March 24, 2020
Daily Devotions this week are being provided by our St. John’s Certified Lay Ministers. Today’s devotion is from Cari Neill.

LOVE
 
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
 
1 John 4:18
 
I tend to be a perfectionist. I am mostly a perfectionist when it comes to myself and my own work. It is hard to be a perfectionist and read that if I am fearful, I am not perfect. It is especially hard when the world around me tells me I should be afraid. But I have been reminded over and over that God is love and God is with me, all around me, and inside me. That is when the first part of that scripture becomes the most important: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
 
A good friend and fellow CLM Peggy Stevens talked to our CLM class about reading scripture and changing the word “love” to the word God. If God is love, then God = love and the words should be interchangeable. Peggy used the example of 1 Corinthians 13. If we focus on Ch. 13: 4-7, we find that God is patient and kind. God is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. God does not force his own way. God is not irritable or resentful. God does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. And the first part of verse 8 would say “God never fails.”
 
If we look at God = love like a math problem, then love also equals God. Substituting God for the word “love,” we find that 1 John 4:18 reads “There is not fear in God.” Let me say that again: There is no fear in God. God does not fear. What’s more is that God casts out fear. When I am fearful, I am not perfect in God. I am allowing something other than God to take root in my life. If God casts out fear, then all I have to do is turn to God and ask for help. Simply put, when God comes in, fear has to leave.
 
Although I am still a perfectionist, I am not perfect. Thankfully, God = love and God in perfect love forgives my lack of perfection. In perfect love, God also reminds me that when everything around me tells me I should be afraid, I can turn to God and fear will leave. What an awesome God we serve!
 
Spiritual Practice:
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, stop and say out loud “I trust you God. I trust you Jesus. I trust you Holy Spirit.” Then pay attention to how you feel. The first time, it will probably feel a little strange, but as you put that into practice, you will feel the words taking root. They will begin to have more meaning each time you say them. Any time you feel anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or afraid, repeat those words: “I trust you God. I trust you Jesus. I trust you Holy Spirit.” It won’t take long before you feel your trust in God grow and begin to see the work and movement of the Holy Spirit all around you. – Borrowed from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and adapted based on personal experience.
 
-- Cari Neill, Certified Lay Minister
DRIVE-BY COMMUNION & PRAYER
Wednesday, March 25
12:00 pm
Your staff will provide drive-by communion and prayer Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 pm in the west parking lot. Drive into the parking lot, go straight and then left, to swing around to the west office/music wing doors. We will meet you at the curb, offer a prayer and communion (in an individual, pre-wrapped cup), and then you will be on your way. This is one way to stay connected to each other and to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday!
MUSIC FROM ST. JOHN'S
As part of our outreach during this unsettling time, the Music Ministry has launched “Music From St. John’s,” a series of video performances by local musicians. This is an effort to continue to provide beautiful music to our congregation and community, and also to provide work to local musicians who have been severely affected by cancelations. New videos will appear daily for the foreseeable future, and they are being created by Shea Perry.

We hope you’ll enjoy and share the videos, and also consider making a donation to the New Mexico Musicians Relief Fund.

The easiest way to view the videos is to go to the St. John’s Music Ministries Facebook page at the link below. Check back daily!

MEALS AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN AT ZUNI
Zuni Elementary is one of the Free Grab & Go meal locations providing lunch M-F from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm to children 18 and under during the current APS school closure.
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.
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