United Church of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM



The United Church of Santa Fe was started in 1980 as the only UCC congregation in Northern New Mexico.  It began with a group of 30 members meeting at El Gancho Restaurant; today, United has over 500 members.  Originally envisioned as a congregation serving Euro-American newcomers, United Church has been committed to honoring the multicultural, multiracial heritage of Santa Fe.  Honoring its Reformed Protestant roots, United offers educational opportunities for all ages, from “Young Adventurers (5th and 6th graders) to “Swinging Seniors.”  United is committed to interfaith dialogue, having hosted interfaith conversations with African, Iraqi, and Afghani Muslims sponsored by the U. S. State Department.  Ecumenical relationships have also been established, such as shared worship and pulpit exchanges with a local Hispanic Catholic congregation.  As the city of Santa Fe has grown over the last three decades, so has the community outreach ministries of United.  United members are active with Habitat for Humanity, the Prison Family Center, St. Elizabeth’s Homeless Shelter, and parterships with two local elementary schools.



This project explores the ways our experience of worship in a desert landscape can deepen and expand our relationship with God and, in the process, enable us to live in a more caring and just relationship with this part of God’s creation. Without a liturgical life that connects people to the desert around them, there can be no experience of this landscape as a sacred part of God’s creation. We seek through worship to help our congregation and others connect to the desert so they can experience it as a place that is both sacred and home.


Team members:

Rev. Talitha Arnold – Is Senior Minister at United Church of Santa Fe.  She graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1980.  In 2007, she was awarded the UCC’s Antoinette Brown Award for Outstanding Clergywoman.  Talitha is author of Worship for Vital Congregations, published by Pilgrim Press in 2007.

Rev. Brandon Johnson – Graduated from Yale Divinity School in 2008, where he was awarded the Henry Hallam Tweedy Prize for promise in pastoral leadership.  Brandon is the Associate Minister for Youth and Discipleship at United.

Dr. Jacquelyn Helin – In addition to being the Director of Music Ministries at United, Jacquelyn is an accomplished concert pianist.  An expert on the music of Aaron Copland and Virgin Thomson, Jacqueline was featured artist in the nationally televised PBS special honoring Thomson on his 90th birthday, and has made the world premiere recordings of many of Thomson’s works.

1804 Arroyo Chamiso
Santa Fe, NM 87505