January 15, 2021

Jeremiah 17:7-8 -- “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

A portion of my growing years was spent back east in Baltimore, Maryland. The old Ring family home there had a huge backyard, and in the very middle of that backyard were two long arbors, about 75 feet in length each, of grapevines. Those grape arbors were often a nuisance to me as a growing boy, for had they not been there, that backyard was large enough to make a great softball field. As it was, I and my friends in the neighborhood tried to use it as a softball field anyway, and were constantly having to deal with losing the ball among the grapevines.

There was one time each year when I forgot all about the nuisance that those grapevines created. That was when the grapes ripened. For two or three weeks each summer, those grapes were pure pleasure from heaven itself. When the vines produced their fruit, which is what, after all, grapevines are supposed to do, I wouldn’t have traded having them for the finest softball field in the world. They were wonderfully tasty and sweet, some of the best eating I’ve ever experienced.

Several of the stories – stories which we call parables – that Jesus told had to do with grapevines. The point Jesus made in his grapevine stories is identical to what I learned from boyhood experience. Grapevines have a purpose. Their purpose is to bear grapes. If they only take up space, they’re a nuisance. But when they bear fruit, they’re a blessing.

The same is true of those who would call themselves followers of Jesus Christ -- Christians. When Christians only hang around, doing nothing, they’re not serving their purpose. A lot of so-called Christians are, to put it bluntly, no more than a nuisance. But just as grapevines are supposed to bear grapes, Christians are intended to bear fruit. As like begets like, the fruit that Christians are to bear is -- more Christians. Our purpose is to spread the Gospel of Jesus, so that others may come to know and believe in Him. The greatest task any Christian may undertake in this life is the joyous labor of introducing another precious human being to faith in Jesus Christ.

Prayer –
"Lord, help us to bear fruit, fruit that lasts. Help us to bless others with the good news of God's love, shone most clearly through His Son, Jesus Christ."

-- Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Dave Ring's 2019 devotional book, "Reflections 365
This devotional has been contributed by Dr. Dave Ring, a retired United Methodist pastor affiliated with St. John's. They are taken from his year-long daily devotional guide published in 2019. If you would be interested in obtaining a personal copy of this book, you may search for and buy it on or contact Dr. Ring directly by e-mailing
Saturday, January 16 | 7:30 am

Piedra Lisa Trail, Sandia Mountains

Logistics: Meet at 7:30 AM at St. John’s UMC east parking lot or 8:00 AM at the Piedra Lisa Trailhead just outside of Albuquerque (please contact organizer in either case). Plan to be back to the cars by 2:00 PM. ~5 miles, elevation gain 1,300 feet, so moderate - strenuous. Bring masks, lunch, water, sun protection. Restrooms may not available at St. John’s at this time.

Psalm 90 (the only psalm attributed to Moses) sets us in our place as mortals in God’s sight, a sobering thought as we ponder amazing views of the towering cliffs of the Sandias above us. We also look over the city of Albuquerque, and may be grateful that this psalm ends by expressing a hope that the favor of the Lord is upon us. God’s work and humans’ work in one sweep.

Please join us for this hike of meditation, sweat, and peace. Organizer: Mike Furnish, 440-7292;
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
The corona virus (COVID-19) lingers with us and thus impedes our opportunity to gather in fellowship for our Fish Fry Dinners. We're already looking forward to 2022 when we can bring back those delicious dinners!

In the meantime, might we suggest that the money you would have spent on the dinners this year be donated to our fantastic Food Ministry that has continued to serve over 500 meals a month to the hungry in Albuquerque? We want to keep this ministry going but it needs our support to do so!

Thank you for your support of all things relating to Fish Fry Dinners! We're just taking a break - we're not going away!
Wednesday, January 20 | 12:00 pm
Wednesday noon livestream concerts will resume this week, with a special Inauguration Day concert from composer, pianist, and singer Mark Miller. Mark is Professor of Church Music at Drew Seminary, and is also on the faculty at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His music is a great favorite of United Methodist congregations all over the country. He’ll perform a concert for St. John’s Wednesday at noon MST, live from his home in New Jersey. Look for the link in Tuesday’s eDisciple!
Women's Bible Study, Jonah, navigating a life interrupted by Priscilla Shirer

  • February 1 - March 22 (8 weeks), Mondays, 9:30 - 11:30 am, via Zoom
  • Maximum number for class is 11
  • Facilitator: Donna Bruce
  • Register by emailing; registration deadline: January 17

What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! In this Bible study, Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God's invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city.
Women's Bible Study, The Names of God, His character revealed by Melissa Spoelstra

  • February 2 - March 16 (7 weeks), Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am via Zoom
  • Maximum number for class is 11
  • Facilitator: Barbara Stanfield
  • Register by emailing; registration deadline: January 17

It can be hard to make sense of God with all the injustice and suffering in the world. Sometimes He seems elusive, and His instructions in Scripture are often confusing. With so many questions about God, how can we really know Him better? By learning more about His names! In this study, you will explore many of the names of God found in the Bible: Elohim, El Elyon, Yahweh, Abba, Jesus, Messiah, Holy Spirit, and so many more. This study will not just give you facts about God; it will help you know Him personally as you learn about His character. The more you discover His heart toward you, the more you can trust Him with the issues you face every day. By the time you've turned the last page, you'll be drawn into deeper love and greater worship of the God who sees you - and knows you by name.
Monday, January 18 is M. L. King, Jr. holiday. Therefore the office will be closed in observance of the holiday.
January 30 | 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Most Requested Non-Food Items needed:
  • Walmart or gas station gift cards
  • Knit caps, gloves
  • Lap blankets, warm shawls
  • Socks with gripper pads on soles
  • Magnifiers, flashlights
  • Basic hygiene/toiletry items
  • Most Requested Food Items needed:
  • Dry pasta (any type), Rice (any type)
  • Dry beans (any type)
  • Hot and cold cereals
  • Toilet tissue, facial tissue
  • Nutritional drinks (like Ensure)
  • Baking items (cake mixes with frosting, cookies mixes, flour, sugar, etc.)
  • Dry cat food
  • ANY Non-perishable food items
  • Monetary donations welcomed: bring to drive-in, drop-off event; mail to the church; online giving

Please write "SILVER HORIZONS" in the memo field of your check
Contact: Kathy Dieruf ( with questions
Donna Aubrey and family are the recipients of the prayer quilt on display for January 11 - January 24.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Donna and the Aubrey family: “Heavenly Father, we pray for peace and comfort during this time of mourning. Amen."
  The pandemic has led to some significant long term changes for Family Promise. The families have been housed in one church since last March and other churches, including St. John's, have been providing meals and supplies on the usual rotating basis but without personal contact until Covid is behind us.
      That has worked well and the decision was made to obtain a permanent location which will double the number of families that can be served from 4 to 8. The good news is that a building has been found, but as you can imagine the costs are significant. Churches will continue to provide meals. Contact Jen Shields at 450-9878 if you are interested in helping.
  But the biggest way we can help now is to help pay the mortgage for the new location. Family promise has helped so many families find permanent housing, get jobs, learn parenting skills and more over the past 17 years. Let's help it continue to do this for the next 17 years. Please give generously throughout the month.
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