May 22, 2020

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Ps. 23:4

As they rushed me through the airport in Los Angeles on my back on a gurney toward a waiting ambulance, I remember seeing the ceiling lights flash before me as I was hurriedly moved past startled people. The phrase from the 23rd Psalm--"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me"--which I had memorized as a child--kept repeating itself in my mind as I also asked myself: Why had I fainted? Was it a heart attack? Was I dying? "No," the doctor in the hospital later said, "you are not dying but you do need a Pacemaker to regulate your heart and to stay alive." I wear one to this very day.

That was a near death experience for me. Even though I realize that all organic life from plants to animals to humans are destined to one day die, I fight to live. Whatever it takes--medicine, exercise, diet, surgery--I am willing to undergo to stay in the land of the living.

The poem "Do not go gentle into that night" has long intrigued me. Dylan Thomas was urging his father not to give up, not to die. "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" he urged.

I suppose in some sense that all of us are fighting against the dying of the light in this pandemic. It's why we stay home, thoroughly wash our hands, wear our mask, and stay six feet apart. We don't want to die.

The Psalmist, though, wants us not to fear death, for the Good Shepherd can reach us and comfort and guide us even in the rugged valley. No valley is so deep that the presence of the Lord cannot reach the forlorn bottom.

So, in the LAX airport I learned not to fear death, even though I had no idea what lay ahead of me. Only that I rested in the arms of my loving heavenly Father.

Gracious God, we thank you for the impulse to live that you have placed within us at birth. Help us to keep that drive precious and alive. Banish the fear of the unknown from our hearts as we place our faith and feelings in the assurance of your eternal love. Help us to know that you are with us regardless of any hurt or harm we may face. And that through our faith in Jesus Christ we will some day reside in your heavenly kingdom, where neither pain nor fear nor want exist. In the name and power of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.

Find and memorize a phrase from Scripture that will reinforce your belief in God's presence with you in all circumstances and offer you comfort, joy and courage. Check in the Bible itself, or a Bible dictionary or Concordance, or even ask Google. Start with words like fear, trust, faith, courage, resurrection and others which may lead you to passages that fit your need.

-- Clyde Chesnutt, Retired UM pastor
This puzzle took 24 days to work. "89 dresses” - 1500 piece puzzle!
-- Nadine Holt — Apologies for the error earlier!
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!
-- Shea Perry, Communications Director
There is a distinction between talking about God and talking with God.

When we talk about God and know all the stories of the people dealing with God in the Old Testament as well as the words of Jesus from the New Testament, we can believe God exists and decide to accept Jesus as savior. We can decide to follow Jesus.

Talking with God in prayer, through spiritual disciplines, or when standing beside the wonders of nature, or in the quiet of a beautiful church are ways to develop an intimate and personal relationship with God. This relationship where we share our thoughts, feelings and needs and God shares insight and guidance is essential for spiritual growth. If we only learn about God and don't learn this direct experience of God, then we are not equipped for the long haul. The first big event in our lives may pull us away from God because we only know about God, we don’t know firsthand our divine parent. This experiential knowing God is the goal of spiritual formation and direction.

A session of spiritual direction lasts an hour and happens usually once per month. When you leave your session, you might often have an assignment such as a psalm to read and reread, or a type of praying to try out, or a part of your upset to take to God (you know the part you never pray about). Maybe you will be encouraged to journal or to invent a new discipline that works for you. You will always be supported.

What happens during the session is that the spiritual director facilitates what is really happening: the Holy Spirit is working in your life, working to teach, guide and help you. There will be prayer during your session and maybe some quiet time.

Written by Donna Berry, Spiritual Director certified by the United Methodist Church, educated through Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

A coach holds the space for you to examine where you are going in life. We often just spend our time going, never really stopping and examining that action driven life. Holding the space for you allows you, the coachee, to reflect and find obstacles in your way. The whole process will go easier and faster through the listening and asking done by the coach. Together you and the coach find clarity and new ways to look at what you are doing and thinking.

A coaching session will last 30-45 minutes. You as the coachee are the expert on your life. You will define what you are seeking and what you want to work on during that session. The coach will help you do that and will listen deeply and ask open-ended questions. The coach will support you, affirm you, and always be on your side. You will be empowered to do whatever you want to do or to be or to have.

This process is completely confidential.

Donna Berry, ACC, MBA, credentialled by the International Coaching Federation, educated by Coaching4Clergy
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
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.

Gabriel Longuinhos
Curtis Storm
Shea Perry
Online Classes
The announcements below include using the program "Zoom" to group-video chat. You can find a tutorial on how to use Zoom HERE!

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: (case sensitive) with the password: 048658

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

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.
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 for more information!

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.

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 or 294-2877.

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 for more details about session and cost information.
Congregational Care Corner

9) Enjoy a varied diet of fresh veggies and fruits. Avoid a lot of sugars and starchy carbs: potatoes, peas, corn, pasta, bread. Enjoy the non starchy carbs: spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, asparagus, lettuce, etc. that are widely available right now. Fuel your body well. More tips coming from Linn Furnish, please contact me directly if you have any questions:

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:

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
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.
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!
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.
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
(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