February 5, 2021
Please join us in prayer for the friends and family of Dwayne Ethridge, who passed away this week.

May the light of Christ shine forever upon Dwayne and all who loved him.

News Flash! Word on the street is that two simultaneous love-in-action events were spotted at 2626 Arizona Street on Saturday, December 19th, namely the collection of Christmas food boxes for the John Marshall Community Center, and the drive-through distribution of food boxes from Mobile Food Pantry. These events followed closely on the heels of the wildly successful Angel Tree Project in previous weeks. And, this reporter has been sniffing out further evidence that the St. John’s Food Ministry has actually been operating at full speed this entire year! As we snooped around a bit more, we wondered, how could we have missed the wonderful aromas of food being prepared, transported and donated for outreach programs? The evidence was right in front of our noses. And now, with our investigation winding down for 2020, we have to conclude that St. John’s was an absolute magnet for agape love throughout the Year 2020. What will 2021 bring? Stay tuned for further developments . . . the momentum is building!

Ah, yes, agape love was at the forefront of our thoughts and actions at St. John’s, in 2020. And, good leadership and organization were at the heart of the planning in the midst of pandemic-related challenges. Our creative leaders came forward and provided opportunities for the rest of us, as participants or helpers, to be spurred on, in Christian love. It’s been good, infectious activity . . . the kind that invigorates us and makes us want to do more! Through our connections with each other in the church, agape love --- the love coming from God --- is exhilarating.

Take a look at the definition of agape love: it’s the treasure that lies within all people who love God. It’s the quality of love that’s generated within us by the Holy Spirit, so it’s real, not phony. It’s a decision that we make, not a feeling. “Agape” means doing good things for other people, particularly complete strangers, and especially those who are marginalized and unloved. The primary focus of agape love is “to build up and not tear down”; it bears all things and always protects. Mother Teresa comes to mind for me when I think of agape love. Do you see the perfect attributes of our Lord and Savior --- protection, trust, hope and perseverance --- reflected in the work of Mother Teresa? She is quoted as saying, “Spread your love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

Of course, we’re all familiar with Galatians 5 --- the fruit of the spirit, as outlined by the Apostle Paul. I especially like how Rev. Ray Stedman describes agape love as being interwoven within, and in fact, the key element of the other eight fruits of the spirit. He says it like this: “Love is not only the first fruit of the spirit; it is the one fruit that contains all the rest. All of the other qualities are really different forms of the first one, love. Joy is love enjoying itself. Peace is love at rest. Patience is love that’s willing to wait. Kindness is love’s reaction to other people. Goodness is love making righteous decisions. Faithfulness is love keeping its word. Gentleness is love empathizing with others. Self-control is love resisting temptation.” (I think this quote would make a “love-ly” bookmark, don’t you?)

We must never lose our motivation of love, but the Apostle Paul’s warns that “each one should test his own actions”. Rev. Stedman further says, “we cannot express God’s agape love until we empty out the self”. In other words, as we go about practicing agape love, we must test our motives and keep ourselves in check as we do so. Are we being true and genuine in our care and concern for others? When you have a few minutes, may I suggest that you read 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, noticing that the Apostle Paul names only three positives regarding love in that scripture, and the remaining eight “listed” attitudes are negatives that will hinder us from being channels of God’s agape love. We must focus on the positives, but be ever mindful that selfish interests can easily creep back into our thoughts, and possibly twist our motivation. Through prayer, awareness, and our willingness to change, we can be faithful channels of agape love.

When we engage in agape love, our motto becomes: Love is not ‘if’ or ‘because’, love is ‘anyway’ and ‘even though’ and ‘in spite of’. (Author unknown.)

Our Father, help us look into our hearts and examine our level of agape love. Show us ways to grow the love that You have planted in our hearts as we show care and concern for others. Keep us faithful to you, and we pray that your love will shine through us in all that we do. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

-- Mary Beth Spletzer
Sundays | 9:30 & 11:00 am
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service on Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on our Youtube Channel. We hope you’ll worship with us! (Pastor Pam 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

