Friday
March 5, 2021
CHARISMATIC CHARACTERS: THE ADVISOR

“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light.” (Proverbs 6: 20-23)

King Arthur would probably still be trying to fit his knights around a square table without Merlin. Harry Potter would still be languishing with the Muggles without Dumbledore. Luke Skywalker would still be trying to turn on his light saber without Obiwon and Yoda. We need wise counselors to advise us in life and biblical characters are no exception.

The Patriarchs of Genesis and Exodus had a direct divine connection to help them through. God appeared to Abraham many times to establish the covenant of blessing to the Hebrew people and then reconfirmed that covenant with Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. Moses in particular would go to God for counseling sessions as he tried to control an unruly group of ungrateful followers through the wilderness. God provided a detailed set of both ceremonial and ethical laws and the means for carrying them out. In the Kingdom period of Israel, advisors like Samuel, Nathan, and Isaiah counseled kings, often with tough love (we’re crossing over to the Prophet role here, but boundaries are fluid: we all play multiple roles in life.)

The Old Testament figure I want to focus on, though, is Solomon. Much of what we call the “Wisdom Literature” of the Bible is directly or indirectly attributed to him: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and some Psalms. Even if he himself didn’t write every word, it is the inspiration of the Wise Man that comes through these books, which function as an advice column to us even today. Proverbs is full of admonitions about the proper use of money, the control of the tongue and sex drive, the treatment of the poor, and the importance of a peer group. Ecclesiastes warns us not to hold on the things of this world too closely since they all pass away. Though not of Solomonic origins, the wisdom book of Job deals with undeserved suffering. As God reminds Job when God finally appears, “I’m God and you’re not.” The common strands of Old Testament wisdom are timeless: Humans are mortal and fragile and our happiness lies in worshipping God and treating our fellow humans decently. Good advisors remind us of these truths constantly.

New Testament Advisors include Barnabas, who takes the newly converted Paul under his wing, introduces him to the Jerusalem elders, and accompanies him on his early missionary journeys. Paul himself becomes the great Advisor to the Church through his letters to the early congregations that we still read with profit today. From great theological treatises such as Romans to the specifics of getting along as a community, Paul is full of good advice.

The New Testament Adviser that might not come to mind is Elizabeth, Mary’s older relative and mother of John the Baptist. We have to infer a bit here, but Luke tells us that after the Annunciation, Mary “went with haste” to visit Elizabeth. Here was a young girl with an unexpected (and socially unacceptable) pregnancy. How valuable would the counsel of an older relative be? And, sure enough, Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, confirms the angel’s

message that Mary was to be the bearer of the Messiah. That kind of affirmation must have been just what Mary needed.

How lost would Dante have been without his guide, Virgil? The colonists without Ben Franklin?! And how hard would life be for us without our parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and the wisdom of the Bible? Advisors give us the encouragement, perspective, direction, and correction we need on our paths.

Prayer: Dear God, our greatest Advisor: Help us to be grateful for all the people who have poured their wisdom into our lives. Help us to provide counsel when asked or needed with words inspired by the great Advisors of scripture.

-- Jack Nuzum
IMPORTANT SURVEY -- Please Participate
As the St. John's Leadership Team is discerning timeline and protocols for reopening, we really need your feedback! Please complete THIS BRIEF SURVEY by Friday, March 5.

And if you missed today's virtual town hall meeting, you can view it below:
CHURCH WOMEN UNITED
Friday, March 5 | 9:30 am
Church Women United, an ecumenical Christian women’s gathering, will be holding a World Day of Prayer service on Friday, March 5th via Zoom. The service is written by the women of Vanuatu (a tropical archipelago in the South Pacific) with the theme, “Build on a Strong Foundation” where land is not viewed as a thing to be owned, but as vital to the existence of humans and animals in sustaining their livelihood. You are invited to join us at 9:30 a.m. for checking in with one another over coffee, tea, cocoa. The program will begin at 10:00. A Zoom link will be sent out a day or two before. If you would like to be included, please contact Marilyn Stoops at mstoops@swcp.com or call 265-8358.
LENTEN OFFERING: Special offering for March
  Lent is the time of preparation, a time of sacrifice, a time of renewed focus on God, a time of giving.
Traditionally at St. John's, the Lenten Offering goes to support many and varied local ministries. In the past we have supported such ministries as, the Ramp Project, Mobile Food Pantry, Hopeworks, Asbury Pie Cafe, Wesley House, McCurdy Ministries, Barrett House, Silver Horizons , lunch bags for the homeless and many more.
   During the pandemic this past year, St. John's has been very generous in supporting ministries that help our community, the need being greater than ever this year. So as we think of Jesus great sacrifice for us, may we sacrifice in our own small way and continue to give generously to those in need.
UMW SPIRITUAL RETREAT
Saturday, March 6 | 9:00 am
Plan to join us on Saturday, March 6th, at 9 a.m. via Zoom, as Dee Dee Heffner leads us in our Conference-wide UMW Spiritual Retreat entitled, "Into the Light". Among other activities, Dee Dee will help us explore Biblical themes of light that shine a light on Deaconesses and Home Missioners who "share the light" of Jesus through their wide variety of ministries. The retreat will consist of breakout sessions, and attendees will receive an email, asking them to have several items available during the Zoom event. There is no fee to attend, but a registration form must be submitted no later than March 3rd, in order to receive the Zoom invitation. To receive a registration form by mail or email, please contact Mary Beth Spletzer at 508-4829 or mbspletzer@gmail.com. We hope you'll join us for "Into the Light"!
MONDAY MORNING MUSIC WITH MATT
Mondays | 9:00 am
There will be no Monday Morning Music with Matt on March 8. It will be back March 15!
VIRTUAL PRAYER QUILT
Paul and Lois Volchansky (friends of Joyce and David Apple) are the recipients for the prayer quilt on display for March 5 - March 18.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer): “Lord, we place Paul and Lois before you and ask for your blessings of peace and strength in their lives. Amen”
WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY
Mondays from March 29 - May 17 | 9:30 - 11:30 am
Jesus & Women, in the first century and now by Kristi McLelland; facilitated by Donna Bruce

