Friday
September 18, 2020
STORYTELLING

Psalm 107:1-3 (NIV): "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south."

Today’s devotional is about stories. For five years, while serving as senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Big Spring, Texas, I provided a daily devotional story for broadcast on that town’s best-known radio station. I admit I didn’t always come up with completely new ones, but over that lengthy time span I broadcast several hundred different tales. And as those short stories were carried, daily, on the air for years on end, dozens of folks in that west Texas city would come up to me to ask, “Dave, how do you think up -- where do you get all those stories?”

I would usually respond, truthfully, thus: “Actually, it’s not a matter of finding stories to tell. It’s just seeing life itself through storyteller eyes. There are stories galore around us all.”

Long before, as a seminary student, I recall receiving back from my professor of preaching the first sermon I had submitted in writing for his class. That professor’s name was Dr. Gordon Thompson, and he was both a wonderful man and a gifted teacher. So I was more than a bit dismayed when I read, in bold red pen, what he’d written on my paper. My sermon, according to Dr. Thompson, was “Theologically correct, flawlessly presented, and deadly dull.”

As I talked it over with him later, Dr. Thompson told me that a well-argued sermon -- without illustrations, is like a well-constructed house – without windows. I hadn’t included a single story in my message and therefore, even though it was logically a fine sermon, it was lifeless. It’s the illustrations -- the stories -- that let in light and air, that allow a message to really communicate – to breathe life into its hearers.

Jesus was a master storyteller. We find dozens of his stories in the gospel writings of the Bible’s New Testament: They’re often called parables. Even if we aren’t regular church goers, most of us know the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Its clear point is one that we all understand – in God’s sight, everyone is our neighbor.

Jesus could have said exactly that. And people would have nodded their heads in agreement, then quickly lost the lesson. But by making his point via an unforgettable story, Jesus ensured that the principle he wished to teach would live forever. The same is true of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the story of the Lost Sheep, or the Widow’s Mite. Stories communicate more clearly than logical premises. And stories teach better, and are remembered longer, than even well-argued propositions.

I would invite you to look around yourself – and see the many stories of God unfold before your very eyes.

Prayer:
Lord, help me to see the world through your eyes. Allow me to apprehend the stories of precious people, near and far. And aid me in understanding how to tell them the best story of all – the story of Your Son's love for this world and all its cherished people. Amen.

-- Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Dave Ring's 2019 published devotional book, "Reflections 365"
A CALL FOR DAILY DEVOTIONALS
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Pastor Pam at prowley@stjohns-abq.org!

Please include the following items when writing a devotion:
A Focus Word or Phrase
A Scripture (it can simply be referenced)
The Body of the Devotion (one page is a good guideline)
A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
Click HERE to view the poll!
#PHOTOSFROMHOME
A CALL FOR SELFIES AND AT-HOME PICTURES
Hi there! I love showing you photos of what we are doing at the church, but what I think would be an even more amazing thing to share is a picture of you! Send me pictures and/or videos of you/your family/your pets/your garden/your cooking/etc with a short description. communicate@stjohns-abq.org
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 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.
SONSHINE COFFEE ZOOM
Missing getting together with your St John’s family after church? Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship. Church Leadership Team members starting with Jim Hickman will be hosting with the Pastors Pam and Kelly joining if they are available. Zoom registration is HERE.
MONDAY MORNING MUSIC
WITH MATT
Mondays | 9:00 am
Join St. John’s Music Director Matthew Greer for a new weekly session in which he talks about the music ministry, explores hymns and choral music, and chats with the occasional guest about music they love. Mondays at 9am, beginning today! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
WEDNESDAY PRAYER SERVICE
Wednesdays | 8:00 am & 7:00 pm
Please join us on Wednesday mornings & evenings for a worship service of praise and prayer. This service will take place in the Memorial Garden of St. John’s on the west side of the building. This services is designed to be thirty minutes and will be led by Certified Lay Ministers Larry Luna & Joe Marshall. Please bring your own lawn chairs and sit six feet from your neighbor. In an effort to keep all of us safe and healthy, masks are required. The last Wednesday prayer services will be on Wednesday, September 23rd. 
"MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S"
LIVE-STREAM CONCERTS
Wednesdays | 12:00 pm
Join us for a new series of concerts live-streamed from the St. John's sanctuary! Concerts are a benefit for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless. musicatstjohns.org

Aaron Howe, baritone
Jim Ahrend, pianist

Olga Perez Flora, mezzo-soprano
James Flora, tenor
Kristin Ditlow, pianist
Youth News
YOUTH 5-THINGS VIDEO CHALLENGE
On Labor Day we launched the 5-things Video challenge, where each student can win a $50.00 Visa Gift Card if they accomplish all 5 tasks. We have continued receiving submissions until Sunday Sept 20. Find the video and explanation of events at: bit.ly/labordayyouth