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom link is HERE
This Valentines Day, St. John's would like to share a little love to some of our seniors who are shut in, off-line, or greatly limited in their ability to connect with the life of our church. We are looking for 10 volunteers who can deliver some special valentine cookies the Food Ministry is preparing to remind them how much they are loved. The plan would be to pick up the goods and deliver them after worship on Sunday, Feb 14th. COVID safe practices of masks, gloves, and social distance will be kept throughout. If you can help share the love, please email Jarrod: by February 10th.
FEBRUARY SPECIAL OFFERING: Covenant with Missionaries.
  February is the month we have the opportunity to support United Methodist Missionaries. As past recipients have retired, we have two missionaries to introduce.
    First, Desiree Segura-April. She lives in Honduras with her husband (also a UMC missionary) and son Nikolas. She is a Resource Person for Children at Risk Ministries in Latin America and the Caribbean. She partners with churches and other organizations to provide safe places for children to experience holistic and creative Christian education.
   Our second missionary is Dr. Belinda Forbes. She and her husband (also a doctor) and their two daughters live in Managua, Nicaragua. She works with Accion Medica Christiana (AMC), a Nicaraguan Christian Medical group, which specializes in health and development in impoverished rural communities. As a dentist, Dr. Forbes works with a community based primary dental health program where she also mentors volunteers and interfaces with AMC's international partner organizations.
   So this month, we have the opportunity to help people who don't have access to medical and dental services, and to help children who need a safe and loving place in the midst of often chaotic lives to learn about God's love. Please give generously.
Mondays | 9:00 am
Join St. John’s Music Director Matt Greer on Mondays at 9am, for a discussion of things coming up in the music ministry, and talks with special guests. This Monday, February 8, Matt will talk with Robert Lah, jazz pianist and music director of the St. John’s Jazz Vespers. Link is HERE.
We’re now ready to take the next step with the St. John’s Community Garden – building two hoop houses (similar to greenhouses but not so elaborate) in the lower section of the garden in which we can start seedlings and produce plants for the garden plus share plants with others. Trustees have given us the nod to proceed. Del Jimenez, NMSU Horticulture Department, will be overseeing the construction of the hoop houses.

We have funding for one hoop house but need to raise $1500 for the 2nd one. The New Mexico Ramp Project has generously volunteered to provide the materials and labor for building the growing boxes that will be placed in the hoop houses.

Do you think this is a worthwhile cause? If so, we appreciate any help you can give us to make it happen. Please put “hoop house” in the memo of your check or online giving.
Betty Jones is the recipient of the prayer quilt on display for February 5 - February 18.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Betty “Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that Betty needs is in your hands. Amen."
Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, & 25 | 11:00 am
The added drive-through food distribution is for February only and will be on Thursdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, at 11:00 am at Highland High School. Find more information on the RRFB Webpage.
Lent at St. John's
He Chose the Nails, What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado
  • February 23 - March 23 (5 weeks), Tuesdays, 2 - 4 p.m., via Zoom
  • Maximum number for class is 11
  • Facilitator: Karen Tidler
  • Register by emailing; registration deadline: February 7

When Jesus took his last breath, did he secure salvation for humanity or perpetrate history's biggest hoax? Travel to Golgotha with Lucado and decide for yourself. With his characteristic insight, Lucado examines the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Christ's crucifixion and explains why the cross is central to our own search for significance.
Mondays February 8 - March 15 | 10:00 am or 7:00 pm
Luke is a gospel rich in detail and focused on the meaning of salvation. Unique to Luke are the extensive birth narratives and parables such as The Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son. As a Gentile, Luke brings an outsider perspective and show sympathies to other "outsiders" like women and the marginalized of his society.
Join other men on Zoom at either 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM on six Mondays starting February 8. Contact teacher Jack Nuzum at or 265-5241 to sign up.
Tuesdays February 16 - March 30 | 7:00 pm
Weekly Lenten Zoom Study, based on the book Wind in the Wilderness: A Lenten study from the Prophets (D. J. del Rosario; available from Cokesbury). Tuesdays at 7 PM, led by our Certified Lay Ministers, beginning Feb. 16th. The chapters: Building a skyscraper, Sticks and stones, Worst baby names ever, Nine words that changed everything, Present in the waiting, A taste of the good life, and If a tree falls in the woods... . The first chapter raises interesting questions about when we find ourselves in a deep hole as the Israelites did during the Exile and how the experience changes us, drawing on texts from Isaiah 9 and 53. It goes from there. There are daily Scripture readings as well. To register please contact Michael Furnish ( ). We are exploring continuing this after Easter with Adam Hamilton’s The Walk, led by Joe Marshall, CLM.
Saturday, February 20 & Saturday, February 27
Save the date: We’re planning a Mountain Cathedrals hike on Saturday, Feb. 20th, then considering a moonlight walk and meditation the evening of Saturday, Feb. 27th. Details later!
Stephen Ministers are members of St. John’s who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality, confidential Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or life challenge such as divorce, grief, job loss, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness.

How does someone get a Stephen Minister?
If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, please call the office 505-883-9717 or email
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at