November 30, 2020

Scripture: Isaiah 9: 6-7

Years ago, I sang in Handel’s Messiah. Well, full disclosure, it was a Sing-a-long Messiah – BUT – I of absolutely no musical ability – I sang in it! Well, full disclosure, I really could not sing much of the choral parts – they were way beyond me. BUT – and its a big BUT - I stood with all the others and sang the Hallelujah Chorus! And I sang boldly and loudly, half-crying as I sang, that I – even me - could be a part of something so special – something so eternal.

Today as we start Advent, I listened to Part One of the Messiah and it was the story that really came alive to me.

First, there was the promise that God was coming as a King: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Is 40:3)

But then, with this Coming would come purification and judgment: “But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth?” (Malachi 3:2)

And then, suddenly, the Promise is seen as a coming baby: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

And lest there be no mistake about this King-Baby: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11) “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-29)

A total upending of expectations: upside down, inside-out and backwards.

And this Advent, as I look toward the coming of Jesus, I want it all: the King who rules my heart; the Purifier who will refine my soul; the Baby who I can so easily love; and the Shepherd who will lead and feed me. ”What

I yearn for this Advent is the fullness of Christ’s coming - in me and in the world.

I want to share with you a song that, even though it is not a typical Advent song, takes me through much of the same journey as the Scriptures in the Messiah, as I prepare for the coming of Jesus, as I prepare to approach Him. It is “Howl, My Soul” by the Medical Mission Sisters. (Listen to it on YouTube.)

“Howl, you, for the Day of the Lord is near.
Howl, my soul, for the Day of the Lord is here.
Let ev’ry knee be bent and ev’ry head be bowed,
For He will come like thunder tearing up the cloud.

Howl, my soul, tremble my soul in fear.
Weep, you, for He comes to judge the land.
Weep, my soul, for none but the just shall stand.
He will come in a whirlwind to uproot the trees.

Yet He will rock my soul as the gentle breeze.
Weep, my soul, for judgment is at hand.
Sing, you, for the Lord was born of men.
Sing, my soul, for the Lord returns again.

He will breath new spirit into old dry bones,
Trade a heart of flesh for a heart of stone.
Sing, my soul, sing my soul: Amen.
Peace, you, there’s no need to be afraid.

Peace, my soul, for He knows of what you’re made.
Though mountains crumble when He bares His breast,
In the crook of His arm I will lie to rest.
Peace, my soul, it is the moment for which you’ve prayed.”

Lord, help me open my heart fully to your coming, to your transforming power in every corner of my life. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

-- Lyn Fitz
This morning at 9:00 am!
Join St. John’s Music Director Matthew Greer as he talks about what’s going on in the music ministry, and about music he loves. Join the Zoom HERE.
Rachelle Luna reads Psalm 122:1-9
The sanctuary at 11:45 am. God is in the Manger!!
-- Pastor Pam
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 memory! Email your photos and a description to Shea at
Wednesdays | 12:00 pm
Join us for a series of concerts live-streamed from the St. John's sanctuary! Concerts are a benefit for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless.

Join vocalist Michael Herndon and pianist Jim Ahrend for an hour of Christmas jazz!
Irene Garvin, a long time member, is celebrating her 100th BIRTHDAY on December 2nd!!! Let’s shower her with some old fashion birthday cards. She loves getting mail. Cards should be mailed to her address posted in the Church directory. Please write out a special memory of some church activity you shared with Irene. She will surely treasure the warmth and kindness through this simple gesture of recognition of her milestone Birthday!
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)
The Body of the Devotion (one page is a good guideline)
A Prayer or a Spiritual Practice
Thursday, December 3 | 10:00 am
Join us for our festive get-together on Zoom!
United Methodist Women will celebrate Christmas, via Zoom, on Thursday, December 3rd, at 10:00 am. We'll enjoy a Christmas music video by Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus of Sweet Adelines, as well as a special reading of the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. We'll also participate in a special Christmas activity in which we're asked to have five Christmas items (such as a bow, tinsel, a candle, etc.) near our computers during the meeting; one of the items needs to be an ornament or something that has a special Christmas memory for us. You need not be a member of UMW to join the meeting; we gladly welcome all ladies! If you aren't a member of a circle, and would like to receive the Zoom meeting invitation, please contact Regina Hampton at
Saturday, December 12 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm
This is a difficult season for many, and this year our grief is even more tender and apparent. You are invited to join Pastor Pam in a Holiday Grief Workshop on December 12th, 12:00-4:00 pm by Zoom as we go through some helpful tools to acknowledge our grief, to help us better understand our feelings and emotions, and as we take sweet care of ourselves during this “unusual” holiday season. Please make a reservation by emailing Debbie at so that some materials may be sent to you. A Zoom invite will then be emailed to you.
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
Missing getting together with your St John’s family after church? Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship. Church Leadership Team members starting with Jim Hickman will be hosting with the Pastors Pam and Kelly joining if they are available. Zoom registration is HERE.
Elaine Montague is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for November 23 - December 7.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Elaine: “Father, we ask that Elaine will know that you are by her side and that she will feel your deep tender love every moment of every day."
NOVEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: United Methodist Committee on Relief ( UMCOR)
   This month by giving to UMCOR we have a way of helping people and communities devastated by disasters. This year UMCOR is helping Louisiana communities recovering from not one but two hurricanes, Laura and Delta! And UMCOR is known for sticking around for the long haul after the headlines are gone and the world has moved on.
      This year, of course, we are also faced with the world wide disaster of Covid 19. Through the Sheltering in Love Campaign, UMCOR and Global Ministries have collaborated with health care professionals, missionaries, disaster management coordinators and faith leaders to help folks from the Philippines to Pennsylvania. UMCOR has helped isolate communities of Brazil who may receive no other help as well as the unemployed and hungry in the big cities of the US.
  St. John's people have been so very generous in helping those in need in New Mexico. Through UMCOR we can broaden our reach. Please give generously any time in November.
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