YOUTH GRACE PARK CAMPOUT
On September 25, the youth group is heading up to Grace Park @5:00PM for a Social Distancing campout. Parents will caravan up with us then either drop off & comeback or stay with us the weekend; pitch your own tents; Cost is $15 (Use discount code “Campingfree” if you need help with the cost); let’s get out of town & experience the great outdoors together, yet apart. https://conta.cc/2QxFRSx

JOIN YOUTH GROUP SLACK
To better streamline all the ways we communicate, the Youth Group has adopted the Slack app to merge and integrate the our direct messaging, digital calendar, Zoom account, and all our online documents. It is easy to join the threads that apply just to you. Join in here: bit.ly/joinumyfslack1
NEW YOUTH ZOOM FOR THE FALL
Summer is past, and as we get back to school? Our Solid Ground youth group will resume meeting every Sunday at 4:00-5:15PM with new games, discussions, and faith-building activities plus new features of the student led Soap Box and Top 5s. Log-in. at: bit.ly/Fall2020UMYF (case sensitive).

SONRISE YOUTH CHOIR ZOOMS
While we are not yet allowed to sing together, stay informed about the activities of the Sonrise Youth Choir, including weekly Zooms on Thursdays at 4:00 pm (Jackbox games!!), and musical workshops in the Fall! Email Shea at sonrisechoir@gmail.com!
Women's Studies Via ZOOM
We will be offering all our classes via ZOOM so you can attend from the convenience of your own home - perhaps even in your pjs if you want!

Registration Information
  • No charge to take the class but you will need to purchase your own book
  • Information provided when you sign up for a class on possible sources for books
  • Depending on the class you choose, cost of book is usually between $10 - $16 plus shipping
  • Deadlines given to allow time to order and receive your book before class begins
  • Sign up for the class(es) you want by emailing Donna at donnabruce@comcast.net
  • Maximum number of participants listed with each class so if interested in a particular class, please register as soon as possible
  • Waiting lists created for any classes that reach maximum number but still have ladies interested in participating
  • If there are enough on the waiting list for a particular class, a second session will be considered
God of Covenant, a Study of Genesis 12-50 by Jen Wilkin, led by Donna Bruce

October 6 - December 8 (10 weeks), Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Deadline for registration: September 24
Maximum number for class is 11

In Genesis 12-50, we see our God as the Covenant Maker. Starting in chapter 12, Jen Wilkin walks through the stories of the fathers of our faith - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Through these chapters in Genesis, we witness image bearers who sin and wrestle to maintain trust in the only One who will fulfill every promise, the One for whom nothing is too hard.
Broken and Blessed, How God Used One Imperfect Family to Change the World by Jessica LaGrone, led by Barbara Stanfield

October 20 - November 24 (6 weeks), Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am

Deadline for registration: October 8
Maximum number for class is 11

Broken and Blessed traces the story of the Genesis family from Adam and Eve through the generations to Joseph, bringing blessing from brokenness. We will see that despite both good and bad traits that were passed down, God worked for good in every generation - determined to transform those within and outside the family bloodlines. The study ends with the story of Joseph, who decided to stop the cycle of previous generations, offering forgiveness and grace to his brothers. Through these stories of Genesis, New Testament teaching about family and stories of contemporary families changed and used by God, this study shows us how God can use our own imperfect families to bring blessing in a hurting and broken world.
Get Your Life Back, Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad by John Eldredge, led by Karen Tidler
October 20 - November 24 (6 weeks), Tuesdays, 9:15 - 11:15 am

Deadline for registration: October 8
Maximum number for class is 11

We live in soul-scorching times. The 24-7 onslaught of contemporary life - with its never-ending feed of global tragedies, demands for our attention, and pressures of work, family, and friends - has left us feeling ragged, wrung-out, and emptied. But if we have no margin in our lives, how do we find room to change anything? John Eldredge distills a lifetime of wisdom into five practical and ready-to-implement practices for putting your life back together. These practices include: (1) the one-minute pause, (2) benevolent detachment, (3) practicing kindness, (4) getting outside, and (5) stepping back from technology. These practices, ready for the taking, will enable you to begin recovery, focus on what matters most, disengage from the tragedies of this broken world, and discover the restorative power of beauty. You don't need to abandon your life to get it back. You can restore it here and now. And you will never be the same.
DRIVE-IN COMMUNION SERVICE
Wednesday, October 7 | 7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, October 7 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We encourage you to bring your own elements (bread & juice). If you do not have your own elements, we will provide individually-packaged elements. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE).
JAZZ VESPERS
Saturday, October 10 | 5:00 pm
We're so happy to announce that Jazz Vespers will be resuming monthly, LIVEstreamed to your home on our YouTube Channel.

