Friday
July 3, 2020
MAGNIFICENT METAPHORS: TREES

Happy are those…that delight in the law of the Lord…They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. (Psalm 1: 1-3)

When the shutdown started in March, Carol and I started a daily walk around the various neighborhoods in our part of town. Initially, we had on winter coats and the tree limbs were bare. Then the buds and the blossoms appeared, then the bright spring green, and now the deep green of summer. What a treat to watch the arrival of new life on the decades-old trees of Albuquerque.

What is it about a mighty oak or even a scraggly juniper that causes us to stop and gaze? What is it about a tree that makes it one of most enduring symbols for humankind? Let’s take a quick look at the trees in scripture to see how they have inspired and healed us.

Of course, the two trees in the Garden of Eden stand out. One was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, whose fruit woke us to the gift and burden of free will and self-consciousness. From that first bite, we were thrown into history and realized our frailties and future deaths. But the other tree was the Tree of Life, which we can attain not by going back to Eden, but by going through the challenges of life and death to find it again in the Holy City at the end of time as described in Revelation. In between, trees are the oasis in the desert, a source of balm and healing, of foods such as fruit and olive, and are not to be worshiped nor destroyed in war. Trees clap their hands and sing for joy in the Lord. They represent the faithful growing strong by the river, but if they don’t bear fruit, they are cursed. Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a chopped-down tree, which Daniel interprets as his kingdom destroyed, but then sprouting new life. This passage foreshadows the gospel message of death on the tree (the cross) resulting in resurrection and new life. Jesus was a carpenter who worked with wood as raw material just as he worked with the rough-hewn souls of the disciples.

The power of trees is that at some level we recognize that they are like we are. Unlike most of the living world, a tree spans a human lifetime (or more.) The roots go down in the soil of the material world, but the branches grow towards the heavens, the spiritual realm. Dirt is transformed into leaves, which, in turn, transform air and sunlight and water into life. A tree can bend and break in a storm, but usually stands strong in the face of difficulty. The tree provides a safe harbor to the bird and bears the fruit of labor that it shares with the world. Its bark is often tough because the world is tough, but inside the fragile spirit of life flows. Bigger trees protect the growing saplings. Even a dead tree lives on in the products of its wood. The symbolic power of the tree is astonishing.

Reflection:
How is the tree of your life doing?

-- Jack Nuzum
CHURCH OFFICE CLOSURE
The office will be closed on Friday, July 3 due to the July 4 holiday.
PHOTOS FROM WEDNESDAY'S MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER SERVICES! JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR THE 8:00 AM OR 7:00 PM SERVICE IN THE MEMORIAL GARDEN. For more information, scroll below.
#photosfromhome
A painting I did - Titled 'Hope' relating to my feelings about Covid 19!
-- Sharon Jensen
#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, and I will share them here and compile them for a project! communicate@stjohns-abq.org
-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
A LETTER FROM THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Dear beloved of St. John’s,

For several months, the St. John’s Leadership Team has been discerning when we might be able to start opening the facility for in-person worship services. And while we would love to throw the doors open and welcome everyone back just as before, the reality of the pandemic requires that we be cautious and take things step-by-step.
In that spirit, we are happy to announce that it is our intention to begin worshiping together in person, on a limited basis, beginning Sunday, August 2.

On that day, we will welcome the St. John’s community to a new worship service, which we are calling “Celebration.” This service will have a blend of traditional and contemporary elements, and will be held in the Family Life Center each Sunday at 9am.

Because space will be limited, prior reservations will be required, and we will have a team of volunteers who will check worshipers in, and seat them according to social distance protocols. (Families may sit together, of course!) Masks will be required for all worship attendees.

Also beginning August 2, the Abide service will be livestreamed at 10am, rather than 9:30. The traditional service will continue to be livestreamed from the sanctuary each Sunday at 11am.

In short, we will have three worship services each Sunday morning: one will be in person at 9am, and two will be online, at 10 and 11am.

We are all eager to be back worshiping together again, and we are thrilled about this first step toward reuniting the St. John’s community. This will be a new way of gathering, and we ask for your patience and grace as we work to make certain that the St. John’s family can begin to worship again together, while remaining as safe as possible.

We do want to let you know that this is, of course, a temporary schedule for all of our worship services as this is only phase 1 of our long-term plan for the church. We will be giving you more specific details regarding the execution of this alternative way of worshipping in the coming weeks. There will be no Sunday School or childcare during these gatherings, only worship for now. As we are able and time progresses, the leadership team will be modifying and adapting what we can do with the building usage.

