier poet laureate for the City of Las Vegas, N. M., Kayt feels a heavy responsibility to create and perform the poetry that expresses the heart and soul of the city she loves. With more than 40 years of experience as a professional writer, she not only learned but totally lives the Power of Words. It is through words that visionaries can express the concepts that transform the lives of individuals, communities, organizations, even nations. Although this workshop will include performance of some of the poetry she has created as poet laureate, it will focus more on aiding attendees in understanding concepts tied to transformative writing as well as providing opportunities for attendees to implement some of the skills and methods to enhance their own use of words in their lives and their work with others.

Starting her long writing career as a journalist, Kayt Peck has enjoyed a lengthy relationship with the magic of the written word. Her writing successes include her seven novels published with Sapphire Books, and an eighth out of print novel, as well as one biography and hundreds of articles, short stories, and poems. Kate also had two winning plays in the Rocky Mountain Voices competition. Her latest play, “Sheltered Women,” took top honors at the New Mexico AACTFest and received a special award for Excellence in Play Writing at the five-state Region VI AACTFest. Within the last year, her screenplay, “Choke Cherry Jelly,” has won major awards in four different international film festivals.

Rev. Randy Campbell & Rev. Pat Halverson, Sunday, June 25, 10:30 a.m. (Blessing of Creation)

Sunday, July 2, 10:30 a.m., To Be Announced

Niki Sebastian, lay leader, July 16, 10:30 a.m., (Quaker Worship). Niki writes about her journey: I began attending Quaker Meeting in Paris, in French, in 1960. Absorbed more of Quaker values attending Swarthmore, but only officially became a Quaker after I moved to New Mexico in 1972. Together with several other members of Santa Fe Monthly Meeting, I was active in prison reform efforts, and the Alternatives to Violence program, after a stint teaching psychology in the New Mexico Penitentiary. When I moved to Sapello in 1990, I intermittently attended the local Worship Group, only taking on the role of Convenor when the small local group was at risk of being laid down, sometime after the death of long time Convenor Curtis Sollahub. We have never been large in number, but we have persisted, rather in the way that Quaker service projects around the world are often small but impactful. We welcome interested, or just curious, participants to our monthly sitting.

John Arnold, Saturday, July 22, 1 p.m. (Moving Body, Mind, & Spirit). John is a former ordained minister in the Church of Christ, later becoming an Evangelical lay person. He is now a practicing Taoist and professional Movement Arts teacher. He has taught Tai Chi/Qigong and Fall Prevention Programs for Seniors in the Las Vegas area since 2010. He has devoted much time and study on comparative religion and has devoted many hours exploring the Jesus Sutras of China and the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity. It is his desire to share with American Christians the relevance of this form of Christianity for today’s world. In addition to the Saturday workshop, John will lead worship on Sunday, July 23.

Jordan Jones, Saturday, July 22, 1 p.m., (Finding Your Voice)

Jordan Jones is a vocalist and pianist who specializes in group singing and choral composition.  He has worked with churches all across the country to strengthen their choirs and congregational singing. Currently he is working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Music Performance, with plans to continue on to graduate school to further his skills in choral conducting.  

Workshop title, Finding Your Voice: Through Embodiment and Collective Expressions of Joy
Description – Has singing felt like a mystical super power that some people just have and others do not? Does singing feel like a labor of love rather than an expression of it? Would you like to feel more confident when singing in front of others? Jordan will help guide us through the mists as we journey back to the source. Finding our way back to the first sounds we made as we entered this life. Learning how to take this sound and shape and nurture it. Then use it to connect and create a joyful noise with those around us, offering it as worship to our Creator. 