Dianna Hughes, vocalist
Robert Lah, pianist
Micky Patten, bassist

Jazz Vespers is a unique, meditative worship service that features some of New Mexico’s best professional jazz musicians. Jazz Vespers occurs on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 5:00 pm in the St. John’s United Methodist Church sanctuary.
TRUNK OR TREAT 2020
Saturday, October 31 | 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Calling all Cars. Many children will not be able to trick-or-treat door to door this year because of Covid-19. Let's create a fun, safe, socially distant, costume-filled, and candy-laden option for children in our community on Oct 31st 2:30-4:30PM. To keep everyone safe, masks are required, gloves are needed, and individually wrapped candies are a must. We are looking for 25 people/families to participate. Can you join us? Please register to volunteer: https://conta.cc/3bPziEM
A CALL TO HOME GARDENERS: The Food Ministry Wants Your Fresh Produce From Your Garden
St John’s Food Ministry continues to serve the people of Albuquerque--approximately 500 people per month!--with hot meals prepared in our kitchen,  Do you have a surplus of fresh produce from your garden that you would like to donate to St. John's to feed the hungry? If so, please contact Chef Tim at tnuzum@stjohns-abq.org.
Online Groups
ZOOM TUTORIAL
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!
PARENT'S CLUB
Tuesdays | 7:30 pm
"COFFEE BREAK" WITH PASTORS PAM & KELLY
Wednesdays | 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT KIDS' BIBLE CLUB
Wednesdays | 6:00 pm
Wednesday Night Bible Club is still on! Grade school friends join us on Zoom to get your weekly Bible lesson, watch the So & So Show, and pray with your friends. This summer we are taking a Focus on Faith! Don’t miss it! Email tmacali@stjohns-abq.org for more information!
NEW SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT CLASS 102
Thursdays | 1:30 pm
Meet by zoom with Pastor Pam for a 30 minute spiritual practice every Thursday afternoon. We will explore different ways to pray, to commune with God, to nurture our spiritual lives with Christ through the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Space is limited, join the class HERE.
ZOOM ALONG TO GENEALOGY CLASS
Remember to get started on your family-history manuscript with Terri Link and Regina Hunter, Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. If you have trouble connecting before 10:00, all Regina at 294-2877.
DANIEL OUTSIDE THE LIONS’ DEN 
Most of us have read only read bits and pieces of the book of Daniel: “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” and “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace.” This brief episode of St. John’s email Bible study will examine what else happened to Daniel and his friends in Babylon. Download a study guide, or call or write Regina Hunter for daily scripture readings and study tips, at 294-2877 or drhunter@nmia.com.
THE PRACTICE OF PRESENCE
Fridays | 9:30 - 10:00 am
Susan Brumbaugh, staff mental health counselor at St. John's, is offering a FREE weekly gathering on FRIDAYS at 9:30 am to practice mindfulness meditation. Each 30-minute session begins with a brief welcome, a description of the focus (e.g., breath, body, senses, emotions, thoughts), a 15-20 minute guided practice, and an opportunity to debrief and share experiences.
Anyone is welcome--no experience is necessary. (And, yes! It's okay for Christians to meditate.) If you want to learn more prior to starting, the sessions will be similar to ones she leads and records on YouTube. Each session will be hosted on Zoom. HERE is the zoom link. Please contact Susan Brumbaugh, counselor@stjohns-abq.org, or 505-506-6716, if you have questions.
Congregational Care Corner
VIRTUAL PRAYER QUILT
Larry Gurule (friend of Jean Jones) is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for September 14th through September 27th.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer): “Merciful Father, please hold Larry tight in your embrace as he faces medical challenges in his life. Show him your mercy, relieve his fears and anxieties and grant him a quiet mind and an expectant heart. Amen”

PRAYER SHAWLS
With the Church currently closed, the prayer shawls have taken up residence with Hunt and Ann. They are actually quite comfortable in the coolness of their new home but they would love to be of comfort to someone in need of God’s love. Please contact Ann at mapalook@comcast.net or 768-7013 if you would like a shawl. If you call, the basket will await your visit in their courtyard. Blessings -
PRAYER SUPPORT
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 or submit them on our website HERE.

GO-FER TEAM
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

ONLINE COUNSELING SERVICE AVAILABLE
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. Susan also has a Youtube Channel with mindfulness tips HERE.

VIRTUAL TAI CHI WITH KATHY
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
SEPTEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Sacramento Methodist Assembly
   As summer winds up this year, let's pause and remember the church camp experiences of our lives, wherever they may be.
You may remember youth camps, women's or men's conferences, marriage retreats, lay speaker schools and many more events Some people made their first commitment to Christ in a camp setting. Most remember growing closer to God.
   Sadly, this year most events at Sacramento and other camps were canceled by Covid resulting in not only lots of disappointment, but also serious financial hardship. We at St. John's have the opportunity this month to support our beautiful camp in the Sacramento mountains south of Cloudcroft and ensure future opportunities with other Christians to pray, worship, play and study in God's beautiful creation. Please give generously.
ST. JOHN'S FACILITY IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until further notice. 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!
CONTACT US
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.
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