December 7, 2020
My sister is six years younger than I am, and she always wanted to have things just like her big sister had. This put my parents in a dilemma, because what a 12-year-old and a six-year-old want and can use isn’t very often the same. They tried to get us things that were similar enough to satisfy my sister, but different enough that I got something right for my age.

Sadly, this wasn’t always satisfactory for either one of us. My sister is no fool, and usually she could see that what she got wasn’t as “grown up” as what I got. On the other hand—although I never once said anything—I couldn’t see why she got, say, a watch when she was seven, when I had had to wait until I was 13! Even though she got a little-kid watch, and I got a young-lady watch, something about this situation always seemed a little off to me.

Jesus presents a similar situation in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). You know the story. The landowner goes early in the morning and hires workers for a dollar for the whole day. He goes out again at nine, at noon, at three, and at five, each time hiring them for the rest of the day.  

At the end of the day, everyone lines up to be paid: last in, first out. At first, the workers who have been there all day are probably surprised that the five-o’clockers got the same dollar that they themselves had been promised. Do you suppose they were getting a little puzzled when the nine-o’clockers still got one dollar? Surely, they thought, we who have been here all day deserve more than that!

When they also got a dollar, they said out loud what I had always been thinking: “Wait a minute! We’ve been around a lot longer than they have! Why should they get what we’re getting?” Meantime, I’m pretty sure the five-o’clockers were thinking, “Those lucky men didn’t have to worry all day long about whether their kids would eat tonight. They didn’t have to stand around in the marketplace looking worthless in front of everybody. But do I get anything extra for my worry and embarrassment? Noooo.”

The landowner tells them all, “I can do what I want with my own money. Why would you be jealous because I am generous?”

An Advent Prayer:  
Dear Lord, we expect to get some presents this Christmas. As we open each one and compare it with what others have received—or with what we gave to the giver!—remind us that each gift is a celebration of your generosity toward us. Wash away our petty jealousy with the overflowing love of Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

-- Regina Hunter
 Larry Luna reads Luke 3:1-6, 15-16
During Advent you are invited to participate in personal Advent Evening Prayer and Worship in the comfort of your home at the close of each day. Download this guide HERE.
"A few photos of organizing Angel Tree gifts”
-- Kathleen Goodin
Let’s share the spirit of Advent and Christmas by sharing photos of our at-home altar spaces, the lighting of Advent candles, and our holiday decorations! Please also consider sharing a favorite Advent & Christmas activity or memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at
The list of Advent and Christmas events has been updated! Click the image above to see what is new.
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Pastor Pam at! Please include the following items when writing a devotion:
  • A Focus Word or Phrase
  • A Scripture (it can simply be referenced)
  • One page of a Devotion
  • A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
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 our Youtube Channel. 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

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom registration is HERE.
Prayer Requests:
The Gruen family in the passing into glory of Marge

Ann Boland and family in the passing into glory of Bob

Roger and Donna Eaton in the passing of sister Virginia Davis

Donna Bruce in the passing of her brother

Karen and Hal Tidler in the passing of their brother-in-law
Kelly Giese is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 7 - December 20.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Kelly: “Loving Lord, we ask that as Kelly moves forward to a new location and a new ministry, may your Holy Spirit lead and guide her and keep her steadfast, always abounding in your work and in your love. Amen."
 DECEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Two Ministries for Children
This month, we have the opportunity to support two wonderful ministries dealing with children. The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, has helped troubled children (ages 12-18) find a place to heal and grow in a loving Christian environment for over 125 years. Younger children thrive in homes of loving foster parents. “They (MCH) are here for me when no one else is.” “They never give up on us.” “I now know that God’s going to be there for me.
      A second Methodist-supported haven for children is Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas. Its motto says it all: “Giving God’s Children a Faith, a Family, a Future.” “Providence Place loved me and helped me make the best decision for my child without any pressure,” said one birth mother in the open adoption program. And, as an adoptive couple puts it, “It is indescribable the joy that Abby has brought into our lives.” Providence Place also helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities develop their full potential and learn to live on their own with minimal assistance.  Both of these fine ministries rely on our generous donations.
Contact Us
(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