Friday
May 15, 2020
GREETINGS FROM THE HEART!

Philippians 2:2-4 “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

I worked for a municipality in the Dallas-Fort Worth area prior to retirement and moving to Albuquerque. At this job, we were required to participate in company-wide “empathy at work” training sessions, in which we were given the tools to intentionally practice empathy with our co-workers in day-to-day tasks and team-building. It was based on the premise that greater empathy leads to a more “helping behavior”. The intention was a good and positive thing --- we all “sort of” realized that --- but as you can probably imagine, it gradually became more of an exchange of silly, fake-sympathy jokes . . . and a whole lot of laughter! It became known as our “e-work” (entertainment at work), so the program finally died a slow death. I must admit, I enjoyed and participated in the “fun”, but looking back, I regret that we didn’t give it a good honest try when it was offered “free” to us! Even if we hadn’t embraced it entirely, we certainly would have gained some benefit from it. But, since it had been forced on us --- and we didn’t think we needed it --- we resisted . . . just because.

Later, when Allen and I joined St. John’s, empathy became more “real” for me. I guess when you’re surrounded by a congregation of empathic people --- as we are at St. John’s --- it just becomes contagious. Retirement gave me more time to “read and understand” other people’s emotions; I had reached a point in my life when I was genuinely interested in developing my empathetic skills. I guess I was finally realizing that I wanted the benefit of it for myself, as well as for others. It was a missing link!

We know that empathy is different from sympathy, which is actually defined as “agreement”. When we say we sympathize with someone, we join with their feelings. Empathy does not require joining or blending ourselves emotionally with another person; it’s more a matter of caring, understanding, and genuinely inquiring on their behalf. When we have empathy, we have a desire to be attentive --- to really “tune into and understand” the other person’s feelings . . . and then, to respond appropriately. According to Psychology Today, we all have an innate (genetic) capacity for empathy, but it’s actually classified as a learned behavior because it needs to be developed and nurtured . . . and that’s our responsibility.

The actual word, “empathy”, doesn’t appear in the New Testament, since it wasn’t coined until the early 1900’s. But, a variety of similar words --- love, compassion, kindness, tenderness --- are scattered throughout and deeply entrenched in the Bible. God is an empathetic God, and Jesus is the supreme example of empathy. In fact, empathy was a beautiful, brightly-colored thread woven throughout Jesus’ ministry. From there, it rippled out into the world, becoming absolutely central to our Christian faith.

When we finally return, someday, to occupy our church building, hospitality and communication will take on a whole different “look” and “feel”. Hugs and handshakes will be on-hold for a while, and masks will hide our smiles . . . somewhat. But, eye contact and finely-honed listening skills will be more important than ever, in connecting with people. When we individually decide to add well-practiced empathy to the equation, suddenly we’re genuinely communicating from the heart . . . and it feels good!

--- Mary Beth Spletzer, Hospitality Center volunteer
#photosfromhome
Donna by climbing rose.
#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
FROM THE DESK OF THERESE MACALI, DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service 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.
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.
"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

Alexis & Hovey Corbin

Gabriel Longuinhos
Curtis Storm
Shea Perry
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!

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. Wednesdays at 1:30 pm.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE CLUB
Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:00 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. Email tmacali@stjohns-abq.org for more information!

"SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT" CLASS WITH PASTOR PAM
Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, and the Zoom link will be provided to the first 15 people to sign up! Sign-up is HERE. Thursdays at 1:30 pm.
GET WELL CARDS
In addition to the suffering, COVID-19 patients are not allowed any visitors. The health care workers at UNM Hospital are asking for cards. An article by KOB states, "the health care workers want to flood the COVID-19 units with love, support and inspiration." All cards can be sent to UNM Hospital - Attention: Barbara Temer; 2211 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.
ONLINE BIBLE STUDY
While many of us are in a stay-at-home mode we can find both our emotions and faith challenged. Max Lucado has written a book "You'll Get Through This" based on the story of Joseph. He has opened up the video presentation online for no cost. I will be facilitating a Zoom discussion of this material and incorporating material from his book and study guide. If you would like to join me each week for the next 7 weeks starting Tuesday May 7th from 10 - 11 then email me for details (ktidler@comcast.net). If you would just like to watch the online video go to Online Bible Study to sign up for the free videos.
MENTAL
HEALTH
MOMENT
WITH
SUSAN BRUMBAUGH,
LMHC
VIRTUAL
TAI CHI
WITH
KATHY
CASA ESPERANZA
A great and loving THANK YOU to all the generosity that has been shown to the residents at Casa Esperanza. The money that was donated helped many families check "make dinner" off their list. In these difficult times, knowing that someone is caring for you means the world. Your generosity has lessen the feeling of loneliness and anxiety that these residents face each day. If you have questions about Casa Esperanza, please contact Jenn Shields: jennshields200@yahoo.com or 505-450-9978. Blessings to you all.

FAMILY PROMISE
The out pouring of support for Family Promise of Albuquerque has been astounding. Many times over, THANK YOU for all the monetary donations during the months of March and April. These donations are going straight to Family Promise to help alleviate the financial burden that has fallen on this ministry. This money not only helps the families currently in the program, but also recent graduates that were hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions. You have shown great love for our brothers and sister, and for that the Family Promise ministry is very grateful. If you have questions about Family Promise, please contact Linn Furnish: swimsew@comcast.net or 505-884-6626 OR Jenn Shields: jennshields200@yahoo.com or 505-450-9978. Blessings to you all.

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. A re-open date is to be determined! 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!
ST. JOHN'S PRAYER LABYRINTH IS OPEN
Please come to pray in the labyrinth any time of day. Park in the east parking lot near the front doors of the sanctuary/narthex doors. Our prayer labyrinth is directly to the south of the front doors. It is advisable to have one person on the labyrinth at a time. Enter the prayer labyrinth with a personal prayer and then quietly and contemplatively experience what God has to share with you during this time.
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.

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.
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

HEALTH TIPS FROM YOUR PARISH NURSE
3) Please avoid touching as many surfaces as you can- when you are shopping, etc. It is unknown right now exactly how long Covid 19 lives on surfaces. Try to keep your hands below your shoulders at all times when you are out and about. More tips coming from Linn Furnish, please contact me directly if you have any questions: swimsew@comcast.net
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