It's easy to forget that Kay Huggins is a pastor. I tend to think of her as just "a regular person," who plays the flute in our monthly Taize service in Albuquerque and helps promote Bread for the World's Offering of Letters at her church. The first time I met her somtime was back in the 1990s when she was part of the musical ensemble backing up a cast from Rio Ranch Presbyterian Church, which was performing the play Lazarus, Bread for the World's musical production on hunger and poverty.
Kay, who is now interim pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church, is also an accomplished author. This year, the local chapter of Church Women United honored her with the Valiant Woman award. Below is an excert from the CWU newsletter:
Her life consistently represents true dedication to her faith and the willingness to take on difficult projects; whether it was being the pastor of a steelmaking town church or starting a new church from an envelope with 4 names on it. After reading her biographical information, it appears everything Rev. Huggins has been or is associated with blossoms and growsElse Tasseron
I don't know Else too well, but I do know that she has taken an active role in Bread for the World, first at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and more recently at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
In fact, Else took charge aIt the Offering of Letters at St. Paul this past year. The effort produced several dozen letters to Reps. Heather Wilson and Sens. Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman. (She is pictured at left at the 2009 Offering of Letters workshop, along with George Huggins of New Life Presbyterian Church).
The article, Call US Crazy But New Mexicans are Actually Concientious, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the Albuquerque Journal on Sept. 28 highlighted the work of several volunteers. (Since the Albuquerque Journal Web site is restricted to subscribers, you won't be able to see the full article when you click the above link).
But here are some excerpts:
A study just out from the University of Cambridge has concluded that Americans' personalities differ according to the states in which they live.And this is where the newspaper recognizes Else, in the context of her work with Project Share
The British university's "personality map" shows which states score highest in each of five broad personality categories: extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness and conscientiousness.
North Dakotans rank highest in the country in agreeableness and extraversion. No surprise there to anyone who's ever seen "Fargo" or taken a Jell-O mold to a Lutheran potluck in Bismarck.
New Yorkers won high marks in the neurotic category.
And the people in all of the land who are the most conscientious? Those who show the most tendencies toward disciplined, compliant, dutiful and responsible behavior?
You guessed it, fellow New Mexicans. It was us.
It's so easy to focus on our faults. Much better on a clear, cool, fall-is-finally-here Saturday morning to stroll over to Hope's Half Acre, the little garden that sits on the property of Project Share in southeast Albuquerque and see how the eggplants are coming along.
"They're beautiful!" says Donna Epler, who takes care of the garden two mornings a week.
Epler, along with Else Tasseron, shows up dutifully, responsibly, dependably at the garden to weed, water and battle the occasional squash bug and to watch the daily miracles that happen when sun, seed and soil are joined.
Tasseron, 71, had no connection to Project Share when she saw a flier asking for help in the garden, which grows vegetables that are used in dinners for the homeless and food boxes for the hungry.
"That spoke to me," Tasseron said. "I thought, 'Old as I am, watering I can do.'
Turns out she's a meticulous weeder, too. Quietly conscientious about pulling up every last invader.