We know you also are aware that the COVID-19 protocols are somewhat fluid and could alter our plans as we get closer to August 2nd. So, watch the announcements every Sunday morning during your worship hour and read your daily Disciple Connections for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and trust in our discerning and prayerful work. It is truly an honor to serve you and this church family we call St. John’s. May God bless all of you!

In Christian unity and love,
St. John’s Leadership Team

Rev. Dr. Pamela Rowley, Rev. Kelly Giese, Janice McCrary, Matt Greer, Mark Dodd, Karen Tidler, Jim Hickman, Jack Thompson, Larry Luna, Rachelle Luna, Doris Bowen, and Linn Reece.
A CALL FOR DAILY DEVOTIONALS
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Reverend Dr. Pam Rowley at prowley@stjohns-abq.org!
DRIVE-IN WORSHIP SERVICE
Saturday, July 4
7:00 pm
Come and worship in your car on Saturday, June 20 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE). please consider bringing either toilet paper, dry beans, pasta, rice, or dry cat food. These items will be given to Silver Horizons for their senior clients.

July 4   Rev. Dr. Scott Sharp
July 11  Rev. Dr. Todd Seelau
July 18  TBD
July 25  Rev. Dr. Randall Partin
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.

SPIRITUAL GIFTS INVENTORY
Over the next five weeks we are exploring our spiritual gifts in our sermon series, Discovering our Spiritual Gifts. Please take a few minutes to discover your gifts by taking the Spiritual Gift Inventory from Discipleship Ministries of the UMC  HERE. At the end of the inventory, you will have the opportunity to print out the results. Keep that list and pray over your spiritual gifts as you discover how to use those gifts for the kingdom of God.
WEDNESDAY PRAYER SERVICES
Wednesdays
8:00 am & 7:00 pm
Please join us on Wednesday mornings and evenings for a worship service of praise and prayer. Both services will take place in the Memorial Garden of St. John’s on the west side of the building. These services are designed to be thirty minutes and will be led by Certified Lay Ministers, Larry Luna and 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. THESE WEDNESDAY MORNING AND EVENING SERVICES will continue for the summer (at least that is the plan now).
"MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S"
LIVE-STREAM CONCERTS
Wednesdays at 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

Gil Flores

Ingela Onstad, Michael Hix, & Amy Greer
DRIVE-IN COMMUNION SERVICE
Wednesday, August 5
7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, July 1 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).
Online Classes
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!

SUMMER YOUTH GROUP ZOOM
IT IS SUMMER, and we have a new series for students exploring new games, discussions, and faith-building activities every Sunday from 4:00-5:15PM! Go to: bit.ly/Summer2020UMYF (case sensitive) password if needed is 233374. NEW SUMMER URL

ZOOM YOUTH GROUP
Sundays from 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Students, come join us for games, discussion, community, and faith-building every Sunday from 4:00-5:15 pm! Go to: bit.ly/UMYFSolidGround (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

PARENTS CLUB
Mondays from 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Is distance learning with your child harder than you thought? Are the challenges of parenting in close quarters overwhelming at times? Or do you just miss talking with other parents? I know that I certainly do, so join us for Parents Club on Zoom Monday evenings from 7:30-8:30 pm! Email tmacali@stjohns-abq.org.

"COFFEE BREAK" WITH PASTORS PAM & KELLY
Wednesdays at 1:30 pm
Log in and have coffee (or tea) and chat with Pastors Pam and Kelly! Zoom link HERE.
"SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT" CLASS WITH PASTOR PAM
Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, join the class HERE.
THE PRACTICE OF PRESENCE
Fridays from 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.
ST. JOHN'S EMAIL BIBLE STUDY: Theology in Popular Music - Mostly the Good
Last year’s study, “The Songs of Summer” seemed to be a hit, so we’re going to do it again. This summer we’ll listen to some popular music that sings about prayer and healing, some international music, some bluegrass and country, some great young singers who are the future of the Church, and some show tunes.  Download the study guide, or sign up for daily study tips by email by writing or calling Regina Hunter at drhunter@nmia.com or 294-2877.
Congregational Care Corner
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

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
JULY SPECIAL OFFERING: ZUNI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
For many years St. John's has had a special relationship with our neighbor, Zuni Elementary School. For example, over the years, we have provided school supplies, backpacks, after school programs, and a Back to School Luncheon for the staff.

This year, as you can imagine, Zuni's needs are a bit different. Hand Sanitizers and wipes, kleenex and pump soap top the list! You can donate in kind on Saturday nights. (See separate article for details) Or, of course, you may send monetary donations to the church any time.

Finally, please keep the students and staff of Zuni ( and all the schools in town) in your prayers. Starting up again will be different and stressful for everyone.
ST. JOHN'S FACILITY IS CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST 2
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until August 2! 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: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at communicate@stjohns-abq.org