Carol Litherland, Saturday, July 22, 3 p.m., (American Sign Language). Carol is a long-time American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter and Instructor at New Mexico Highlands University. She has extensive experience teaching and mentoring ASL-English interpreters. She is a polyglot able to speak English, German, Spanish and sign ASL. She has dabbled in other languages (spoken and signed) including Thai, Suomi, Russian, Italian, DGS (German Sign Language), LESCO (Costa Rican Sign Language), LSM (Mexican Sign Language), LENSEGUA (Guatemalan Sign Language), and IS (International Sign). Her gravitation towards languages comes from her early experience as a foreign exchange student to Germany where she picked up her first second language. She hopes you will enjoy joining her in making your own tracks into the DEAFWORLD. 

Of the workshop, Carol writes: “In our time together, we will make tracks into the DEAFWORLD and learn to “speak” some American Sign Language. Come curious, share your musings about Deaf people/signing, and please ask questions. We will take a mini-DEAFWORLD tour complete with a bit of history after which I will provide you with other resources to continue your exploration into the world’s Deaf people and their signed languages. Let the spirit guide your footsteps and have fun making footprints in this amazing world of our creator.”

Frank Beurskens, Saturday, July 22, 1-5 p.m., (Woodworking)Frank has worked with wood for most of his life creating both functional and artistic works. Over the past 20 years, his focus has been on turning bowls on a lathe using wood and unconventional materials; from local century old cedar fence posts and an old apple tree stump, to turning a wooden helicopter blade and a bowling ball. There is an old saying that everything looks like a nail to someone with a hammer, and everything looks like a bowl to someone with a lathe. The workshop will demonstrate taking a log or piece of wood and turning it into a functional work, assuming that is what the wood wants to be. This workshop will take place at Frank’s workshop. Details provided upon registration. The workshop is free, but space is limited. Call 505 425-7763 for reservations.

Carol Linder, lay leader, Sunday, Aug. 6, 10:30 a.m., (The Golgi Complex – the Ultimate Tracker). Carol is an Espanola, N.M. native. She graduated from the UNM in Albuquerque and received her master’s and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband Peter traveled to the northwest where she did postdoctoral training in biochemistry at Washington State University in Pullman, WA and Peter taught in the history department. After a final postdoc year at Oregon State University, Carol worked at The Jackson Laboratory, a mouse genetics research institute in Bar Harbor, ME. She joined the biology department at NM Highlands University in 2004, teaching a variety of classes from nonmajors’ biology to graduate classes in cell and molecular biology. In 2016, Carol moved into an administrative position at Highlands while continuing to teach. She earned an MBA in Finance in 2021. Carol currently serves as the Academic Director of Allied Health and Public Service at Luna Community College. She has been active in the church since August 1997. An ordained elder, she has chaired many committees. She and Peter have two children, both married, and one grandchild.

Worship with Live Music, Sunday, Aug. 20, 10:30 a.m.

Anne Bradford, Saturday, Aug. 26, 1 p.m., (Zentangle).Anne Bradford moved to Las Vegas in 1992 having purchased a bed and breakfast on Sixth Street. During the renovation and decorating of this house she discovered a small talent for color combination and interior design. This was helpful when she began designing and making greeting cards many years later. During the pandemic Anne sought something that would enhance her work and hopefully complement it, more importantly an art form that would be relaxing during that stressful time. Having been a “doodler” most of her life, she was intrigued when she discovered a Zentangle instructor on YouTube and began watching her demonstrate this intriguing drawing method. There are eight basic steps, which include taking a few moments to appreciate and be grateful for the opportunity to create. Many followers of Zentangle are using this to improve their mental health and pain management. Supplies will be provided.

Kevin Johnson, Saturday, Aug. 26, 1 p.m. (Crafts) Kevin, an experienced, active, and creative crafter will lead a workshop on making Ojo de Dios. All supplies will be provided.

Elizabeth Ratzlaff and Pam Abreu, Saturday, Aug. 26, 3 p.m., (Mandalas, painting on glass)

Judi Ruprecht, Sunday, Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. (Movement and Dance in Worship)

Brett Gilland, Sunday, Sept. 3, 10:30

Rev. Katie Palmer, Sunday, Sept. 10, 10:30 a.m., (Home Anew)