April 15, 2020

(Note: We wrote this not knowing that Rev. Kelly would end her meditation yesterday with these exact same words. So, obviously the Holy Spirit was leading us to develop this theme…)

Charles Wesley: “Soar we now where Christ has led,

Following our exalted Head,

Made like him, like him we rise,

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.”

Charles Wesley’s lyrics are not technically scripture, but they are the next best thing! Last Sunday we sang the verse above as our opening Easter hymn as we always do (we missed the brass quintet and Chancel Choir, but it was still glorious.) Singing through “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” or, indeed, any of Wesley’s hymns is a complete course in our Christian beliefs. As teachers of the orientation class, our favorite session is Methodism and the Wesley brothers. John was the organizer, but Charles took the inspired Methodist theology and put it to rhymes. Let’s look at how he condenses the essence of the gospel message.

The story starts with the Incarnation, which we celebrate at Christmas with one the greatest Christmas carols, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Check out this concise version: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity, Please with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” So now God is with us; but for what purpose? “Mild He lays His glory by, Born that we no more may die. Born to raise us from the earth, Born to give us second birth.” God came from heaven to earth so that we on earth could go to heaven! But Wesleyan theology is never just punching a ticket to Gloryland. The brothers taught equal amounts of personal piety and social action as requisite for the Christian life. Prayer and preaching, humility and healing: “O for a thousand tongues to sing/My great redeemer’s praise.” It’s a big job being a follower of Christ; it’s too much to do alone—and we don’t have to: “Jesus! The name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease; ‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘Tis life, and health, and peace.”

And, finally, the glorious resurrection that we celebrated Sunday, apart but together. Before resurrection, however, is suffering and death. The promise of redemption comes at a cost: “Made like him, like him we rise, Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.” Christ came to show us the way of the cross: dying to our egos, to our attachment to things, to our love of status. We put these transitory things in the grave so that our Christ self can emerge. “King of Glory, soul of bliss, Everlasting life is this: Thee to know, thy power to prove, Thus to sing and thus to love.” Through Charles Wesley the power of God’s love really does sing!

Spiritual Practice:
Take one of the Wesley hymns we’ve mentioned (Herald angels; Christ the Lord is risen; Thousand tongues) and actually MEMORIZE it. Make it part of your daily prayers, reciting it before bed, learned by heart, in the heart, and from the heart

-- Jack & Carol Nuzum
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on the homepage of the website. We hope you’ll worship with us! (Pastors Pam and Kelly will lead, along with Shea Perry, Jim Ahrend, and Matt Greer). We hope that you’ll participate by singing and praying at home! Any questions? Email Matt at mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.
Online Classes
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

Wednesdays at 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE. Wednesdays at 1:30 pm.

Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, and the Zoom link will be provided to the first 15 people to sign up! Sign-up is HERE. Thursdays at 1:30 pm.
As part of our outreach during this unsettling time, the Music Ministry has launched “Music From St. John’s,” a series of video performances by local musicians. This is an effort to continue to provide beautiful music to our congregation and community, and also to provide work to local musicians who have been severely affected by cancelations. New videos will appear daily for the foreseeable future, and they are being created by Shea Perry. We hope you’ll enjoy and share the videos, and also consider making a donation to the New Mexico Musicians Relief Fund. The easiest way to view the videos is to go to the St. John’s Music Ministries Facebook page. Check back daily!
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed through April 30. We will keep you apprised as things develop.

Your St. John's pastors and staff are still very much on the job, and are available to you during this time. Please reach out to us if we can help you in any way!
Casa Esperanza has suspended volunteer dinners. Instead, they have asked for monetary donations. St. John's has a Casa Esperanza fund, please note "Casa Esperanza" on your check or on your online  donation. For each $150.00 donation, Casa Esperanza will purchase dinner for the residents. Casa Esperanza is working with St. John's and local businesses, to provide meals. Questions?? Please contact  Jenn Shields at jennshields200@yahoo.com or 505-450-9978. 

Family Promise has decided to keep the families at Church of the Good Shepherd until May. Since we are not hosting in April, Family Promise is asking for money to help off set the costs. Checks sent to St. John's can be noted "Family Promise" or you can donate online directly to Family Promise here. If you are willing to donate games, gift cards, lawn chairs, mini refrigerator, microwave, the use of an RV or rental home for housing families, please contact Jenn Shields. If you have other questions, please contact either Linn Furnish at swimsew@comcast.net - 505-884-6626 OR Jenn Shields at jennshields200@yahoo.com - 505-450-9978.

Each year the funds we raise during the Lenten/Easter season go to many local ministries. A sample of those includes the following: Family Promise, Grace Meal, Asbury Pie Cafe, Wesley House, McCurdy Ministries, NM Ramp Project, Mobile Food Pantry, lunch bags for the homeless, Breaking Bread Meals, Silver Horizons and many more. In these difficult times these ministries need our help more than ever. Please give generously.
Please come to pray in the labyrinth any time of day. Park in the east parking lot near the front doors of the sanctuary/narthex doors. Our prayer labyrinth is directly to the south of the front doors. It is advisable to have one person on the labyrinth at a time. Enter the prayer labyrinth with a personal prayer and then quietly and contemplatively experience what God has to share with you during this time.
Office Administrator, Debbie Brown, will be answering the phone at St. John’s every weekday from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Please call the office if you have any concerns or pastoral care needs. Debbie will get messages to Pastor Pam and Pastor Kelly. The office number is 505-883-9717.

The St. John's staff includes a licensed mental health counselor who is available to meet virtually (using a smartphone or computer) in a secure online platform during these anxious times. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, counseling is available. Click here or contact Susan Brumbaugh at 505-506-6717 or counselor@stjohns-abq.org for more details about session and cost information.
Congregational Care Corner

How we support you and your family in prayer during this difficult time? Prayers for health, employment, peace? Please send your prayer requests to the Prayer Team: mapalook@comcast.net

It is hard to get out and many people shouldn’t. Is there something you need delivered from the store? If we are able to help, we have a few volunteers who would like to serve as Go-fers for people who need something but cannot get it on their own. Please pass any requests on to Jarrod at c.care@stjohns-abq.org
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at communicate@stjohns-abq.org