June 1, 2020

Genesis 28:10-12
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

My middle child, son Jonathan, has always been a climber. In our family we often say that Jonathan could climb before he could walk, which is literally true. His penchant for climbing has provided us with quite a few interesting experiences, one of the most memorable of which occurred on Thanksgiving Day 1984.

At the time the Ring’s were living in El Paso, Texas. Leaving our one-year-old daughter with a babysitter, the rest of the family, four of us, went to view the Sun Bowl Parade down Montana Avenue through downtown El Paso. Standing there in a crowd of 40 to 50 thousand people lining the street, we watched the floats go by, appropriately “oohing and aahing” at the fascinating shapes and designs.

I was totally enthralled by it all when a man standing nearby tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. “Mister, aren’t you worried about your kid?” he asked. With that, he pointed upward. There, 30 feet above the street level, four-year-old Jonathan was calmly seated on the very top of a telephone pole, gleefully watching the floats go by. He’d found himself the best observation spot in the entire area.

I suppose many parents might have panicked to suddenly discover that their child had climbed a telephone pole, but from frequent experience I already knew Jonathan’s excellent climbing abilities. I also knew that scaring him by yelling at him would be counterproductive. So I just calmly looked up and said, “Jonathan, come on down.” By this time 1,000 folks had noticed this little boy perched high above them; nobody on that block was watching the parade anymore, all eyes were on Jonathan. When I told him to come down, he protested, “Do I have to? I can’t see through all the big people down there!” “Yes, Jon, you need to come down.” With that, he began climbing down, reaching the ground in just a few seconds. Everyone around breathed a sigh of relief.

In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there’s a fascinating story about a man named Zacchaeus who, although he was “small of stature,” wanted to see Jesus. But a crowd had gathered around Jesus, and Zacchaeus, like my son Jonathan trying to watch the Sun Bowl parade at age four, couldn’t see through all those big people. So Zacchaeus climbed a nearby tree and thereby got to see Jesus. Even better, Jesus saw him, and rewarded him for his special effort by visiting his house and bringing him into the Kingdom of God.

Climbing out of the crowd, for Zacchaeus, was a very wise move. Do you also need to separate yourself from the crowd -- in order to see Jesus more clearly?

Lord, help me to climb above the crowd of the world around me in order to more clearly see you. Allow me to view your will for me – and to continue to “walk tall” in the ways you lead. Amen.

--Excerpted from Dr. Dave Ring’s 2019 published devotional book, Reflections 365
I am staying home and enjoying raising tomatoes and flowers .I am picking this tomato today. I miss singing in choir. Love to all.
-- Kathryn Ritterbush
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
Wednesday, June 3
7:00 pm
Come receive communion in your car on Wednesday, June 3 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).

Saturday, June 6
7:00 pm
Come and worship in your car on Saturday, June 6 and gather in safe community to worship and praise God. Message will be given by Rev. Scott Sharp. We will gather in the east parking lot of St. John's (2626 Arizona Street NE).

The Summer months are here & Solid Ground United has a quick 3-minute survey where we want to hear from parents & students to help us plan how we get back together in person; entries are put in a drawing for a $30.00 gift card to Starbucks or Keva Juice. Everyone please go to:
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.

Fred Sturm, piano
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
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 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, join the class HERE.

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.
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!
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