March 29 - May 17 (8 weeks), Mondays, 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Maximum number for class is 15
Registration deadline: March 14

Join biblical culturalist Kristi McLelland as she takes you back to Jesus' first-century world, explaining the historical and cultural climate of His day to help you know Him more dearly. "Jesus and Women, in the first century and now" is a thoughtful look at several of Jesus' interactions with women in the Bible that will fuel your worship of the Living God. This study will help you: explore how Jesus generously restores dignity and honor to women in the first century and now, learn how to study the Bible through a Middle Eastern lens, and gain deeper insight into the biblical world with a fresh perspective on familiar Bible stories.
SPECIAL EASTER VIDEOS
Our second Easter apart is approaching. Let's make something truly special for each other this year! Please send a video of yourself and friends and family members with the message "Happy Easter, St. John's!", and a short message if you'd like for your fellow congregants, to Shea at communicate@stjohns-abq.org! Deadline for video submissions will be Friday, March 26! :)
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 mgreer@stjohns-abq.org.

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
WEEKLY LENTEN ZOOM STUDY
Mondays, February 22 - March 29 | 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 (mdfurnish@comcast.net ). We are exploring continuing this after Easter with Adam Hamilton’s The Walk, led by Joe Marshall, CLM.
FAMILY SPIRIT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS: Explore The Sermon on the Mount!
Sundays | 9:30 - 10:45 am
The Family Spirit Sunday School Class welcomes EVERYONE! We currently meet on Sundays from 9:30 am to 10:45 am using video conferencing on Zoom.us. We are a small group of friendly adults who like to study, watch educational videos about books, and then discuss questions, pray and socialize.

We are currently studying this book and video series: Sermon on the Mount: a Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 to 7, contains some of Jesus most profound and most memorable teachings. What might these teachings have mean to his disciples, and to the others who first heard them? How do they enhance our reading of the rest of the Gospel of Matthew, and how do they speak across the centuries to listeners today? How, if we pay careful attention to his words, does Jesus provide us a road map to living as God would have us live?

In Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner's Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven, author Dr. Amy-Jill Levine introduces the major topics in the Sermon on the Mount, explains historical and theological contexts, and shows how the words of Jesus echo his Jewish tradition and speak forward to reach hearts and minds today.

This book provides a rich and challenging learning experience for the individual reader and also makes a wonderful, multiple week group study with the additional Leader Guide, a DVD of Dr. Amy-Jill Levine speaking (a series of 6 lessons, to be watched and discussed over a series of weeks). Plus, the option of daily readings for 40-days if you want to go in depth.

Discover new insights – watch this quick (94 second) introduction video, to hear from Dr. Amy-Jill Levine the author of the book.

Do you like videos? Want to learn more? Watch Session 1 in the 6-part series about the book.

And to view the rest of the video series, please join us in class to watch on Sundays. This class is taught by Rev. Doug Sweet. For more information on this free class, including the zoom video conferencing link, please contact Brian A. Eagan by email: eagan.brian@gmail.com
ORIENTATION CLASS: LEARNING ABOUT ST. JOHN'S
“What is special about being a Methodist?” “What is going on at St. John’s?” “Where do I fit in?”

These are key questions that newcomers ask about our church and we are having a Zoom orientation class to discuss the answers. Visitors and new members are the primary focus for the class, but those who have been around awhile are invited to reorient and re-energize themselves by entering the discussion. It's a great place to get to know others at St. John's as well.

  The class will take place four Thursday evenings at 7 PM. The first class will start Thursday, March 4, 2021, and we’ll end on Thursday, March 25. We will meet on Zoom to get acquainted and discuss the topics (our Christian faith, Methodism, St. John’s, where's my place.)

  To register for the class and for any questions, contact Jack and Carol Nuzum at 265-5241 or jcnuzum@juno.com.
STEPHEN MINISTRY
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 stephenministry@stjohns-abq.org
Contact Us
www.stjohns-abq.org
(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 communicate@stjohns-abq.org