July 6, 2020

We are bound for greater things! You were created exactly as you were meant to be; go out and fulfill your purpose.

Sometimes we get discouraged, sometimes we think we have lost our way. Why are we here? What is the purpose of it all? Why did the world become overwhelmed with COVID19? Will I ever get to sing in St John’s choir again? Why don’t I have a full time job? As a nurse, I should be helping so many more people than I currently am. Will my puppy ever get toilet trained?
So many questions, with so few answers. Then it crossed my mind to look for Ken Medema’s musical arrangement “We are bound for greater things.” Part of what he wrote spoke especially to me this week. “We can see with clearer vision what confused us in the night. The one who gave our spirit wings, also gave us hands to help each other; we are bound for greater things. We walk a higher road, drawn by dreams and led by visions; we will know the grace of God. We will leave the past behind; we will fly on eagle’s wings. We will run the race before us; we are bound for greater things” (Medema, 1993).

God has formed each of us to be unique and especially designed for specific purposes. Pastor Pam has been asking us to look at our gifts of the Spirit. What unique attributes do we bring to the world that are to be shared with others, so that those we come in contact with will know that there is a system to all of this chaos and that God loves each of us, no matter if we sometimes forget to appreciate or use our spiritual gifts. My gift of healing is a no brainer. From the time I could walk, I have cared for other people, beginning with my sickly mother and sister. I also have an ability to instill hope and comfort. I can help people find the strength within themselves to keep striving towards a goal. I can pray with them and deliver news that may not wish to hear, but need to be said, so they can move on to the next chapter in their life journey. All of us have gifts of the Spirit. If we allow God to shape us, we can run the race before us and be bound for greater things.

It is sometimes hard, though, to look at our day to day life and think “This is what God wants me to be doing this week.” Last week I was asked to speak on culture and communication at a seminar in Taos, directed at new Promotoras de Salud or community health workers that would be performing contact tracing for

COVID19. Because I have spent my life looking and being different, I feel comfortable speaking to people from a different culture than my own. So I started offering greetings in many languages and dialects until some people started to smile, letting them know that even though I looked different and came from a different part of New Mexico, we still could find common ground with which to communicate. At the end, I got some hugs, even in COVID19 masks and all. I was asked by the state of New Mexico to coordinate a similar lecture in Ship Rock, where, even though I am Navajo, I look different and come from a different place, so I had to also put this audience at ease. The best part of that seminar was the end when we all got to “break bread together” with Navajo tacos and fry bread!

This week, I am honored to have been asked to participate in an equity/minority inclusion, National webinar for healthcare professionals. Why me? Aren’t there others with more credentials and education than I have to be part of a live streamed webinar? What can I say that will be of value to people I will never meet, so that they can deliver healthcare to individuals who do not belong to the dominant culture, but rely on these healthcare workers for hope? Then, God reminded me of Moses, who, when called to go speak to pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt, said back to God “I am not an eloquent speaker.” God replied “I made your mouth and I will place in it the words you are to say” (Exodus 4:10-12).

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans to prosper you and plans for hope for the future.” In 2nd Timothy 1:9 it says “God has saved you and called you to a Holy life- not because of anything you have done but because of God’s own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us before we were even born, to demonstrate the glory of God”. It is not up to us to question God’s plans, but only to say yes or no. If we say yes, God will assist us in performing for God’s purpose. If we say no, God will come knocking again because we all were created for a purpose. We all are bound for greater things if we only trust that God will guide us and say yes to what God is asking of us.

-- Dee Billops
Dave’s Valley Grill was our socially distanced, 4 hour lively lunch conversation. Martha Good, Carol Dolan, Nancy Croker.
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
Would you be interested in submitting a daily devotional for the Newsletter? If so, send an email to Reverend Dr. Pam Rowley at!
8:00 am & 7:00 pm
Please join us on Wednesday mornings and evenings for a worship service of praise and prayer. Both services will take place in the Memorial Garden of St. John’s on the west side of the building. These services are designed to be thirty minutes and will be led by Certified Lay Ministers, Larry Luna and Joe Marshall. Please bring your own lawn chairs and sit six feet from your neighbor. In an effort to keep all of us safe and healthy, masks are required. THESE WEDNESDAY MORNING AND EVENING SERVICES will continue for the summer (at least that is the plan now).
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.

Gil Flores

Ingela Onstad, Michael Hix, & Amy Greer
7:00 pm
Come and worship in your car on Saturday, June 20 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE). please consider bringing either toilet paper, dry beans, pasta, rice, or dry cat food. These items will be given to Silver Horizons for their senior clients.

July 11  Rev. Dr. Todd Seelau
July 18  TBD
July 25  Rev. Dr. Randall Partin
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 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

Over the next five weeks we are exploring our spiritual gifts in our sermon series, Discovering our Spiritual Gifts. Please take a few minutes to discover your gifts by taking the Spiritual Gift Inventory from Discipleship Ministries of the UMC  HERE. At the end of the inventory, you will have the opportunity to print out the results. Keep that list and pray over your spiritual gifts as you discover how to use those gifts for the kingdom of God.
Wednesday, August 5
7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, July 1 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. We encourage you to bring your own elements (bread & juice). If you do not have your own elements, we will provide individually-packaged elements. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE).
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!

IT IS SUMMER, and we have a new series for students exploring new games, discussions, and faith-building activities every Sunday from 4:00-5:15PM! Go to: (case sensitive) password if needed is 233374. NEW SUMMER URL

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.
Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Join Pastor Pam for a 30-minute spiritual exercise. Space is limited, join the class HERE.
Fridays from 9:30 - 10:00 am
Susan Brumbaugh, staff mental health counselor at St. John's, is offering a FREE weekly gathering on FRIDAYS at 9:30 am to practice mindfulness meditation. Each 30-minute session begins with a brief welcome, a description of the focus (e.g., breath, body, senses, emotions, thoughts), a 15-20 minute guided practice, and an opportunity to debrief and share experiences.
Anyone is welcome--no experience is necessary. (And, yes! It's okay for Christians to meditate.) If you want to learn more prior to starting, the sessions will be similar to ones she leads and records on YouTube . Each session will be hosted on Zoom. HERE is the zoom link. Please contact Susan Brumbaugh,, or 505-506-6716, if you have questions.
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.
Congregational Care Corner
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

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. Susan also has a Youtube Channel with mindfulness tips HERE.

For many years St. John's has had a special relationship with our neighbor, Zuni Elementary School. For example, over the years, we have provided school supplies, backpacks, after school programs, and a Back to School Luncheon for the staff.

This year, as you can imagine, Zuni's needs are a bit different. Hand Sanitizers and wipes, kleenex and pump soap top the list! You can donate in kind on Saturday nights. (See separate article for details) Or, of course, you may send monetary donations to the church any time.

Finally, please keep the students and staff of Zuni ( and all the schools in town) in your prayers. Starting up again will be different and stressful for everyone.
In accordance with the New Mexico Department of Health order, our facility will be closed until August 2! 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!
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